news\ Jul 25, 2013 at 10:35 am

Retro City Rampage dev: 'Strings attached' to Xbox One's self-publishing change


Microsoft may have performed another 180 yesterday, in decided to allow indie developers to self-publish on the Xbox One, but apparently there's some "strings attached" to the policy change. Speaking to Engadget, Retro City Rampage developer Brian Provinciano admitted he was "happy" to see the change, but still skeptical of Microsoft's business dealings.

"I'm very happy to see this," he said. "After all of the developers have spoken out, they're finally listening. However, this is yet another example of them changing policy, but it sounding better than it is when the whole story is revealed.

"Make no mistake; while this is a great thing, it's again not the equivalent to what other platforms offer. On PS4, for example, developers can tap right into the system; use every bit of RAM and all of its power. Indies have access to everything that the AAA studios do, from platform support to development and release.

"The indication on Xbox One is that it's essentially XBLIG 2.0. Instead of XNA, it's Windows 8. Windows 8, which is already struggling to gain developer interest, will gain a boost from developers wishing to target the console. However, it won't be as full-fledged as published games on the system."

Provinciano, who ported his game to Xbox LIVE Arcade on Xbox 360, explained that even with the changes he has "no interest in even buying an Xbox One, let alone developing for it."

"The policy changes are great, he said, "but they don't undo the experience I had. I'm not ready to forget what I went through. Working with Microsoft was the unhappiest point of my career. Policies are one thing, but developer relations are another."

"It's important to me that consumers don't see things as black and white," he concluded. "There are still strings attached to this policy change."

As someone who has never developed an indie game for Microsoft, I couldn't possibly offer comment on Provinciano's statements. What I can say, though, is that Microsoft's announcement yesterday was definitely for the better. Even without knowing the intricacies of the new policy, the fact that Microsoft change it's policies (again) shows that they are listening. Yesterday's announcement may have been PR fluff, but if we've learned anything, it's that PR messaging can make or break a console's reception.


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