Microsoft have detailed the Xbox One’s strategy for supporting indie development and associated titles.
Independent Developers @ Xbox, or ID@Xbox, will allow developers to self publish their games alongside traditional big-budget games, without the need of a third party publisher or, crucially, a fee to be paid.
Indie devs will be required to register, with accepted applications granting two Xbox One development kits at no cost – with developers then gaining access to the full power of the console and all of its services without restriction, including, but not limited to, cloud services, Kinect and the Xbox Live toolset, which includes Xbox SmartGlass, multiplayer, Achievements and Gamerscore, it has been revealed.
“Status will be granted with priority to independent game developers who have a proven track record of shipping games on console, PC, mobile or tablet,” said Microsoft.
Another interesting tidbit coming out of the announcement is that day one exclusivity wont be a requirement, but “parity with other console game platforms” is – hopefully fending off any delays for those of us wanting our indie fix on a certain console.
Most importantly perhaps, given the amount of content sure to appear, was Microsoft’s talk of discovery – and how the Indie games will share their digital shelf-space. “All games are located together in the Xbox One Store and rich search scenarios using voice will get results across the entire catalog of experiences.” These search scenarios are not limited to voice however, and will include “Trending” “recommendations” and “Editor’s Picks” dashboard selections, Microsoft said.
Praise for the program was high indeed, with the likes of Splash Damage, The Behemoth, Other Ocean, Team 17, and Ripstone all voicing their support alongside Microsoft’s announcement.
So, that’s self publishing, with no fees, for release or updates, and limitless access to the entire Xbox toolkit. Today is a big day for indies indeed. Let’s see what Sony have to say later as GamesCom continues.