Microsoft has its share of skeptics among the indie development crowd but Capybara Games aren't among them. The studio, who revealed their upcoming game Below during Microsoft's E3 press conference, says that Microsoft has always been a great partner.
"We’ve said it many times before, but it is worth repeating: working with Microsoft Studios has been great, and they deserve real kudos for putting our dreamy roguelike-inspired game of exploration and discovery in the spotlight at E3."
In Below, players take on the role of tiny warriors journeying across a mysterious island filled with hazards. It features standard roguelike elements like randomly generated environments and permanent death. There's also some sort of multiplayer component. Jim Guthrie, who composed the score for Capybara's Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP, is providing the music for this game as well.
Below was announced as an Xbox One exclusive at E3. However, Capybara confirmed today that the game is only a timed exclusive and will eventually be released on other platforms.
"This clarification is about answering our fans, and shouldn’t reflect negatively on Microsoft or Xbox One – they’ve been the biggest CAPY supporters out there (and also lets face it: Titanfall and Halo are going to be crazy delicious game magic). The Xbox 360 has been a great home for marquee downloadable games, and we believe this is something that will continue, and grow, over the years on Xbox One."
Microsoft recently decided to allow indie developers to self-publish on Xbox One. Nonetheless, some developers seem reluctant to support the platform based on past experiences. Indies have accused Microsoft of making it hard for them to get dev kits and not doing enough to promote their titles. Microsoft might not be able to win some of these studios back into the fold. Perhaps the positive reviews from companies like Capybara can help them attract flesh blood, though.
While they could stand to treat indies better, it seems clear to me that Microsoft has an eye for talented upstart developers. Think about some of the downloadable games that debuted on Xbox 360 over the years. Braid, Castle Crashers, and Shadow Complex are just a few examples. The PlayStation 4 is receiving a lot of buzz these days for being "the developer's console" but Microsoft has a track record of success with indies. Hopefully they continue that tradition in the next generation.