Oddworld co-creator Lorne Lanning has explained why his ‘New ‘N Tasty’ remake of Abe’s Oddysee will not hit Xbox 360 or Xbox One in a new interview. In short; Microsoft still isn’t letting developers self-publish on its platforms, so he’s not buckling.
In an interview with Eurogamer, Lanning suggested that Microsoft only has eyes for bit, multi-million generating hits and sees indies and small teams as a weak prospect. He added that he has been trying to speak with Microsoft about releasing New ‘N Tasty on Xbox formats without success.
“For Xbox One they’ve granted us a license for New ‘n’ Tasty! but they still say you need a publisher,” Lanning explained. “We don’t have a publisher so we’re not officially on the platform, even though we’re compatible, even though we’ll be ready to do it. Period.
“Why do we need a publisher when we self-finance our games, we build our own IP, we manage our own IP and we’ve turned nearly two million units online as indie publishers sold – not free downloads? Why? What’s wrong with us?
“It’s a different level of perspective. Is it ridiculous? I guess it depends on what seat you’re sitting in. But I think right now Wall Street is seeing something else that’s ridiculous and we’re seeing it reflected in public companies’ stock values.
“Who’s in touch with their audience? And who seems out of touch with their audience? All we know is we’ve tried to get our games on their platform and we can’t do it – and I even helped them release the box.”
When I spoke with Lanning last year, it was clear that he has no love for capitalism and the desire to make money without then investing it back into something useful, such as more Oddworld games. In fact, he told me the whole series has anti-consumerist and institution undertones.
Lanning added that because Sony has many seasoned gamers helping formulate the company’s PS4 strategy, that it offers developers on the platform more freedom to try crazy and innovative ideas.
Despite being blocked by Microsoft’s need to have a publisher, Lanning said that while he may consider siding with a publisher to get the game released on Xbox consoles, he won’t sign a deal unless it makes sense from a revenue standpoint.
Lanning concluded, “I’ve had people tell me, ‘dude, just go up there, you’re losing millions of dollars.’ You know what? Oddworld wasn’t built on selling out.”
What do you make of Microsoft’s need to have a publisher? Is it old-hat? Is Sony doing it better? Let us know what you think below.