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Lionhead: Microsoft Is 'Passionate About Indies,' Will Reveal Xbox One Strategy Soon

Jonathan Lester
Indie Games, Microsoft, Xbox One

Lionhead: Microsoft Is 'Passionate About Indies,' Will Reveal Xbox One Strategy Soon

Microsoft's seeming lack of indie support and self-publishing on the Xbox One has seen Sony scoring major points over the last few months. However, apparently the Redmond heavyweight is just biding its time for a major indie-centric press event.

Quizzed on the subject by OXM, Lionhead creative director Gary Carr was convinced that Microsoft's Phil Harrison has some major announcements up his sleeves. “Oh, I think you’ll find he’s coming,” Carr foretold.. “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.

“I’ve been an indie developer for 23 of my 28 year career, so I completely – there is no future to the games business without independent developers, they always will shape the industry, and the big corporations will follow,” Carr continued. “So that relationship is important."

“I don’t mind having the big players like the Sonys, the Microsofts, the Amazons. I think you need these big giants out there, they kind of hold it all together in some way, but the real driving force of the industry has always been independent development. That’s what shapes and changes and creates innovation. I think they can coexist.”

Microsoft often comes under fire from independent studios, but it's worth noting that Xbox Live Arcade (and Xbox Indie games to a lesser extent) was absolutely crucial in the meteoric rise of indie gaming into the mainstream - demonstrating huge innovation and imagination on their part seven years ago. We hope that Microsoft will reveal something - anything - soon on the next generation indie front.

Add a comment6 comments
DivideByZero  Jul. 18, 2013 at 11:59

But aren't Lionhead in bed with Microsoft anyways?

Isn't this a case of Microsoft saying Microsoft are great?

Tsung  Jul. 18, 2013 at 12:07

I don't really understand the meaning of Indie anymore, if Lionhead thinks they are Indie?

We need new categories for developers, I want a category for smaller developers (which I use to consider Indie).

JonLester  Jul. 18, 2013 at 12:15

Lionhead don't think they're indie developers, rather Carr is drawing on his own previous experience AFAIK. However, you do bring up a very good point: the term 'indie' is becoming almost impossible to tie down. Is Bastion an indie game if it's supported by WBIE? Is Journey an indie game? Does it matter?

It's going to be a wild ride, but I think we'll start seeing more subdivisions and alternate terms like 'boutique' coming to the fore.

Last edited by JonLester, Jul. 18, 2013 at 12:22
Quietus  Jul. 18, 2013 at 12:25

I've always just thought of 'indie' as meaning any company that deals with all stages of their games' lives. They build it, publish it, and directly reap the rewards. The second any other company gets involved, they're no longer indie. I know it seems a bit of a grey area when they get bigger, but that's just a reward for doing well - you can still be independent.

DivideByZero  Jul. 18, 2013 at 12:37

Same thing happens with films. You have indie films done on a single camera with a dozen people involved and you have stuff that wins Oscars and takes millions thanks to things like Fox Searchlight which can inject cash in to a project.

Not really fair to compare the two... but then again, why not. A film's a film. A game is a game.

Last edited by DivideByZero, Jul. 18, 2013 at 12:38
Anarchist  Jul. 18, 2013 at 18:51

Its not as bad as the music industry, where indy has become synonymous with 'anything not done by a boy band or Taylor swift'...!


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