Make no mistake about it, Microsoft are currently playing catch-up in the Indies race; their rivals are currently clocking in at over 1000 Independent developers and counting compared to a mere 250 developers on point for the Xbox One. The race is far from over though with ID@Xbox making significant improvements according to a host of prominent members of the Indie scene.
Speaking with Edge Magazine, Hyper Light Drifter creator Alex Preston said that the relationship was not always productive but is constantly improving with credit going to Chris Charla, head of ID@Xbox: “Microsoft used to be ******** about it, for sure…But they’ve become a lot friendlier and that’s to do with Chris [Charla] and his team. He’s awesome. He’s a major proponent for smaller developers like us.”
Another developer benefitting from a much friendlier Indie policy is Gaijin Entertainment. Whilst Gaijin’s War Thunder is not in the works for the Xbox One at the moment, CEO Anton Yudintsev implied that it would not be ruled it out completely by praising the new ID@Xbox program. War Thunder is not currently on the Xbox One because Microsoft is refusing Xbox/PC cross-platform play.
I have spent a lot of time playing War Thunder on PC, and I can say that Xbox is missing out.
One game that is making its way to the Xbox One is Strike Suit Zero: Director’s Cut and Born Ready Games CEO James Brooksby hinted that some of the bureaucracy has been lifted: “The right kind of people are being put in place around this–it doesn’t feel like we have that kind of bureaucratic, corporate stuffy-suits people…There’s clearly a gathering of people with the right mentality coming in and that makes a big difference. It feels like internally a lot of people have been campaigning for this.”
This is all very good news in regards to the future of Indies on Xbox One but a perpetual figure lurking in the background is still Microsoft’s Indie parity clause which is a severe turn-off for smaller Indie developers. ID@Xbox is making all the right moves at the moment but the parity clause must go; not this ‘we’ll review it on a case-by-case basis’ but gone entirely, it is nonsensical and archaic which is turning into a case of two steps forward, one step back.
Games like Below are the future of ID@Xbox but only if Microsoft can play ball.