Indie developers have essentially become the prettiest girl at the dance, at least in the eyes of Sony and Nintendo. Both opened their arms nice and wide at E3, by offering the opportunity to directly distribute games via the Wii U and the upcoming PS4. But not Microsoft, who insisted on sticking with business as usual.
As a result, many believe that MS has little regard for the independent game development, and some even considered it a semi-hostile sentiment. One that tells the whole world that they’d rather just deal with the major publishers, like EA or Ubisoft, and be done with it. But like another policy that was viewed as being anti-consumer, and which was eventually done away with, MS has just changed their minds again.
Game Informer was the first to break the news, that Microsoft will now allow indie developers to self-publish on the Xbox One. So no longer will a game maker need to have a publishing partner. Furthermore, indie game makers themselves can dictate their own release date and pricing. Plus, MS will apparently be following Apple’s iTunes model when it comes to certification, with a 14 day turnaround for approvals.
This is a stark contrast to how things are being done today; if an indie game maker is able to secure a publishing partner, the next big headache is dealing with Microsoft’s arbitrary release schedule, which makes marketing on the behalf of the game’s makers a real challenge.
Though that’s not the biggest news: apparently, every retail until can be converted into a debug console. So instead of getting ahold of specialized hardware, which aside from being expensive is simply difficult, one can simply take a system that has been acquired at GameStop to use it to play pre-release code, so long as Microsoft has given said machine the okay.
Specifics are not available as of yet, which will be divulged at Gamescom in August, though it was noted that this feature will not be ready at launch. But this move will make game creation all the easier for the Xbox One. Which means, if you choose to get the system, you’re just that much closer to making games for the thing.