Microsoft confirms self-publishing on Xbox One

Wednesday, 24th July 2013 19:28 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Microsoft has confirmed that it will allow self-publishing on Xbox One as well as confirming earlier reports the console will double as a dev kit.

Microsoft had previously stated games could not be self-published on its new Xbox One console, and that even independent developers would need the backing of a publisher. But like with its DRM policies, the firm has once again done a 180-degree turn on the matter.

“Our vision is that every person can be a creator,” said Microsoft’s Marc Whitten to Engadet. “That every Xbox One can be used for development. That every game and experience can take advantage of all of the features of Xbox One and Xbox Live.

“This means self-publishing. This means Kinect, the cloud, achievements. This means great discoverability on Xbox Live. We’ll have more details on the program and the timeline at gamescom in August.”

Earlier today, a Game Informer report stated that Microsoft was posed to announce a new policy which will allow independent developers to self-publish. The changes would allow developers to set release dates, pricing, and the certification process is said to be similar to iTunes in that certification will last around 14-days.

This wasn’t the first report we’d seen on the matter, nor the second and earlier this month, Lionhead Studios’ creative director Gary Carr, said Microsoft was “passionate” about indies and that corporate VP Phil Harrison would be unveiling the firm’s strategy “very soon”.

Today’s report also stated that standard Xbox One units at retail would allow users to covert it over to a debug console to play pre-release code. This would be implemented via Microsoft authorizing specific consoles to play said pre-release codes and for large-scale beta testing. However this option will not be available at launch.

Looks like gamescom will be the place to be when it comes to more Xbox One information.



  1. MCTJim

    More good news for indie devs and those that enjoy their games.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. Lengendaryboss

    How many times has it been rumoured: Three? Feels like i have seen this three times.

    Anyway that last paragraph sounds intriguing but MS why u no announce this at E3? Instead of four months from launch?

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Joe Musashi

    “Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others.”

    GM ;)

    #3 1 year ago
  4. Viremi

    So now we are down to 4 “major” distinctions between the two upcoming consoles :

    User Interface / marketplace
    Power / Memory allocation

    I still will be getting a PS4 at launch, but I am glad Xbox made this change, I think it is the only change they really needed to address.

    Inb4 Sony Fanboy… Nah, I just have 0 desire for Kinect

    #4 1 year ago
  5. Rikki

    Good, I still won’t be getting one, but this is great news.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. Stephany Nunneley

    @2 Yes. Three. Links to the other two are in the post.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. SplatteredHouse

    If that’s true about the dev kit transformation, two questions; firstly, what would be the point of these:
    Then, what’s to stop the less scrupulous forcing the console into becoming a dev kit, without Microsoft’s involvement?

    #7 1 year ago
  8. KAP

    Yea great news. Just makes you wonder, MS only took this stance because of Sonys own policies.. which is why, ultimately healthy competition/rivalry is always a good thing in the long term no matter what Sony and MS has or hasn’t done in the past, present or future.

    The only true winners is the gamer.
    But with that said though I’m still avoiding the Xbone and getting a PS4, my opinion at this point is it just seems more appealing.

    Xbox One is just carrying way too much baggage for me to even care anymore for their system.

    #8 1 year ago
  9. salarta

    I like how Microsoft is doing what Sony does but some people act as if Microsoft doing it makes them somehow better than when Sony does it.

    I’m not saying Microsoft doing this is “bad.” This is smart. They’re taking what people want and adopting it into their plan, with the aim of selling more of their consoles and getting more consumers on board. That’s what businesses are supposed to do. It’s just that Microsoft doing it doesn’t suddenly make it better just because it’s Microsoft.

    Of course, most people that think these things through know that Microsoft wouldn’t be doing any of this if they weren’t competing with Sony. Without Sony keeping them in check this time around, they’d be price-gouging and cutting consumer rights like crazy. We saw that vividly with their original DRM plans.

    #9 1 year ago
  10. loci

    “Greatness imitated” ~_~

    #10 1 year ago
  11. Fethennour

    Looks like Microsoft once again used their Sharingan to imitate Sony’s moves.
    We already knew “copy ninja Kakashi”, now, please welcome “copy company Microsoft”.

    #11 1 year ago
  12. bradk825

    I’ll wait until MS makes the annoucement before believing it. How many “according to”s have happened and MS has had to come out and say “we never said that” so far?

    #12 1 year ago
  13. MrWaffles

    PR catch-up with cheese coming up!

    “What’s that? Sony Is bundlin a butt scratcher with at launch? Goddamn, let’s get working on the Buttscratcher ONE asap people!”

    #13 1 year ago
  14. Kreion

    I agree in…some ways that you have a point. But this is how business works as you pointed out – there’s not much to be said about it.

    This isn’t about Sony ‘keeping them in check’, that makes THEM sound better just because it’s Sony doing it. All Sony are doing right now is waiting for Microsoft to do something and then watch the reception and make their move – I don’t blame them for that but that also doesn’t make them a good company. There are no good companies. For all we know Sony had their own DRM plans and just had a change of plans when they saw the backlash…we’ll never know. Even now Sony could very easily make a bad decision, which is why they’re waiting for Microsoft to test the waters xD

    Either way it’s the nature of capitalism and competition – if you think that’s somehow lamentable then you better get ready to throw away a LOT of your stuff. It’s pretty much all copied off someone.

    #14 1 year ago
  15. loci

    @14 “Sony had their own DRM plans and just had a change of plans when they saw the backlash”

    Sony told us their support for used game and no online checks in February:

    #15 1 year ago
  16. Lengendaryboss

    Well colour me surprised:

    “Our vision is that every person can be a creator. That every Xbox One can be used for development. That every game and experience can take advantage of all of the features of Xbox One and Xbox LIVE. This means self-publishing. This means Kinect, the cloud, achievements. This means great discoverability on Xbox LIVE. We’ll have more details on the program and the timeline at gamescom in August.”

    #16 1 year ago
  17. dex3108

    Xbox One reaction to new MS decision XD

    #17 1 year ago
  18. bradk825


    #18 1 year ago
  19. hud4995

    The Xbox One is slowly becoming a PS4

    #19 1 year ago
  20. Ireland Michael

    “Our vision is that every person can be a creator. That every Xbox One can be used for development. That every game and experience can take advantage of all of the features of Xbox One and Xbox Live.”

    Then why, prey tell, have you been screwing those people over on the Xbox 360 since the console’s inception? Why is that *now* only your vision when you have had the last 8 years to go give those people a leg up?

    This is a good step, and I’m glad they took it, but stop treating me like a fucking idiot, Microsoft. Your hyperbolic PR bullshit is more patronising than a UK politician.

    #20 1 year ago
  21. Lengendaryboss

    Does it in this case?
    “That every Xbox One can be used for development.” “Our vision is that every person can be a creator.”

    #21 1 year ago
  22. fearmonkey

    Xbox fans should thank Sony and the PS4 for making the Xbox One a better console. First MS backtracked on all the DRM and region locking, and now they are allowing publishing on their console by indies. If MS didn’t have to worry about competition, i highly doubt’t they would be so generous.

    Now if MS would dump the required Kinect and lower the price to $399, they would have a much more appealing console.

    #22 1 year ago
  23. Lengendaryboss

    By everyone although not at launch.

    “i highly doubt’t they would be so generous.” And i think thats part of the reason gamers don’t trust MS and Xbox One.

    “Now if MS would dump the required Kinect and lower the price to $399, they would have a much more appealing console.” This we were so close and now its been denied.

    My point:

    #23 1 year ago
  24. wildBoar

    So this is confirmation that every single one of us could’ve done the job better than the idiots at Microsoft did. They’re soo completely out of touch that something so obvious needed to be spelled out for them.

    Believe in your dreams kids, even abnormally stupid people can be successful.

    #24 1 year ago
  25. ysleiro

    To everyone talking shit.

    #1 the Xbox One hasn’t launched nor had any plans been announced for XBLIG.

    #2 you are forgetting MS allowed self publishing through XBLIG on 360 (XBLA titles had to be published but XBLIG allowed self publishing).

    #25 1 year ago
  26. DrDamn

    Hold on a sec …

    And I quote …
    “i cannot stand all the whining about indies being able to self publish. I would never let a single developer self publish on my network a game that may or may not be flawed or worse be a security risk..No way no how never!”

    So Sony allowing self publishing is a security risk, but MS doing it is good news?

    #26 1 year ago
  27. Fin

    This won’t be as good as it sounds.

    #27 1 year ago
  28. Lengendaryboss

    I wanted to quote that but i have an infamous reputation as “Quotemaster” so i decided to skip.

    #28 1 year ago
  29. MCTJim

    @26 As a decent person, I can admit when I was wrong about the indies..I thought they were just allowed to publish without going through some sort of quality control and being tested. Which after doing a lot of reading on how the process works, I am fine with it. I seriously thought that these developers could just publish a title that could potentially cause a security risk or brick a system.

    and yes its Good news for Indie developers….not for MS so to say, but for indie developers that were whining about their strict policies.

    You have to understand that as a Engineer and Server platform developer, I see security issues on a daily basis and I see programs that people develop that have security flaws..I honestly had no idea of all the controls that are in place that MS has on their platform.

    #29 1 year ago
  30. xxJPRACERxx

    Another good reason to have Kinect with all machines. Now those indies will surely find new and exciting ways to use it!

    #30 1 year ago
  31. pandulce1

    #26 DrDamn

    Well done.

    #31 1 year ago
  32. Major Mayhem 70

    And even when you were trying so hard not to quote….. You quoted. Lmao 😜

    #32 1 year ago
  33. Lengendaryboss

    What @26 said not quotemaster: stop jumping the gun and read carefully.

    #33 1 year ago
  34. freedoms_stain

    “Our vision… changes every other week, who knows what shit we’ll pull out of our asses next!”

    #34 1 year ago
  35. Major Mayhem 70

    1) I’m the one that called you a “quotemaster” in a prior comment.
    2) To put a word or words in between quotation marks just might have a liiiitlte hint that your quoting something…. I don’t know, I might be wrong. Good day 😜 (and by now you should know that that means I’m done with you. Of course till the next article that I feel I must interject my common sense. I mean “conspiracy theories”. Darn, there goes those pesky quotation marks again 😜

    #35 1 year ago
  36. ChunkyLover112

    It’s official: ps4′s finished.

    #36 1 year ago
  37. Joe Musashi

    @29 “...I honestly had no idea of all the controls that are in place that MS has on their platform.

    Really? You ONLY became aware of practices that have been in place for console software publishing for over two decades within a few moments of Microsoft’s “me too” announcement. Really? Really?

    As a so-called Engineer and so-called Server platform developer you are remarkably out of touch with standard practices common to platform development.

    Personally I’m loving the Microsoft policy changes. All the commenters that supported one policy or feature and criticised another who then magically u-turn their principles perfectly in sync with Microsoft’s flip-flopping make it extremely easy to see who is just a company follower/astroturfer and who is genuine. No, don’t bother protesting your innocence, it’s a bit late for that.


    #37 1 year ago
  38. pcbros

    This is big for Microsoft! So a developer can spend $500 on an Xbox One and start developing. Developing for Sony will cost $2500 for a dev kit.

    What a rollercoaster…

    #38 1 year ago
  39. Phoenixblight


    Wrong. You still have to apply and pay to access that debug mode.

    #39 1 year ago
  40. redwood

    It’s the app discovery that matters.. allowing people to self publish is good but it doesn’t appeal to small and new devs to port over to a new console knowing that the audience will probably never get to see or know about their game when they are in the shop.
    Also dev relations is also a big thing. but not as big as app discovery. A small tour of PSN store is all you need to know how balanced sony’s stance is when it comes to focusing both on AAA’s and Indies.

    #40 1 year ago
  41. redwood

    and i wonder what the next U-turn will be about :)

    #41 1 year ago
  42. zoopdeloop

    comming up next.
    Free BJ’s for everyone who preorders :P
    the way i’m seeing it Sony wants to sell big time while Microsoft wants to dominate the market out of their own gloating

    #42 1 year ago
  43. cRAZYcROgUY

    Good job,Sony,well done,thanks.

    #43 1 year ago
  44. DrDamn

    Good for you. Not enough people admit their mistakes :)

    #44 1 year ago
  45. Ge0force

    Xbox fans should thank Sony for causing all this good news from Microsoft the past few weeks. They should buy a ps4 instead for this :D

    #45 1 year ago
  46. Fin

    Best guess:

    This will run on retail kits, but will require a fee to enable.
    Won’t be Day 1.
    Limited, sandboxed mode of operation (3GB, runs inside OS partition).
    Self publishing, like XBLIG, not XBLA.
    Sim-ship on W8 store (that’s more speculative).

    Yeah the running on retail consoles is fucking cool, but I have a hard time believing this is a serious reversal of MS’s policies.



    Doesn’t matter how good indie games are if they’re buried under a mountain of AAA DLC in the store.

    #46 1 year ago
  47. mistermogul

    It really should have been called the Xbox 180!

    #47 1 year ago
  48. broomburgo

    I don’t care about the fact that Microsoft is turning its back and embracing the good way: it’s clear that everything they say is potentially bullshit, it’s clear that they cannot be trusted and that they’re completely unreliable. Seriously, Sony makes all the right choices while Microsoft tries to kill console gaming, then Microsoft says “yeah, you know, we were joking” and everything is suddenly ok? How much Microsoft fanboy can an individual be to think something like that? Right now a good message to Microsoft should be: “you disappointed us, we don’t trust you anymore, you should work to gain our trust again”.

    #48 1 year ago
  49. broomburgo

    Also, self publishing is pointless if the store is not curated.

    #49 1 year ago
  50. Lv01

    the funniest part of the entire of the interview, is that “Our vision” is in the same breath as “This means self-publishing”.

    since when was your “vision” about self-publishing? because it certainly wasn’t back at E3 time when you confirmed that indies would still need publishers…

    and, yeah, agreeing with a lot of people about the store. my understanding of the MS XBLA set up is that the reason you needed a publisher was so that you had a ‘space’, a ‘slot’ if you will within the store to place your game. the bigger publishers (dependant on how many AAA games you have in your portfolio) are awarded more slots in the store. higher visibility. so indies needed publishers not just to get a deal to publish, but also to get a slot. so they can now self publish? but will anybody be able to find the game in the store to buy it?

    #50 1 year ago
  51. Lengendaryboss

    Thats what i find the most ironic: but he said he was wrong which just happened to link up with the time MS announced this.

    Although other commenters like him are nowhere to be seen.

    #51 1 year ago
  52. MCTJim

    No sir, I am around…and I posted my comment last night before I went to bed. Geezz give a guy a break

    #52 1 year ago
  53. MCTJim

    @37 Really?…my company has been around for over 24 years. We develop and engineer platforms for Windows Server Family. So I wouldnt know MS’s protocol and policy specifically for XBox or XBox live.

    You can insult me all you want, but, its not gonna change the fact that I still know little or nothing about the xbox self publish…just like you know little about Server Platform development and the Engineering aspects that revolved around it.

    #53 1 year ago
  54. deathm00n

    @53 And this is why where I come from we don’t talk about things we don’t know. You contradict yourself once more, who was the one to trhow an uninformed comment about security breaches and other things that were guesses, not facts?

    #54 1 year ago
  55. MCTJim

    @54 again, I admitted I was wrong AFTER doing a lot of reading..and I get crucified for it still…I still know little or nothing about their policy on how to self publishing on the X1 and I wont be publishing anything on it..I do not deal with consoles nor will we ever. I was more concerned again about security of how it was done..that is what i read on….and i am satisfied.

    and in my own defense..uninformed comment? where on this entire site was there anything detailing on how the process works…not vague or guesses or half assed quotes. I couldnt find I went into my developers portal and posed the question where I was given links to see how the process works in summary. Nothing in great detail, but I now understand…if anything rather vaguely on how the certification process works..again it was not in great detail.

    You are also not understanding, that, from an engineering standpoint its rather scary.. look at the android and apple market places…how many apps made by developers have bricked phone? Literally hundreds…that is why I said no freaking way in the first place..their process is just to join, and then certs in place at all…

    again, i was wrong on what I thought..I now know vaguely on how it works and it satisfies me

    #55 1 year ago

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