Judging by recent comments made by Jonathan Blow, you might think every indie developer hates working with Microsoft. The Braid creator — now developing The Witness for PS4 — has made it perfectly clear that, in his opinion, "Microsoft treats independent developers very badly." Unfortunately, his opinion has been conveyed as fact, and because of that Microsoft is labeled as some anti-indie company that will "put you through as much pain as you will endure."
Blow's comments were supported by Retro City Rampage creator Brian Provinciano who detailed just how difficult it was to work with Microsoft. According to Provinciano, Microsoft canceled the game for XBLA, forcing 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."
But don't judge Microsoft by these two experiences. Some indie developers have come to Microsoft's defense. The Behemoth, creators of XBLA games BattleBlock Theater and Castle Crashers, said they haven't experience any issues with the company.
“We have absolutely no problem with Microsoft or the XBLA team. We love working with them, and hopefully they enjoy working with us as well. I can’t speak for other devs that may have bad mouthed Microsoft in the past, but that’s definitely not the company that we are,” Behemoth’s project manager Emil Ayoubkhan said in a Raptr Q&A when asked if the studio would form a collective with other indie devs to address Microsoft's strict XBLA requirements.
“There shouldn’t be any collectives formed to go against anyone else,” Ayoubkhan defended. ”We should all be in this together and working towards making games that are fun to play. You’ll always hear the negative side of things in the press, or from others, more than the positive aspects. It’s definitely a lot more entertaining to read I suppose.”
Despite The Behemoth coming to the support of Microsoft, it seems that more and more indie developers, for whatever reason, are flocking to Sony and its upcoming PlayStation 4. Of course, we haven't yet heard Microsoft's plans as they've yet to announce the next Xbox. Will it support games in the same way Sony seems to be?