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Microsoft won't let indies self-publish on Xbox One

"We intend to continue to court developers in the ways that we have."

In contrast to Sony with its PlayStation Store, Nintendo with its eShop and Valve with Steam, Microsoft won't let independent developers self-publish on Xbox One.

Instead, they must seek a publishing deal either with Microsoft itself or a third-party - as is the case with Xbox 360 and Xbox Live Arcade currently.

When Shacknews asked if developers would still need a publisher to get content onto Xbox Live, Matt Booty, general manager of Redmond Game Studios and Platforms, said: "As of right now, yes. We intend to continue to court developers in the ways that we have."

He added: "I would also expect that for this new generation, that we're going to continue to explore new business models and new ways of surfacing content. But Microsoft Studios is a publisher that works with a wide range of partners, as do a lot of other people, to bring digital content to the box."

Microsoft's decision may make it much harder for indie games to appear on Xbox One than the PS4, Wii U and Steam, and it has already been questioned by developers. "Oh dear," wrote Thomas Was Alone designer Mike Bithell on Twitter. "So it looks like you won't be seeing #project2 on your Xbox One..."

And this, from Toki Tori 2 developer Two Tribes, also on Twitter: "No self publishing on Xbox One probably means no Two Tribes games. This was really a chance for Microsoft to fix the broken XBLA setup. :("

Just Add Water's Stranger's Wrath HD was one high-profile game that failed to release on Xbox 360 because of Microsoft's strict rules.

Sony in particular has made a strong indie game push in recent months. Two weeks ago it launched an indie game category on the PlayStation Store. Before that it secured the release of a number of eye-catching indie games for PlayStation, including Luftrausers, Hotline Miami and the aforementioned Thomas Was Alone. Eurogamer's Jeffrey Matulef investigated the Japanese company's new-found love of all things indie in a feature published last month.

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About the Author
Wesley Yin-Poole avatar

Wesley Yin-Poole

Deputy Editorial Director

Wesley is deputy editorial director of ReedPop. He likes news, interviews, and more news. He also likes Street Fighter more than anyone can get him to shut up about it.

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