Microsoft reverses Xbox One indie publishing requirements

[UPDATE] Microsoft confirms self-publishing for independent developers will be available on Xbox One; all systems can be used to make games; more details will be shared at Gamescom.


[UPDATE] Following the publication of this story, Microsoft confirmed that independent developers will be able to self-publish titles on the Xbox One and that every system can be used to make games. More details about the program will be shared at Gamescom next month.

"Our vision is that every person can be a creator. That every Xbox One can be used for development," Xbox corporate vice president Marc Whitten said in a statement. "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."

Whitten told Kotaku in a new interview that devkit functionality will not be available when the Xbox One launches in November.

The original story is below.

Sources have told Game Informer that Microsoft is preparing to announce a new policy that will allow independent developers to self-publish titles through Xbox Live.

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This would be a reversal of policy for Microsoft, as the company said in May that indie developers would need to obtain a publishing deal from Microsoft or a third party to release their games through the service.

According to the report, a "cacophony of naysayers" pushed Microsoft to reconsider its position on the matter. The new terms reportedly will allow developers to choose release dates and pricing.

The move would put Microsoft in line with Sony and Nintendo, which have said that they will allow developers to publish their own titles on the PlayStation Network and Nintendo Network, respectively.

If true, the reversal would be the second major policy switch Microsoft has made in recent months. In June, the company reversed some of its most controversial connectivity and secondhand policies.

In addition, Game Informer has learned that Microsoft is "drastically overhauling" its certification process, switching to a model more closely resembling that of iTunes. A 14-day turnaround is targeted for approvals, the site reports, with Microsoft examining games for terms of service violations and bugs instead of "extensive code checking."

On top of this, the publication has been informed that every Xbox One unit can be converted to a debug console, allowing Microsoft to authorize a console ID to play prerelease code.

Microsoft was not immediately available to comment.

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