Xbox One Gets The Greenlight For Self-Publishing
Is it overkill to keep stressing just how bad Microsoft’s initial PR was for the Xbox One? At a point it seemed as if the company was even shunning indie developers and there was Sony to welcome them with open arms and self-publishing. Truth be told, Microsoft is simply keeping the status quo that is currently maintained on Xbox 360 which is a rather successful platform for independent developers who have created titles such as Limbo and Fez.
However, that is about to change with Microsoft confirming that it is prepared to ditch traditional title update costs and software certification methods in favour of a more laxed iTunes App Store approach.
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A statement from Xbox corporate VP Marc Whitten provided to Engadget breaks the good news: “Our vision is that every person can be a creator. That every Xbox One can be used for development. That every game and experience can take advantage of all of the features of Xbox One and Xbox LIVE. This means self-publishing. This means Kinect, the cloud, achievements. This means great discoverability on Xbox LIVE. We’ll have more details on the program and the timeline at gamescom in August.”
This would give developers the prerogative to set their own prices and release dates while software approvals would have a fortnight turnaround. Xbox One retail units can also allegedly serve as debug units and thus making it far easier to distribute development hardware than before.
In April, Microsoft dropped title update fees for Xbox Live Arcade games on Xbox 360. “We’re constantly evaluating our policies and implementing feedback,” Microsoft said of the change, adding, “this is just one of many ongoing changes and improvements we’ve made to ensure Xbox is the best place possible for developers and gamers.”
Whether that was pre-emptive of this decision to go ahead with self-publishing is unclear and frankly irrelevant because what really matters is that the ability to self-publish is great news for indie developers.
The details still need to be ironed out and laid plain but this is good news regardless.