Xbox One and Windows 10 have launched a new section of indie games that aren't curated by Microsoft.
Called the Creators Collection, this unfiltered wave of games is effectively the successor to the Xbox 360's XBLIG (Xbox Live Indie Games) category that stopped accepting new titles in 2015. In fact, all of those games will no longer be available for sale next month when the platform gets decommissioned.
But hey, at least we'll have this new program that offers similarly small experimental titles. As far as how the Creators Collection differs from Microsoft's usual avenue of self-published games, director of ID@Xbox explains:
"The Creators Program was established to enable developers to directly publish their games - any of their games - to Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs, with a simplified certification process and no concept approval required."
"Developers that publish through the Creators Program have the freedom and independence to develop games that are truly unique, resulting in a collection with games that can be quirky and have varying degrees of polish, but are always interesting."
The Creators Collection games will be in their own subsection of the Xbox marketplace so you won't have to sift through them if you don't want to. To find these titles, you'll have to click on the "Creators Collection" tab in the Games section of the Xbox One Store (or simply in the Games section of the Windows Store).
"Why a special section? We think it's awesome to open up development to anyway with no barriers - no traditional certification, no 'concept approval,' and no limitations," said Charla. "But we also listened to feedback from players, parents and developers who let us know they love the curated store experience on Xbox One. This gives us all the best of both worlds: A curated store and a fully open marketplace."
One downside to these games is that they won't contain online multiplayer or Achievements, as those features could impede on the ecosystem that Microsoft oversees with anything on its platforms. Other than that, these games will still have access to Club, Hubs, Party Chat, and mixer streaming.
There's no rule that games in the Creators Collection can't later be expanded into more polished commercial products on ID@Xbox. Some Creators Collection games will cost money, while others will be free. Why not have a look?