Xbox One: Microsoft Won’t Allow Self-Published Indie Titles

Microsoft won’t allow self-publishing of indie titles on the Xbox One.

Yesterday’s reveal of the Xbox One not only laid naming rumors to rest, but also opened a new gateway to controversy involving what we now know. One of the rumors confirmed was the lack of backwards compatibility with Xbox 360 games, as well as Microsoft charging a fee to reinstall games to the hard drive. This will allow used games to be played, but if you get a new hard drive, you’ll pay for your entire library all over again.

Apparently Microsoft doesn’t want anyone having the freedom they enjoyed with games on their previous consoles. They have even made it so you have to go through them in order to develop games on the Xbox One.

This could be bad news for gamers who want to see something fresh and new, since it means that developers who haven’t already had a successful track record may turn to developing for other consoles and leaving the Xbox One in the dust. We hear Wii U needs games, in that case.

Xbox Live Arcade had previously allowed indie developers to publish on the Xbox 360, and it was a convenient way for new games to reach the public without any extra steps, and the ease of programming drew the masses. On the Xbox One, the indie channel is gone, meaning indie developers will now need to make a deal with outside publishers just to work on Xbox Live Arcade titles for the next generation console.

Microsoft general manager Matt Booty has stated:

“As of right now, yes. We intend to continue to court developers in the ways that we have. 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.”

This iron fisted policy Microsoft is using with games in general for the Xbox One just can’t bode well for the future of gaming. No backwards compatibility, no indie publishing to Xbox Live Arcade, no free use of pre-owned games … Microsoft, we’re seeing too many negatives in your plans for your next console.

Microsoft may need to lighten up on their plans or risk seeing the last console they ever make.

Do you think Microsoft’s new restrictions for indie titles on Xbox One are a bad idea? Is it enough to make you say “no” to the next generation?