Earlier today Game Informer reported that Microsoft was preparing to announce a reversal of their policy against letting independent developers self-publish on the Xbox One. The platform holder has now confirmed part of the report, revealing the second major policy shift for the upcoming next-gen console.
Xbox corporate VP Marc Whitten revealed the latest Xbox One reversal in the following statement:
“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.”
The decision to let developers self-publish titles on the Xbox One represents a huge shift from the policies that the company uses on the Xbox 360’s Xbox Live Arcade. Additionally, the ability of every console to be converted to a debug unit (according to the Game Informer article Microsoft would be able to authorize specific console IDs to play pre-release game code) is a massive improvement over the current industry standard of selling expensive debug systems.
We will have to wait until GamesCom next month to get the full details on Microsoft’s Xbox One indie policies, but today’s announcement seems to be a big step in the right direction.