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Posted by Chuck Corbin on May 23, 2013

The Xbox One Is Not Indie Game Friendly

Over the past several years indie games have really been blowing up in popularity. Because of their small (sometimes single person) development teams, indie games have really made a niche market for themselves in having low cost, yet immersive games, with games like Minecraft rivaling other major productions in units sold and pure profits. Microsoft had been trying to court indie developers for awhile with their Xbox Live Indie Games space, but it looks like that’s out the window with the Xbox One.

According to Microsoft’s Matt Booty, general manager at Redmond Game Studios and Platforms, in order to get an indie game released for the Xbox One the developer must have a publisher. This is quite different from Sony and Nintendo’s response to the indie game question. Both of those companies are trying to attract more indie developers, by allowing them to self-publish their games.

It’s a little disappointing to see Microsoft take this kind of stand, but after watching their announcement on Tuesday I can’t say I’m surprised. After all, the Xbox One seems to really be catering to the mainstream crowd, the kind of folks that watch lots of sports and TV and play shiny games with lots of explosions. Indie games might just be too underground for Microsoft.

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