Independent developer Capybara Games has enjoyed a profitable and supportive publisher relationship with Microsoft, in contrast to vocal detractors.
“I think there’s a huge push in gaming, on the independent side, towards the value of self-publishing, and we obviously have bought into that pretty hard though the Apple store and through Steam or PS3. But we’ve also had a very positive relationship with the Microsoft Studios folks,” Capybara co-founder and president Nathan Vella told OXM.
Vella said Capybara didn’t have big plans for Super Time Force until it was approached by Microsoft, which made all the difference.
“I think there’s a lot of really good reasons why people want self-publishing – they want control of their IP, they want control of their destiny. But when you have a really strong partnership and – well, I can’t speak for other studios’ experiences, I can’t confirm or deny the goods and the bads. All I know is my experience of working with the guys at MS Studios is that they’ve been very supportive,” he continued.
“I have nothing but positive things to say about those guys. When we told them: ‘Hey, we want to keep working on Time Force as a pet project’ – no big deal, didn’t faze them at all. When we said we wanted to fund our own stuff – no big deal, didn’t faze them at all. They’re our partners, but we still control our destiny, and I think that’s a great foundation for a relationship.”
Dishwasher developer Ska Studios has also been a strident supporter of Microsoft’s indie policies, but others like Oddwolrd creator Lorne Lanning, Retro City Rampage dev Brian Provinciano, and Fez creator Phil Fish have been less complimentary.
At gamescom 2013, Microsoft announced a new indie publishing initiative called ID@Xbox, which is intended to address criticism of the lack of publishing options on the Xbox One.