Don Mattrick has not be the most popular guy this week but he’s definitely starting to turn it all around. Microsoft’s reveal earlier this month left a few people wondering where all the games were and especially if independent developers would be able to bring their titles to the Xbox One. An interview with Mattrick, Microsoft’s Head of Interactive Entertainment, confirms that there will be support for smaller developers.
Mattrick says they might not be changing their publishing policies but they are “going to have an independent creator program.” After speculation over whether or not games like Super Meat Boy, Minecraft or Fez could be possible and financially sustainable on future consoles. Microsoft has definitely tried to calm independent developers, such as Jonathan Blow, who have had grievances with them and their practices in the past.
Mattrick has said that it “is important” to support indie developers and even mentions that is how he himself got “started in the industry.” Mattrick is aware of the concerns of gamers and developers alike, which is good: “There’s no way we’re going to build a box that doesn’t support that.” While no major indie titles have been announced from new or veteran indie devs, Mattrick made sure to point out they have been working with developers for the 360 and hope to continue with that support into the future.
While the software company did admit it will not be allowing independent companies to “self-publish”, this only means that their process for getting on the future iterations of Xbox Live Arcade may be different compared to previous agreements. There are many factors including the new OS which we’ve only seen a few screens of, how the selection process and criteria will work, and how developers will be compensated for their work. Developers from bigger companies have already voiced their concern related to the Xbox One, but indies are definitely growing and becoming a stronger game dev community.