Indie gaming has become the next big thing. With so many indie developers on the market producing bigger hits than your average triple A studio, it is clear that Indie Games are just as important as the big publishing titles. We have yet another war on our hands. Sony and Microsoft are at loggerheads again over indie developers.
This ‘craze’ first began with Minecraft, from Mojang, and it has, and is continuing to break records on many platforms. Super Meat Boy by Team Meat, the Trine Series from Frozenbyte and Hotline Miami from Dennaton Games are all massive, high unit indie titles and have generated millions, each, towards the gaming industry.
Playstation have pledged a partnership, not with a particular company, but with indie devs on the whole, and promise to make their platform completely indie friendly! It was known from early on that Playstation would allow indie developers to self-publish, something that Xbox One didn’t allow until a couple of days ago, and it was considered that the PS4 would be the indie choice for publishing their titles.
As I just mentioned, Microsoft announced that the Xbox One would now allow self publishing. Yet another One-80 from Microsoft. We can now only wonder if Microsoft even know what they’re doing when it’s anything other than their apparent ‘awesome online community’. But regardless, the indie community is currently tight-lipped about the new announcement.
Veteran developer Byron Atkinson-Jones of Xiotex Studios, has said, “I’m suspicious. Xbox One has a Metro interface, which is the same as in Windows 8 and Surface, so the plan has always been that you can develop cross-platform apps – it’s very easy to do, it’s just an HTML 5 interface – but you have very limited access to the hardware. If that’s what they’re talking about with this self-publishing program, it’s not the same as self-publishing on Nintendo or Sony. I wonder about how much has changed.”
Basically, he wonders if Microsoft have just changed the name of their policy without changing the actual policy itself. As always, with Microsoft, there are strings attached and it is always about profit. The price difference is down to the forceful purchase of the particularly unwanted Kinect. They originally planned to charge an extortionate amount of money to game developers for releasing patch updates for games and now it’s this whole self-publishing business!
Maybe the media just have it in for Microsoft, but it does seem to me that the Playstation is the preferred choice for indie developers and will continue to be so.