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.