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Microsoft explains XBLIG backtrack

Never intended to "bury" service.

Microsoft has explained its decision to reinstate the Xbox Live Indie Games service to the games store proper.

Dave Mitchell, a product unit manager for Microsoft's Developer Program posted on the App Hub forums, "The intent was to provide a special destination for Xbox Live Indie Game developers and not to 'bury' it as some have suggested it.

We are constantly striving to make sure we are optimizing the experience for our users and developers across the entire marketplace - indies included.

"Based on the strong feedback from all of you however, we are in the process of moving the channel back. You should already see this process underway being reflected on your consoles."

Earlier this month, Microsoft shifted Xbox Live Indie Games out of the games store and placed it under a new Speciality Shops tab, much to the chagrin of developers who accused Microsoft of hiding their games from consumers.

Yesterday, the platform holder relented and moved the service back. Cue much air-punching from aforementioned indies.

Elsewhere in his post, Mitchell went on to reaffirm Microsoft's commitment to Xbox Live Indie Games.

"On behalf of the team here at Microsoft working on the Xbox Live Indie games offering, I'd like to state that we have not abandoned the program or the service and have no intentions of doing so.

"Our dream - shared by all of you - has been to bring world class, easy to use game development tools, technologies and services to the masses - to all of you - so that you can in turn create and share your creativity with millions of people.

"This is true not only for the Xbox 360 but also other Microsoft platforms such as Windows and with today's launch in North America, also to Windows Phone 7," he continued. "And while we've definitely been busy helping our fellow teams in Windows Phone to deliver a strong platform and community behind it, we've never strayed too far from our roots on the Xbox 360.

"There's definitely more work to be done here with XNA Game Studio, Xbox Live Indie Games and more. I know it may not have appeared as such but we are still very passionate about Xbox Live Indie Games and all of you here."

Lovely to see a story with a happy ending, no?

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Fred Dutton

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Fred Dutton was Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.

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