Microsoft recently revealed that its upcoming Xbox One console will play double duty as a developer’s debug unit. That means that every retail console will run in-progress game code so indie developers can get started working on the next hit title sooner and for far less money than before.
Xbox corporate VP Marc Whitten said it was Microsoft’s vision that every person can be a creator, that every Xbox One can be used for development and that every game and experience can take advantage of all of the features of Xbox One and Xbox Live.
Naturally, opening up the platform to the masses meant a change in the company’s publishing regulations was in order. With the Xbox 360, self-publishing is limited to the “indie” section – all other titles must be distributed by a Microsoft-certified publisher either physically or digitally.
Moving forward, developers will be able to publish titles on their own without a certification. Code will still need to be certified before being released but we are hearing that process will be pretty quick. More is expected on this front at Gamescon late next month.
In the meantime, a number of indie developers have voiced their opinion on the matter. Brian Provinciano, developer of Retro City Rampage which is available on Xbox Live Arcade, said it was a great thing but it’s still not the equivalent to what other platforms offer. Philip Tibitoski, President and community manager at Young Horse Games, said he was waiting to hear more details about the self-publishing on Xbox One before making any sort of decision as to whether it’s a great thing or just something that’s only okay.