The types of changes next-generation consoles need to make not only come from a technological standpoint, but also from the point of cost.
Currently, indie developers are thriving under Steam with what it has to offer to both gamers and developers.
Those who create games independently tend to gravitate more towards the Steam platform, and seem to be very hesistant to move toward the Xbox 360 and Microsoft because of the high development costs.
According to a report from VG24/7 yesterday, Introversion’s co-founder Mark Morris was willing to discuss the matter.
Morris talked about developing with Microsoft and some of the costs involved with doing so.
“We could spin out a team of probably ten people, we need to pay Microsoft $10,000 a go for a development kit.
“It’s ridiculous, and it’s non-refundable once you’ve bought it. You’ve got to pay – I think our quality assurance bill was $30,000 for testing with Darwinia+, and it took four years to get the game certified to a standard that Microsoft wanted.
“It then sold rubbish. We hardly shipped any units on Xbox 360, compared to PC.
“There is a strong indie community now on PC that doesn’t exist within the console world, and they’ve tried various ways to tap into that with Live Arcade and Xbox Indie Games, and they just never managed it in the way Steam has,” Morris said.
Morris went on to talk about how companies like Microsoft want you to develop games for them first and foremost, but that indie devs won’t go there because of the difficulty that comes with developing a game for them.
“But Microsoft and Sony come along and they say, ‘Well we don’t want to have your game second, we want to be first.’
“Well, they can’t be first. We’re on PC because they’ve made it too hard. Also, they want exclusive content, well piss off.
“If they want to work with us – and if they want indie games on their systems – they’re going to have to change quite a lot to make it attractive,” Morris said.
Clearly there is work to be done if Microsoft and/or Sony want to persuade indie developers to sell their games on next-generation consoles.
Whether or not that will happen remains to be seen, but if a feeling is any indication, it’s very difficult to see those big console companies making significant adjustments with their new, more powerful systems.
Do you think Microsoft and Sony will make adjustments to help adopt more indie developers?