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Nobody can rival Microsoft and Xbox for downloadable games, says Castle Crashers dev

Console indie community "would not exist" without XBLA

When it comes to independent development on console - and downloadable games on console full stop - neither Sony nor Nintendo can match Microsoft, The Behemoth's John Baez has claimed.

"I think without a doubt the indie console community would not exist as it does today if Xbox Live Arcade had been dropped after the original Xbox iteration," Baez insisted in a sprawling "10 years of Xbox Live" feature you'll read in our latest issue, on sale now (and packed with exclusive Aliens art).

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"No other console hardware manufacturer has had the success of downloadable games that XBLA has had," he went on, "and many smaller developers have shared in that success." The Behemoth certainly ranks among the latter - its breakthrough hack and slasher, Castle Crashers, has sold over two million units on Xbox.

Dave Voyles, co-organiser of the annual Xbox Live Indie Games Uprising, also has a few warm words to share. "I don't believe Microsoft was prepared for the success that it would see, both in terms of the number of devs who were on board, and the volume of people who would browse the marketplace," he told us.

"Before XBLIG, and even after, there has yet to be an easy avenue for independent devs to get work released without going through a closed platform or dealing with a publisher."

Why not celebrate by picking up one of the best Xbox Live Indie Games of winter 2012? Alternatively, you can stare lustfully at the 14 forthcoming Xbox Live Arcade games we can't wait to play.

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