Microsoft is like a 'pimp,' Xbox One policies towards indies 'absurd': Fuel Overdose producer

Jun 11, 2013 01:45 PM EDT | By James Dohnert

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    (Reuters)

Microsoft is struggling to get indie developers on the Xbox One. The company has never had the greatest relationship with indies and the relationship has started to now become adversarial.

Redmond doesn't let indie developers self-publish on the Xbox Live Arcade. If an indie developer wants to get its game on the Xbox digital platform it has to go through Microsoft Studios or a third-party publisher. That policy will continue going forward into the next generation of consoles.

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The indie game community has lambasted Microsoft for the policy. Many in the community have said the company is behind competitors such as Sony and Nintendo when it comes to indie games. Both of Microsoft's main competitors let indie developers self-publish games.

Now another indie developer has spoken up about the issue. A producer with Friqiya Studios tells Gamingbolt that Microsoft's indie policy is 'absurd'. Executive Producer for indie game Fuel Overdose, Skander Djerbi, compares the policy to prostitution.

"Xbox doesn't allow indies to self-publish their games on Xbox Live Arcade. That's their policy and unfortunately there's nothing we can do about that. They recently announced that it would be the same on Xbox One. If you ask my opinion, I would say that Microsoft's policy towards indies is absurd," says Djerbi.

"If you want to go on [Xbox Live Arcade], you have 2 options: find yourself a retail publisher or get published by Microsoft. It's like digital download meets middle age: you can't work freely and if you want to hook on the same street as anybody else you have to find yourself a pimp."

While Djerbi does not like the policy he understands that Microsoft can do what it likes with its console. However, he does take umbrage with the company saying it supports indie developers yet has no real indies on Xbox Live Arcade.

"On the other hand it's their console, their territory, they do whatever they want, but I keep thinking that it's absurd and that they should stop talking about indie games," continues Djerbi.

"[Microsoft's] is saying that they are promoting the indie scene while there is absolutely no indie game[s] on [Xbox Live Arcade]...simply because when your project is published by a first-party or a third-party you are not indie anymore."

Xbox One boss Don Mattrick recently pledged to work with indie developers on Xbox One titles. He told Kotaku that Microsoft was going to sponsor indie developers and give them the tools to create games for the console.

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