May 30, 2013
Indie Developer? Xbox One Is Not For You
Everyone knows the history of Microsoft and Xbox Live, especially in light of the past five years where Microsoft has annually switched the gears in the running engine of its PR with fans and customers. Console fan boys contend to note that Xbox Live has been the absolute best service on which to shower their love and money. Between great network support for party chat, monthly deals for their favorite AAA titles and, of course, the design and aesthetic of Lives’ interface, players have more than they need to call Xbox their home.
For those lucky individuals waiting for the next generation of Xbox, I applaud your awesome lifestyle. Now, we can move on to more important things.
Indie developers for Xbox Live will find that their support on the current generation won’t go any more successful on the Xbox One as Microsoft has not opted to change its deals and business plans with Indie developers. As it stands, to publish your game on the marketplace, you must either buy a publishing license for Microsoft, or look to another publisher to put your game out to the public. Of course, you’ll have the option of going indie on the lesser known portion of the marketplace, but that would harm your profits and general chances at popularity; the big time as an indie game developer. This will single handedly ensure that whatever reputation that Microsoft could have attained from a great Arcade game support will be utterly destroyed.
A Microsoft spokesman has gone to say that he didn’t understand the point behind ‘Arcade’ games on Xbox Live. To Microsoft, it’s pointless to market off any indie game as Arcade since modern Arcade games would be considered full length games thirty years ago.
You read it right. Microsoft believes that the modern interpretation of Arcade titles is too different from thirty years ago to be considered Arcade anymore, thus opening the window for them to be considered a full on game. This implication, of course, gives the possibility of arcade games being priced at $60 a pop. We can talk as much as we’d like about business integrity, but the punch line here is that Microsoft has fallen off the deep end. I do mean to say that if it was difficult for you to find success and publicity on the Xbox 360, than you might want to pack your bags and travel to Steam or the new PS4 later this year.
What are your thoughts? Has Microsoft lost their way as a publishing company, looking to seam the gap between indie devs and mainstream developing? Or is it more likely that they never held that mantle of responsibility to begin with, and we all were clearly mistaken at the intentions of a company that claimed to care about our needs? Let me know in the comments below!
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