[email protected] has now published 1000 games

After five years, Xbox indie self-publishing programme [email protected] has reached its 1000 game milestone. Home to hugely successful titles such as Cuphead, Stardew Valley and Celeste, the service tips over the 1000 game mark this month with the release of Mark of the Ninja: Remastered, Dark Star’s Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption and Guns, Gore and Cannoli 2 by Crazy Monkey Studios. I know, I know – it’s not Below.

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According to [email protected] boss Chris Charla, “more than a billion dollars” has now been paid out to indies through the programme, and “more than 3000 developer studios” now have Xbox One developer kits.

While the programme has been through various changes to improve its usability, Charla told Eurogamer its guiding philosophy has remained constant: to make it as “easy as humanly possible” for independent developers to ship their games on Xbox One, and to make it “as straightforward as as possible for developers to get promotional and discovery support in the store”.

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The reaction to Cuphead at Microsoft’s E3 show apparently ‘inspired [the devs] to quit their day jobs, go all in on development and really expand the scope of what they thought Cuphead was going to be’.

Along with further improvements to the programme, the future of [email protected] includes some high profile new games. Charla cites Ashen, Astroneer (a game currently in Xbox Game Preview), Sable and Below those on the horizon he’s most excited about – the latter of which we may finally receive a further update on soon.

“We’re getting closer and closer to the point where the only gating factor in the success of a video game is the vision of the creator and the willingness to make that happen,” Charla concluded. “It’s no longer that the gates are platform access or technology in terms of being able to create a game engine. To me that’s awesome, because it means that we’re seeing more and more new voices emerge, and we’re seeing more and more stories from people we’ve never heard from before. That’s what excites me so much about the independent scene right now.”

With the [email protected] program set to continue into the next generation of consoles, we’re sure to see more milestones like this in future. See you at 2000.

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