Xbox 360 Gets Indie Self Publishing Too

Xbox 360 Gets Indie Self Publishing Too

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It's not just the Xbox One that will let indies self-publish.

Earlier in the month, we received confirmation from Microsoft that contrary to its initial launch claims, indies will, in fact, be able to self publish titles on the Xbox One. Now, it looks like Microsoft are also spreading the love to their current-gen console, the Xbox 360, with self publishing set to hit the platform as early as next month.

The news comes via a little-known dev called Farsight studios, who announced that it would be self publishing its Pinball Arcade title to the 360's Xbox Live Arcade. Here's the full announcement, with the self publishing bit and its predicted release date bolded:

"As many of our fans have noticed, the Xbox 360 version of the Pinball Arcade is no longer available in the Live Arcade store. Our publisher for the 360 version recently emerged from bankruptcy and we'd been told that we would be allowed to immediately submit all of the unreleased Table Packs to our long-suffering 360 users.

Unfortunately, Microsoft has elected to revoke the publisher's license agreement (which is why the Pinball Arcade is temporarily not available in the store). However, we have some very good news to share- Microsoft has just announced that indie developers (like FarSight) can now self-publish on Xbox Live Arcade instead of being required to find publishers for their games.

This means we can bring the Pinball Arcade back to the 360 ourselves, and also opens the door to an Xbox One version of the Pinball Arcade in the future! Microsoft has stated that the new program will open in August- we will do everything we can to get the Pinball Arcade (and all of the new Table Packs) back on the Xbox 360 as quickly as possible."

Very good news for the platform, which is often considered to be pretty unfriendly to independent developers (at least compared to the alternatives). We have reached out to Microsoft for official confirmation.

Source: Gamasutra

Permalink

Why only now are Microsoft attempting to be consumer friendly?

Evil Smurf:
Why only now are Microsoft attempting to be consumer friendly?

New CEO, I imagine.

I believe it's called "damage control".

To be honest I would have loved to step into those shoes. If your predecessor fucked things up to a royal degree you can just be an "average" CEO and still look like you were awesome by comparison.

Wow, They are REALLY backpedaling after the X-Bone DRM Flop, huh?

Evil Smurf:
Why only now are Microsoft attempting to be consumer friendly?

Businesses can hear only 2 things, the creak of your wallet opening and the sound of them slamming shut. Alot have been shutting as of late and Microsoft is responding accordingly. This is why I always tell people to vote with their wallet, saying "oh I don't like what ABC company is doing, but I'm still buying guns shooter 295" isn't going to achieve anything. But as XBone, EA and other's have shown if you close your wallet even for a month or so they will come crawling back. Money to a corporation is like a steak to a starving dog, they'll do anything for it.

Does the phrase "too little, too late" apply to this situation? It's like telling the captain of the Titanic that they hit an iceberg after it's already snapped in half.

But the big question that remains unanswered is; how much does this cost? 100 dollars... 500,000, what!?

Evil Smurf:
Why only now are Microsoft attempting to be consumer friendly?

Don knob is gone now.it makes sense they'd change policy's since the dude has been big wig of the xbox team since 07.

The XBox 180 saga continues. The real winner appears to be the indies and the consumers, turns out that Microsoft's reversal idiocy seems to have resulted in the best possible result for everyone here.

dragongit:
Does the phrase "too little, too late" apply to this situation? It's like telling the captain of the Titanic that they hit an iceberg after it's already snapped in half.

No. This is gaming we are talking about. We already got people backpedaling and preordering Xbones. Average gamer has memry span of a couple weeks. after that everyone but few people have forgotten it all. for example how many of you still complain about ubisoft for being the first one to start always online DRM fashion? yeah, and remember what it was like when it actually launched? pirates were the only ones that could play due to server problem.

Next up scrap the kinnect and the closed system that is xbox live and were good to go. It would be awesome if microsoft changed their stance on cross platform play on xbox live because Final fantasy xi was the only mmo that made it onto xbox before the live system was closed off to cross platform play.

RicoADF:

Evil Smurf:
Why only now are Microsoft attempting to be consumer friendly?

Businesses can hear only 2 things, the creak of your wallet opening and the sound of them slamming shut. Alot have been shutting as of late and Microsoft is responding accordingly. This is why I always tell people to vote with their wallet, saying "oh I don't like what ABC company is doing, but I'm still buying guns shooter 295" isn't going to achieve anything. But as XBone, EA and other's have shown if you close your wallet even for a month or so they will come crawling back. Money to a corporation is like a steak to a starving dog, they'll do anything for it.

Considering that it's largely the major publishers like EA, Ubisoft and 2K catching the flack, "voting with your wallet" basically becomes "don't buy games." I understand your point, and I agree that voting with your purchases is a valid option some of the time, but in this case it's like not buying Kraft products: You can do it, but it will require a lot of time and effort, and probably money.

OT: I'll actually be interested to see where this goes in a few years. With the ubiquitousness of the 360, and Microsoft's increasing apathy, it might actually end up being a good place to put out/find console indie games, or just to test out console development for the curious. Or even just to do some cool hardware/software hacking experiments, a la the Atari 2600.

Wake up call came a bit late as i am now hearing ps4 out pre-ordering xboxone 2:1. Guess when the wallet is hit they started giving a damn.

dragongit:
Does the phrase "too little, too late" apply to this situation? It's like telling the captain of the Titanic that they hit an iceberg after it's already snapped in half.

Too little? They've backtracked on virtually every single point of criticism since E3. Everything from major DRM changes, always-online, the bloody headset and indie self-publishing. That is in no way, shape or form little.

Too late? This ought to be one of the fastest responses to consumer complaints we've seen in the gaming industry to date.

So no, I wouldn't say it applies to this situation.

It's almost like they had a clueless idiot running things, and now he's gone off to run Zynga.

shirkbot:

Considering that it's largely the major publishers like EA, Ubisoft and 2K catching the flack, "voting with your wallet" basically becomes "don't buy games." I understand your point, and I agree that voting with your purchases is a valid option some of the time, but in this case it's like not buying Kraft products: You can do it, but it will require a lot of time and effort, and probably money.

Then companies have no reason to care about your complaining. What do you think you're going to accomplish with it? Hurting their feelings?

I've not bought a lot of games because of DRM. And you know what? Once the hype train goes by, you don't really feel that left out in the end.

Diablo1099:
Wow, They are REALLY backpedaling after the X-Bone DRM Flop, huh?

Look at the amazon best sellers in video games (updated every hour).

In the top 100, Sony has 5 console versions on this list, even its Knack Bundle is there. 4 bundles are above the XBO:

Again, updated every hour so these may be slightly higher or lower depending on when you read this and follow the link.

6. PS4 Watch Dogs
9. PS4 Battlefield 4
12. PS4 Standard
26. PS4 Killzone
37. XBO standard
93. PS4 Knack

Best sellers of the year (so far) has the PS4 launch edition out stripping the XBO at #3 to #6 and both are sold out. There are then 3 other ps4 types on that list and the standard XBO isn't anywhere to be seen. So Sony isn't just beating the XBO by a little, we're talking 4:1 absolutely and probably 6:1 or more.

So yeah, Microsoft is backpeddling. They're desperate at the moment. I don't blame them. While they'll likely make up ground after release, this all translates into millions of lost potential revenue for them. Lost customers and lost software sales which likewise turns into greater difficulty getting exclusive titles. It's a vicious cycle.

Lightknight:
Look at the amazon best sellers in video games (updated every hour).

In the top 100, Sony has 5 console versions on this list, even its Knack Bundle is there. 4 bundles are above the XBO:

Again, updated every hour so these may be slightly higher or lower depending on when you read this and follow the link.

6. PS4 Watch Dogs
9. PS4 Battlefield 4
12. PS4 Standard
26. PS4 Killzone
37. XBO standard
93. PS4 Knack

Best sellers of the year (so far) has the PS4 launch edition out stripping the XBO at #3 to #6 and both are sold out. There are then 3 other ps4 types on that list and the standard XBO isn't anywhere to be seen. So Sony isn't just beating the XBO by a little, we're talking 4:1 absolutely and probably 6:1 or more.

So yeah, Microsoft is backpeddling. They're desperate at the moment. I don't blame them. While they'll likely make up ground after release, this all translates into millions of lost potential revenue for them. Lost customers and lost software sales which likewise turns into greater difficulty getting exclusive titles. It's a vicious cycle.

Karma is a bitch, ain't it? Serves them right for trying to pull that Anti-Consumer BS.

dragongit:
Does the phrase "too little, too late" apply to this situation? It's like telling the captain of the Titanic that they hit an iceberg after it's already snapped in half.

Yeah, they should have made these policy changes before releasing the XBox One ... oh, wait ...

Anyway, I don't understand negative reactions here. It sounds like MS is responding to consumer demands. Isn't that a good thing? I also don't see all this as being a huge problem. The majority of people who buy the consoles aren't reading up on every minor detail before the thing is even released yet. If MS really does have the ability to actually produce more consoles than Sony, that might make up the difference from these marketing mistakes.

Diablo1099:
Karma is a bitch, ain't it? Serves them right for trying to pull that Anti-Consumer BS.

Yes, they made their bed and now they've got to lay in it.

But here's the thing. We want such anti-consumer practices to be punished, but with only two legitimate consoles on the AAA tier of the market (sorry WiiU, you have great first party games), we don't want Microsoft to leave the market altogether. If done right, the next generation should be two or more large companies competing for our business again. That's what we really want. If Microsoft falls too hard then who knows what the only player in town would do with such a monopoly?

But the XBO appears to be selling well enough, just not compared to the competitor. So we should see them survive this mistake. A huge PR mistake like this is harder to repair than the PS3's pricing failure.

I do wonder if there's any action Microsoft could even take right now to undo the harm? I, for one, find the disparity in console power significant, especially when the reason for the disparity is that the kinect 2 is being forced on everyone and it costs almost as much as the console does. But I find it so important because Microsoft's goal is to force cloud computing. To me, this is them trying to force always online gaming (aka: cloud processed games) and that's not cool. Not only that, but the kinect 2 being mandatory worries me for entirely other reasons. I do NOT want games that make me take physical actions to do something when I have controllers in my hands. I'm ok with it for kinect-specific games like fruit ninja or whatever, but not my regular AAA titles. Add that to the still existent Kinect 2 function to track what we say and do even when it's off to provide marketing data so they can give us relevant ads is frustrtating. Especially when I compare the Live Dashboard with the PS3's dashboard and realize that the ps3's dashboad was clean and free of ads you can accidentally hover over and trigger a screaming commercial.

When comparing it to a more powerful system that is $100 less, I just can't rationally see why to get the XBO. It'll be a fun system, I'm sure, with good games just like the 360 is. But comparatively? Maybe Microsoft can release another model that alleviates these problems now that it's clear their goals weren't aligned with consumer demands.

Lightknight:
Snip

Well, that being said, I can imagine that other companies might step in and take over the gap left by MS, that is how the Free Market is supposed to work.
That or MS sells the X-box to someone else and let them make future consoles.
Still, as an admitted Playstation Fan (From PS1 to Now), I'm enjoying this a lot more then I really should :P

It's just entertaining to see one of the Big 3 pull some of the most retarded moves in Gaming History before screaming "WAIT! NO! WE DIDN'T MEAN IT! COME BACK!"

Clovus:
Anyway, I don't understand negative reactions here. It sounds like MS is responding to consumer demands. Isn't that a good thing? I also don't see all this as being a huge problem. The majority of people who buy the consoles aren't reading up on every minor detail before the thing is even released yet. If MS really does have the ability to actually produce more consoles than Sony, that might make up the difference from these marketing mistakes.

It "MAY" be a good thing. Sony's announcement of this was that it's free and does NOT require a dev kit. This announcement already states that the initial XBO won't be capable of this and it'll require a working relationship with Microsoft in addition to a dev kit box. It makes no statement as to the cost of it or what would be involved with patching the game after release. This could basically be no different than before besides just removing a requirement to have a publisher back the developer.

If it were going to be free like Sony's then you'd think they'd say it too. Is it a good thing that they've removed one of many hurdles facing indie developers? Yeah, it's a step in the right direction. But they need to take some more steps before it makes a meaningful difference. You've got to understand, Microsoft's goal this time was to maximize developers/publishers as customers. To make them want to use the XBO by getting rid of the second hand market and to encourage them to start using Microsoft's cloud processing capabilities. This makes them extremely adverse to giving indies a free foothold into the market whereas Sony's goal is to keep our business as gamers.

As for the ability to produce more consoles than Sony, what does it matter if they aren't selling them? Sony is selling at more than 5:1 and they haven't sold out yet. Even Microsoft's day one edition had fewer consoles in it than Sony's launch day did. So where's the benefit in their production ability? I'm also not entirely sure how the ability to produce the product at one rate or another impacts the quality/desireability of said product.

Drop the price and the kinect microsoft, then will talk.

BloodSquirrel:

Then companies have no reason to care about your complaining. What do you think you're going to accomplish with it? Hurting their feelings?

I've not bought a lot of games because of DRM. And you know what? Once the hype train goes by, you don't really feel that left out in the end.

You do realize that was essentially my point, right? They don't have to care because the occupy such a large market share that someone is always going to be buying something from them, whether they know it or not. That's the problem: They're just too big. Not to mention that in punishing the publisher I have to punish the developer and the stores from which I would have bought the game as well. It's a giant, tangled mess.

Diablo1099:

Lightknight:
Snip

Well, that being said, I can imagine that other companies might step in and take over the gap left by MS, that is how the Free Market is supposed to work.
That or MS sells the X-box to someone else and let them make future consoles.
Still, as an admitted Playstation Fan (From PS1 to Now), I'm enjoying this a lot more then I really should :P

It's just entertaining to see one of the Big 3 pull some of the most retarded moves in Gaming History before screaming "WAIT! NO! WE DIDN'T MEAN IT! COME BACK!"

The cost of entry into the market is too high by far. There aren't very many companies capable of creating these kinds of machines at this price and in mass. I know Sony and Microsoft are relatively new to the market but they stepped in when the console market started crossing over into the pc market in enough ways to lend to their skills. Look at Nintendo, if anyone should have been able to, it'd have been them but they've been failing since the gamecube at being competitive on the processing front and have suffered for it despite finding new and creative ways to attract customers (Imagine if the Wii had also been as powerful as the other consoles and able to play all those huge AAA gamesl, it would have slaughtered). This is because Sony is an actual hardware company with deep inroads there and deep pockets and Microsoft has strong ties into the hardware market as well by virtue of their history and damn deep pockets. The computer market as a whole is too fragmented for it to be united and optimized in the way that consoles are so new entrants in the market will be more niche (ouya) than AAA competitors. I mean, maybe we'll see a steam box implemented in some way and that'd be great.

But the opportunities for market entry aren't really there right now except for something like I mentioned. Maybe Apple, maybe some other hardware company I'm not thinking of. But it'd have to be VERY big.

Jman1236:
Drop the price and the kinect microsoft, then will talk.

Even then you'll have a significantly weaker machine that is intentionally weak to encourage developers to use their cloud processing capabilities. An always on that is actually legitimately being processes on the server so we can't catch them lying like we caught EA doing with SimCity 5. If you're ok with systems that force Always Online gaming onto every game put out towards the end of the console generation then by all means, let price point and kinect 2 be the only talking point with a far larger elephant prancing in the room.

shirkbot:

You do realize that was essentially my point, right? They don't have to care because the occupy such a large market share that someone is always going to be buying something from them, whether they know it or not. That's the problem: They're just too big. Not to mention that in punishing the publisher I have to punish the developer and the stores from which I would have bought the game as well. It's a giant, tangled mess.

I'm not sure how you think market share works. If people refused to buy games with DRM, publishers who put DRM in everything wouldn't have any market share. And it doesn't matter if a publisher has 90% of the market- if a single game bombs horribly when it was their new pilot for always-online DRM, they've still lost money on it and will back off.

The fact that too many gamers bought anyway is why we're getting these increasingly restrictive DRM schemes.

BloodSquirrel:
I'm not sure how you think market share works. If people refused to buy games with DRM, publishers who put DRM in everything wouldn't have any market share. And it doesn't matter if a publisher has 90% of the market- if a single game bombs horribly when it was their new pilot for always-online DRM, they've still lost money on it and will back off.

The fact that too many gamers bought anyway is why we're getting these increasingly restrictive DRM schemes.

It's a two way street: People have to not buy, and companies need to understand WHY. NEITHER is happening, and that's really the problem. Sometimes people don't buy or they bomb the ratings on Amazon/Metacritic or what have you, but the companies don't care because 1) They don't care about anyone opposing DRM. They want DRM and by god they're going to keep putting it in until 0 people buy the game. 2) Everyone is still buying their other games anyway. Even if they post a huge loss one title, they're more likely to just never make that game again than to reverse policies that might have contributed to its poor sales. Both sides of the debate basically refuse to understand the other.

dragongit:
Does the phrase "too little, too late" apply to this situation? It's like telling the captain of the Titanic that they hit an iceberg after it's already snapped in half.

I'd disagree, to a point. At this stage I'd say it'd be more like warning him about the iceberg before they launched.

shirkbot:

BloodSquirrel:
I'm not sure how you think market share works. If people refused to buy games with DRM, publishers who put DRM in everything wouldn't have any market share. And it doesn't matter if a publisher has 90% of the market- if a single game bombs horribly when it was their new pilot for always-online DRM, they've still lost money on it and will back off.

The fact that too many gamers bought anyway is why we're getting these increasingly restrictive DRM schemes.

It's a two way street: People have to not buy, and companies need to understand WHY. NEITHER is happening, and that's really the problem.

I see where you're coming from but I really disagree with that statement. The best way to use your consumer powers and improve the industry is by punishing unethical business practice and rewarding good practices.

That's why I think that it's good that Xbox One preorders have started to pick up. It shows Microsoft that listening to consumer feedback can actually pay off.

Cynically turning down the Xbox One because of the policies that it used to feature will only show Microsoft that changing policies after consumer complaints isn't worth the investment.

 

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