news\ Jul 24, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Rumor: Microsoft to allow indie self-publishing on Xbox One


For the second time today we are hearing rumors regarding the Xbox One. According to Game Informer's "sources," Microsoft is reversing its policy on publishing requirements. Under the change, this will allow independent studios to release games on the Xbox One without a publishing partner.

The outlet's sources say that developers will be able to set their own release dates and pricing. Additionally, Microsoft is looking to make its certification process similar to iTunes, with a targeted 14-day turnaround for approvals. The quicker turnaround means the company's review process will be more cursory, with the Microsoft looking primarily for terms of service violations and major bugs.

Lastly, it's believed (but not confirmed) that the retail version of the Xbox One can be converted to a debug console that plays pre-release code. Instead of having two separate hardware devices, Microsoft can just assign an ID to a specific console which will allow it to play unfinished code. The same method is expected to work for large-scale beta testing of games as well.

Earlier today, Microsoft shot down rumors that two different Xbox One bundles -- without the Kinect -- will be released next summer. It was originally believed that the different bundles would give consumers alternative choices that could compete more directly with the PlayStation 4's cheaper price. Microsoft, of course, denied that rumor, reconfirming its commitment to the Kinect.

Will they make it 2-for-2 by denying this one as well? I sure hope not. Unlike the previous rumor, this one would actually benefit the sale of the system, which is currently viewed as anti-indie. Over the past few weeks, several indie studios have spoken out about Microsoft, criticizing the company's harsh policies and restrictions. By reversing its policies, the Xbox One can only gain in popularity as a result -- games are king, after all.

I have to hand it to Microsoft; they seem to recognize their faults. Despite the hard-nosed approach with the Xbox One at first, Microsoft now seems keen on correcting its unfavorable policies. Better late then never, right?

Will Microsoft's change in indie policy convince you to purchase an Xbox One or does it not really matter?

[Game Informer]

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