Like Xbox 360 before it, independent developers won’t be able to self-publish titles through Xbox Live on Xbox One, Microsoft has confirmed. In fact, the marketplace on Xbox One will no longer contain separate channels for Xbox Live Arcade and XBL Indie Games.
Indies will need to have a publisher
Micorsoft will still allow indie devs the opportunity to publish titles on the Xbox One platform, but the XBLIG sector on the Xbox 360 system isn’t as large of a financial boon to developers as the Xbox Live Arcade section.
In order to release games through XBL Arcade, the developers must use a third-party publisher or get a publishing deal through Microsoft Game Studios.
“As of right now, we intend to continue to court developers in the ways that we have,” Matt Booty, general manager of Redmond Game Studios and Platforms, told Shacknews.
“I would also expect that for this new generation, that we’re going to continue to explore new business models and new ways of surfacing content. But Microsoft Studios is a publisher that works with a wide range of partners, as do a lot of other people, to bring digital content to the box.”
Sony and Nintendo currently allow developers to self-publish through PSN and eShop, and both – especially Sony with PS4 – have been supportive of indie developers, especially of late.
Games will no longer carry distinctions on the Marketplace
With Xbox One, there will no longer be separate sections such as Xbox Live Indie Games and Xbox Live Arcade, so this could be a boon to indie developers in the long run.
Speaking with Eurogamer, Microsoft corporate vice president Phil Harrison said that the days of “discrete channels or discrete silos,” are over with the release of Xbox One.
“In the past we had retail games which came on disc, we had Xbox Live Arcade and we had Indie Games, and they had their own discrete channels or discrete silos,” Harrison said. “With Xbox One and the new marketplace, they’re games. We don’t make a distinction between whether a game is a 50-hour RPG epic or whether it is a puzzle game or whether it is something that fits halfway between the two.”
Harrison said that by combining all offerings available on the marketplace, Microsoft can help draw better attention to titles it thinks will be “exciting” to its user base.
“We don’t give up the ability to put a spotlight on the products that we think are going to be exciting to our user base, but in addition to that, what your friends are playing, what other people think is hot in your area, your country, your continent, will propagate up the most interesting and exciting games,” he said.
While this is good news for indies wanting the same attention brought to their products as triple-A gets, having space next to everything available could possibly cause the titles to lost among the content available for core games.
Hopefully, that won’t be the case though.