Because it wouldn’t be a news day without some sort of flip-floppery on the part of Microsoft during the long and treacherous road to E3, it appears we have yet another instance of inconsistent messaging in regards to the Xbox One. Last week, Shacknews was told by Redmond Games Studios and Platforms general manager Matt Booty (Go ahead, I’ll wait. Got it out of your system? Great.) that the Xbox One would basically use the exact same approval process for indie game publishing as did the Xbox 360. This was, as you might imagine, not exactly music to the ears of indie devs and fans of the independent gaming scene; especially given that fact that both Sony and Nintendo are allowing indie developers to self-publish their titles on both next-gen consoles (Well okay, the Wii U isn’t exactly “next-gen,” but you know what I mean). Well, as with every other bit of information that’s been reported since the Xbox One was announced last week, apparently that report was “inaccurate and incomplete.”
Kotaku is now reporting that Don Mattrick, whom we can safely refer to as “The Don” of Xbox, and as such expect that his information is accurate, says that this isn’t the case. In fact, Mattrick, being a man with roots in the indie gaming scene himself back before assuming an executive position with Microsoft, says, “That is something we think—I think—is important,” reassuring that, “there’s no way we’re going to build a box that doesn’t support that.”
“We’re going to have an independent creator program,” he said. “We’re going to sponsor it. We’re going to give people tools. We’re going to give more information.” Of course, that’s the entirety of the detail we currently have concerning Microsoft’s plan for the indie gaming platform, so once again we’re stuck waiting until E3 to hear more about it. Unless Microsoft plans on hosting a six-hour Q&A following their presentation, I find it hard to believe we’re going to get so many of our questions answered during their “it’s all about the games” spotlight.
The only problem with this report is that Kotaku writer Stephen Totilo admits he got the information from Mattrick the same day Mr. Booty told Shacknews that Microsoft isn’t making any changes to their stance on indie approval and publishing. So, yeah, hooray for consistency! It’s pretty unbelievable that Microsoft released so many of their own people out into the wild without their handlers to fend off swathes of game journalists without even checking to see if everyone was on the same page. Live and learn, I guess.
Where do you folks stand on the indie issue? Do you prefer Sony and Nintendo’s method of allowing self-publishing and giving indie devs near-total control over their games? Or is there logic to Microsoft’s stance of taking a more involved approach to handling indie publishing? Share your thoughts in the comments section, and don’t forget to like IGXPro on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or give us the ‘ol +1 on Google+.