More Xbox One policy change is on the way.
People were rightfully surprised when Microsoft pulled a stunning reversal of its restrictive online DRM policies. But more change with the Xbox One is soon to be announced, as Game Informer has reported that Microsoft is now going to allow independent developers to self-publish their games. This means that indie developers can now put their games up on sale for digital distribution on the Xbox One without having to go through a publishing partner.
With this new, more open method of publishing, indie developers on the Xbox One will now also be able to set their own pricing and release dates.
The Xbox One’s certification process is also undergoing a change. Microsoft is shooting for approvals of games to happen within 2 weeks, a model that is similar to the iTunes’ certification process. To accomplish this faster turnaround, Microsoft will only be checking for major bugs and service violations, as opposed to exhaustive code inspection.
The ability to self-publish used to be a significant feather in Sony’s cap. During Sony’s E3 2013 press conference, the company touted a myriad of independent developers on stage, saying that any and all game creators will have much more freedom on the PS4 as compared to the Xbox One.
Although the Xbox 360 was initially very open to independent developers, the console’s rules and regulations have become more restrictive as time passed. Many developers, like Fez creator Phil Fish, has chastised Microsoft for implementing a difficult structure to work with. This same type of system looked to be utilized with the upcoming Xbox One as well, until Microsoft realized that it was missing out on a huge opportunity with indie games.
It seems shocking that all of the fundamental pillars of the Xbox One are being seemingly torn apart as the console gets ever so closer to launch. Although Microsoft may be late to the party, the company is eventually making the right decisions in regards to its policies with the Xbox One.