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.