Mark one in the column under Xbox One and a zero under indie game developers. Microsoft won’t allow indie devs to self-publish their games to the Xbox One, a business strategy that is pretty much the exact opposite of Sony’s vow to embrace indie games on the PlayStation 4. Developers who want their games on the Xbox One will still have to go through a publisher.
From this, we can probably expect to see less indie games on the Xbox One, as Microsoft will be requiring indie game developers to get a publisher for their game before it can be played on the Xbox One. Getting a publisher doesn’t seem too outright, but it requires indie devs to find someone who is willing to take a risk on an indie game. Plus, the publisher also gets a cut of the profits, meaning less money goes to the indie developers.
Xbox Live Arcade is a separate corner all by itself that features smaller, lesser-known games compared to the $60 AAA games that we all know and love. You can usually find some great deals in this section, with a few good games only costing as little as $5, but they still require a publisher for them to be accepted. Xbox Live Indie Games, on the other hand, doesn’t require a publisher, but that section has seen less and less activity.
Indie games have thrived on mobile platforms, as well as on the PC through Steam, meaning that indie developers aren’t really bothering all that much with console versions of their games. However, both Sony and Nintendo have begun to embrace the indie game market, and because of that, many people might be wondering why Microsoft is looking the other way. Then again, Microsoft says that they’re constantly looking at different business models that will provide more content for Xbox users, so it’s possible that the company may change its ways in the future.
Will this change gamers’ minds about the Xbox One, though? Possibly. For those who show massive support for the indie game market, this will certainly be a downer for them, but this probably won’t affect initial sales of the new console, as indie game fans are only a small percentage of all the Xbox users around the world.