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MS To Indie Devs: You Have a To Have a Publisher 463

Posted by samzenpus
from the name-recognition dept.
Loadmaster writes "The new Oddworld game New 'n' Tasty is coming to every platform in the current generation and even the next generation but not the Xbox One. It's not that developer Oddworld Inhabitants isn't porting the game. It's not that they hate Microsoft or the Xbox One. No, it's that Microsoft has taken an anti-indie dev stance with the Xbox One. While the game industry is moving to Kickstarter and self-funded shops, Microsoft has decided all developers must have a publisher to grace their console."
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MS To Indie Devs: You Have a To Have a Publisher

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  • by TWiTfan (2887093) on Monday June 17, 2013 @09:51AM (#44028587)

    They been making so many bad moves in the last few years, I'm beginning to think this is some elaborate game to intentionally run the company off a cliff. Surely to god, they can't be doing all this dumb shit and actually thinking it's smart. Can they?

  • Re:And? (Score:5, Informative)

    by UnknowingFool (672806) on Monday June 17, 2013 @09:52AM (#44028591)

    No but this article [] says the Indie section is going away:

    Yesterday, Microsoft's Studios corporate vice president Phil Harrison told Eurogamer that the marketplace on the company's new Xbox One console would combine retail games, Xbox Live Arcade, and Xbox Live Indie Games into a single section. . . With the Indie Games section going away, that means developers are stuck with the standard Xbox publishing rules.

    So yes, indie games will need a publisher which sorta not makes them indie anymore. This might be a misunderstanding but Oddworld seems to think they are being forced to use a publisher. MS might have to clarify this point. There is a need for a publisher in games mostly for funding; however, Oddworld is self-funded. They don't feel like sharing revenue and profits when they don't have to share.

  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Monday June 17, 2013 @10:00AM (#44028665)
    Money is one thing. Sometimes developers need upfront money while developing the game to pay salaries, bills, etc, especially if the game is larger than their last one.
  • by denmarkw00t (892627) on Monday June 17, 2013 @10:04AM (#44028721) Homepage Journal

    > Citation please.

    OtherOS was a feature available in early versions of the PlayStation 3 video game console that allowed other operating systems, such as Linux or FreeBSD, to be installed on the system. This feature was made unavailable in newer models and removed from the oldest ones through a firmware update by Sony.

    Source []

    Sony fucked up, in a few ways, one of which was lying.

  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Monday June 17, 2013 @10:06AM (#44028743)

    When did they hide that or lie about it?

    I thought they were totally upfront about it. They removed the feature from new units and told the folks on the old ones to not update. Sure it sucks, but nothing like being a total cockbag from the word go the way MS is being.

  • Re:What? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Tridus (79566) on Monday June 17, 2013 @10:11AM (#44028811) Homepage

    Minecraft got a special sweetheart deal from Microsoft that throws most of the indie restrictions out the window. They also don't have to pay to post patches, unlike others (who pay tens of thousands of dollars, something no other platform is doing to indies anymore).

    Microsoft's idea of "supporting indie games" is to find ones that got mainstream already and exempt them from the rules. Which is a sure sign that the rules are crap, but you know. This is Microsoft we're talking about.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 17, 2013 @10:14AM (#44028875)

    No, they didn't lie. The new model that came without the feature no longer listed it as a feature on the specs. The old systems were patched, and we were warned a head of time that feature was being removed.

    That said. To install another OS on your ps3 you gave up the ability to connect to the PSN and play games, so there is no reason for you to update period. The only people upset with that were ones thinking installing linux was a means to pirate software, it wasn't, and never was. I had one, i had that feature removed, I never used it once, because I bought a game console, i already have several computers.

    Anyone whining about install otherOS is full of crap, to install the other os, you lost the ability to connect to PSN and play games, unless of course you were dual booting, which I'm not even sure was an option.

    If you wanted to continue to install another OS, you simply didn't install that patch, because you don't need to connect to the PSN. As such, you can also factory reset the console a forcably downgrade the firmware, so, really, no leg to stand on, no lies, just whiny pirates.

  • by tepples (727027) <> on Monday June 17, 2013 @10:22AM (#44028995) Homepage Journal
    Toward this, see the entry for "Getting Crap Past the Radar" in TV Tropes' article about Battle Chess [].
  • by cockroach2 (117475) on Monday June 17, 2013 @10:29AM (#44029073) Homepage

    The support is not what I care about, but I have to choose whether I want to keep that feature (which I did) or still be able to use the console for gaming (which I'm not). So true, my original statement was slightly wrong, it should have been something like:

    They sold a product with features X and Y, then went "nah, you can't really have both" (i.e. other OS, PSN).

    Still not the honest thing.

  • by Kohath (38547) on Monday June 17, 2013 @10:38AM (#44029175)

    Is the requirement stupid and obsolete (ie: the ability to ship boxed games)

    This one. You have to ship some specific quantity of disks to retail.

  • by edwdig (47888) on Monday June 17, 2013 @10:40AM (#44029211)

    To be able to publish on XBox Live Arcade, you have to have published at least 3 disc based games for the XBox 360.

  • by mystikkman (1487801) on Monday June 17, 2013 @10:41AM (#44029215)

    See link below. Also, Microsoft pledged to have a independent creator program and is rumored to announce a new Xbox developer program at the BUILD developer conference on June 26th. []

    wrote this post on our blog a few months ago to express how absolutely weird and unfortunate I thought it was that the trending perception of Microsoft and indies had gotten so bad that silly creative decisions of mine were being taken as Microsoft's ever-burgeoning evilness toward indies, or something. My message was this: we're indie, we make the games we want to make, Microsoft publishes them, and the past five years of this have been great, and it's too bad that that's not super newsworthy, because this whole time it just feels like I must watch, powerless, as Lumbergh keeps taking my red stapler.

    Then Xbox One happened, and a longtime fan of ours posted this on my facebook wall:

    Questionable grammar aside, I was super glad he posted this, because through no fault of his own he's unwittingly illustrated what happens when these narratives blow up. You know that thing about no self-publishing on Xbox One? The meaning of that quote was that the partner/publisher relationship is currently the same (i.e. what we, an indie studio, been doing for the last five years) but they're exploring ways to improve it. Basically "everything's the same, stay tuned for improvements" mutated into "no indies on Xbox One, ever" in a few hours.

    Finally, a disclaimer: I do not think there is a vast conspiracy to unjustly villify Microsoft. That would be weird, possibly an indicator of neurosis, even. I just wish I could add my "everything is fine" experience to the mix more often.

    And with that, here's the original post:

    In Charlie Murder, the whole band gets Windows Phones on the fictional t2f (short for ta2fön) network. There’s a bunch of stuff you can use your phone for, like email (some of it rote, some of it interesting), camera phone, and squid-themed microblogging site I thought it was a fun way to give your characters a bit of an info hub, and I’ve been a big fan of Windows Phone ever since my Samsung Focus and its marvelous bulging battery bomb (that’s another story). Also, we have a game on Windows Phone, and we definitely make a buck or two whenever someone buys it, so that’s cool. Yet still, I felt the need to tweet this:

    In the comments in Joystiq’s rad Charlie Murder preview write up, there were a few begrudging Microsoft for what was (erroneously) interpreted as some sort of paid off order from up high to include the phone in the game. This is obviously entirely untrue; if anyone’s guilty of some sort of slimy promotion, I guess that would be me, as I’d like to get more people interested in a pretty solid other alternative to iPhone (and, again, we’ve got Z0MB1ES on dat ph0ne!!!1)

    But I think this illuminates an underlying issue, namely that of Microsoft’s misunderstood role as indie games publisher, and how that ties to the trending media narrative on Microsoft being “bad for indies.” Where do we stand on all this? Read on:

    So, Microsoft is publishing Charlie Murder. What does that mean? Here are a few facts to set the record straight:
    We have full creative control. This is our game. 100% of the (non-localized) content in Charlie Murder was made by Michelle and me, or, in a few cases, by a few gaming celebrities who we got some rad cameos from (yes, celebrities).
    Ska Studios is just Michelle and me. We work in our basement. We have two cats (you knew that).
    Microsoft gives us localized text from our English text, finds bugs, tells us how to fix bugs when we’re stumped, tells us how close to passing cert we are, and takes us out to din

  • by Vanderhoth (1582661) on Monday June 17, 2013 @11:48AM (#44030049)

    173w ago - Update: Sony's Geoff Levand has now confirmed, to quote: "SCE is committed to continue the support for previously sold models that have the 'Install Other OS' feature and that this feature will not be disabled in future firmware releases."

    Read more: []

    199w ago - Today Sony's Satoshi Hashimoto, in an interview with Impress Watch, confirmed that Sony will not be removing the OtherOS and Linux functionality in old (non-Slim) PlayStation 3 consoles.

    Read more: []

  • by Endo13 (1000782) on Monday June 17, 2013 @12:12PM (#44030357)

    That's the problem with continued updates... it allows the manufacturer to bait-and-switch legally. What they did with the PS3 is exactly the same as an auto manufacturer removing four-wheel-drive from your vehicle after you bought it, or a radio manufacturer disabling the cassette deck, or TV manufacturer disabling USB ports, or any number of similar examples that could be made.

    None of these things should be legal.

  • by IndustrialComplex (975015) on Monday June 17, 2013 @02:02PM (#44031801)

    They removed the feature from new units and told the folks on the old ones to not update.

    Yes, those are the words they used, but actual implications of those words was a lot worse than 'You won't get a bugfix for Red's Raiders game'.

    The reason you are sworn to tell the whole truth, and not only the truth.

    So the whole truth of that statement would be: "Don't update, and never again connect to our network. Also, your PS3 is now a sub-PS3 and you are forbidden from playing any new game released from this point forward*."

    "*Also, post a guard on your couch to prevent anyone from ever clicking through the text when they pop in a game or movie. Because that's going to be an irrevocable update applied to your hardware with no recourse to you. Sure, you could go out and buy an entire new PS3... but we altered the HW of the PS3 so you lose your backward compatability as well."

    That would be the 'Whole truth' of 'Just don't update.'

If you think the system is working, ask someone who's waiting for a prompt.