Xbox One Keeps Indie Self-Publishing Off-Limits

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Xbox One Keeps Indie Self-Publishing Off-Limits

Xbox One

Microsoft says the advent of Xbox One will not change its strict indie game publishing requirements for Xbox Live.

Indie games are kind of a Big Thing these days, so you might think that Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft would take steps to encourage their presence and growth on their respective consoles. You'd be right two out of three times, as Nintendo and Sony both allow indies to self-publish on their networks, but Microsoft for some reason appears to be going in the other direction. Indie developers currently need a deal with either Microsoft Game Studios or a third-party publisher to get their stuff on Xbox Live and the coming launch of the Xbox One will not change that situation.

"As of right now, yes. We intend to continue to court developers in the ways that we have," Matt Booty, the general manager of Redmond Game Studios and Platforms, stated when asked if the current publishing restrictions would remain in place.

"I would also expect that for this new generation, that we're going to continue to explore new business models and new ways of surfacing content," he continued. "But Microsoft Studios is a publisher that works with a wide range of partners, as do a lot of other people, to bring digital content to the box."

It's a little vague, with talk of intentions and expectations and "as of right now," but Booty was less ambiguous with Ben Kuchera of the Penny Arcade Report, who tweeted, "I asked if developers could do it and was told no." Microsoft Vice President Phil Harrison, meanwhile, recently revealed that the Xbox One marketplace will eliminate the Xbox Live Arcade and Indie Games channels and offer all its games under one big tent instead.

Source: Shacknews

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I've got a shovel under this desk if you want it Microsoft.

why do I get the feeling that a LOT of those indies are going to head over to Nintendo due to the eShop's lax requirements for distribution?

this must be a joke. Like really? Realllly? They can't be 'that' fucking stupid.

You know what?

I wonder how long it will take until a bunch of devs are tired of dealing with what the Big Three have provided as their next-gen console, come together, and actually fund and create the kind of console they really want to see. I mean, at this point, why hasn't such an attempt been made? Developers definitely want a console to work with, but at this point there's nothing that's got their real interest...

Well the Indies wont miss them. And neither will I, if the other shit I've heard about the Xbone is true.

Didn't they watch Sony's PS4 conference? Sony is welcoming the indie developers. I guess now we know why Blow doesn't want to release Witness on Xbox One. It's not much of an indie game if somebody else publishes it. Microsoft really wants to be like Apple. Fuckin' idiots.

So in order to your indie game on Xbox One you need a publisher's backing or publish through Microsoft's own publishing branch... so making you technically not indie and defeating the purpose of indie games. Do I have that right? I find Microsoft logic difficult.

In a rush to get ahead of the curve, Microsoft trips over it and falls backwards down several flights of stairs. The world watches.

And for every indie developer that continues to deal with MS, I'll continue to not feel sorry for them. The saga continues.

As an indie developer that has a publishing history with Microsoft. I sorta ok with this. 90% of the games on the 360 indie/arcade marketplace didn't make money for either Microsoft or their creators. The only redeeming factor is you could go around and tell people you release a game on a console. If your an indie studio and you create good games, you should already have a Microsoft Evangelist contact. If you got a good game you want to put on Xbox One, let them know and they will come to you.

Andy Chalk:
"As of right now, yes. We intend to continue to court developers in the ways that we have," Matt Booty, the general manager of Redmond Game Studios and Platforms, stated when asked if the current publishing restrictions would remain in place.

This can't possibly last if they have any desire to reach out to indie publishers. Sony and Nintendo are both making a concerted effort to make it easier for these people to put their games on their platform, but Microsoft wants to keep the process obfuscated in layers of bureaucracy and largely too expensive for most indie developers? They had a good thing going when XBLA first came on the scene and was really the only path for indie's to get onto consoles. But that hasn't been true in years and not only did they do nothing to really improve that, they're now saying they're going to continue to do nothing for the foreseeable future.

Well done Microsoft. Good to see your talent of just not getting it hasn't dulled at all in all of these years.

MisterColeman:
In a rush to get ahead of the curve, Microsoft trips over it and falls backwards down several flights of stairs. The world watches.

They've already been tumbling down those stairs for months with Windows 8, their silly tablets and the windows phone. Basically what they need to do is ask Balmer what he wants and do the opposite and it should work.

GenGenners:
I've got a shovel under this desk if you want it Microsoft.

Sorry but your shovel ware doesn't meet Microsoft requirements

You have to convince me to re-buy 4 controllers, another kinect, 30 games, another blu-ray player, another HDD (why not 6 TB?), more rechargeable batteries...

Not even flinching from the xbox 360, ever. If forced to move, i'll just skip over to Windows XP, and download the new games.

DVS BSTrD:

GenGenners:
I've got a shovel under this desk if you want it Microsoft.

Sorry but your shovel ware doesn't meet Microsoft requirements

Bravo *claps*

The biggest indie developers pan Win 8 because of it's restrictions on self-publishing and limiting of software to windows store. Win 8 sales lackluster at best. Response? Institute even worse policy on the new Xbox.

Mcoffey:
Well the Indies wont miss them. And neither will I, if the other shit I've heard about the Xbone is true.

Let it be so that forever shall the new Xbox be known as the Xbone.

The news just keeps getting worse. I'm still getting the new console anyway because the PS4's share button business doesn't do all that much more to impress me, the only way I'm giving up on Microsoft is if they charge an obscene amount of money for the console, but I can see why everyone else is mad.

I really don't know what they're thinking, I can only hope the rage causes them to change their minds or there's enough clarifications at E3 to alleviate the worst of it.

A friend of mine & recovering Nintendo fanboy recently said to me that Sony will have an enormous advantage in the coming console generation by virtue of having not done anything stupid yet...

His words have thus far proven wise & true

(Sony stock shot up 10 points after XBone details were released. I expect them to continue to climb after this)

There were indie games on the xbox? I could never find them through all the advertisements for TV and kinect crap. No worries thats what my PC is for. :)

I prefer this too something like the appstore or google play, where for every genuinely good game/app there are 10 games that no one could ever imagine actually paying for.

I'm a little bit of a Xbox fanboy. My 360 has been the center of my living room for several years now...
But I'm walking away from this next console. This was the final straw.
How can they go against what everyone wants and expect folks to be happy about it? Do they actually think they see financial success in their future?!

His last name is Booty and he sounds like an ass.
I think this shows Microsoft finally got sick of all the success and money and is now making like Kurt Cobain except instead of a shotgun they're using atomic annie.

Matt Booty:
"I would also expect that for this new generation, that we're going to continue to explore new business models and new ways of surfacing content," he continued. "But Microsoft Studios is a publisher that works with a wide range of partners, as do a lot of other people, to bring digital content to the box."

"New business model?"
"Wide range of partners?"

You JUST nixed involvement with everyone except a very narrow subset of partners.
So don't piss on my head and then try to tell me it's raining.

Fine by me in any case. I'm not buying into your honeypot system, and quite frankly, those indie devs would be better off staying away from your foolishness as well.

I think a lot of people are misunderstanding this article to an extent. Xbox is doing away with Xbox Live Indie Games. You know, that section hidden away in the depths of the Xbox menus?

You know, this Xbox Live Indie Games:



This isn't anything like Xbox Live Arcade, oh god no. This place repulses quality with a passion. Mainly because everyone and anyone with a keyboard can publish a game on there and sell it for a buck. So yeah, good riddance.

However, something that is worth criticizing is the quote "We intend to continue to court developers in the ways that we have". Which is notable because Xbox has a reputation for treating it's XBLA developers like absolute shit, charging them huge amounts of money, restricting the amount of free content they're allowed to give to their player, giving them no control over price. Jon Blow of Braid and Team Meat of Super Meat Boy in particular have been open in criticizing Xbox's current business practices when dealing with smaller developers.

This is fucking ridiculous. Seriously. Despite all the other crap regarding this console reveal, all the fuck ups, I at least assumed Microsoft would revamp their indie strategy. XBLA was the original instigator for bringing indie games to consoles, after all. Now that Sony and Nintendo are bending over backwards for indies, I would have thought that Microsoft would at the bare minimum try and match their efforts in courting indie developers.

Jesus, what the fuck else can go wrong here? How can they be so blind as to the effect indies are having on the industry right now? Braid was one of the big success stories of the 360, and it was a fucking indie title. How do you go from that, to driving Jonathan Blow over to PS4? When games like Shovel Knight and Mutant Mudds are not only getting released on PS4 or Wii U, but are getting actual exposure in gaming media, why wouldn't you want to be part of that?

They're sticking to the same system? The system which mean Phil Fish couldn't patch FEZ because he'd have to pay thousands of dollars to do so. To be fair, given the sales of FEZ, I'm not exactly going to let Fish off the hook here either (200,000 sales, and you can't afford that one patch?), but the fact remains that any indie system which requires you to pay tens of thousands of dollars to patch your game is borked. Totally and utterly borked. And they're sticking with that?

I literally cannot understand how Microsoft ballsed this up so much. Wooing indie developers should be a no-brainer at this point. Even Nintendo, the fabled scourge of third-parties, has gotten onboard with indie developers. How the fuck do you have worse developer relations than Nintendo?

Another nail in the coffin, Microsoft. Keep em coming!

Because every console in this generation has to have at least one thing wrong with it.

Oh for pity's sake.

Of all the things they could have changed for the next generation, surely few would be easier than the policies under which independents can release downloadable games. Game Informer just did a good-sized article on how the indy-download policies on the 360 for things like release dates and patches already have many of the most prominent independents saying they'll never work with Microsoft again. This is not a secret, not even an "open" secret.

At this point I can only assume that this is one more aspect of Microsoft's "we can have a presence of our own in the apps market like Google and Apple, too, we just have to clamp down on anyone who would make things for our products with an iron will" initiative as seen on Windows 8.

I swear, I can hear the echoes of palms striking foreheads from here.

It's like they're trying to make this xbox one as bad as humanly possible.
The xbox one is SO BAD.
I have not a fanboy that is blind enough to defend it!

Does Ballmer rate his success by the number of people who hate him? Because between Windows 8 and XBox 1 (Blue Jays 3), I really think he does.

GenGenners:
I've got a shovel under this desk if you want it Microsoft.

Microsoft Rep:
Oh no, no thanks, we've got a Mexican day labor team at work 24/7 already digging that hole deeper, and as you can see, as of yesterday it's finally paying off.

Oh shit... you mean new console announcements are supposed to make stock go up and not down?

Oh man, I am so fired.

GenGenners:
I've got a shovel under this desk if you want it Microsoft.

I've got some spare hammers and nails for their coffin.

You know why I'm shocked? I'm not shocked that MS is trippling over itself so hard that it's going down 150 levels of stairs, but the fact that they keep digging deeper and deeper, adding more floors, is just wonderous to me. I mean come on, that alone takes talent. I wonder what's next. "Xbox One summons Satan when Kinect is malfunctioning"... Nah, too light for Microsoft, it'll be probably be more dreadful then that..

something.. doesn't feel right here. is microsoft -trying- to commit suicide? does it want to fail? is this all deliberate? i'm obviously not referring to just this, but, surely it can't be a coincidence that every move they make is digging them deeper into the red..
maybe they're so full of themselves that they believe they can do whatever they want and still succeed. maybe they're doing all this to prove this point and laugh at us from their high horse when we prove them right after they throw their shit at us and we fill their pockets for it. just as planned.
hmm..

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