After Build Conference, Microsoft Says Xbox One Is(n’t) Better For Indies

Posted by on June 27, 2013 at 12:20 pm
I can see how things could get confusing. Fez, FEZ, yeah?

One of this generation’s pivotal arguments for indie gaming.

If you’ve ever played a game on your smartphone, you understand the importance of allowing not just indie developers on a gaming platform, but allowing them to self-publish. Thousands of “garage developers” around the world make their living on platforms, whether PC, Vita or Android and in many ways, they serve as their foundation while bigger developers with massive budgets get much of the promotional space. The Xbox One, however, is somehow staunchly opposed to these developers taking root on their platform, an opinion lifted from the Xbox 360 days. With Microsoft’s Build conference ongoing for developers, you’d think they’d clear the waters and either endorse indie developers or provide a little relief. Well, they kinda did. Kinda.

Microsoft Still Won’t Say Anything About Self-Publishing

If you’ve ever uploaded a video to YouTube or a photo to Facebook, you know what this means. To keep their platform “clean” and to curate their collection of Xbox Live Arcade games, Microsoft would let you know if your game was wanted on the service. You can’t simply upload a game to Xbox Live Arcade and call it a day, you must be vetted, approved and then, as many indie developers have complained, been abused by Microsoft. Whether it’s a lack of advertising, substantial patch fees to update your game (which we’ll get into in a second), or checks simply not making it to developers’ bank accounts, Microsoft has been chided for their absolutely poor treatment of indie developers, despite originally attracting them when Sony couldn’t care less. Those times are changing and Microsoft isn’t spending any time at their Build conference talking about indie developers, which means it will, once again, be a walled garden.

Those inside get some extra perks, though:

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