Indie developers hoping to bring their games to Xbox One will be able to do so hassle-free and all they'll need to develop games is an Xbox One console and a bit of creativity.
It wasn’t so long ago (back in May to be exact) that Microsoft said they wouldn’t allow indie developers to self-publish on the Xbox One. Well, much as was the case with used games DRM and always-online requirements, it would seem the company has once again had a change of heart.
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According to a press statement sent out by Microsoft yesterday, not only is the company dropping the usual licensing fees and publisher-pairing requirements required for developers hoping to put their game on an Xbox console, they’ve also revealed that the Xbox One itself will eventually be able to function as a fully-fledged dev kit; allowing indie developers to create and publish games using nothing but the console itself.
Xbox chief product officer Marc Whitten revealed the good news during the press statement, saying that: "Our vision is that every person can be a creator. That every Xbox One can be used for development. That every game and experience can take advantage of all of the features of Xbox One and Xbox Live. This means self-publishing. This means Kinect, the cloud, achievements. This means great discoverability on Xbox Live. We'll have more details on the program and the timeline at Gamescom in August."
As Whitten mentions, dev kit functionality will not be immediately available at the Xbox One’s launch but will be patched in at a later date. The press statement confirms what was already rumored in regards to Microsoft relaxing, and possibly doing away with entirely, their certification and licensing policies for new games and the news undoubtedly comes as especially good for indie developers who were hoping to tap into the robust Xbox Live community.
Many may bemoan Microsoft for pulling yet another “Xbox One-Eighty” but it seems kind of silly to spurn such a good thing. It’s nice to see Microsoft is finally opening up more doors in regards to game creation and development, here’s hoping it pays off for them after the Xbox One is released.