GAMING BLEND

XBLA Losing Talent, Impossible To Self-Publish Says Eufloria Dev

By William Usher 2011-10-07 15:05:39 discussion comments
There has been a lot of public grumblings about Microsoft’s content policy procedures. Back before Microsoft had a foothold in the home console market a lot of people praised the originality of Xbox Live and later, features such as the Xbox Live Indie Games community.

Well, at this stage in the game many developers who have creative and unique ideas to explore and expand onto console platforms are being met with a lot of brick-walling if they decide not to relinquish creative control of their project, and in result some developers feel XBLA is losing star talent due to the difficulty of self-publishing on Microsoft’s service.

The latest complaints about the Xbox Live Arcade’s financially exclusive regiment for self-publishing includes Rudolf Kremers, the lead designer behind the indie title, Eufloria. In an interview with PSN Stores [via Gamesindustry], Kremers stated that…
"We would never give up our IP. [Sony] did actually want it, they were making us an offer to publish it for us. But it meant that we would have to sell the IP to them in exchange,"
"We had to stand fast. We had to look at other ways, and that turned in to the self publishing route. We made that possible because Sony were happy to include us in the pub fund. One of the qualities of the pub fund is that it's a viable avenue for micro teams like ourselves - Microsoft don't have that any more."

What Kremers is talking about is that during the emerging popularity of the XNA suite, Microsoft had a lot of indie support with things like 4 Games in 4 Days as well as a lot of financial support for projects with things like the XNA Creator’s Club. Now that MS has thoroughly trumped Sony in the online networking department for home consoles, they aren’t quite as benevolent when it comes to tossing cash around for indie projects and some developers have been very vocal about that.

The creators of Super Meat Boy came forward about Microsoft’s non-chalant approach to having their game on XBLA, and Sony’s Rob Dyer ripped Microsoft a new one about how closed up Xbox Live is compared to PSN.

Nevertheless, Kremers goes on to explain how getting a game like Eufloria Xbox Live without giving up creative or IP rights for the game would be next to nigh impossible, saying…
"For Microsoft the cost would be prohibitive, as they had all sorts of mandatory features - multiplayer and the like. And of course you have to use their QA... The cost picture would be so prohibitive that self publishing would be impossible."

According to GameIndustry, World of Goo creator Ron Carmel believes the exact kind of creative strong-arming Microsoft is using to either scare away or pull in content from developers has actually caused them to lose a lot of star talent. With more and more horror stories emerging about the arbitrary Xbox Live mandate, it’s kind of hard to argue with Carmel’s assetment.

You can check out the complete data sheet showing how Microsoft is losing a lot of star talent over at Rob Carmel’s blog.
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