Posted by Chuck Corbin on Jul 24, 2013

Lorne Lanning Wants Xbox One PR Team Fired Over Indie Stance

Over the last few years people have started to find fun (and often quirky) games from independent developers, and despite the small teams and low budget these games have really taken off. In fact, indie games have gotten so popular that some of the big console makers are really trying their hardest to court them. Sony is perhaps doing the best job at courting these kinds of games, with their indie-friendly policies and also the fact that they even made them a major part of their E3 press conference.

Microsoft, on the other hand, seems to be treating indie games and their developers with nothing but disdain, at least according to Lorne Lanning, the man behind Oddworld. “At the business level, Microsoft isn’t acknowledging people like us,” said Lanning. “It’s as if we don’t matter.” He goes on to say how after he released Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath HD on the PSN he received an email from Microsoft the next day saying how because he had released the game on the PSN at a lower price point they would not be able to put him on Xbox Live. All of this happened after Lanning tried for months to get a straight answer from Microsoft about getting on Xbox Live. This disdain is not anything new, either: for years Microsoft has had a policy that to be published on Xbox Live you need to have a publisher, and for every patch update after the first one the company must pay for each update. These two restrictions are simply too much for most indie developers. Sony and Nintendo, on the other hand have no such restrictions for their systems.

If Microsoft wants to cater towards indie developers and their games, Lanning has a simple solution: fire them all. “Whoever their PR people are, whoever their marketing agents are, they should fire them all. That’s where they should start. There should be a big, mass firing and they should publicize that. Then they’d get people saying, ‘Hey, maybe there’s going to be a good change.’” If Microsoft doesn’t do that, however, and they decide to keep on with the same anti-indie path, well then that’s their own prerogative. I just hope they’re not too surprised when they see more people are playing PS4’s and buying more indie games than ever before.


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