Report: Indies Will Be Able To Self-Publish On Xbox One

Microsoft will allow indie developers to self-publish on the Xbox One, according to a new report at Game Informer. This is a departure from Microsoft's current policy for the Xbox 360, which requires independent game-makers to either work with an outside publisher — a company with a licensed agreement to publish games on Microsoft platforms, like EA or Activision — or publish their games through Microsoft Studios.

That policy was reportedly remaining in place for the Xbox One.

The details are still hazy, but according to this new report, indies will be able to release games on Microsoft's next-gen console without jumping through all of those hoops.

While Microsoft hadn't offered many specifics on the Xbox One's indie policies, they did mention broad plans to support indie developers, with former Microsoft Xbox head Don Mattrick telling Kotaku, "We're going to have an independent creator program... There's no way we're going to build a box that doesn't support that."

Sony, on the other hand, has offered indies self-publishing on all of their platforms including PlayStation 4, which created a significant contrast between the two console-makers.

Game Informer reports that Microsoft will allow developers to set their own release dates and pricing, and will aim to certify games in as few as 14 days. They also report that retail Xbox One units will be able to be converted into developer-unlocked debug consoles.

We've reached out to Microsoft for confirmation, and will update if and when we hear more.

Update: Microsoft has sent along the following statement, largely confirming the information in the Game Informer report:

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.


    This is great news.

    Microsoft's PR has been a nightmare thus far. Rumour is, this plan has been in place since last year and they decided to sit on it until Gamescom. Silly move while Sony was out there getting all the big name indies on side.

      Big name and indie should never go together...

      This *might* be great news.
      I wonder if like XBLIG, this will be US only. And continue to be buried in a dark corner of the marketplace.

      There are also reports that these indie titles will run in the 3GB App OS, not the 5GB games OS. If true, I wonder what functional limitations this will impose, and how that will affect the quality of games.

        I hope it is separate from the regular marketplace. The Indie games channel was a dirty ghetto of non-games and garbage punctuated by the occasional gem.

    "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."

    Xbox Live achievements in self published games? Big news that, seeing as though they didn't allow that on XBLIG. Hopefully this makes its way to Windows 8 and Windows Phone too.

    Aghhh, PS4 was such an easy choice, now I am conflicted. First the DRM reversal now the self publishing about turn, this combined with Titan Fall, Sunset Overdrive, and project spark, Microsoft might just win me back yet. on the other hand as an xbox 360 owner it really did hurt not being able to play any of the naughty dog games or things like Journey and Unfinished Swan, also kinetct.
    Microsoft it was so much easier when you were being a greedy dick.

    Last edited 25/07/13 10:19 am

      Project spark has really got me interested, and I got 4 kids so something for the whole family

      If it's any help, remember that just because MS is backing down now it doesn't mean that they've learnt their lesson. All this and more could come back with a vengeance at some later date.

    I wonder if it means that all games will need Kinect functionality...

      That's up to the developers....but at least its an even playing field as the kinnect is now part of the system

    So...Microsoft are releasing a more expensive PS4?

      I Believe that the PS4 Indie game scheme is more restrictive.
      You have to apply for a DevKit where XBone will let you use your regular XBone.

      Cheaper really as it comes with the camera

        Well no. If you want to buy a console, the PS4 is cheaper than the One.

        It has all the same features, minus a Kinect that no one will use anyway.

          What are next weeks lotto numbers as well oh great future seer!

          Your forgetting about the ps4 wasting a button on it's share feature while the xbox one just needs a voice command. And I find it's always the one's that have tried kinect to begin with are the ones to first bash it. I love mine. The voice commands are very accurate and games like fruit ninja are awesome with it (and you work up a bit of sweat doing it too).

          The one's that haven't* triedd

          I'd call it incomplete .....after I used kinnect with Skyrim to shout the dragon shouts instead of pausing the game to select them from the menu I now think its a must have for any console.........i will also get the camera for the PS4, welcome to the future

      Kinect and PS Eye are not really comparable in terms of functionality and the gap is only going to increase as time goes on now that it is apart of the console and not just an accessory.

        "Kinect and PS Eye are not really comparable in terms of functionality". Except that they are - they will both be useless.

          Be cynical if you want but the 27 million people who purchased Kinect disagree with you. I for one am most excited about the voice functionality that they demo'd.

            I have a Kinect, and I've found it to be somewhat of a gimmick. Outside of the games (which have generally been pretty poor) the voice recognition and motion detection are still slower than using a controller. Consequently once the novelty wore off, the Kinect hasn't seen much use since. Friends / colleagues have have had similar experiences with theirs.

            I haven't seen anything so far to convince me that the next gen Kinect will be different...

              I haven't seen anything so far to convince me that the next gen Kinect will be different...

              You can't honestly have watched the Kinect 2.0 demo's and still be saying that. All the new voice integration and hand gestures look pretty cool, and they don't have to convince you to like it, but it should have definitely convinced you that Kinect 2.0 is different. That's if you watched the Kinect demo's.

                Proud owner of a 360 kinect and am very excited for the xbox one's version. Let the hatters sit around in their tinfoil hats gorging on cheetos, we'll have fun without them.

              I don't own a car because... well I find it laborious to use that crank handle to start it up.

              I too do not believe any technology can ever improve.

              This post has been brought to you by my abacus.

              Good day.

    Reading this article reminds me of another promise Microsoft made a long time ago...
    Tell me, how many of you remember "Velocity Girl"?
    If you don't remember it, just google that plus "Microsoft" or "360".

    Enjoy reading about the Live Marketplace that could have been!

      Ah the promises the current gen made, velocity girl, playstation's cell processor. You certainly gotta have your bullshit detector on these days.

    I know copying goes on in the industry all the time. Look at Kinect, Move, hell even rumble controllers. But fucking jeez.. Now while this might look good on the surface, it reeks of cashgrab. Are there even any remaining original Xbone policies? Aside from the TV functions that won't work here anyway. I mean I get that PS4 has all these things and they're selling pre-orders like a mother fucker but have some damn pride and conviction. Look at Nintendo, they've made some horrible mistakes but they commit to their choices from the get go. They also strive to be different. Not just an overpriced underpowered PS4 >_>

      I like it when companies react to consumer demand, there's nothing honourable or brave about Nintendo's bad choices, they're just bad choices. I haven't bought a Nintendo console for years because of their bad choices. I don't respect them more cause they stuck by shitty decisions.

        My point was that they went in a direction and stuck to it. Sure the wii U is suffering because of it but the wii sold very well and the 3DS is outselling actual consoles. =/

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