Two independent developers have said they’ve had a much better experience working with Sony than Microsoft in getting their games into the hands of console gamers.
Braid creator Jonathan Blow told Wired that Microsoft’s approach to independent developers is to “put you through as much pain as you will endure in order to extract whatever [it] feels like this week”.
“Microsoft treats independent developers very badly,” he said, not for the first time.
Blow’s next game, The Witness, was featured during the PlayStation 4’s announce; he said later that Sony didn’t throw cash at him to lure him onstage, but rather that he simply likes the new console and the team at Sony.
Meanwhile, Retro City Rampage creator Brian Provinciano said that Microsoft actually cancelled his game’s launch after the developer made public comments about how difficult the Xbox Live Arcade release process is. He was forced to resubmit, negotiate for six months and bring in a publisher in order to secure release – which was then fluffed on microsoft’s end.
“Someone made a mistake and released it on XBLA for $10 instead of $15, so most of the copies sold earned one-third less off the top,” he said in an email.
Sony, on the other hand, has “been incredibly supportive and promoted the game very well,” he said.
“It’s received a generous amount of promotion at no cost to me, from [advertisements] on the PS Store to events such as E3 and even having it playable on kiosks at every Walmart, Best Buy, GameStop, Target and Future Shop across North America. Never in my wildest dreams would I have expected this to happen.”
Provinciano also heaped praise on the Vita’s development kit, which was distributed free to indies, saying it is one of the easiest he’d ever used.
Sony has been very public about its push to secure indie games for PlayStation 3, Vita and PlayStation 4 over the past few years; Nintendo’s started making similar noises, too.
“Both Sony and Nintendo actively listen to feedback from developers and make improvements,” Provinciano said.