Could Xbox One be the end of Xbox Live Arcade? Possibly. But don't worry, smaller games aren't going away from Microsoft's next-gen console. Instead, the XBLA designation may be phased out, in order to make smaller games and AAA titles equally visible, Matt Booty, general manager of Redmond Game Studios and Platforms told us.
"There will be things about Xbox One that I think will be very attractive and beneficial to independent developers. The first is the idea that games are games," Booty told Shacknews. "Content will be surfaced to the player and to the consumer in a much more tailored and personalized view, which means that whether it's an independent game or a AAA game or something in-between, they're all going to be presented and displayed the same. So, games are games. That means independent and AAA content will sit on equal footing."
"I think that for game developers having their content sit on the virtual shelf right next to every other piece of content is a real big win. For independent developers, some of their biggest challenges are discovery and promotion and how the content is surfaced to the player. Nobody wants their game to be buried four menu levels down," Booty pointed out, addressing a common complaint that many games were too difficult to discover on Xbox 360--particularly indie games.
"What you would like is if the system knows a lot about a person and knows what kind of content they want, you would want your content to be surfaced along with all the other things that person likes. So if you are making a game that a person who plays Limbo might like, you would really like your game to be presented to that person. We're going to be in an era of personalized content, where games are games," Booty described.
Doing away with arbitrary designations like "XBLA" and "Games on Demand" makes sense as downloadable games get bigger and retail games start looking more like downloadable games. "I would stick to the idea that we really want to focus on tailored content, personalized presentation of content, and that it's more about presenting the content that matters to you as opposed to trying to put a certain wrapper on it."