Microsoft’s next-gen console, the Xbox One, has thus far had a bumpy ride to say the least. It started with its debut back in May, continued with harsh DRM and Internet connectivity issues, and now Microsoft is quickly scrambling to adjust their position.
On such position that it seems they are altering is in regards to indie games. As we know, indie developers will not be able to self-publish on the Xbox One, a feature that was available on the 360 and will be available on the PS4.
However, a more recent report suggests Microsoft might soon change their stance on indie games, or at least make an announcement that will please indie developers. The console maker has several press events coming up — GamesCom being the biggest — where they will presumably reveal more about their next-gen console.
“I certainly know that Microsoft want to talk at future press events about their relationships with indies. I can’t really talk about that, but they’re very passionate about building a strong relationship with indie development – indie development is the future.”
Microsoft’s relationship with indie developers early on was very solid, but as things progressed indie devs seemingly fell out of favor. Xbox Live dashboard updates slowly began pushing indie games out of the limelight, making them harder to find on the marketplace. And now, without a self-publishing program, it’s hard to see why any indie dev would choose Microsoft over Sony.
That isn’t to say Microsoft is against indie developers, they just want to cultivate talent on their own. By doing seeking out indie developers, Microsoft can guarantee a certain level of quality in their indie games. Yes, it’s a decision that will end up shutting a lot of developers out, but maybe that could change.
Nevertheless, knowing that they are working to mend that relationship might help instill confidence in Microsoft movie forward. They have already shown they are listening to gamers, and willing to change as a result, so stick tuned during GamesCom to find out what Microsoft announces. Our hope is that, at the very least, we find out a release date for the console.
Do you think that Microsoft needs to change their stance on indie developer self-publishing in order to be successful? How should they approach indie developers?
The Xbox One is slated to release this November for $499.