Microsoft has confirmed that the Xbox One will allow indie game developers to self-publish their own games. Microsoft also confirmed that each standard Xbox One console can be used as a “debug unit”, as well as play retail Xbox One games. A debug unit, like this one for the PS3, is a special, highly expensive version of a game console that can run in-progress game code.
This allows a development team to play a game still in the development phase and fix any problems or bugs before releasing it. Allowing a standard Xbox One console to act as a debug unit is very useful to independent developers, as it makes debugging video games on the new console both affordable and easily accessible.
Furthermore, unlike video game publishing on the Xbox 360, publishing a game on the Xbox One will not require a Microsoft-certified publisher for distributing a newly developed game. Independently published video games will also not be restricted to an “indie” game section in the Xbox Live Marketplace, like they were with the Xbox 360.
Unfortunately, further details about this new Xbox One policy have not yet been released. Microsoft’s Xbox VP Marc Whitten specified, in a statement to IGN, a few of the reasons for making “as low of a barrier to entry as possible” for independent developers:
Our vision is that every person can be a creator. That every Xbox One can be used for development. That every game and experience can take advantage of all of the features of Xbox One and Xbox LIVE. This means self-publishing. This means Kinect, the cloud, achievements. This means great discoverability on Xbox LIVE. We’ll have more details on the program and the timeline at Gamescom in August.
However, despite promising statements about Microsoft being more open towards independent game development, many indie developers are having mixed feelings about the Xbox One’s new self-publishing features.
What do you think that Microsoft’s new self-publishing policy will mean for the future of indie games on the Xbox One? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts!
Thank you to engadget, IGN, and VG247 for the majority of the information used in this article.
And thank you for reading!