Remember the dream of a more open system? Well that won't be happening on the Xbox One. Microsoft have revealed that they'll be sticking to their guns when it comes to Xbox LIVE Arcade and operating as they did this generation.
Asked by Shacknews if developers will still need to go through a publisher in order to get games onto Xbox Live, the current party line from Microsoft appears to be that things will remain as they were for the Xbox 360.
“As of right now, we intend to continue to court developers in the ways that we have,” said Matt Booty, general manager of Redmond Game Studios and Platforms.
“I would also expect that for this new generation, that we’re going to continue to explore new business models and new ways of surfacing content. But Microsoft Studios is a publisher that works with a wide range of partners, as do a lot of other people, to bring digital content to the box.”
Considering that both Sony and Nintendo currently allow developers to self-publish through PSN and eShop respectively, and given that Sony in particular have made big noises about supporting and encouraging indie development on their platforms, Microsoft's position seems to starkly contrast with the way the wind is blowing right now. If you add the increasing movements of PCs and mobile operating systems (especially Android with consoles such as the GameStick and the Ouya) into the living room, is this really a standpoint Microsoft can afford to take?
Things might change over the coming months and Microsoft have indicated that indie games are "very important", but for now, and especially given the abandonment of XNA, things don't look particularly rosy for indies on Microsoft's platform.