Microsoft’s relationship with indie developers has been a sore point for the company over the last few years. It’s led to the developers of wildly successful games such as Braid and FEZ swearing off ever working with the company again, and it’s been one of Sony’s draws for the PS4.
However, according to a report by Gamesreactor, this might be about change. A successful European developer is current talking to Microsoft about self publishing on Xbox Live. Apparently this would only apply to some of the bigger indie developers (Presumably companies like Double Fine or Supergiant Games). There’d also be a selection process in place to prevent these studios from shoveling out titles.
Despite these restrictions, it’s still a big step up for developers. Previously, any indie team who wanted to get onto the Xbox Live Marketplace would have to sign up with a publisher, who would then get to take a cut of the game’s sales. Alternatively, developers could sign up with Microsoft, but this meant they had to stay exclusive to the Xbox for a certain about of time.
In addition, Microsoft may be working on plans to reduce the price of console devkits, which currently sit at around ten thousand dollars. This echoes Sony’s announcement that PS4 devkits will be more accessible for indies.