"XBLA opened a door that blocked independent and smaller developers from the largest game consumers at the time. Games like Braid and Castle Crashers would have stood out as console games on their own, but the accessibility of the service put those games in the hands of tons of Xbox players at prices a quarter of what they are paying for other games on their system. That's why it exploded."
- Super Meat Boy dev Tommy Refenes
For the 10th anniversary of the release of the Xbox 360, Eurogamer has a nice look back at the Xbox Live Arcade service, with new interviews with some of the developers whose games defined it.
"We think XBLA hit a kind of sweet spot of happy coincidences that allowed it to be the champion of downloadable titles," said co-founders of Castle Crashers developer The Behemoth, John Baez and Tom Fulp.
There's little doubt that Xbox Live Arcade played a significant and formative part in the evolution of independently developed console games, and for that reason, it's worth reflecting on its role. You can read more in the full Eurogamer story.