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Microsoft: Indie developers can self-publish on the Xbox One

Xbox One

Microsoft has taken a lot of flak for how they’ve handled communication with the Xbox One since it was unveiled in mid-May. The product itself wasn’t terrible flawed, just how they communicated ideas to the public was really off. Here’s a move that could go a long way in repairing relationships with consumers and developers with the Xbox One. Self-publishing is coming.

Before we continue, it’s worth noting that the ability to self-publish is something that Microsoft has evidently been working on for quite some time. Why they didn’t just announce it earlier and detail specifics later is beyond me, but this is what Marc Whitten, corporate vice president of Xbox, had to say in a statement:

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.

Gamescom is scheduled to take place in Cologne, Germany from the 21st through 25th of August. We’ll learn more about how everyone can be a creator on the next Xbox One.

Microsoft has already teased about Windows 8 apps working on the next-generation Xbox, but hasn’t given specifics about games from indie developers.

Source: Major Nelson

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Reader comments

Microsoft: Indie developers can self-publish on the Xbox One

73 Comments

That should give the biased tech/gaming folks one less thing to whine about. And same to Indies. No more crying about MS now.

There is always a price to publish. Do you think Steam does it for free? As long as its reasonable, it could be a great platform for indys.

Where has this Marc guy been, and why did they let Don practically sink the whole division for so long? I still blame Ballmer for the state of the company, but this latest reorg is perhaps a giant step in the right direction.

It seems like Microsoft has changed most of the policies they had in place at the revealing of the console. I don't know about others, but I'd apreciate it if Microsoft would just use gamescom as a fresh start. Admit they messed up and definitively release the detail about Xbox One. Bury the hatchet!

That's what happens when you have a section head that listens to what people want. Much like what she did that resulted in Windows 8.1.

Yay! It'll be cool to develop for the Xbox One. I just wonder if the store environment will eventually turn from "a few big game companies making quality games" to something like the iPhone market where its,"a LOT of really bad games with a few good ones". I just hope there's still a high quality standard on their games/apps

Self-publishing Windows 8 apps would be insane, more so than the games... But when you consider how developers will be able to draw on Kinect and SmartGlass, then it's absolutely insane. But factor in porting to Windows 8/RT and Phone...
 
Microsoft to Sony: "COME AT ME BRO!"
 

"Microsoft to Sony: "COME AT ME BRO!""
 
Actually I imagine Microsoft and Sony in rap battle and Microsoft just dropped the mic after rapping something incredibly funny about Sony mother...

Its obvious to me that they consider it much safer to not commit to things before there's a solid legal and business or market friendly foundation in place, in order to not have to deal with any loose ends or things that "Angry Birds" can throw to level a "Green Pig's" structure...it makes sense, it may not make the Vox Populi happy, but there's Investors' shares to consider first. While the consumer may dominate a market, Wall St. is who REALLY owns the companies. We all gotta recognize this, and I don't really think these are things that Indies need to worry about until much later. Right, Mark? =/

The XBone is turning more and more into the PS4. Good job for pushing toward consumer/developer wants.

Yeah its kinda funny, but then again I'm sure Microsoft is used to playing catch-up, you know with windows phone and all...

Microsoft rules almost everything,, they are in development stage where everything is turning from being better to best, even though they pulled back most of their decisions, which I think they lost the bet on, but for now they are just using plan B to take the spot again.
So basically they still can take the lead for another ages if they don't change their minds again.

Glad they did this, hopefully this means we'll get the new oddworld game, also does this mean there will be achievements for Indie games?

"This news, whilst awesome is a long way from being detailed. Personally I need to know the full details before we can commit to announcing Oddworld titles for the Xbox family."
Stewart Gilray, Founder, Just Add Water (Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee - New 'n' Tasty) Via Game Informer 
It's a possibility now, but still far from certain. 

It's about time. They still have plenty of work to do to repair their reputation with smaller developers, but this is a good first step.

I'm slowly taking in all this news on what the Xbox One will be bringing to the table.

This is going to be the greatest game console ever created.

I don't think that's been officially confirmed yet, just a widely accepted rumour. Even still, if devs need more ram than that right now then their games need to be better optimized.

Lets be honest here, the IGN fan boys, who RARELY speak for the general public, started a lot of this mess. They were PS3 fans before, & act as though they're abandoning Microsoft for policies which advanced gaming. This was one of those situations. If the Xbox One had a blue LED which was useless, yet always on on its controller, they would complain, but since its on the PS4, its no big deal. Microsoft's online offering, games & development included, has always been superior.

B-Ouya!  Wonder what impact it might have on them considering indie developers will potentially choose between developing for Ouya or the One.

PS4 is looking less appealing the more I hear about X1. Cant wait to use my GT Trailers and IGN apps on my new X1 :)

It's nice to finally hear an official remark on this. I always thought the comment people were referring to about not allowing Indie publishers was taken out of context since all it said was that Microsoft was going to do the same thing for Xbox One as the do for the 360 regarding publishing.

I'm okay with this except for the part of self-publishers having access to achievements. I see that getting abused and damaging the achievement ecosystem for those that care about it.

You know what? They're probably be a limit of 200G per game, and you'd probably have to buy it to get the achievements

As long as it doesn't turn the Marketplace into a Moroccan bazaar...
They better have special care for Achievements meta game, it's successful because it's not abused and have defined rules.

Wasn't terrible flawed? I understand typos but this blog doesn't have a single article without grammar issues. Proofreader badly needed.

Dude go home, your annoying. Who cares if they have typos, they give the best windows related news and thats all that matters.

The content is important, but the presentation is as well. I read this blog daily, because, as you say, its the best (really the only) WP focused horse in the race. It's annoying when not a single article is proofread for basic grammar and spelling. If the community wants to be taken seriously, a legitimate effort needs to be made in copyediting.

As a parent I am assuming the store is moderated. This was MS big concern in a recent interview, that XBox One being in the living room they couldn't have it full of trash.

Despite online popularity of PS4 in UK, Curry's (top electronics chain) have Xbox One at the top for this Xmas.

Xbone proves again that MSFT can't do anything right first time. Wp7, win 8, xboxone...

I'm getting ps4.

You should read the WHOLE article first then post/comment. It clearly states that Microsoft has been working on this for quite sometime, before the May Xbox conference.

Facts do have a nasy habit of doing that... don't they?  Eitherway... since I already have a gaming PC I might go for an X1 if only for the media features. 

ehmm it doesnt even make sense.

1. Xbox one is not even released... so Microsoft can change it to whatever they want. so there is no "first time" because again, its not even a released console.... and microsoft havent talked about alot of new features.
they didnt even say anything about Unity partnership until some weeks ago, because it wasnt ready.
again, its not a released console so Xbox is a WORK IN PROGRESS!

2. have you ever played an Indie game? well they are crap, they will always be crap, and a console without them would be a better console. I bet you are those that talk so much crap and you arent even getting a PS4 you just want to troll because someone who says Xbone cant really be taken seriously.
Of course Xbox will have indie games, and microsoft said they would talk about it, they never said anything about this so i dont know how they "cant do anything right" if they never talked about it? (care to explain?)

3. use your brain next time and maybe you would understand more about this. and dont start talking crap, like if you were smart.

Microsoft is only doing this because Sony is doing it. Sony seems to care a lot more about developers in my opinion because they offered this feature from the beginning, not just after the competition did it

Please read the WHOLE article before you comment/post on here. I advise you to do some research instead of listening to a bunch of morons, who don't know anything. A lot developers pefer the older policies of the Xbox because of greater profits , but Microsoft had to listen to morons like you and change their superior policies. So stop being ignorant and do some research.

wow... so now having crappy indie games is a "feature"?? LOL
do you know xbox360 had indie games? so i dont understand how Microsoft is adding something only because Sony is adding it, when 360 already had it.. of course it was different. but really... all i can say about you its "another idiot on internet" because you really dont know what you are talking about.
starting with "indie games" have you ever seen how many good indie games are out there? yeah.. not many. so I dont know how it is good to see a console with more crappy indie games available.

and again, this is not a feature. and xbox one is a work in progress. only because they havent talked about alot of things it doesnt mean they are "copying" anyone like you are assuming, especially when 360 had indie games, so this is nothing new. they even told about the partnership with Unity engine, some weeks ago, do you think it was a partnership of a 1 weekend talk before they talked about it? no! they are planning all this stuff, the console is released until november they still havent finished alot of things. so please try to research and learn a little, it might help you in the future.

So now it's easier, cheaper, and faster to develop for Xbox One vs PS4?

Oh, and don't say "indie devs don't get API's available for AAA games" because no indie developer has enough resources to make such a game. Not to mention, it'll probably be much harder than C#, C++, JavaScript *shudders*, HTML5, or others it supports