Microsoft has announced they will be encouraging indie game developers by taking a less restrictive approach to publishing games.
Every Xbox One to be a debug unit
While the current generation most definitely saw a boom in indie game development with releases like Braid, Fez and Super Meat Boy, this was also because of the rising popularity in IOS titles for smartphone devices.
The Xbox 360 is known to be a costly and rather difficult console to develop for with a separate debug unit needed along with licence fees and up till recently a charge on after published patches.
Microsoft are promising things to be better and more community focused with their new Xbox One console however and have announced that every console will be a debug unit from the off.
Xbox One to allow self-published titles
It is another 180 by Microsoft but it does mean they are listening to their consumer base.
Now developers will be allowed to not only self-publish their titles without a publisher but also be able to set the price their titles retails for in a mirror of the APP store by Apple.
Marc Whiten, corporate vice president of Xbox, said: “Our vision is that every person can be a creator. That every Xbox One can be used for development. That every game and experience can take advantage of all of the features of Xbox One and Xbox Live. This means self-publishing.”
Next gen battle shows how far indie development has come
If this change of policy shows anything it is how far indie game development has come that it represents a key area for two mammoth gaming companies like Sony and Microsoft to battle over.
Sony have always promoted self-publishing and community development and Microsoft are now following that path with their cancellation of any fees for patching current games and making their new console easy to develop and publish for.
Where before it was hardware, first party games and exclusives that swayed people decisions it is interesting to note how it is now policies that affect the creativity of future titles that seem to making the biggest difference to the gaming community prelaunch.
The good news is with this latest announcements from Microsoft it is expected Indie games will flourish on the console.