Who is going to check every line of code to ensure it is all above board?
Playing a video game is a pleasant thing. But what if you have an idea for an even better game, but cannot create it and release it due to a lack of necessary tools and the presence of a lot of paperwork? According to Microsoft Corp., this will not be the case with Xbox One, as every game console sold in retail will eventually gain development and publishing capabilities.
“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 will have more details on the program and the timeline at Gamescom in August,” said Marc Whitten, corporate vice president of Xbox Live, in an interview with Kotaku web-site.
Traditionally, game development kits are only available to licensed game developers, so it is nearly impossible for an indie game designer to obtain such hardware and then release a title. While Microsoft did not say that every single Xbox One will be a fully-fledged development kit, it clearly stated that there will be a special program for independent game developers.
The process of becoming an indie Xbox One game developer will be fairly easy: one will have to sign up as a developer on a special web-site to set his/her console as a devkit. Then, the new game will be able to download the devkit and edit source code on a PC to transfer over to the Xbox One.
Microsoft seems to be pretty serious about the content created by indies. The software game designer claims that the content created by non-professional developers will be discoverable in the Xbox Live and will be located based on the popularity, recommendations, etc. alongside AAA titles from renowned publishers.
“My goal is for it to just show up in the marketplace. Of course there will be different pivots inside of that. There will be everything from what are we curating, kind of like spotlight content, to the normal discoverability stuff like recommendations, what is trending, what is got a lot of engagement on the platform. […] There would not be any difference based on what type of game it was. Then of course there will be other type of pivots where you can go and look at whether it is a genre of game or any other. But you should not think of it as there is an indie area and a non-indie area,” said Mr. Whitten.
Before getting to Xbox Live, games will be certified by Microsoft. Microsoft did not say that independent game development will be completely free, but said that when it comes to monetization, pricing of the titles will resemble what it does on today's Xbox 360 Marketplace.