Report: Xbox One To Allow Self-Publishing For Indie Devs After All

By Ishaan . July 24, 2013 . 12:00pm

Microsoft initially said back in May that indie developers wouldn’t be able to self-publish their games on the Xbox One. Then, just a week later, then-Xbox head Don Mattrick shared that the company would in fact introduce some sort of indie support program.


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


Now, sources tell Game Informer that Microsoft are reversing their decision on indie publishing restrictions entirely, and that independent developers will be able to publish their own games without the need for a publishing partner after all.


Game Informer also say that it will be possible for every Xbox One console to be converted into a debug unit that can play pre-release game code, through a software-level authorization at Microsoft’s end.


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  • Chris Yuen

    Sigh…and I’m supposed to write a 1,500 word essay with regards to the console wars for one of my modules, and one of the point was about how Playstation embraced indie developers while Microsoft didn’t even allow self-publishing. Why must Microsoft make life so difficult for me D=

    • On the other hand, they still haven’t revealed if there’ll still be high costs for patches to be applied to said games, which was a contention point for the 360’s indie market, as well.

      • Chris Yuen

        I suppose so. I guess a lot of people had quite enough of Microsoft’s wishy-washy attitude towards their new console…so is it going to be always online? No, it’s not? You are going to make it region-free too? Microsoft: “because we can! Huzzah!” Consumers: “getting quite tired of your crap Microsoft.” Nice Yui Goido avatar by the way, I’m so glad The World God Only Knows got its deserved 3rd season.

        • Haha, thanks, though I’m still sad they had to brush entirely over her specific arc… Ah well.

          • Chris Yuen

            Well…look at it this way…at least more TWGOK anime is better than none. Can’t wait to see Keima cross-dressing, and the sick visit event too.

      • PoweredByHentai

        I thought they got rid of the costs for patches? Isn’t that why Fez is finally getting patched?

        • If they did, I didn’t hear about it, though as far as I’ve heard Fez’s dev isn’t none too pleased with Microsoft as it is. Though Fez’s dev seems to not be too pleased with anyone from what I’ve seen.

          • PoweredByHentai

            Eh, I consider Phil Fish to be a loud d-bag and made it a point not to buy nor play his game.

    • Ryujin

      Your point still more or less holds true, though, even if MS is trying to turn their policies around. There’s a pretty big difference in attitude shining through here, with Microsoft’s actions mostly coming off as a “well, if we really have to, I guess we could be more open towards X or Y…” kind of thing. As far as I’m concerned, that doesn’t put Sony and MS on equal footing with each other.

      Either way, good luck with your essay!

  • SirRichard

    Much as I would like to attribute this to Microsoft finally caving to the stream of negative stories in the press from indie devs (such as Lorne Lannings, who’s been on a bit of a crusade lately), I’m thinking it’s more that they realised that they’d be giving Sony yet another advantage, which is a more pressing concern for them.

    Whatever the motivation, it’s great news for indies as now they can get their games to as large an audience as possible.

    • Mike Pureka

      Well, what you have here is the free market actually doing something good for people for a change. Sometimes, yeah, a competitor doing the right thing will cause a shift in policy. Sadly, people are usually pretty bad about recognizing when a policy is good for them, so we kinda got lucky this time that it was so cut-and-dried.

  • Freud_Hater

    This is so pathetic. I mean yeah, it’s a good thing, but MS really is nothing more than a bunch of spineless jackasses. I mean yeah, all the things they changed were for the better, but don’t they have any conviction? WHY make the console so shitty to begin with when you realize that everyone hates it, which was so obvious?

    • mojack411

      Yeah I was thinking the same thing. On one hand this is a smart move for them in the long run but on the other hand its like the original Xbone announcement never existed. The flip flopping does not put Mocrosoft in a good.

    • Monterossa

      I guess they thought Sony will do the same thing but they’re wrong.

    • cameron forsyth

      publicity stunt? as well as a general experiment. with all the failures the xbone has had it’s garnered quite allot of attention outside of the gaming community. but whatever don’t mind me, just another conspiracy freak.

      • Freud_Hater

        I thought about that too, but… that seems like some terrible publicity, despite the saying claiming that ‘any publicity is good publicity’. This basically highlighted MS’ general policies as cheap, greedy bastards. Yes, they have the gaming public’s attention, but I’m pretty sure that attention is mostly hate-filled :/

        • cameron forsyth

          i may be speaking for myself on this one but i don’t think microsoft or anyone could have foresaw the extent of the damages. maybe if you looked at the xbone objectivly after the design report negative responses could have been predicted.

          anyway they made a mistake and it blew up in their face, publicity stunt or not it’s hard to argue that Microsoft had anything but deplorable intent. now that i think about it Microsoft shouldn’t take such risks considering this isn’t the first time they’ve done something like this.

    • LaserVision

      So what are they supposed to do? Invent a time machine and stop the press conferences from happening? Whatever happened in the past is in the past. Everyone here wants to bash the XB1 no matter what course it takes. MS addresses criticisms people complain. If they don’t, people complain.

      I’m not remotely interested in the buying one, but I think the level of vitriol and hyperbole in these comments has been ridiculously petty.

      • Freud_Hater

        Good point but you gotta admit that they DO deserve the hate and I think it’s good that a big company like them actually feared the fan-backlash of their shitty decisions: It’ll set a good example for the future. The flaming will probably only end once the Xbone is released and people see it’s a decent console or something (That is, if it IS a decent console ^^’)

  • personablaze

    Xbox 180

    Some people say that Microsoft listened to the fans and whatnot but i don’t think so, they just saw sony doing the right thing and followed along..

    • Mike Pureka

      I disagree. If Sony had done exactly what Sony had done, and no one said anything bad about the old Microsoft method, they wouldn’t have changed. It takes the fans -saying- “Hey, Sony is doing it right and your method is retarded” to get them to change, not just looking at a competitor and going “Oh, hey, maybe we should do it that way.”

      • personablaze

        If’s are nice and all but the fact is Xbone messed up bad and sony came out looking like gold.

        And Microsoft changed because they would lose $$$$$ if they didn’t, fans had nothing to do with their choice IMO.

        And btw, Xbone is looking more and more like a higher priced PS4 Imo. (Unless they changed the price)

        • Mike Pureka

          You seem to be missing the point completely. I’m not trying to make Microsoft look good here, I’m just explaining that you are, in fact, wrong that this wasn’t the result of “listening to fans”; Without fans raising a storm, Microsoft wouldn’t have lost any money, or at least, wouldn’t have known they were going to lose any money.

          Do you think they didn’t know what Sony was going to do beforehand? That’s idiotic. Of course they knew. What they didn’t know was how people would REACT.

          • personablaze

            You do know that Money is all these companies care about right?
            It’s all about how to get that money, so no, fans don’t matter to them (Did the price go down? bcz i know lots of ppl don’t like it and i don’t see them changing that, If it were “for the fans” then why not lower the price of said system? ppl would love that but..)

            And tis more idiotic to “Know what they are gonna do” and do something ppl clearly hate

            Look at simcity, when did that come out? bcz it was always online and ppl hated it. Look at Diablo 3, always online and ppl were mad at that
            Did sony see that? Maybe, bcz it wasn’t in their system

            Did Microsoft see that? maybe, but they put it in the Xbone anyway.

          • Mike Pureka

            Exactly. And where does money come from? Oh yeah. Fans.

            I think at this point Microsoft is banking on Kinect to justify the price. They’ve basically said “Okay, sorry about all that other crap, but we believe our hardware – without any of the unnecessary restrictions that we have now dropped – is worth the extra price.” Now the fact is that this has almost never worked in the history of game consoles, but big companies can be notoriously stupid (Looking at you, Sony and the PS3 launch1).

            Dunno how looking at Diablo 3 and the HUGE MINT OF MONEY it made is going to discourage anyone from implementing draconian always-on DRM schemes. If anything, it’s opposite – people will look at Diablo 3 and go, “Well, a jillion people whined about it on the internet, but it made like three jillion dollars, so obviously it doesn’t matter if people bitch about your stuff on the Internet because they’re all morons and will buy it anyway.”

            Did you buy Diablo 3? ’cause I didn’t.

          • personablaze

            Fans that are just money to them, and sony But the difference comes in “Who treats the money better”
            Microsoft didn’t and sony did and when Microsoft saw their money going away they changed their story real quick.
            For EX
            The Xbone is looking More and More like a PS4, There are few differences in both systems, now if Xbone had some different features then i would say Microsoft isn’t following sony BUT How different is the Xbone Now? Twould have been different if they stuck to their guns but now..It is just a higher priced PS4

            About diablo 3, Idk if ppl were told it was always online before they brought it so ofc it would make lots of money (I did not buy it cause it’s not for me)
            But even if they did, the backlash from it should have been a good indication that “Maybe we shouldn’t do this bcz fans don’t like it” But nope, still did it anyway, and once they saw PS4 had no Always online BS they changed.

            I don’t know why we’re talking about this btw lol

          • Mike Pureka

            I’m not saying Microsoft isn’t “following Sony” (Although I think that would really require Sony to be going somewhere. Instead Sony has basically said “Yeah, we’re just gonna keep doing what we’ve been doing, okay?”). I’m just saying that the reason they are “following Sony” is fan reaction to their decisions.

            WRT Diablo 3 – the “always on” crap was in the news for weeks if not months before it came out. The so-called “backlash” from it was meaningless.

          • personablaze

            Sony hasn’t really changed much, but if it’s not broke then don’t fix it.

            360 was doing pretty good imo (I own both 360 & PS3)

            And let us agree to disagree eh?, I say money, you say fans, at the end of it all, sony might have one this whole “console war” crap if Microsoft didn’t take cues from em and changed up asap.

            That is bad, if ppl brought the game after that..their problem cause i wouldn’t.

          • Vernon Hampton Jr

            You do know that Money is all these companies care about right?

            …which amazes me that everyone lauds the PS4 as though it’s the holy grail or something. Sony wants money too. They’re just quieter about it.

          • personablaze

            Of course Sony wants money xD

            Tis a business and i am in no way shape or form saying sony doesn’t want money.

      • Barchiel


    • Right, it most likely has nothing to do with the internet reaction. It has to do with the fact that PS4 had extremely significant more interest among consumers. There was that amazon poll that said 95% of people would prefer PS4 over the One. It’s obvious they saw those numbers and knew if they continued on their current path, it would be a huge flop for them.

      It has nothing to do with fans. It was about the money for them.

  • CirnoLakes

    XBOX One: Please, everyone! Please, come back! We’re sorry!

    • personablaze

      I’m sorry Xbone

      PS4 has taken my heart and my money XD

    • Chaos_Knight

      PS4: Look at him, trying to get everybody back. Pfft…
      Wii U: Yep… But he still never going to succeed. *sips soda*

      Sega Spectrum: Ha! I don’t even exist enough and even I can beat that so called “console”.

    • MikelAL93

      After all the bullshit Xbox One has pulled, they really want to “please” gamers with these changes.

      This is one reason of why I think that Xbox One is nothing but a complete joke of a console that makes Virtual Boy look like a masterpiece.

      • Max

        They just have to embarrass and put themselves in a shitty situation. Honestly, I wouldn’t be shocked if this is the last console they’ll produce.

  • AnimusVox

    They should’ve allowed this in the first place. But that seems to be the motto of MS right now.

  • XiaomuArisu

    Too late

  • Raze

    This Xbone story…

    It’s almost like reading a doujin about NTR where as the Xbone got NTR’ed by PS4…

    • xXDGFXx

      Vanilla army, assemble…?

  • Lexaus_the_Alchemist

    Every month the PS4’s advantages over XOne keep shrinking and shrinking as Microsoft tries to recover from their negative press. This works out for gamers and game studios in the end, but this does make them seem kind of weak willed by not being able to stand by their policies. Unfortunately these policies are what cost them in present and future customers, so they really put themselves in between a rock and a hard place.

    • Herok♞

      the important advantage isn’t changing yet which is price at this point if you buy the One you are wasting an extra hundred that could go to games if you bought the WiiU or PS4

      • Lexaus_the_Alchemist

        True, though there are quite a few PS4 bundles out there (or will be out there) that have a game with the system and more. I think Amazon alone has like 5 PS4 SKUs: [“Vanilla” system], [system+Knack], [system+Watch_Dogs], [system+KillzoneSF+1year of PS+], and [system+Battlefield 4+1 year of PS+]. And all of those are for less than or equal to just a [“Vanilla” XOne]…

  • randominternetperson

    Microsoft should just rename Xbox One to PS4.
    Sony’ really have to gear up those exclusives otherwise the two consoles will be too similar. I want to see more Japanese games!

  • Folk Hellfang

    That’s great and all, but it’s real simple. It means more when you start out on the right foot, not when when you back-pedal.
    Maybe they’ll jut take the final step and announce they will be making a licensed Microsoft version of the PS4.

  • TrannyMagic

    there’s like a jazillion indie games on the 360… was I the only one who thought Microsoft would eventually cater to indie developers in the long run?

  • Erikdayo

    So basically the PS4 and Xbox One are 90% the same now. Except that PS4 would still allow me to use Crunchyroll, Amazon Instant Video, etc. even if I didn’t have PS+. And XBL Gold is also less of a value because Microsoft doesnt have a portable.

    Whatever works! PS4 pre-ordered. But if Microsoft can get a few exclusives I want then just maybe I’ll get one in a few years.

  • I knew they would back down. They caused quite the panic with their ridiculous policies. At this point, they can’t afford to do anything that would seem even remotely restrictive.

    It’s irrelevant to me since I’m already dead set on PS4, but I wonder if there would be any true differences between the systems if they didn’t botch their console reveal so badly. Consoles seem to have lost a lot of their uniqueness for the sake of getting every game.

  • Taylor Davis

    Microsoft: here’s our new system, Xbox one. TV, no indies, smart glass, 24 hour online check in, no used games, always online, kinetic required, region locked, call of duty, blah blah blah, also its $500 this holiday season.

    (as time passes by, e3 comes and goes, and Sony is doing an wonderful job.)


    (Ps4 day one)

  • Lynx

    Back tracking.

    I love it.

  • NightzeroAX

    They are soooo thirsty. Too bad I’m sticking with the PS4.

  • Sentsuizan_93

    The amount of U turns being made in such a short time with the XB1(80). Damn. Not sure if incredible last minute desperation or finally realizing their blunders. But even with this, I am far from forgiving Microsoft

  • microsoft are doing so many last minute changes it makes it seem like they have no confidence in their product and services, which in turn makes them look worse to the consumer and they already looked awful to begin with, Well whatever we’ll see how this plays out

    Unlike most people I don’t hate microsoft. I was disappointed in their anti-consumer practices but on some level I still want them to succeed because i thought the 360 was a pretty good system overall, only time will tell what microsoft will do

    • I don’t hate them either. In fact, I actually defended them at one point, even though I never bought any of their systems. I wanted to get a 360, but I never bought one because I decided I didn’t need it.

      But it’s really hard to stick up for a company that decides to put in so many restrictive features and then acts like people will buy it anyways. It’s ridiculously arrogant of them. Even after reversing their policies, the damage has already been done and I can’t say I have any faith in them or the Xbox One.

  • キロ

    It is clear from the comments below/above that they just cannot win. I think the same goes for anything game related, really. ^^;

    • personablaze

      Rock and a hard place.

      But i think if the Xbone gets some more variety in games (Needs moar RPGS/JRPGs for me) then ppl will forgive this whole mess.

  • Katboy

    the xbox one does another 180; at this rate we can safely call it the xbox “360”…Microsoft, what a bunch of halfwits..

  • ragingmerifes

    You see, making it so much better after it was so bad just proves that the original Xbone was just bad because MS wanted to screw players, and not because they needed to make it bad.

    • MikelAL93

      Yeah, especially since Microsoft wants to copy what Sony’s doing for the PS4 to make themselves feel better…

  • Lazulis

    Too late xbox flip flop. Id rather have the indies on ps3/4/v. Crossbuy!!!

  • xXDGFXx

    My foot is firmly planted in PS4’s field.

  • That’s nice and all, but still don’t want it.

  • G-Vita

    It’s like a whole new different console now lol

  • KrazyBean

    Yep…I’m gonna call this console the Xbox One-Eighty from now on.

    • Ronldbx6

      I’m gonna call it the FLIPBOX ONE.

    • ShadowDivz

      Nice name, and i love that picture if beat!

  • Donatetimo

    Should be call a 360 now.

  • Even with all these changes they’re doing it’s still $100 more than the PS4

    If they were smart they’d make the Kinect 2 optional

  • WyattEpp

    There are too many unanswered questions for this to be anything but neutral news. Remember: you could develop and run things on your 360 too, but you got shoved into the XBLIG ghetto and no one made any money. I have my doubts that Microsoft of 2013 is even capable of making a straightforward publishing process with no egregious strings attached.

    I guess we’ll find out for sure in August, but there’s something that’s worrying me: from what I’m reading, they’re taking the iOS path this time. That is, everyone is in one big mishmash. So you can expect the big players will do well, hobbyists will have fun (occasionally making bank from it), and anyone in the middle ground (e.g. most indies) is likely to get lost in the noise of incessant clone shovelware.

    And that’s a Bad Thing.

  • Robert Hendrie
  • SlickRoach

    Microsoft backpedaling harder than Lance Armstrong in reverse.

  • darkfox1

    All this damage control.

  • tubers

    Damned if they do, damned if they don’t.
    -X1 situation.

  • Nitraion

    This damage control really weird to me -_-
    It seems like they obviously chasing after consumer and indie developer…
    It’s like they don’t trust on their creation anymore…..
    If creator not trust own product how other people supposed to trust it?
    They should predict something like this before release a product and policy…

    They should know how policy will it impact…. though the #dealwithit boy do the job and looks how internet goes just with that little information :V

  • PoweredByHentai

    According to CBOAT on neogaf, there are two strings attached to this.

    The first fine print is that this self-publishing goes through the Windows App Store and effectively turns that into XBLIG version 2.0.

    The second catch is that indie games are limited to what is believed to be 3 GB of RAM.

  • Ronldbx6


  • It must be hard to be one of the X-1 creators right now.

  • ShadowDivz

    So… are they just gonna go back on everything they said?
    Jesus man, show some backbone.

  • Neppygear

    And Microsoft take back yet another statement. Stay desperate, babes.

  • artemisthemp

    So next is Xbox One without Kinect?
    Looks like Microsoft will do everything to win ppl.

  • Anime10121

    Its funny how anyone can justifiably say the Xvox One is better than the PS4 when the X-1 has done everything in its ability to turn into the PS4 with added (and mandatory) Kinect. Whats next, “Oh we kid we kid, Kinect not mandatory for Xbox” statement followed by Kinect-less Xbox one for $379.00

  • Just Tim

    Poor XB1; only the FPS crowd will save them now.

    Nice job driving away Indie devs, Microsoft!

  • Noire

    Nice move Vert, but it’s too late I have the share already.

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