“Oddworld wasn’t built on selling out.”
There’s been a swell of support for the beleaguered Xbox One in the few days since its conference, but one group it seems yet to win over could be a crucial one: indie developers.
Oddworld Inhabitants, who are bringing their HD remake of Abe’s Oddysee to PS4, and DayZ developer Dean Hall have both criticised Microsoft’s approval policies, which stipulate that you have to have a publisher to sell a game via the Xbox Live Arcade.
Oddworld boss Lorne Lanning, who partnered with Microsoft to produce Munch’s Oddysee for the original Xbox launch, told Eurogamer that none of their titles will feature on the console until the process changes.
“For Xbox One they’ve granted us a license for New ‘n’ Tasty! but they still say you need a publisher. We don’t have a publisher so we’re not officially on the platform, even though we’re compatible, even though we’ll be ready to do it. Period.
“Why do we need a publisher when we self-finance our games, we build our own IP, we manage our own IP and we’ve turned nearly two million units online as indie publishers sold – not free downloads?
“Why? What’s wrong with us?”
Hall was more charitable towards Microsoft – “Like, the sun is not shining out of Sony’s ass or anything” – but expressed concern over another lingering aspect of their online market: paying to issue updates for games.
“Paying money for updates is a very difficult proposition for DayZ. I mean, I’m sure that means you can turn around and you can negotiate stuff with Microsoft; but what happens to the other indies?”
In fairness to Microsoft, the update fee ostensibly goes towards rigorous QA testing. Whether this leads to buggier games and more frequent updates on PS4 rather remains to be seen.