Microsoft pulled the rug from beneath Kinect developers when it dropped the device from its Xbox One bundles, one developer has said, but its future could depend on how indie studios use it.
It's a feeling I shared in my article Kinect is Dead: even these awesome mods couldn’t keep it alive. Hit it up for examples of cool Kinect projects coming out of the indie scene that Microsoft seems to have ignored over the years.
Now, speaking with Develop, Paul Mottram, studio head for Zumba Fitness developer Zoë Mode, said, "From a developer point of view it's a shame, as it all but kills the chances of making an original Kinect title unless it is a major licensed Fitness or Dance product – and even those will suffer as it's unlikely we'll see Kinect 2 units even come close to the installed base of the original now. Even then it was a challenge.
"I just feel sorry for those developers who had Kinect titles in development who’ve had the rug pulled from beneath them and may now stand little chance of seeing a return on their investment."
It follows Dance Central and Fantasia: Music Evolved developer Harmonix expressing complete surprise over Microsoft's decision, as if it had absolutely no idea that the u-turn was coming. If true, it hardly seems fair.
But still, there could be hope yet. Mottram suggested that perhaps Kinect's future lies with indies, given their capacity to try out riskier ideas and push innovation without the pressure of huge return-on-investments.
He mused that perhaps indies could find a "killer use for Kinect that will change the minds of the doubters," and added, "Smaller developers may try something new with the peripheral that mainstream publishers would were not willing to gamble on."
What do you think? Could Kinect prosper under indies? Let us know below.