Microsoft has recently announced that it will allow indie game creators to self-publish their content on the upcoming Xbox One console, a dramatic change from its current policy on the Xbox 360.
Also, Microsoft has said that every Xbox One could be turned into a development kit. Therefore saving smaller developers thousands of pounds on hardware and giving them the perfect environment to create and test games.
“Our vision is that every person can be a creator,” corporate vice president at Xbox, Marc Whitten said in a statement to Polygon. “That every Xbox One can be used for development. That every game and experience can take advantage of all of the features of Xbox One and Xbox LIVE. This means self-publishing. This means Kinect, the cloud, achievements. This means great discoverability on Xbox LIVE. We’ll have more details on the program and the timeline at gamescom in August.”
Microsoft had previouly been silent on the future of independent games on the new Xbox One console. Currently, if indie developers want their games to reach the Xbox Live Arcade, they have to partner with a publisher that has boxed games on retail store shelves, something which could prove to be incredibly hard for the independent developers. Previously, Microsoft had expensive patch fees as well, which would cost developers tens of thousands of dollars if they wanted to ship out an update to their game via Xbox Live Arcade. Much to the developers delight, Microsoft waived those in April.
Market pressure may have factored in on Microsoft’s decision. Sony has gone out of its way to promote how easy it is for indie games to get onto the PlayStation 4. During its E3 presentation, Sony featured several indie games prominently alongside triple-A titles, and its booth featured a banner that proclaimed “We <3 Indies.”
What do you think of Microsoft’s decision to start to allow indie game creators to self-publish their games? We’d love to hear your opinion in the comments below.
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