Indie games unlikely on Xbox One before 2014

Microsoft doesn’t expect the first wave of indie games to launch on Xbox One until 2014. However, Phil Harrison, corporate vice president of the firm's interactive entertainment business in Europe, also told GamesIndustry that Microsoft has had “an avalanche of interest from all corners of the globe” since it finally outlined its strategy for indie games on the console last month.

"I don't think we're going to see things at launch," Harrison said. “I don't think it's realistic to see a developer get the programme and build a game and get it into the market on November 22. It's reasonable to expect in early 2014 we'll start seeing the first games come through."

Microsoft’s Independent Developers @ Xbox programme will allow registered studios to use all of Xbox One's features, from cloud services, Kinect, Achievements, challenges and Xbox Live multiplayer to automatic Game DVR video recording and uploading. The self-publishing programme also eschews certification and title update fees. Harrison also reiterated that, down the line, Microsoft plans to let any Xbox One console serve as a development kit, further opening the market to small studios and hobbyist creators.

“We're working through applications and creating that dialogue with developers," he said. "As we said at the time, we have phase one where we give away development kits and loan them to the teams that inevitably will have to pass some kind of a qualification to justify a limited number of dev kits being given to them. That process is ongoing. Eventually our goal is that every retail Xbox One console becomes a dev kit. And then we open up to the widest possible audience.”

Xbox One will be released in 13 markets on November 22, 2013. The console will be priced at £430 / $500 / €500 and will have 23 launch games.

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  • chad-munn - September 24, 2013 3:28 p.m.

    Okay trolls, correct me if I'm wrong but isn't "2014" 38 days after launch? So with all the smoke you're blowing up each others rear ends about how horrible MS is because of this... does it not fit into your equation that 38days is a pretty small window from releasing a console to having a custom made indie game appear on it? As the actual console IS a development kit and they won't have those kits until Nov. 22nd?? Just wondering why all the stupid hate on a 38 day window...
  • Eightboll812 - September 25, 2013 10:41 a.m.

    Soooo, your rebuttal is based on the supposition that a game will be fully developed from scratch in 38 days--AND be worth a darn. That "2014" is meant to be taken literally, as in a ton of indie games will be released on Jan 1st 2014 right at midnight. Yeah, ok.....whatever dude. You sure you aren't the one trolling? Anyone who can read beyond a fourth grade level can see that MS was talking about calendar year of 2014 as in a very ambiguous date range, and here you are, interpreting it as a wooden literal date and feeling very clever.
  • thomas1980 - September 24, 2013 8:38 a.m.

    That's what happens when a company becomes solely reactive rather than proactive. MS only did this to catch up with Sony, meanwhile Sony who made a conscious effort with indies for months and months now. Hell my Vita is basically a portable indie game machine. Sony made real sincere effort and so having indies greatly bolstering the PS4 launch lineup (the main reason I'm getting the PS4 day one is the indie games, I actually like the xb1 AAA lineup a little more). MS didn't value indies until Sony did, why the hell wouldn't the get indies on board for day 1? Every console I've had day 1 has suffered long post launch game droughts, indies are a great solution to this recurring problem.
  • Scoob - September 24, 2013 9:47 a.m.

    Microsoft made the indie effort first. Sony is the one that is catching up. XNA and it's integration with the XBox 360 has been around for close to a decade. They setup a whole system with a great website for support and everything. The Summer of Arcade promo has been around since 2008 as well. It was all probably a case of too soon though.
  • thomas1980 - September 24, 2013 10:26 a.m.

    MS made the first move years ago, it's true, however they abandoned it years before Sony made their push. We constantly hear about indie Devs saying working with MS is a pain, about being poorly treated. Yu mention XNA, that was so good even MS has officially abandoned it, and can you name me 10 good indie games made on the platform? MS hasn't cared about indies for a good time now. Fun fact I work with a guy who said he doesn't like indie games at all, I wondered why and it turns out what he thought was indie games was the terrible shite fest the indie games section is on XBL, MS has activily damaged the image of indie games in the eyes of 360 owners throu terrible miss-management and representation. Sony has day 1 indie games and a long list of confirmed titles, Sony isn't playing catchup to anyone in the console space, even Nintendo has better confirmed indie support than the xb1 and the WiiU is basically is free fall right now. MS stopped caring about indies a long time ago, they have only just started retracting its Draconian indie policies because Sony is having great success with their policies, that's the very definition of being a reactive company.
  • ljrivarola - September 24, 2013 8:36 a.m.

    “I don't think it's realistic to see a developer get the programme and build a game and get it into the market on November 22." PLEASE, someone call Sony and tell them that it isn't realistic to have Tiny Brains and ResoGun on launch day! THEY NEED TO KNOW THIS!
  • michaelkaramas - September 25, 2013 6:04 a.m.

    Ill get right on it sir! They may take issue with it though.

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