Xbox backtrack sparks renewed push for indie support
In the wake of Microsoft’s U-turn on its used games and always-on policies for the Xbox One last night, developers have spoken out in their droves through for the company to support self-publishing on the console.
A number of developers, including Retro City Rampage dev Brian Provinciano, Thomas Was Alone creator Mike Bithell, Xander Davis and numerous others continued calls for Microsoft to explain its stance on self-publishing, and to ensure developers could release their own games.
Last month, Redmond Game Studios and Platforms general manager Matt Booty said that indie developers would not currently be able to self-publish on the Xbox One marketplace.
Microsoft has also revealed it will be abolishing the Xbox Live Arcade and indie game sections in favour of a large, all-inclusive marketplace more akin to the App Store for the Xbox One.
The decisions to seemingly erode some of the benefits indies had previously enjoyed and will get on other systems such as the PS4.
Jason Perkins, MD of indie game publisher Curve Studios, recently expressed his sadness over a lack of dedicated support for indies, and pledged to focus on PS4 development, which has announced it will allow developers to publish their own games.
Other developers including Tim Schafer have previously stressed the importance of indie support on the console, while Oddworld Inhabitants head Lorne Lanning said the studio would not currently be able to release New ‘n’ Tasty on the console as it would not be using a publisher, despite the game being compatible.
It should be noted however that Microsoft still has plenty of time to change or at least explain its stance before the Xbox One launch. The issue of discoverability could be a key issue for the Xbox marketplace that Microsoft is keen to resolve before pledging its full support and detailing its plans for self-publishing.
What is your view on Microsoft’s stance? Should it allow self-publishing on a broad scale, like on the App Store? Are there discoverability issues that need to be addressed first? Let us know in the comments below.
You can view the reaction on self-publishing through Twitter following last night’s announcements below.
As an indie developer, I'd like to ask your vocal support for Microsoft getting more on board with indies the same way Sony has now.— X∆NDΞR D∆VIS (@XanderDavisLive) June 19, 2013
Now is the time. Indies & small publishers who can't actually self-publish, speak up. Xbox claims "your feedback matters". Let's check.— Brian Provinciano (@BriProv) June 19, 2013
wowsers.. although vagueness of statements is still troubling. Zero reversal on indie self publishing means still a no for my games.— Mike Bithell (@mikeBithell) June 19, 2013
Kinect still required, price point still higher, and self-publishing still not an option. Not a full #xbox180 in my opinion.— Rob Garrett (@rjcombo) June 19, 2013
Welp, it's official. Great move Microsoft. Now for self-publishing games and turning off Kinect completely...— Corentin Billemont (@Cocodwor) June 19, 2013
There's still not enough games I care about. I can count them on one hand. Without self-publishing, it doesn't entice me as a dev— Bocom (@Bocom) June 19, 2013
wonder if they'll let indies self-publish all of sudden. my gut says no.— PHIL FISH (@PHIL_FISH) June 19, 2013
Seriously though. From a consumer perspective this is great. Now about that self-publishing policy...— Phil Tibitoski (@PTibz) June 19, 2013
Right c'mon then Microsoft what I want to hear now is self publishing for indies is back on. Bring it!— Steve Smith (@SuperSmithBros) June 20, 2013
Also better indie gaming support, and looser XBLA self-publishing policies? I'd let your creepy Kinect in my house if you give me that.— Gilles VDO (@gillesv) June 20, 2013
MS have only (hamfistedly) solved 1 of the big 3 problems, the other 2 being price in the short term, & self-publishing in the long term.— Peter Silk (@KestrelPi) June 20, 2013