Microsoft used to be "kind of d*cks" to indies, but not anymore dev says

Hyper Light Drifter dev says a lot has changed since the Xbox 360 days; Microsoft now "much more open" and friendly, Teddy Diefenbach explains.

Hyper Light Drifter

Microsoft used to be "kind of d*cks" to independent developers, but not anymore. That's according to Hyper Light Drifter developer Heart Machine's Teddy Diefenbach, who said in a new interview that much has changed--for the better--since the Xbox 360 days.

"They were kind of dicks about it back in the day," Diefenbach told Eurogamer about Microsoft's former relationship with indies. But with the arrival of Microsoft's Xbox One indie program ID@Xbox, developer relations have improved substantially, he said.

"It's friendly, it's got the same terms as everybody else, basically," Diefenbach said. "It's much more open than it ever was. It's not like it was in the 360 days."

Yesterday, Hyper Light Drifter creator Alex Preston said in a separate media interview that Microsoft "used to be a**holes" about indie game development.

Diefenbach also addressed the differences between Microsoft and Sony as it relates to indie publishing agreements. In short, he said there aren't many.

"As far as the terms go, they're relatively similar," he said. "The biggest difference between Sony and Microsoft was that Sony has had a large push behind gathering indies and they reached out to us initially, even when the Kickstarter was still going, and they have a bigger team behind it all. Microsoft has been a bit slower to come to the table, but now they're coming around, so it seems like they're going to be on much more even ground."

One prickly issue that remains with Microsoft ID@Xbox program is its controversial "launch parity" clause that requires games release the same day (or earlier) on Xbox One as they do on competing platforms like the PC or PlayStation 4. This would thereby eliminate the possibility of a timed-exclusive for a competing system. It also can be problematic for developers, which might need to bring on more staff or allocate more resources to meet the requirement.

Asked by Eurogamer about the "launch parity" clause, ID@Xbox head Chris Charla towed the company line, saying he can't discuss publishing policies publicly. Instead, these agreements are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

127 comments
stalin_ksa
stalin_ksa

Microsoft used to be kinda d*cks, but then PS4 owned E3 so they're not anymore

playmynutz
playmynutz

When I had a xbox 360 I never played indie games, I was a d*ck too

AyatollaofRnR
AyatollaofRnR

MS has been pretty rigid in the past. They did a good job establishing XBLA though. I didn't mind the curated aspect of it. It's good to move away from the publisher model for it though so we can get  some creative titles. 


I haven't had much interest in XBLA for a while, so Im keen to see what indies can bring to the table.

deadpen
deadpen

Could this be from the fact that most AAA game dev co. are being sued. Or could it be because a lot of dev have quit AAA co. to go indie? Maybe it is because the trend of sales are favoring indie games. When/If sales die down watch Microsoft not call them the next morning.

Daemoroth
Daemoroth

Such incredible amounts of stupid in the comments...

jOmOmbO
jOmOmbO

I doubt they are changing, but they are only kissing customers asses to. I do agree with @berserker66666 that they paid this guy to say this, lol.

berserker66666
berserker66666

Place your guesses. How much did Microscam paid this guy to say that?

Aelfredus
Aelfredus

I'll believe it when I see it.

ebookerd1
ebookerd1

Man how many times can you quote "They were D***s/AHoles" I was waiting for another 4 tries.

DARKSPACE
DARKSPACE

Gamespot has a potty mouth headline..  Means rated X comments. LOL

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

Did Eddie seriously post this story twice?

HowlPendragon
HowlPendragon

I'm starting to think they either had to sign a contract or are being paid to shill for MS.

blackace
blackace

Greatness is coming.....

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

Reminiscent of Nintendo's traditional stance toward any non-Nintendo developer and why Nintendo continues to struggle to this day; even for big budget games.

Microsoft still has requirements that are unfavorable to developers as comparared to competitors. An improvement for sure, but they still have a long way to go and are far behind Sony and Valve. Microsoft is the last place I would go as an indie developer.

FULGOREY2K
FULGOREY2K

they used to be kind of dicks.....

now they are total assholes

sladakrobot
sladakrobot

Why is this artcle pushed back to top again?

de-astroturfer
de-astroturfer

Oh look another indy wants to tell us how Microsoft used to be bad but they're not anymore and how Microsoft loves indys now in the space of 24 hours, concerted PR offensive much !

barrybarryk
barrybarryk

Now they just outright threaten them, your game won't be allowed on Xbox if it's already on Playstation.  "launch parity" or no release, that's rich from the company that specialises in contractually timed exclusives

GSGuy321
GSGuy321

The old business model of doing things doesn't work anymore. Those days are over. The consumers have the power now because of choice. Look at the Steam Machines. The users will have even more control because they will then be able to determine what hardware they use. The movement is towards more choice. The old model relied on less choice, exclusivity, closed systems, etc..

daikkenaurora12
daikkenaurora12

Thats because they didnt value them.  Now they see them as cash cows.  Once the mystic wears of, MS will be dicks again.

Rayzakk
Rayzakk

Anyone else think It's sad that so many of gamespot's articles today still sound like leftover april fools jokes?

Gallowhand
Gallowhand

I think it's encouraging to see Microsoft making changes and following Sony's lead in becoming more open and flexible towards indie developers on their platform.  They seem to be getting the right people into the right positions, now, so hopefully there will be a greater variety of games available.  It should be an interesting E3 this year.

chewbacca72
chewbacca72

Though I'm an Xbox fan, it seems that Indie games are gaining popularity until they can get a system to run at 1080/60fps as promised.

cherublvl99
cherublvl99

@berserker66666  - Meanwhile in PS4, it's so boring to see PS4 owners sick of their console, wich has no games, caming here to say shits like this. But wait, "greatness are coming" like Sony say, I just don't know when, what I saw yet was just a batter hardware and... nothing, just a better hardware, I'm sorry but PC has a hardware better then 2 PS4's together, so whatever hardware.

calamityo
calamityo

@HowlPendragon The same way where they were being paid to be shills for Sony, for saying how great they are. Not to mention licking their rear ends.

GSGuy321
GSGuy321

@Hvac0120 Totally true. And you can even see Nintendo starting to open up a little bit now. They'll have to in order to survive.

de-astroturfer
de-astroturfer

@sladakrobot 

Its a different developer, different article. all part a concerted Microsoft PR push didn't you get the memo ?

F-Rott
F-Rott

@sladakrobot You got to produce if you get paid. This is some strong pro-Xbox propaganda to basically get recycled articles posted over and over to get the word out.

Sl4cka
Sl4cka

@sladakrobot It's actually a different article. Although, it does say pretty much the same thing. What's "surprising" both of them are written by Eddie. The guy must be suffering from short memory loss.

calamityo
calamityo

@de-astroturfer Wow, Sony didn't give a crap about indy and now you lot all care about them in a space of how many months.

GSGuy321
GSGuy321

@barrybarryk Launch parity is pretty ridiculous yup. Agreed.

And stupid as well. Let me see, if I'm a developer who am i going to choose. Steam, which has 75 million active users, and PS4, which is outselling XB1 worldwide easily, or the Xbox One, with it's small install base and weak system. 

Get with the times guys at MS.

EasyComeEasyGo
EasyComeEasyGo

As much as it pains me to say this yes. Eddie is just doing a poor job today.

seth_rogaine
seth_rogaine

@cherublvl99  Okaaay Frankenstein. Remember English is your friend.

HowlPendragon
HowlPendragon

@calamityo You do realize basically EVERYONE is praising the PS4, right?

de-astroturfer
de-astroturfer

@calamityo @de-astroturfer  No you've got that the wrong way round ! Microsoft told indies to F*** off and find a publisher and now you lot all care about them in the space of how many months ?

HowlPendragon
HowlPendragon

@AyatollaofRnR 

Sony definitely made themselves out to be the "saviors" of gaming last year, and tbh it was a huge relief after all the talk and rumors going on prior to E3 which was pointing to both Sony and MS having their own implementations of DRM. All those people in the audience weren't cheering for nothing.

And I can only speak for myself, but I was only willing to give MS a chance up until they announced their always-online policies, always-connected Kinect, and higher price point for less-powerful hardware. Not to mention their poor support for self-publishing, which they only changed to compete with Sony.

Sony is just making them look bad by making better decisions. Not saying both aren't greedy, but Sony is smarter right now.

HowlPendragon
HowlPendragon

@packers904 Bashing them for no reason? Did you miss pretty much everything MS said and did throughout 2013?

And neither console has that system-selling exclusive yet. The best PS and Xbone they have are infamous and Forza, respectively. But that isn't why PS4 is getting the praise they're getting. Its because of their better support for small developers and better performance at a decent price.

AyatollaofRnR
AyatollaofRnR

@HowlPendragon  Well there is a general vibe of goodwill to Sony. They played it pretty safe with the PS4 and fixed their mistakes from the PS3.


I don't know why that suddenly makes them noble though and MS the bad guy.

packers904
packers904

@HowlPendragon  and ps4 fanboys bashing the xb1 for no reason doesn't count either then. I own both and seriously ps4 freaking sucks right now all their exclusives minus infamous (which was just above mediocre after the graphics) are complete garbage. And the home screen is too bland with one row that you have to scroll all the way through to find your game to launch.

sleepyinmorning
sleepyinmorning

@Random_Matt @sleepyinmorning life had been pretty busy,i am 18 now and things are getting easier,i am thinking of starting a youtube playthrough channel,after my 6 hour classes and homework that is lol

sleepyinmorning
sleepyinmorning

@Random_Matt @sleepyinmorning@chewbacca72 lol 2gb ram no graphic card.3 ghz core2duo cpu though