One vocal indie developer has confirmed my growing fears surrounding the Xbox One and its support — or lack thereof — of indie games. In a recent interview with VG247, Oddworld Inhabitant co-founder Lorne Lanning discussed the perils of getting his studio’s game, Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath HD, on the Xbox Live Marketplace.
Apparently, it’s no easy feat. Microsoft made them wait for over a year with little communication before eventually not allowing them to release their game on XBLA. “We’re not on the radar. We’re little guys. It doesn’t seem like any of the little guys are on the radar. When we listen to them talk, we have to laugh. It’s pure rhetoric.” Lanning told VG247. More after the jump.
Lanning’s statements mirror that of several other indie developers, including Fez creator Phil Fish, who aren’t happy with Microsoft’s treatment of the little guys.
This lack of support from Microsoft has led to a gradual exodus of indie developers away from the Xbox platforms. Many of these developers are finding their homes on PC, usually through Steam, or on Sony’s significantly more inviting platform.
Currently, if you want to purchase an indie game on the Xbox 360, you can visit the indie or arcade section to find what you’re looking for. On the Xbox One, every category has been merged into one Frankencategory, making it more difficult to find games from smaller studios. On top of this, Microsoft also won’t allow indie developers to self-publish their games — instead they’ll need to find a third party publisher for distribution.
It’s worth mentioning the PlayStation 4 does none of this. Indie devs get the spotlight they deserve and they can self-publish their games rather than spending additional money on a middle man. Sony’s support of indie games was apparent when, during their pre-E3 media briefing, they actually spent time showing off the many indie games that are coming to exclusively to the PS4 (and in many cases, PC) — including two very high profile horror games, Daylight and Outlast.
“Right now people like us are clearly not in Xbox One’s business model. And there’s nothing we can do about that,” Lanning added. “Ten years from now, the biggest banners out there, the hundred million dollar games, are going to be what happened in the indie community.”
“Someone’s going to be burning the next hundred million dollar properties here, and it might be the least likely guy that was on that stage at the Sony conference. But that’s where it’s going to come from, and the smart people know that. I don’t see any indication of that foresight up in Redmond. They do not seem to be listening to their audience.”
We know Microsoft is currently prepping a Gamescom press conference. Hopefully they’ll shed more light on this situation at the event.