Xbox is making it easier to find your next favorite indie game with permanent store collections and monthly picks

Promotional image for ID@Xbox.
(Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • ID@Xbox is a program at Microsoft that helps indie developers publish their games on Xbox and PC.
  • On Wednesday, the ID@Xbox team announced a new, permanent initiative to help highlight the very best indie games on Xbox.
  • New channels on the Xbox Dashboard and in the Xbox Store will update every Wednesday with new themed collections of featured indie games.
  • The last week of every month, the ID@Xbox team will also vote on six indie games to be highlighted across the dashboard, store, social channels, and Xbox Wire.

Indie (and indie-like) games have offered some of the most creative, emotional, and epic experiences of my entire gaming career. I adore indie games, and I adore the ID@Xbox program for continuing to help developers realize their vision and bring their games to the Xbox ecosystem. On Wednesday, the team at ID@Xbox also announced a new initiative to help highlight the best indie games on Xbox and improve their visibility to players.

Starting immediately, ID@Xbox's new "Indie Selects" program will launch dedicated channels in the Games section of the Xbox Dashboard and Xbox Store. These channels will feature themed collections of Xbox indie games selected by the ID@Xbox team. For example, the "Featured Indies" channel will showcase recent releases that the ID@Xbox team can wholeheartedly recommend (and are not included in Xbox Game Pass, which gets its own featured collections).

Other channels may highlight games from different parts of the world, new creators and voices, upcoming indie games that can be preordered or wishlisted, ID@Xbox sales, and even fun weekly themes like "Games to Play with Your Cat" or "Games for Evil Villains." ID@Xbox will be updating these channels every Wednesday, so players will always have new recommendations for awesome games. Featured titles don't have to be published through ID@Xbox, either — these channels can feature any great indie game, or even games that simply feel indie.

Finally, the ID@Xbox team will vote every month for the six best indie games worth recommending. These monthly Indie Selects will be announced during the last week of the month alongside digital awards for their creators, a marketing push that includes featured sections on the Xbox Dashboard and Xbox Store, social media posts, and an Xbox Wire article detailing each game and why it was chosen. These indie games are practically guaranteed to be some of the best Xbox games you can play, so players will definitely want to pay close attention.

A fantastic initiative for Xbox's indie gems

It's no exaggeration that some of the best games on any platform are made by smaller teams, or even individual developers. It can be difficult for these indie games to achieve success when mainstream AAA titles bury the industry in massive marketing campaigns. There are multiple publishers that help indie developers get their games noticed, but it always feels like an uphill battle.

I'm really happy to see ID@Xbox, one of the most accomplished indie game publishers in the industry, make a big move to improve the visibility of indie games — even those not published by ID@Xbox. This will hopefully help players find their next video game or ten, and help developers achieve the success they need to keep making creative, interesting games that AAA publishers aren't willing to attempt. I'll certainly be keeping a close eye on these collections to see what catches my attention, although I already have too many indie games in my backlog and on my wishlist as it is.

Zachary Boddy
Staff Writer

Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.

  • Zachary Boddy
    Love seeing Xbox continue to work on highlight awesome indie games. Can't wait to see what titles get the spotlight through this program.