Xbox Live Community games has recently changed its name to Xbox Live Indie games and with the name change comes a number of other alterations to the way things are organised. Chief amongst them is a new pricing system. It is quite convaluted so it’s probably best I paste their breakdown for clarity’s sake:
Indie Games will have three price points to choose from, to keep them more in-line with other products available on Xbox LIVE Marketplace. Games can be sold at 80, 240, or 400 Microsoft Points. Only games 50 MB and under can be priced at 80 Microsoft Points. How does this affect currently priced games?
- Games currently at 400 Points: Will retain current price point, but have the option to change to one of the new price points during an update or price change event.
- Games currently at 800 Points: Can remain at 800 points for the life of the game unless an update needs to be submitted, at which time one of the new price points will need to be chosen. The option to price your game at 800 Microsoft Points will remain until October 22, 2009.
- Games currently at 200 Points: Will remain at 200 points until October 22, 2009. At that point, XNA will automatically change these games to 80 Microsoft Points. For price changes, game updates, and new games the 200 price point is no longer available.
- Only Games less than 50MB are eligible to be sold at 80 points.
- Between now and October 22, 2009 a game can be updated as often as the user wants just like they can today (excluding the seven day submission jail)
- As ever, price changes to a game can only be made every 90 days.
Basically I read that to mean that the Indie games are going to be significantly cheaper and hopefully that means that they will appeal to an impulse buying crowd and get more coverage. There are many other little changes to the scheme including a reputation system and the introduction of “Tokens” which are basically up to fifty free copies of your game so you can give it to media outlets and get reviews and more exposure. The full list of alterations to the program can be found via the source link.
Source: XNA Creators Club