Microsoft “Used To Be A**holes”
That’s all there is to say. Pack up and go home, kids.
Okay, maybe there’s a little more to be said about that headline.
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Hyper Light Drifter creator Alex Preston says that the ID@Xbox initiative is ushering in a new, friendlier era for Microsoft. In the past Microsoft has been less than welcoming to indie developers but the new initiative is looking to bring them into the fold and give them a platform to self-publish on.
“Microsoft used to be a**holes about it, for sure,” told Edge. “But they’ve become a lot friendlier and that’s to do with [ID@Xbox head Chris Charla] and his team. He’s awesome. He’s a major proponent for smaller developers like us.”
The lasting issue though is Microsoft’s parity clause for all those who have joined up to ID@Xbox. This requires developers to release their games on Xbox One the same day they release on other platforms, primarily PC and PS4.
“I can only speak for us personally, but simultaneously shipping is pretty challenging; you need a little bit more time and a bigger team,” Super Time Force developer Capybara Games president Nathan Vella told Edge. “I do think that it’s not ideal.”
A number of developers have spoken out against this but Microsoft is unmoving in its policies and will continue to assess exceptions on a case by case basis.
Strangely, Xbox head Phil Harrison said he laughed when Sony’s Adam Boyes took a shot at this policy by saying that regardless of which platform you’re on, there are more great games than ever before.
“Taking aside competitive positioning and all of that, the winners in all of this are game players,” Harrison said. “There are more games coming out for these platforms, there are more developers creating for these platforms, there are more fresh minds coming into our industry than any time in recent memory. And that’s so, so important to the future of our industry.”
Finally, though Harrison wouldn’t say if Microsoft is considering dropping the launch parity clause, he made it clear that bringing great games to the Xbox One is Microsoft’s main focus.
“What I would say is that everybody in our program, whether it’s a developer or people on the platform side working with [ID@Xbox boss Chris Charla] is committed to making sure the best games are on Xbox One,” he said. “That’s our job, basically, if you boil it all down to the essence of what a game platform is, it’s to make sure that the biggest, best, most exciting, most creative games are on your platform and we are working super hard to make that happen.”
It might be a better system than whatever the hell is happening on Steam right now but ID@Xbox does require some policy changes and we all know Microsoft will only say no for so long before they give in.
The question is, are they still assholes? Maybe.