Microsoft Pledge To Support Indie Developers On Xbox One

By Ishaan . May 28, 2013 . 1:30pm

While the word is that indie developers won’t be able to self-publish their games on Xbox One, Microsoft haven’t given up on them, says Xbox head Don Mattrick. Speaking with Kotaku, Mattrick says Xbox One will in fact have some sort of a program for indies.

 

“We’re going to have an independent creator program,” Mattrick said. “We’re going to sponsor it. We’re going to give people tools. We’re going to give more information.”

 

Mattrick declined to share more information at this point.

 


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  • http://linkapics.tumblr.com/ Linka

    To be honest, what I expect from Microsoft is for them to demand exclusive rights from indie devs.

    It’s not like they really haven’t before, in general.

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/xxHiryuuxx Tohsaka

      Not sure why someone downvoted this because it’s exactly what’s going to happen. Having a program doesn’t necessarily mean allowing them the rights to their own work. It’ll be ‘all Microsoft’ and ‘we have to come out on digital distribution first’ or something like that. MS hardly tells the whole truth and nothing but the truth when it comes to things such as this and they’ve been caught in too many lies at this point to continue with it.

      Or maybe they will anyways and we’ll just call it a chronic condition they won’t recover from. I’m sure people will still buy the console, right?

      • gold163

        Indies that decide to contract with Microsoft aren’t being victimized. They are consciously making the decision to distribute on Microsoft’s platform; nobody makes this decision for them but themselves.

        That is, if they see a contract that says, “you get no rights”, and they sign that contract, why are we blaming Microsoft?

        http://pvponline.com/news/know-your-creator-rights

      • Steven Higgins

        Pretty much sounds like that. “Sure, you can put your game on our console, but we OWN it”

        • gold163

          Again, the content creator gets the last word. Nobody signs that contract for them. If they sign the contract it means that they acknowledge and have accepted the idea that someone else owns their game.

      • http://linkapics.tumblr.com/ Linka

        I think I can guess who downvoted, but it’s fine!

        I am actually seriously wondering how the climate will be for the console when it does come out– hell, I’m wondering how the reaction will be at E3. Everytime I see Microsoft talking, I just feel like they’re digging a deeper and deeper grave for themselves.

    • gold163

      How is this any worse or better than what they already do, and how is that any different from what any other console manufacturer does? Sony, for example, will sponsor indies by publishing their games, but reserves exclusivity for one year by contract (see Papo & Yo), or demands exclusive content specifically for their platforms.

      What Microsoft is and isn’t doing for indies isn’t necessarily any better or worse than what Sony, Steam, and Nintendo is doing, and if it is, it’s up for independent developers to decide for themselves which system is better for them. Not us. If you don’t like what Microsoft is doing that doesn’t actually affect you, then don’t buy their console. Simple as that.

      http://gamasutra.com/blogs/JamesSilva/20130523/192832/Were_Indie_we_like_Microsoft_Too_Controversial.php

      James Silva, an independent developer who has worked pretty exclusively with Microsoft, maintains that the “Microsoft is bad for indies” narrative hurts indies more than it hurts Microsoft. And I think this is true to an extent when you evaluate what that narrative really implies, and the people who are stringing together that narrative — that is, mostly clueless consumers who don’t really know anything about the independent development process whatsoever in the first place.

      Is Microsoft bad for indies? That’s debatable. Maybe they are. But it does nobody any favors to be this cynical about a console that we still know extremely little about.

      • Derek E Nay

        Do you make your own gaming articles? All the details you put in to your posts suggest that you either do, or should :P It would be better to put all your information on a website then a comment section ^.^ (Sorry, I am not good with people; but please take this as a compliment >.<)

      • http://linkapics.tumblr.com/ Linka

        hahaha so hey listen. I clicked on your article in the middle of typing out a response to this, and it didn’t open up a new tab instead. Whoops. Let’s do this quick and dirty then.

        1. I’m not gonna buy the XBox One. There is a long laundry list of reasons for this, but it really all boils down to the fact that I feel that the One, especially with it’s necessary Kinect features, are invasive on a level that I do not wish to support.

        2. I acknowledge that Sony, Nintendo, iOS/Android and Steam all have their issues as well in terms of exclusivity and how they handle indies.

        3. However, I feel that, currently, Microsoft’s choices, actions, and statements have not assisted their public image, and I don’t feel that their previous standards are going to change– in fact, I somewhat expect harsher decisions to be made.

        4. I respect that there are developers that prefer working with Microsoft though! Or Sony, or Steam, or Nintendo, or anyone. But I feel cynicism, yes, when it comes to statements like these from Microsoft.

        I do appreciate the time though that you took to respond to my comment! It’s interesting to hear about the viewpoints of developers who work with them. A lot of times, yeah, you’ll hear the bad points louder than the good, but I do understand that it all comes down to choice. And that’s fine! I just feel a bit judgmental of Microsoft right now, because they keep saying things that would be best left off for them to create their own articles about, or a comprehensive professional interview, instead of this piecemeal business we’re getting.

        • gold163

          I would have to agree with you that Microsoft is not representing themselves particularly well as of recent (to put it mildly), and I think it’s interesting how any further attempts to fix that image are instead bringing the credibility of their statements into question.

          • http://linkapics.tumblr.com/ Linka

            It’s like I say, they really need to do a proper comprehensive interview of this if they’re going to talk before E3. Who knows, maybe they’ll reveal something big with E3 that’ll win people back– but right now, they’re going to be facing fire, and their method of getting out information right now… Isn’t helping at all.

            I actually have to wonder though, what it would’ve been like if Microsoft had announced the One first before Sony did their PS4 conference. There’s some suspicion going around right now that Microsoft had felt confident that the One was going to be more powerful/have more RAM than the PS4 did, but ended up getting caught by surprise when it ended up having 8GB of RAM, as well as probably having a similar graphical output– and as a result, focused mainly on the TV features and social features, as well as the exclusivity deal with EA and it’s sports games, as their opening. Would people’s opinions be better, having nothing else to majorly compare it to? Would Microsoft be handling themselves better, if that was the case? It’s all interesting to wonder what goes through the minds of people in these companies.

      • http://linkapics.tumblr.com/ Linka

        hahaha so hey listen. I clicked on your article in the middle of typing out a response to this, and it didn’t open up a new tab instead. Whoops. Let’s do this quick and dirty then.

        1. I’m not gonna buy the XBox One. There is a long laundry list of reasons for this, but it really all boils down to the fact that I feel that the One, especially with it’s necessary Kinect features, are invasive on a level that I do not wish to support.

        2. I acknowledge that Sony, Nintendo, iOS/Android and Steam all have their issues as well in terms of exclusivity and how they handle indies.

        3. However, I feel that, currently, Microsoft’s choices, actions, and statements have not assisted their public image, and I don’t feel that their previous standards are going to change– in fact, I somewhat expect harsher decisions to be made.

        4. I respect that there are developers that prefer working with Microsoft though! Or Sony, or Steam, or Nintendo, or anyone. But I feel cynicism, yes, when it comes to statements like these from Microsoft.

        I do appreciate the time though that you took to respond to my comment! It’s interesting to hear about the viewpoints of developers who work with them. A lot of times, yeah, you’ll hear the bad points louder than the good, but I do understand that it all comes down to choice. And that’s fine! I just feel a bit judgmental of Microsoft right now, because they keep saying things that would be best left off for them to create their own articles about, or a comprehensive professional interview, instead of this piecemeal business we’re getting.

      • Kevadu

        “how is that any different from what any other console manufacturer does?”

        It is different for a very important reason that aren’t even touched on in that blog post. Naturally if you’re working with Sony/Nintendo/whoever and they’re doing the publishing and footing some of the cost of your game they’re going to want something out of it, whether that be exclusivity or something else.

        But that is only one possible scenario. Sony and Nintendo allow self publishing, Microsoft does not. They let indies basically do whatever they want. Sony in particular has been aggressively catering towards indies lately, and they have all levels of different involvement available depending on what the developer wants to do. And of course that includes not being involved at all (other than the basic certification stuff, but they’re simplifying even that).

        Microsoft may not be terrible to work with if you play their game and do everything their way, which it sounds like James Silva is. But let’s not pretend you have the same level of flexibility, because you don’t. The fact that MS doesn’t even allow self-publishing is absurd. If you *want* do release your game on other platforms as well and not doing everything the MS way then I think you’ll find things a *lot* less pleasant…

  • WyattEpp

    “going to have”, “going to sponsor”, “going to give people tools”…
    …but not yet. That’s why we haven’t talked to anyone. Even though it launches in half a year.

    Are these turkeys for real?

    • Ferrick

      keyword : “Going to…”

    • drproton

      Clearly these words speak louder than disallowing self-publishing in the first place. There is absolutely no reason to do this other than to fuck over the little guy. It’s an old-media mentality and I’m happy absolutely everyone else is moving in the opposite direction. That is, everyone other than the cable companies MS is in bed with this time around.

      • Radiosity

        I’m still mildly surprised it was Sony who really pushed the whole Indie deal, especially with the dev kit for the Vita and so on. MS meanwhile are apparently trying their very hardest to not only screw everyone as much as they can but also seem to be aiming to have their console fail big time before it even releases.

        I just don’t even get the mindset of whoever is running MS (into the ground) there at the moment.

    • artemisthemp

      We going to have *
      * Only for American ppl

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/Kevassa02 kevassa

    “We’re going to, we promise!”

  • http://youtube.com/miyabigaming 水木

    I see no need for this red tape they created

  • Heath Bunch

    Why no article about the twitter campaign to keep Sony from doing similar DRM measures to Microsoft or putting the kibosh on used games? Just this vaguary about Microsoft and indies when indies have been openly criticizing Microsoft for quite some time now…

    • Derek E Nay

      Because we are not sure about it. There is no hard proof about sony doing it as well. We have to wait till E3.

      • Heath Bunch

        Why wait till E3? If they don’t hear our opinions now, they’ll think its ok for them to do something like Microsoft whether we like it or not, because we didn’t care enough to let them know. This might not do anything, but its far better to let your voice be heard than just sit back and wait to see exactly how many companies are out to screw you.

        • gold163

          Something like independent publishing and DRM relies heavily on the engineering aspect of the console as well as embedded infrastructure. While these aspects may be adjustable, they’re not the sort of things that can just change on the spot. It’s just as likely that the people at Sony have already made their decision long ago and just haven’t revealed anything in order to be careful. If I were really cynical I’d say that they’re trying to exploit the negative press in order to project themselves as an “anti-Microsoft” to win over people with an intellectually dishonest dialogue.

        • Derek E Nay

          I am only guessing E3 since it will give more information on the system. They might or may not be doing it. People are just expressing them selves to have Sony not have the system Microsoft is using.

    • Kaitsu

      Because Sony already knows about it. And the whole DRM thing was all rumor.

      • Heath Bunch

        Its more about the campaign now than the rumor that Keighley reported on. About the only places I don’t see mentioning it somewhat are here and IGN…

    • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

      Because there are enough people already doing it. Siliconera isn’t really the kind of site that joins in Internet drama and feminism debates and DRM arguments and consumer rights issues. We just report news about games and developers. There are plenty of other sites that are good at putting those other things into perspective.

      • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

        You should suggest some to these blokes

    • Testsubject909

      Look at the comment section for that sort of stuff.

      We’ve got a lot of active members who’re doing a lot of that sort of political stuff.

  • Derek E Nay

    I read somewhere that indie needed to have a publisher in order to put it on the system somwhere… Which ruins it being indie >.<

    • gold163

      Self-publishing is not always a viable alternative for indies. You can’t assume that it would be the best decision for your game, since some developers need the financial, marketing, and tech support of larger publishers such as Microsoft.

      If that ruins your sacrosanct image of “independence” then I have a newsflash for you: a lot of independently-developed games are not self-published, often out of necessity.

      As one example (and one only), Hotline Miami is not self-published. However, as one of the more prominent examples of small-scale garage projects you’d probably be chewed up and spat out if you pointed out that technically, it’s not “independent”. Don’t be so pedantic.

      • Ferrick

        i know that you’re trying to inform others with your information, but you DON’T have to be an ass about it, so drop the name calling

        • gold163

          I apologize if I come across as an ass, because I don’t mean to at all. If that affects how the opinions and information I have provided will be perceived then please tell me how I can change the comment for the better.

          • sunK1D

            Don’t bother really. People in general are being biased towards Sony. Had it been Sony doing this and people would downplay it.

          • Derek E Nay

            Who is bias with sony? Who said anything about Sony >.< If anything, I would love it if sony helped indies like the 360 did.

          • sunK1D

            …”I read somewhere that indie needed to have a publisher in order to put it on the system somwhere… Which ruins it being indie >.<"…

            Like Gold163 said, you're assuming self-publishing is the ideal(and putting Sony in good light indirectly) when in reality it's just one of the many options available but not "necessarily" the best option.

          • Derek E Nay

            That likes saying I am putting good light with Nintendo as well >.< Sorry if you think that I am a PS fanboy or something :( I am just saying I do not like the idea of indies needing a publisher.

          • sunK1D

            I said “people in general”, the fact you took it personally suggests to me that you might have a bias.

          • Derek E Nay

            Nah, I just take things more personal then I should. I don’t even have a PS3 :(

          • JustThisOne

            Now now, let’s not squabble over nothing. It’s clear what Derek meant, and whether there is bias or not doesn’t matter at this point.

          • sunK1D

            I’ll settle on this.

          • JustThisOne

            Thank you. :>

          • Derek E Nay

            *hug*

          • Ferrick

            i think at this point, the only one that’s biased is you, “People in general is a sony fanboy”.. really ? that’s how you generalize people here ?

          • mirumu

            I do not believe people would downplay it if it were Sony. For years many, many people touted Microsoft’s approach to indies as a great boon for their platform (it was), and regularly took both Sony and Nintendo to task for being backwards and not moving with the times (it was true).

            Many of those coming down the hardest on Microsoft now are those who supported and benefited from Microsoft’s high level of indie support in the past. The fanboys will be fanboys, but they aren’t the ones who have been driving the debate about indie support.

          • Derek E Nay

            I understand about certin indies being force with publishing. I don’t like it, but I understand. All I am saying we are using the word “indie” the wrong way.

          • Ferrick

            just write it informatively without labeling anyone negatively, that’s pretty much how you spread your information across without offending anyone

            also, don’t stereotype like cleiton did, that’ll most likely bring about a huge flame war

  • Kaitsu

    Or you could just do it like all the other consoles, Microsoft.

    • gold163

      Like how? No really, I’d like an explanation. What does Microsoft do that makes them so bad? No self-publishing? Is that really something we ought to care about, rather than letting independent developers decide for themselves?

      Really, why do random internet commenters care so much, when this is the sort of thing that doesn’t really affect them? Is it to uphold some sort of ideal world where indies are allowed to do anything they want on any platform?

      If independent developers want to self-publish, there are a variety of other platforms that they can do it on. Contrary to popular belief, putting your game on a Sony or Nintendo system does not necessarily mean you’ve “made it big”, and those certainly aren’t the only choices. And contrary to popular belief, a lot of indies are pretty comfortable with the way Microsoft chooses to do things, while others are ambivalent. They can decide for themselves what is good or bad for them.

      • JustThisOne

        … But it does mean you’ve reached a different market. :/ And that’s really the objective isn’t it? I’m not really a PC gamer, and there are tons of PC indie games that I would buy if they were ported to a console.

        • gold163

          Certainly, market plays into it, perhaps in a very large part, but the point is that it’s one of many different things indies have to consider. It’s not “the” objective so much as it is *an* objective. If an indie thinks it’s worth going with Microsoft in order to reach the audience that they feel only Microsoft’s platform can provide, that’s their decision and theirs alone.

          What I’m saying is, I don’t understand why so many people are so eager to fry Microsoft for their decisions regarding how they treat indies. It’s not so black and white, but people seem to be treating it as such. It’s as if they’re just chomping at the bit for anything they can turn into a negative against Microsoft, and it’s getting ridiculous.

          • JustThisOne

            I can understand that. But I guess people have been burned by the recent news and it’s hard to stay objective. And I can’t blame them either, because the comments that Microsoft staff are giving out can seem very sketchy at times.

            I’m sure most of this hullabaloo will blow over once there’s more information.

      • mirumu

        I think a lot of indies were pretty comfortable with the way Microsoft did things. That doesn’t seem to be the case now. Inevitably though there will always be some who support a platform no matter what the strings attached are.

        It could be Microsoft has some really great plan that’s even better for indies than self-publishing. With the information they’ve provided so far however it just looks like either yet another misstep, or yet another example of the huge problem they’ve had getting their message out lately.

        • Testsubject909

          From what I’ve read. Indies weren’t that comfy with how Microsoft did things.

          Some indies whose games moved from XBLA into Steam have made open statements that they’ve seen a Significant increase in revenue.

          Edit: Honestly I think most indies who want to publish on the XBLA are just hoping that they’ll get some awareness for their games or are hoping to capitalize on the large userbase without full understanding of the environment they’ll be in or the contract they’re signing.

      • Kevadu

        “No self-publishing? Is that really something we ought to care about, rather than letting independent developers decide for themselves?”

        Um…isn’t having it as an option “letting independent developers decide for themselves”? Since when did having self-publishing as an option suddenly make it a requirement?

        The only console maker that doesn’t let independent developers decide for themselves is Microsoft.

        • gold163

          I never meant to imply that having self-publishing as an option would be a bad thing, or that it would be inhibiting indie developers. Please don’t draw that conclusion.

          If you want to hate Microsoft on the basis that they do things differently than other console manufacturers then you are free to do so.

          At the same time, please let independent studios decide for themselves what is good or bad for them.

  • Shane Guidaboni

    Is anyone besides bros actually going to buy this console now?

    • Tatsuya1221

      I’m sure there will be some that will, the problem for microsoft though is how many people who do are going to buy games, tv content and movies in large enough quantities to make the console profitable, right now i’d say it’s likely to not be nearly enough.

  • Death Saved

    Let me guess you want to turn them into exclusives (timed or permanent)
    wouldn’t be surprised if they gave the finger to indie games released on
    other platforms first.

    • gold163

      Hey, that kind of sounds like what Sony does!

      http://www.giantbomb.com/pub-fund/3015-7606/

      • Solomon_Kano

        Give the finger to exclusives released on other platforms first? Limbo? Castle Crashers? I mean, even outside of that realm, Mass Effect?

        • gold163

          Why is being exclusive necessarily a bad thing? I’m just trying to point out that this goes both ways. Why do you think indies agree to have their games platform exclusive? It isn’t “giving the finger” to anybody. Microsoft isn’t forcing indies to deal with them. I’m just saying, if this is an objectively bad thing, why isn’t Sony getting called out for it? In fact, why are they being PRAISED for it?

          http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/190971/When_platform_exclusivity_is_good_for_indies.php

          The assumption that “exclusivity is bad” rests on the equally fallacious assumption that indies are being locked into exclusivity. They’re not. It’s a consensual process. If an indie title you want to play is platform exclusive, the developer deserves equal blame as the publisher. It isn’t fair to single out Microsoft for this behavior, and it makes no sense.

          This applies to non-indie titles as well. Remember Bayonetta 2? People were yelling at Nintendo for being scumbags and securing platform-exclusive rights. Except… they’re the ones funding the game and making it possible in the first place.

          • Solomon_Kano

            I’m not saying it is, you’ve got the wrong guy. I was just asking if you’re saying they give the finger to other platforms’ former exclusives or that they get exclusives for PSN.

          • gold163

            I was more speaking to the “timed exclusive” deal. I don’t think it really makes sense to say that you’re giving the finger to other platform’s exclusives by doing that, or that you’re giving the finger to anybody at all, really.

          • Solomon_Kano

            Okay, cool. Yea, I’m in agreement there. As your Bayo2 example illustrated, there seem to be these weird moments when people take something happening exclusively as some villainous plot on part of the involved party when, often times, it’s a benefit. But, really, the complaining party isn’t so much using any real logic as being upset that it’s not going to their console of choice.

        • Eric Rodman

          Mass Effect isn’t a good example since Microsoft published the original game before EA bought Bioware. They had to wait for the contract to expire before it could be released on PS3.

  • FlamingFirewire

    So they`ll just make another store buried under ads and call it XBOX One Indies?

    • andref

      Nah they already said they wouldn’t divide up games into different categories like that again

      • FlamingFirewire

        Thank god – I know what they meant to do with that separation, but it was just such a bad idea – especially since they added a TON of ads about then too. Hopefully the XBOX One’s dashboard will be a little more user friendly this time around.

  • Repede91

    I don`t see them treating indie developers any better with their next platform then they did with their current platform.

  • Testsubject909

    Again, if they keep the same practices as they did on the Xbox 360 for Indies.

    That means they’ll be stuck unable to publish themselves.

    They’ll also only receive their pays quarterly, thus every 3 months.

    And only if they made more then 500$ in profit.

    And if Microsoft keeps the same clause, that means that Microsoft will reserve the right to reduce the price of their game at any time, put those games up for sales or even give them out for free.

    Microsoft… Be up front and honest. How in the fuck are you going to “support indies”? Oh… a dev kit tool?

    Again. How are you going to support them?

  • Isaac Newton

    They are not talking to the whole indies there talking to the creator of Minecraft cause that would give them money

  • Aristides

    yeah… why allow selfpublishing when you can exploit potential developers… I can see it now… Microsoft taking on publishing duties for indie titles… these accursed Ganders never learn, I cant wait till they get their asses handed to them.

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