Microsoft announced on Friday that its [email protected] program (ID stands for independent developer) has seen over 2,000 indie games released since its inception. In addition, Microsoft has paid out more than $1.5 billion to indie developers.
The 2,000 indie game milestone was reached last week with the launch of the multiplayer underwater shooter Swimsanity. [email protected] allows indie developers to self-publish their titles on Xbox One. The program is prominently featured as part of Xbox Game Pass and will soon expand to Xbox Series X once the next-gen console launches this fall.
The precursor to [email protected] is the Xbox Live Arcade. XBLA provided a mix of classic console and arcade games along with new indie games. The service officially launched on the original Xbox but gained notoriety on Xbox 360. Games maxed out at 40MB so that they could fit on memory cards. This forced developers to make relatively simple games. Thanks in part to XBLA arcade, 2D games saw a resurgence in the 2000s and into the 2010s.