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The Xbox One won't be entirely devoid of the indie scene. After lots of pressure by the public, gamers and game developers alike, Microsoft eventually caved with the Xbox One's independent developer publishing practice and allowed for self-publishing. As of the publishing of this article, the company has 32 different indie studios signed up to self-publish on the Xbox One.
A brief history before getting to the grit: Microsoft's original policies on indie game development was that all development studios needed a publisher or carry the ability to publish at least three titles under their studio's name if they were to self-publish on an Xbox platform. Of course, most indie studios can barely afford to self-publish their own game, much less two other games (whether those games are from their studio or not). After a lot of lobbying by the gaming community, Microsoft eventually reversed their policies on indie developer self-publishing.
Following through on that reversal, Microsoft recently announced that they have 32 independent game development studios registered for making games on the Xbox One, and Eurogamer rolled out a list of the developers below:
* Comcept - Mighty No. 9
* Double Eleven
* Slightly Mad Studios - Project Cars
* Born Ready
* Crytek - an unnanounced self-published game
* Happion Labs
* Definition 6 (Chris Hecker) - Spy Party
* Team 17
* Panic Button
* Double Fine
* Drinkbox (Chris McQuinn)
* Team Colorblind
* Signal Studios
* Zen Studios
* Ninja Bee
* Zeboyd Games - Cosmic Star Heroine
* The Men Who Wear Many Hats
* Iron Galaxy - Divekick
* Jackbox Games
* High Voltage Software
* Hidden Path
* Gaijin Games
* The Odd Gentlemen
* Other Ocean
We've also been notificed that SKA Studios, makers of Zombie Smasher and Charlie Murder, are also registered developers for the Xbox One, as well.
However, one of the other big concerns is exclusivity.
Some of you might remember that there are certain clauses when making games on Microsoft's systems, clauses attached to NDAs, where developers have to maintain a certain measure of parity or exclusive content, or release date favoritism on Microsoft's console. Well, the big bad mini 'M' is looking to depart from some of their despotic ways when it comes to games being published on their console. Mentioning to Savy Gamer, a Microsoft representative stated that...
“We do not require exclusivity agreements. However, we do ask for day one parity with other console game platforms,"
Well that's good news... sort of. That line about "day one parity" makes me think about Infinity Ward gimping Call of Duty: Ghosts on the PS4 before launch and then releasing a post-launch patch to bring the game up to its intended resolution.
Anyway, and hopefully, this also means that developers who were previously averse to working with the Xbox One hardware will potentially come around to support the system. If Microsoft can't win on the graphics front – and given the startling results of honest benchmarks, it's obvious they'll never win on the graphics front – they will at least need to flesh out a nice, diverse category of indie games that bring creative and unique ideas to the table.
Heck, given the forced bundle of Kinect with every Xbox One unit, maybe it will be an indie dev who finally cracks open the creative box and makes a game that finally forces every corner of the gaming community to recognize some sort of potential in the camera device.