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Indie Developers Will Be Able To Self-Publish On Xbox One

In a report on Game Informer, which has now been confirmed by Microsoft, the restrictive policies that do nothing but hinder indie developers looking to bring their games to the Xbox One will be removed. After reversing their unpopular policies surrounding the console’s previously required Internet connection and restrictions on trading and loaning the games we buy, Microsoft has pulled another 180 — another Xbox One-80, if you will — that should make indie developers very happy.

Sony currently allows developers to self-publish their games on the PlayStation 4, but until now, the same wasn’t true for the Xbox One. Details after the jump.

This change in policy means developers will be able to seek digital distribution without the aid of a third party publishing partner, or by pairing up with Microsoft.

“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,” said Xbox chief product officer Marc Whitten. “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.” Microsoft confirmed in a statement on these pending changes to their game policies.

It sounds like indie developers might matter to them after all.

Under these new guidelines, devs will be able to set the price and release date of their games, rather than having both chosen for them by Microsoft or a publishing partner.

Their certification process has also been tweaked, allowing for a 14-day turnaround on approvals to submitted games, to make sure they’re free of game-breaking bugs or terms of service violations.

Getting an Xbox One dev kit will be easier, too. Every retail console will be capable of acting as such. This feature won’t be available when the Xbox One launches this November, but Microsoft plans on implementing it at a later date.

I hope we get a ‘making of’ documentary that follows the development of the Xbox One, because I think it’d be a fascinating watch.

Since Microsoft is essentially re-writing the Xbox One platform, how many petitions is it going to take to ship this baby with a headset?

Have a question? Feel free to ever-so-gently toss Adam an email, or follow him on Twitter and Bloody Disgusting.



  • J-SiN

    While I am glad to see them understand what the gaming community wants; two lefts, or in this case four, still don’t make a right. Ultimately when a project is conceived, you start with a vision. They clearly had blinders on in that meeting.

    This will be the first time ever I skip a console, two of them at that. I’ll stick with the PS4 and wait it out to see if Nintendo or Microsoft can do anything to make me change my mind.

  • ookieSpookie

    Keep in mind these updates to the story:

    1 :Xbox One self-publishing won’t be ready at launch, but will hit within the first year we’re told via @Polygon

    2: The marketplace MIGHT be open for everyone, ie be a haven for literally anyone to develop like iOS and XBLIG.

    “While Microsoft’s plans are certainly ambitious, with everyone being able to self-publish games, there is a real

    threat that Xbox Live can become as cluttered as the app stores on iOS and Android today–especially because there won’t be any segregation between retail, downloadable, and indie games on the Marketplace. Whitten says that surfacing will be the big challenge for Microsoft. “I still believe strongly in curation, and that means how do we present users with the content that’s most relevant to them?””

    3: And while Microsoft pretends this was their intent all along, A few months ago this was not being planned by them internally, and they explicitly said it wasn’t going to be possible (and that was the clear message behind closed doors). There were even factions within Microsoft aware of the stupidity of the situation who were proactively looking for loopholes to effectively allow self publishing in a practical sense even if it wasn’t technically the case.

    This is a change in policy and strategy from earlier in the year, and the fact it isn’t going to be ready at launch is evidence that this change is recent.

    There WILL be strings, there will be catches and there will be HUGE buts connected by the time this is active.

  • wildgator25


    That is all

  • Nothing333

    Microsoft: ” hey guys remember everything we said a month ago. Disregard all of it. “. I’m not complainingmas I love xbox but damn it’s funny. At least we know they are listening and can learn.

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