Microsoft: indies "crucial" to future of gaming

Self-publishing boss Chris Charla says innovation happening "so quickly" in the indie space, won't discuss controversial Xbox One day-one parity clause.

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The independent development scene is "crucial" to the future of gaming, according to Xbox maker Microsoft. Chris Charla, who heads up the Xbox One's self-publishing program ID@Xbox, told CVG that innovation is happening for projects of all sizes, but he sees the most rapid growth of new ideas in the indie space.

"I think the indie development scene will be crucial to the future of games. I see innovation all over, from triple-A to indie games, but I see it happening so quickly in the independent developer scene that it's super excited [sic] to me," Charla said. "We really see our responsibility as a platform holder that players get to see that."

Charla wouldn't name names regarding some of the most innovative projects he's seen so far, but said developers are already leveraging Kinect in new and interesting ways.

"There's a tech demo we have, which is a first-person shooter, and when the player touches the side of their head, X-ray vision comes on," Charla said. "It feels magical--just really cool when it happens. I think we're going to see more games which use Kinect for these neat ideas and more subtle features, rather than huge body movements to control games entirely."

Also in the interview, Charla dodged questions regarding the Xbox One's much-discussed and controversial launch-day parity clause, which reportedly requires indie studios to release their games on Xbox One at the same time as PS4.

"I can't comment on our publishing policies," Charla said. "But I can say we're taking feedback from developers, and we're always taking feedback, and we want to make ID@Xbox as great a platform as it possibly can."

Microsoft recently published a list of over 50 independent developers working on Xbox One featuring studios like Double Fine, Crytek, and Behaviour Interactive, among others.

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