Microsoft’s recent decision to pursue self-publishing on its forthcoming Xbox One, and possibly the current Xbox 360, has garnered a lot of much-needed goodwill moving into the next generation. That revelation, coupled with the announcement that every Xbox One unit has the potential to operate like debug hardware, has attracted the attention of developers who’ve seen the change as a positive shift for the company.
Markus ‘Notch’ Persson, the man behind Minecraft and arguably the best-known indie developer on the planet, lauded the move. “I think it’s a wonderful idea to have the actual box be the dev kits,” Notch said in an interview with Edge. “This makes it easier for both the developer and for Microsoft, and presumably they could make it a lot cheaper since they’d only sell unlock codes. I realize there are other factors at play here, though, like a perceived need to make sure only ‘legitimate’ developers get access to it, so a monetary barrier might still be in place.”
Notch isn’t alone. In a separate interview, Bungie founder Alex Seropian also spoke to the potential Microsoft’s new policy brings to the industry. “I think this is a great move by Microsoft. It’s good for the industry, great for developers and most importantly will be a win for gamers,” Seropian told Gamespot. “It means more games, different kinds of games, and a direct relationship between gamer and developer. Everyone wins!”
Microsoft announced its intentions to allow self-publishing last week in a statement issued by Xbox Chief Product Officer Marc Whitten. Though the full outline and explanation is scheduled for next month’s Gamescom, a recent newsletter from FarSight Studios indicated the policy may extend to the current Xbox 360 and Xbox Live Arcade.