Microsoft will be maintaining their anti-indie stance with the Xbox One, as a company representative has confirmed, indirectly, that independent developers will not be allowed to publish their own games on Xbox Live.
The news comes from a short discussion between Shacknews and General Manager for Redmond Game Studios and Platforms at Microsoft, Matt Booty. He has stated categorically that Microsoft will “continue to court developers in the ways that we have [in the past]” meaning no one can publish their own games without an established publishing partner.
This is a big blow to independent developer interest on Xbox One. Microsoft is now the only eighth generation gaming console manufacturer that treats independent developers the same as established game development companies – requiring them to go through one-too-many formal procedures to do even basic tasks like updating their games and releasing content packs.
Sony is at the other end of the spectrum when it comes to indie development support. The company is going out of the way to ensure maximum independent developer interest. For the PS4, developers will be allowed to publish games at their own set price and release date. Based on multiple reports, Sony reps are personally approaching indie developers and discussing the possibility of bringing over their in-development titles to the PlayStation 4 and PS Vita.
An additional boon to development on PlayStation 4: Unity3D – a popular game engine for creating and publishing iOS, Android and Windows – recently announced support for the PlayStation 4.
Microsoft will ultimately have to switch their stance on indie development, as in that lie the best interest of the Xbox platform, its enthusiastic users and interested developers.