Thursday, July 25, 2013

Xbox One making another 180 and confirming self-publishing

While at first this sounds great, they've already burned so many bridges with nearly every indie developer that's worked with them at this point that no one really wants to go anywhere near them. One indie developer (specifically the man behind Retro City Rampage) said, and I quote:

"After my experience working with them to release on Xbox 360, I have no interest in even buying an Xbox One, let alone developing for it. The policy changes are great, but they don't undo the experience I had. I'm not ready to forget what I went through. Working with Microsoft was the unhappiest point of my career. Policies are one thing, but developer relations are another."

That's pretty heavy and was the resounding remark from indie developers that have worked with them. Phil Fish was quoted from an interview, which he was asked: "Interviewer: Is there a chance to see your next game be ported onto next gen consoles?   Phil: Not Xbox." 

Then there's the fact that Microsoft has shown that they don't even know what they're doing with their own console, yet it's supposed to come out in less than 4 months?! What are you doing! Do you even know? This is news to every indie developer, excluding maybe Notch, but that's it.

They haven't even talked about how it'll work in the marketplace. What they've said so far is that it's all going to be in the same place, but what does that mean? It's now a Windows 8 console, which developers already don't like the Windows 8 platform as it is with major players like Gabe Newell, who happens to be the owner and creator of Valve and Steam, saying that Windows 8 was basically trash for gaming developers. If it's going to be anything like the current Microsoft store, which it most likely will as the majority of the UI looks incredibly similar/the same as Xbox 360, then that's just another reason to not develop games for it. Sony has a very distinct section for Indie titles to make them easy to find. Sony also holds a huge number of exclusive indie games that will be big seller indie titles, such as the next game from Supergiant Games, those guys that made a little game that no one's heard of named Bastion. The game in question is named Transistor by the way.

At this point, all Xbox One really has going for it would be Halo, and that's not saying much as Bungie isn't even making Halo, they're making Destiny, which is available to PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. You'll also notice that more games this year were demo'd on a PS4 and not the usual Xbox, including Bungie's new title Destiny. That wasn't a coincidence. The PS4 is easier to tap into its full power as they don't have esRAM like the Xbox One while also having GDDR5 RAM instead of DDR3. 
This has turned into the Xbox One-Eighty at this point. Here's to expecting the console to have a defective rate due to increasing changes during the final stretch as well as being rushed to retail at the same time as the PS4. I wonder what will change next. 

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