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Xbox One and a Case of the Indies

og:image:, xbox one, indies

Since the reveal of Microsoft's Xbox One, we've seen quite a bit of flipping and flopping around the specific details of the console. It's become increasingly clear that they might not know what the details even are, and the latest piece of conflicting information confirms my suspicions.

Last week Matt Booty, general manager of Redmond Game Studios and Platforms, explained that in keeping with Microsoft's traditional approach to indie games, developers will still need a publisher in order for their content to appear on Xbox Live Arcade. This is quite different from Sony's approach which made Braid creator Jonathan Blow's upcoming game The Witness the poster child as a PS4 indie. 

This week Don Mattrick, Microsoft's President of Interactive Entertainment, told Kotaku otherwise. He shares, "Indie creators exist right inside our ecosystem ... We're going to support those guys." Although he declined sharing specific details about self-publishing, Mattrick stated that the Xbox One will have a Microsoft-sponsored independent creator program that provides indie developers with tools and information.

It's interesting to sit back and watch these giants battle over indie developers and designers like chess pieces in the ultimate console battle. Perhaps at E3 we'll see more details as to how Microsoft plans to support the indie community without allowing self-publishing on XBLA, unless of course they decide to flip-flop again and change their mind on that plan, too. That being said, any boost for the indie community is one I welcome with open arms as many brilliant titles struggle to gain exposure on a regular basis.

What are your thoughts on Microsoft's upcoming independent creator program, or the current lack thereof?


  • Frank Hartnett 6 years, 8 months ago

    As some of the 4PN crew said on Twitter, M$ needs to have a greenlight system for their indie titles. There are a LOT of poorly designed/lazily made Indie games there now with good ones few and far between. Those good Indie titles need a way to shine through the piles of crap so more people have the chance to play/buy them.

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  • Dimensaur2 6 years, 8 months ago

    Its a good thing that there is such a high pursuit of solid indie developed games going into this console generation. I really like that all parties are willing to (some extent) open up their platforms for developers of all levels.

    However it's just super evident that Microsoft at this point really have no idea what's going on with their own platform. How can there be this much conflicting information? This is either one of the biggest displays of incompetence I've ever seen or its intentional in order to lower our expectations only to have them blown away at E3. I'm particularly leaning towards the former.

    Hopefully though this generation keeps the prospective support for great indie developers going. That's where the future is I think.

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  • Revrevs 6 years, 8 months ago

    Heh, Matt Booty.

    I don't think there's any such thing as independent gaming on consoles or at least "indie" as we know it. I just see them as amateur designers who are paid by larger companies to sell games for them under an indie flagship. These designers no different from any starting company aside from the fact that their work is being distributed by the biggest giants in entertainment. It's a marketing ploy to gain support from the hardcore gaming crowd if anything.

    Indie gaming for computer gaming is a whole other story. Excluding anything initially distributed by Steam there are a lot of guys out there who develop everything from the ground up.

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