In a fascinating article written by Wired, a couple of independent games developers spoke out about their experiences working with Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, and how those experiences differed depending on the specific corporation they were dealing with.
Jonathan Blow, the developer behind Braid and the upcoming PS4 game The Witness, noted that “Microsoft treats independent developers very badly,” later stating that the company “put[s] you through as much pain as you will endure in order to extract whatever [they] feel like this week.”Blow has talked about how he feels about Microsoft in the past, as well. Just last month, he spoke about how the next, still-unannounced Xbox is “not strictly about games”, and elaborated even more on his poor experiences with Microsoft.
In Microsoft’s defense, the company e-mailed Wired to note that the company is “invested in helping developers realize their visions on Xbox by ensuring they have the tools they need to be successful and by using their feedback to continually make refinements” on Xbox platforms.
Another developer, Brian Provinciano, also spoke to Wired. Provinciano is the one-man force behind Retro City Rampage, and has spoken to IGN in the past about Xbox versus PlayStation development. Not surprisingly, he also didn’t have nice words for Microsoft.
He told Wired that dealing with Sony was akin to a “coffee shop chat,” while Microsoft exuded an “intimidating corporate vibe.” He spoke about how, when he became vocal about the problems dealing with Microsoft, they cancelled the planned release of Retro City Rampage on Xbox Live and, according to Wired, “forced him to resubmit the game through the arduous approvals process and go through an extra six months of negotiations that required him to submit the game through an outside publisher to get it released.”
Making matters worse, Microsoft accidentally sold the game for $10 instead of the planned $15 for a time, cutting into his profits.
Wired discusses the severe irony of this turn of events, considering Xbox Live was once the haven for independent developers. But Sony – and Nintendo, too – are doing everything they can to make it as easy as possible for independent developers to bring games to their platforms. According to these developers, anyway, Microsoft may be going in the opposite direction.
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Dev: ‘Microsoft Treats Independent Developers Very Badly’
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This has been the case for a long time. There was a poll a year or so ago where MS was voted as one of the hardest to work with. It is known for having a million burning hoops to jump through and has the "corporate vibe" mentioned in this article. MS needs to change its relations with indie devs else they will lose them all to Sony next gen. With PS mobile, Vita and PS4 coupled with the streamlined greenlight process, it's going to be extremely easy for devs to get their games out, and Sony's sending a pretty loud and clear message that PlayStation is the place to be for them. It's strange though cause it wasn't like this earlier.
Ever since they shut down XNA, it's been downhill in my eyes. MS was absolutely shining there for a brief moment, but it seems like they are just too conservative for gaming.
04-11-2013 #6Soldier 95BGuest
It has been countered by others already that are beyond happy working with MS as indie devs. Their indie library is the largest and fastest growing indie library on any console.
08-18-2013 #8Soldier 95BGuest
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