Microsoft’s policy to demand publisher relationships with developers for games has seemed to upset quite a few of the indie developers. And rightly so.
Oddworld Inhabitants’ Lorne Lanning has slammed Microsoft for their Xbox One policy that requires a publisher to be included in the deal for distribution. Even though it’s digital.
During an interview with Eurogamer, Lanning said that Oddworld New ‘n’ Tasty is ready. It has been given a licence. However, it is being held back by Microsoft. The software giant will not allow it on the console unless there is some sort of publisher deal.
“We don’t have a publisher so we’re not officially on the platform, even though we’re compatible, even though we’ll be ready to do it. Period,” Lanning said.
“Why do we need a publisher when we self-finance our games, we build our own IP, we manage our own IP and we’ve turned nearly two million units online as indie publishers sold – not free downloads? Why? What’s wrong with us?”
Lanning went further, by commenting on Sony’s approach to self-publishing. He stated that the PlayStation 4 was aimed at a more long-term initiative.
Although Lanning did not directly criticise Microsoft, he did mention that its actions have been, evidently, met with a lot of frustration from gamers and shareholders alike.
“There are those who are looking at next quarter’s profits, and maybe one of these big guys looks like that’s all they’re doing right now,” Lanning continued.
“If they’re looking at the world that way, you’ve got the obvious, enormous titles. They’re going to be the big revenue generators. If the company’s purely about profit, profit and profit, they’re looking at those, and then they’re looking at the little guys saying, ‘oh, they only make this much.’ They’re not interested.
“There’s one party that’s making it very clear they’re not interested.”
The whole publisher issue seems to a major issue with Microsoft. The company seems to be pushing publishers more than anything, and this is evident from not only the aforementioned but also how secondhand sales are aimed to generate revenue for publishers.
Is Microsoft, however, facing pressure from publishers or is this their own doing?