GAMING BLEND

Xbox One Team Should Be Fired Over Indie Policy, Says Oddworld Boss

By William Usher 2013-07-19 19:04:36 discussion comments
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The Xbox One has been on the receiving end of a ton of controversy these days. It's like everything that could make people hate a game console was the very thing sitting at the core of the Xbox One's policy, including a lack of self-publishing for indie devs. Well, the outspoken Oddworld Inhabitants boss, Lorne Lanning, had some unpleasant things to say about the Xbox One's self-publishing policy for indie devs.

Speaking with VG 24/7, Lorne stated that...
“I’ve watched them make this mistake before”... “At the business level, Microsoft isn’t acknowledging people like us,”... “It’s as if we don’t matter.”

“We haven’t been doing badly ourselves. Maybe we’ll be able to say, ‘Hey, we’ll be on Xbox too,’ but right now people like us are clearly not in Xbox One’s business model. And there’s nothing we can do about that.”

This kind of thinking stems from the fact that Microsoft's biggest focus on E3 were all the AAA blockbusters... and as troubling as it is to admit it, flash-in-the-pan games like Titanfall and Ryse were enough to convince some gamers to step over into the Xbox One's camp. Other, more discerning gamers, weren't wooed by the sparkles and marketing pageantry of the AAA publishers, instead, real gamers were looking at some of the more innovative titles coming out of E3, including the indie line-up for the PlayStation brand as well as for Nintendo's new console.

Both Sony and Nintendo have been ramping up their efforts to secure more games and developers under their reign that extends on creative ideas and expands on traditional gaming concepts with titles like Octodad, Teslagrad and Don't Starve. Nintendo even went as far as handing out free development kits and free licenses to Unity Pro.


In the eyes of Lanning, Microsoft just isn't doing enough to secure the real movers and creative talents of the gaming industry, stating...
“Someone’s going to be burning the next hundred million dollar properties here, and it might be the least likely guy that was on that stage at the Sony conference. But that’s where it’s going to come from, and the smart people know that. I don’t see any indication of that foresight up in Redmond. They do not seem to be listening to their audience.”

“It’s a bit puzzling. It’s clear they’re not listening. I’m not sure who they’re listening to. Whoever their PR people are, whoever their marketing agents are, they should fire them all. That’s where they should start. There should be a big, mass firing and they should publicise that. Then they’d get people saying, ‘Hey, maybe there’s going to be a good change.’

100% agree.

I don't need to reiterate all the indie titles that are moving big numbers on meager budgets, as well as becoming powerhouse brands that demand attention and respect. However, I will say that Lanning is absolutely dead-on correct about Microsoft seeming to be completely clueless and out of touch with the market they're trying to dominate... well, up until now, anyway.

VG 24/7 caught quotes from an OXM interview in which Lionhead Studios’ creative director Gary Carr ran to the defense of Microsoft and the upcoming Xbox One, in which Carr states that Microsoft's executive VP, Phil Harrison, has an upcoming announcement about a change in independent development policy on the Xbox consoles, saying...
“Oh, I think you’ll find he’s coming,” ... “His platform is very soon, don’t you worry about that.”

“I certainly know that Microsoft want to talk at future press events about their relationships with indies. I can’t really talk about that, but they’re very passionate about building a strong relationship with indie development – indie development is the future.”

There's no time stamp on this announcement from Harrison but I suppose we could assume it's coming during GamesCom, where Microsoft will host yet another press conference... maybe they'll finally go one for three this time?

Anyway, Carr's comments are somewhat comforting for all the spurned indie devs out there. Except, I should very well point out that anything coming from, or said by, a first-party developer about their parent company should be taken with a grain of salt.
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