In the growing series of bad ill-thought-out service decisions, Microsoft is now letting their potential third-party partners continue the bad PR train for them. If it’s not analysts and military officials sharing displeasure towards Microsoft’s anti-consumer Xbox One policies, its potential developers. CCP Games and Digital Extremes told us face-to-face last week just how happy they are with Sony’s plans and ideas are for the PS4, and how self-publishing and lack of update costs makes Sony’s next-gen hardware the obvious choice for their games.
This was abundantly evident on the show floor at E3 as well with the Sony booth loaded with indie titles, also present on stage during the PS4 press conference, where all Microsoft had was an updated version of the money-making machine known as Minecraft. With more innovative indie titles on the way and the PS4 being easy to port PC games over, will the Xbox One be a good home for PC titles as well? DayZ creator Dean Hall isn’t sure at this point.
Yes, DayZ is months and months late, but it’s all in an effort to improve the launch version of the product. DayZ creator Dean Hall – whose same-titled ARMA II & III zombie survival mod earned him a chance to develop a standalone game with Bohemia Interactive – is working away still on the PC build, but for quite some time he’s been asked about the possibility of a console version. Knowing the launch version won’t immediately support mods and seeing games like State of Decay perform well on Xbox, if DayZ is a success, console ports are no-brainers (“almost certain,” in fact). But with next-gen hardware debuting this holiday season, what say you, Mr. Hall?
“Yeah, we talked to both of them. But, as I’m sure you’re aware, Sony lets you self-publish and they don’t make you pay for updates. Microsoft requires you to have a publisher. They have no digital distribution strategy and they require you to pay $10,000, or whatever it is, for updates.”
Microsoft fail. Thoughts on Sony?
“Oh, absolutely. We like them. I like what I saw on the PS4. I like what I saw on the Xbox in a lot of cases as well. I’m not s***ting on them. I’m kind of hopeful that Microsoft has just forgot to talk about its indie support. Maybe I’m being a bit naive.”
Let’s all hope that’s the case because the lack of indie support by not letting creative devs self-publish is not good for future development and creativity, let alone future Xbox One owners. And paying for updates when Sony doesn’t charge developers to do so? C’mon.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.