Update — It’s Happening
Microsoft has confirmed to the world that the Xbox One will support indie games and their developers, and will let retail units act as debug units — making everyone’s lives easier. Celebrate good times, come on.
According to sources close to Game Informer, Microsoft plans to once again backtrack on a core tenant of its Xbox One design plan – this time reversing their position on independent developers and allowing them to self-publish their games on the new home console.
If the reports are true, this new plan will come coupled with Microsoft announcing a new indie self-publishing system that will enjoy a newer, much shorter and more streamlined certification process.
More specifically, Microsoft is reportedly aiming to design their system much like the iOS App Store, where developers can set their own pricing and release dates, as well as see certification approvals of their software in roughly two weeks as opposed to… well, more than that.
For the sake of clarity, certification is the process by which Microsoft analyzes and approves game software and post-launch updates. The process has been historically expensive and lengthy, causing games like Fez to go unpatched due to what some consider an outrageous support cost, and certain devs to quit working with Microsoft altogether.
However, Microsoft in April made title updates for the Xbox 360 a free process, allowing devs like Polytron to actually fix games like Fez who couldn’t (or simply wouldn’t) pay the premium certification fees.
Finally, the source told Game Informer that Microsoft will allow retail consoles to serve as full-fledged debug kits (special Xbox consoles that developers use to build and test their games upon). If this is the case, then anyone interested in creating content for the Xbox One has a much lower barrier of entry.
We’ll have to wait until we get an official word from Microsoft before we can ensure the validity of these promises, but we’ll keep our fingers crossed that it happens soon/at all. For Microsoft’s sake.
[Source: Game Informer]