news\ Apr 2, 2014 at 5:04 pm

Indie developer says that Microsoft used to be total jerks, but ID@Xbox is changing that

Indie developer says that Microsoft used to be total jerks, but ID@Xbox is changing that

Alex Preston, creator of Hyper Light Drifer, used to not think so kindly of Microsoft. When it comes to how they handle relationships with developers, Preston was pretty blunt.

“Microsoft used to be a**holes about it, for sure,” he told Edge. “but they’ve become a lot friendlier and that’s to do with [ID@Xbox lead Chris Charla] and his team. He’s awesome. He’s a major proponent for smaller developers like us.”

While many didn’t like Microsoft’s policies, there were those who understood why they existed. “I can kind of understand the platform holder’s preference – I guess they don’t want to be second in line,” said Ryan MacLaen, co-founder of Drinkbox Studios (Guacamelee). “From the perspective of a developer the ideal thing would be complete freedom to release on any platform you want.” When you combine those two lines of thinking, heads are definitely going to butt.

Things are changing for the better, though, and people are taking notice.

“The right kind of people are being put in place around this – it doesn’t feel like we have that kind of bureaucratic coporporate stuffy-suits people,” Ready Games (Strike Suit Zero) CEO James Brooksby said. “There’s clearly a gathering of people with the right mentality coming in and that makes a big difference. It feels like internally a lot of people [at Microsoft] have been campaigning for this.

Hopefully this can lead to a future where indies and Microsoft and co-exist in peace. It seems like the blueprints for just that are in place. Now it's all up to the execution.


Jake Valentine is a regular freelance contributor for GameZone. When he’s not writing about (or playing) video games, chances are he’s playing a board game, Magic: the Gathering, or obsessing over food. You can follow him on Twitter @hop3less.

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