I have been thoroughly enamored by Lexiv, an Indie Game that I purchased only several days ago. I haven't been able to put the game down since; it combines my interest in Scrabble with Sim City and a touch of turret tower defense. But I only downloaded Lexiv because I had gaming wanderlust and decided to venture into the Indie Game section.
Kris Steele of Fun Infused Games, the developer behind some solid indie titles such as Hypership and Abduction Action, is frustrated by the Xbox 360's lack of featured space for indie titles in the new dashboard update. On his blog, he claims that this is the reason for Hypership Still Out of Control's poor trial numbers. Since he only has numbers of his own games, though, this conclusion isn't convincing enough, but he does make a keen observation:
Ultimately I do not believe the XBLIG market is growing... I believe the biggest factor is Microsoft's burying of XBLIG.
Some of my games were picked up and promoted in IGN.com / Kotaku lists which did help. In most instances this was after a week so the list effect is minimal. Hypership Still Out of Control is currently on Kotaku’s list for the past 2 days. I can likely attribute 5 to 10 sales from my spot on this list over the past two days. This list on previous dashes did much more to help game sales.
It does take a bit of digging to get to the indie game section, but what's more telling is that Indie Games are not listed in the New Arrivals category or Genre sections. Meanwhile, Arcade titles flourish there. I believe that in terms of supporting independent developers, most gamers simply favor Arcade titles, which have a higher chance of living up to the hype, and view the Indie Game section as second-tier. It's understandable, though Indie Games should be given more exposure in relevant search results.