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Xbox One to allow indie creators to self publish games on Xbox Live?

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The Xbox One console will allow for smaller, independent game developers to publish their titles on the Xbox Live Arcade without a Microsoft-certified partner, according to reports.

Perhaps in a bid to rival the Sony PS4 console as a haven for the little guys outside of the major studios, Microsoft will soon announce a drastic overhaul its publishing policies, Game Informer sources claimed on Tuesday.

Within the current Xbox 360 ecosystem, independent developers are unable to push games onto the online portal without the backing of a publishing partner approved by the Redmond, Washington-based company.

News of the potential change comes two months after Microsoft initially confirmed that self-publishing wouldn't be an option for smaller developers, leading to criticisms from developers and gamers alike. Could we be about to see yet another Xbox 180?

Game Informer believes the announcement will open the door for game creators to set their own release dates, prices, at part of a new iTunes-like approval process. The report claims Microsoft is aiming for a turnaround time of around 14-days between submission and the game being made available on Xbox Live.

As well as the proposed relaxed publishing restrictions, today's update also claimed every Xbox One console can be transformed into a debug unit for creating content, opening the door to yet more developers.

In a statement from Xbox VP Marc Witten, Microsoft said it wants everyone to be a creator and that the full announcement will be made at the gamescom expo in Cologne, which kicks off in less than a month.

He said: "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."

Microsoft's more open stance towards the indies would go some way to making up the perceived deficiency compared to the Sony PS4.

The Japanese company spent valuable time during its E3 2013 keynote announcing exclusive independent titles for its console, which will be available to download from the PlayStation Network.

Next, read our Xbox One vs Xbox 360 comparison.

Via Ars Technica

Matthew Bunton

July 25, 2013, 12:45 pm

They really have no idea what they are doing. They have basically had to do the very opposite of everything they stated at E3 and other press events.

andyvan

July 25, 2013, 2:24 pm

Microsoft does seem to be backtracking rather spectacularly. As I wrote a few months ago, it could have been okay if they had thrown their hands up and admitted all their mistakes up-front. The longer they slowly back peddle, the less trust I have for them.

Matthew Bunton

July 25, 2013, 3:01 pm

I agree Andy. Unfortunately their vision is completely unclear now it's just being amended in response to Sony's stance and consumer response.

At least if they had stuck to their original remit we could have respected that as they were trying to take the industry in a new direction. A direction which I'm sure will eventually happen anyway.

Admittedly I wasn't keen on a lot of their original ideas but lets face it nobody likes change. Besides I am very happy with the Steam process and I think that they were just trying to bring that to the console industry.

As it stands I'm with you and have little trust in them now.

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