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