While the user side of the Xbox One / PlayStation 4 equation might never come in contact directly with the ID@Xbox program, it’s leaving a lasting impression on independent developers aiming to create next-generation games. Most recently you’ll find The Fullbright Company’s Steve Gaynor speaking with NowGamer about how, due to their relatively small size, launching on a single platform is really their only realistic option.
Speaking on how Microsoft’s ID@Xbox program still works with a clause that suggests games be released at the same time on their platform as their opponents, or not at all, Gaynor noted, “if you’re talking to Sony and Microsoft, and Microsoft is like, ‘well you can’t be on Xbox if you’re on PlayStation first, but it’s easier to be on PS4 because better terms, you’ll just be like, ‘okay lets just be on PlayStation.'”
While some companies opt to release their games to Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Wii U, and PS Vita all at once, Gaynor suggests that this “sounds kind of crazy” but that, regardless of the world that goes into a launch as such, “some people do it.” Speaking in late December, 2013, Xbox One’s Indy Developer sect leader Chris Charla noted with Edge how they might be thinking about changing the rules – or at least bending them some time in the future.
“Obviously we’ve heard the feedback from developers and we’re looking at all the way the ways we can to lower barriers for developers, but I really can’t comment on publishing policies. The reality is that developers should get in touch with us and talk.” – Chris Charla for Microsoft
Speaking rather highly of Charla earlier that month, Indy Development group Vlambeer’s co-founder Rami Ismail spoke with Joystiq about how “Chris Charla is a person that genuinely cares about games.”
Ismail also suggested that they would “go through the gauntlet” and let the world know how “risky or unpleasant” an experience it was, if it was at all. Good news was, at that time, that Microsoft’s program was good to go.
“So far, there’s nothing but good news when it comes to the program – Microsoft seems to have taken the cue from Sony and joined the platforms that allow for self-publishing.
Especially considering that this is still sort a pilot program, they’re doing great. More platforms allowing for self-publishing is good news for everyone that makes games, and in the end, that’s the part we really care about.” – Rami Ismail
Now we’ll be seeing independent games continue to hit both platforms, with the help of the platform’s assistive development teams for these smaller groups, we would hope, to bring cross-platform indy-excellence to the world as much as possible, of course!