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Curve Studios On Xbox One Self-Publishing: "We Don't Want An Indie Ghetto"

Jonathan Lester
Curve Studios, Indie Games, Self-publishing, Stealth Inc: A Clone in the Dark, Xbox One

Curve Studios On Xbox One Self-Publishing: "We Don't Want An Indie Ghetto"

"It Highlights An Attitude Change At Microsoft"

Stealth Inc: A Clone In The Dark developers Curve Studios are cautiously optimistic about Xbox One's potential for self-publishing, but believes that Microsoft has a lot to prove, and a huge amount of work ahead to regain their standing as an industry leader for console indie games.

"In general, it's awesome news," Curve Studios' Rob Clarke told Dealspwn.com today. "We've been pretty vocal about Microsoft in the past on Twitter and in interviews. We don't do that because we have a grudge against them though, we do it because we hope that if developers highlight problems then as a group we can help change attitudes.

"There's not enough details right now to say whether this is going to be a game changer, but it highlights an attitude change at Microsoft and we see it of as acknowledgement of support for indie game that was sorely missing at E3."

Clarke lamented the fact that Microsoft were a driving force behind getting indie games onto consoles at the start of this generation, and suggests that they need to "return to form." "Microsoft used to be years ahead of Sony when it came to indie development, and XBLA was a really ground-breaking service for the time," he continued. "If Microsoft can return to form, that's great news for them, for Curve and other independent development studios, and ultimately for gamers who have a lot more choice over what and where they play.

"Having said that, we don't want another XBLIG, and we don't want an indie ghetto. The dev kits news is interesting, but dev kit accessibility is just one part of the process. Putting people in front of developers who not only understand indie gaming but also have the power internally to make important decisions is just as important, and we've not seen any announcements about that."

Microsoft is set to reveal more details at Gamescom 2013.

Add a comment2 comments
Late  Jul. 25, 2013 at 14:46

Mr. Clarke talks a lot of sense.
I used to love XBLIG, but haven't ventured onto that market place as much in the last 2-3 years as I used to. That's partly because it's hidden away (you'd have to say that's Microsoft's fault), and partly because it ended up swamped with crap, making the good games much harder to find (again, Microsoft's got to be largely to blame for that).

The latter point isn't that the "crap" shouldn't happen. I'm all for people experimenting with making new games, and everyone's got to start somewhere. But with everything all thrown together into one pot with no real structure you could easily miss a great game hidden amongst all the (mainly horrendous) "zombie-craft" games.

It's great to see large platforms like playstation and xbox being made accessible to established and potential game developers. But for indies to thrive on xbox one Microsoft need to do more in terms of the presentation. Perhaps something as simple as tiers for games, whereby there's a section for popular indie games fairly prominent on the UI, with less popular ones more hidden away. ("Popular" can be subjective, but perhaps something like any game that's reviewed over 4/5 by people who've downloaded and played it, and it's been downloaded more than X amount of times in the last month.) That should make it easier for the good games to actually get noticed and perhaps even make a bit of money, but still allow folk to root around for hidden gems.

Breadster  Jul. 25, 2013 at 16:51

Yeah I'm the same, never really bothered with the indie games on xbox because you had to scour through tons of "how to talk to girls" and "massage simulator 3000" type games.

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