Before I get into the story, allow me to provide some context for the uninitiated: from the reveal of the PlayStation 4 back in February last year, to the launch of it in November, Sony constantly reminded gamers that they were backing independent developers by supporting them both financially and by providing pre-launch kits to the more reliable indie studios. Xbox soon realised the amount of positive comments this was attracting from gamers and jumped on the indie dev bandwagon.
Anyway, onto the article! Microsoft recently revealed plans concerning indie devs and their approach to indie games being released on their newest console, the Xbox One. Microsoft stated that any indie games that were released first on the PlayStation 4 (the Xbox One’s biggest rival, that is also currently considered by most to be winning the on-going console war) would not be allowed onto the Xbox One.
So, what does this mean? Essentially, this means that Xbox appear to be bullying and threatening smaller, less financially stable game developers into releasing their games first on the Xbox One, giving Xbox the advantage when it comes to indie devs and their games. This shows that, at least in terms of indie games, Xbox are unable to beat PlayStation using conventional, honourable means. Obviously, an easy work-around for indie devs is to release their games on both systems at the same time. However, indie developers are what they are (i.e. ‘indie’) due to their lack of finances that large and prolific game developers, such as Treyarch and EA studios, have available to them. This means that most indie devs are unable to release their games on both consoles at once. This, in conjunction with the fact that Sony hasn’t currently (at the time of writing) announced any similar plans, is pushing and forcing indie devs into releasing their games on the Xbox One first, if they want to make the most from their games.
Different people have reacted in different ways to this story, with Xbox ‘fanboys’ commenting on various sites saying (as an actual example), “Good for Xbox!! They’re using common-sense to battle Sony and their Sh*tStation 4!” (no, I’m not joking… unfortunately). Personally, I believe/hope that this plan will backfire on Microsoft and that indie devs (who can be surprisingly brave when it comes to facing off against the ‘bigger boys’ in the gaming industry) will turn their backs on the Xbox One, wanting to be won over by Xbox as opposed to being bullied into submission.
What do you think? Please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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