After getting the news of Microsoft’s Independent Developers @ Xbox initiative, it comes as a surprise to hear that we should not expect to see any indie games on the console right at the launch. Microsoft’s Phil Harrison has revealed that it may take until early next year before any indie games are released.
Microsoft had already changed their original indie developing ability to self-publishing back in July. The news came to us from Phil Harrison during an interview with GamesIndustry International.
“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 program 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.”
He also spoke of the future vision of Xbox one and how it remains intact even after all of the DRM changes made from it’s original plan outlined at E3.
“Our long term vision hasn’t changed at all. We haven’t diluted our long term vision, which is all of the benefits of a connected ecosystem and what that means for all of the stakeholders – us, developer, publisher and crucially, the player. None of that has changed,” Harrison explained. “What we recognized was when you put a disc slot in the front of a machine certain expectations come with that disc slot. We had to adapt some of our policies and it was best that we did those before we launched, which we’ve done. All of that can be handled in the vacuum of the pre-launch activity. And it allows the players to have a choice. They can consume the content through the medium they like the best and fits with their particular situation. I don’t think there’s a negative to that.”
Phil also touched on the subject of the fan reaction to the DRM changes made by Xbox and how it was not a concern to most consumers.
“I don’t think it was underestimated. The moment you put a disc slot in there are certain expectations and functionality that I’m used to as a consumer. I don’t think it actually net-net changes anything.
This will sound like a random anecdote but I was sat buying a pair of shoes in the Nike store and while I was waiting there were two guys who worked there talking about their Xbox One preorders. It was amazing to me just how clear they were about their reasons for purchase, their motivations for purchase and what games they wanted to play. There was no discussion about DRM, there was no discussion about digital this or digital that. The passion was about the games, their friends on Xbox Live. The passion was about what the game is going to do for them and their enjoyment of the entertainment. That’s what we’ve got to remain focused on.”