Despite having shown off several indie games at Gamescom, including Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries, Goat Simulator and Space Engineers, Microsoft does not have the best track record with independent game developers.
At first it was the Xbox One’s parity clause that disgruntled devs. The parity clause deemed that indie titles have to be published on Xbox One either before or at the same time as other platforms but for some developers this strategy just wasn’t possible. Meanwhile, confusion about the use of Xbox One retail models as dev kits also frustrated game makers who had expected to use retail units to cut down development costs.
But as indie developers have issues with Xbox One, indie devs on Xbox 360 also have cause to be upset. An error with Microsoft’s payment system means that payments to developers are almost a month late.
The problem, noted on Twitter by indie developer Ian Campbell (who made PC and Xbox 360 platformer Bleed) suggested that Microsoft was late in paying Xbox Live Indie Games developers. According to another XBLIG developer, Freelance Games (who made adventurer game Trailer Park King) Microsoft should have paid up within 45 days of the end of the third quarter. The third quarter of the year ended on September 30th and so at the very latest, Microsoft should have paid them by November 15th.
By December 3rd, several more developers had said that payments still hadn’t materialized. Microsoft has since confirmed the delay via the [email protected] Twitter, citing a “technical issue” in their payments system. Additionally, the company also stresses that this was “an unfortunate error” and that indie developers on Xbox One shouldn’t worry as it only affects Xbox 360 indie developers.
However, it’s being suggested that this is not the first time that Microsoft has delayed payment to XBLIG developers. Journalist Jimmy Page (who tweeted with both Ian Campbell and Freelance Games) questioned if this was Microsoft “doing their normal thing of “forgetting” to pay you” with Freelance Games asking Page to shed light on the situation.
While it doesn’t necessarily mean that Microsoft has been doing this on purpose, it does highlight another reason as to why indie devs are unhappy with the company. And, it’s worth noting, Microsoft has already announced plans to shut down XBLIG so this may just be a hiccup as they prepare to do so.
(Also, we just want to make clear this is not an issue for [email protected] developers on Xbox One!)— [email protected] (@ID_Xbox) December 3, 2014
Payments are expected to reach XBLIG devs within the next two weeks though, so hopefully that should ease the tensions for a while.
Source: [email protected]