Microsoft's indie developer's still haven't got their September payments.

Feb 12, 2013
Update - 04/02/2015
For what it's worth, we got paid Dec 16 IIRC (which is about a month after the deadline for getting paid).

Surprisingly enough, we just got Q4 payments a couple days ago which is ahead of the deadline.


It seems payments have been released! All hail the power of social-media!

In case anyone was still curious, we got this update email from them today:

Dear XBLIG Partner,

We sincerely apologize that Q3 payments to partners were delayed. We are pleased to announce that all payments have been released by our vendor and should appear in developers’ accounts within the next few days. We sincerely apologize that this delay occurred and are taking steps to ensure that all future payments will be paid on time. If you were expecting funds, please review your dashboard and your payment and contact us at -********** if there are any discrepancies.

We appreciate your patience and understanding & wish everyone a happy holiday!

Best regards,

The Xbox Live Indie Games payment team​

An official response was posted.


I also just want to confirm that this was related to Xbox Live Indie Games program on Xbox 360 only, no ID@Xbox developer has received late payments.

Again, we're very sorry about this incident and it won't happen again.



So it’s Christmas time. The shit storm is still raging on such that the FTC and FBI and now involved and insanity rules all. Not just online but those fighting in shops on the recent black Friday.

So it seems almost refreshing that I’m once again back talk about a topic from the past. You see at present Microsoft are slowly starting to look like this Christmas they’ll be the star in their own version of A Christmas Carol.

You see (and I sincerely hope otherjournalists will have the guts to report on this too) Microsoft has once again screwed up payment to indie developers on the XNA system who have their games published on the Xbox Live indie Games Marketplace.

So a quick refresher for those who don’t know. The XBLIG was Microsoft’s own indie game self publishing arm. Once a game is passed by peer review it’s allowed to be sold on the system. Each quarter Microsoft then pays said developers their portion of the games sales. The system itself also includes a clause that payment is not considered “late” until it’s beyond 45 days after the stated payment date. Previously they managed to go over that date by 7 days meaning from the date developers were meant to be paid it was 52 days after the stated payment date. Well this year they’ve gone even better. Indie developers using the service were expecting their Q3 payment on September 30th. The Date as of writing this is the 3rd of December, developers still haven’t been paid meaning Microsoft is 64 days late on payment a full 19 days beyond the rather generous "Acceptable" delay period they gave themselves.

I’ve heard from a couple of developers who confirm payment hasn’t been made to them.

Freelance Games Makers of the Trailer Park King series among other things and BootDisk Revolution the developer of Bleed which is also available on Steam and who is presently developing Bleed 2.

So let me tell you a tale of what happens when you keep forgetting to pay indie developers. Ghosts of the past come back to haunt you about you previous misdeeds. People like me will make it so you seem once again haunted by spectres of your present misdeeds and if this keeps happening then the Ghost of indie games on Xbox future will soon come to show you your fate.

A while ago now Microsoft renewed its commitment to indie developers. I scoffed at it back then as until I saw a change I wasn’t going to believe Microsoft had changed. I know a lot of people held out hope for change and were a little annoyed that I was so ready to bash Microsoft before they slipped up. I did want them to do better but as is being shown presently nothing has changed, in fact it’s getting worse: Payments are later than ever before; the new parity policy meaning an indie game can’t be released on the Xbox one unless it either releases first on Xbox One or on all platforms at the same time. Oh and to top it all off speaking to indie developers at Gadget Show Live most are baffled by Microsoft’s Indie game admission policy and methods. Many praised Sony and said looking into it even Nintendo had a far better far clearer system than Microsoft.

Because of your past actions and your continuations of them Microsoft you have a bad reputation with indie developers now. You’re not seen as you once were as pushing indie games forwards to the future. You’re seen as the unreliable platform which is a toxic for indie developers to rely on alone or as their first choice. With even big studios like Crytek choosing to put games onto PC due to poor sales, can you really afford to keep screwing over indie developers ?

You know what’s worse. It’s not just console developers I’ve started to hear from. I was contacted by an anonymous person whom claims to be a Windows Phone app developer (and appears to be that) who claimed Microsoft was screwing up the Windows Phone developer payments. On Windows phone developers were and possibly still are payed weekly. The developer claims that the analytics and sales data being sent, which use Microsofts cloud service for speed, are not 2-3 days behind as would be expect but the sale data analytics and payments are 11 days behind now and getting worse.

I did contact Microsoft for a Statement on this situation.

So yeh this is a problem Microsoft are more than happy to try to sweep under the rug. I was told by a developer that on a private developers own forum a member of the Xbox team had suggested payment may be a few days late this quarter but this is beyond a few days now. So I’m taking this issue public. It’s Christmas time and I’m sure Microsoft are hoping to shift plenty of units. So I wonder how many people will think again when they find out how Microsoft has been treating developers badly again. I’m talking about it here because the question now must be. Will Microsoft manage to pay its developers what they’re owed before Christmas now ?

Or will you end up on the naughty list ?

Update :

I've been contacted by Kris Steele who has had contact with Microsoft recently. While no official statement has been issues yet by Microsoft. Microsoft are claiming there was an error with the sales data figures which they are now working out. They apparently now intend to pay developers within the next two weeks.

Kotaku's Jason Schreier has now posted an article on the subject.


If any devs would NOT like me to post their handle in the OT please feel free to tell me.

The reason I'm doing it is to raise awareness of it not being a two man problem.

Yeah, they haven't paid us either.

This is becoming a real issue.
We haven't gotten paid either. Unfortunately, this is nothing new for Microsoft - it feels like half the time they're late with XBLIG payments.
This is true, I have yet to get paid.... It's been a complete train-wreck ruled by crass incompetence. The contrast with Valve's handling of such matters is stark.
Feb 25, 2014
Do we know which developers? Is it all of them? Select few? Has MS said anything? Is there a reason like a cap they have to hit before receiving a payment?

My pitchfork is in my hand but before I raise it id like some more info. I tend to take news posts (is this a blog on destructoid?) covered with spelling and grammar errors as a grain of salt at least temporarily.
May 8, 2009
Microsoft doesn't want their customers feeling like second class citizens, but they sure don't mind letting their indie developers feel like it.
Yeah, they haven't paid us either.

This is becoming a real issue.

Makes us question ever returning to a Microsoft release again, I can tell you that.
It was already damn clear how MS really feels about indie developers based on their parity policy. I feel bad for anyone getting screwed over by these guys and I don't blame you for not wanting to work with Xbox again. I wouldn't. It's all about the Lip Service.
Jan 11, 2014
So that's where the funding for their Black Friday deals went.


But seriously, I hope this all gets sorted out quickly. Maybe now that it's out in the public, things will get sorted even quicker. MS has been doing great dodging bad or for the most part lately. They won't want this to get traction.
Feb 19, 2013
I wonder what the issue is. It can't possibly be about cash but they should have fixed the issue after they were late the last time already.
I guess XBLIG devs are too unimportant for MS to really care about but this news shows that the negative PR should be enough for them to deal with this. The acceptable 45 day delay is laughable as is and 19 days on top of that sounds harsh if people need that cash.
Oct 27, 2004
Nowhere, PA
it's only been 46 business days. but still.

It's almost Christmas. Do people think indie devs are rich enough where they can go without getting paid for two months?

Indie devs are beyond a doubt the most vulnerable devs in the industry. Many are just one bad failure away from being unable to continue their dream.

Microsoft is a massive company with a ridiculous amount of funds. I cannot even begin to think of an excuse that justifies this, so I hope they're thinking up some good bullshit right now.
Sep 2, 2011
This needs to be fixed as soon as possible with a public apology.

Some of these devs are little more than 1 and 2 man bands with no money even when their games are popular.

still, there should be two sides to the story before people get outraged.