Independent developers could be able to self-publish their wares through Xbox Live Arcade as soon as August, reports Polygon. According to FarSight Studios, the developer behind now-defunct downloadable title The Pinball Arcade, “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.”
The statement was included in a message sent to their subscribers, addressing the game’s Xbox Live Marketplace delisting in the wake of their publisher’s license agreement revocation, spurred by financial woes. “Microsoft has stated that the new program will open in August,” FarSight continued. “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!”
Previously, Microsoft’s forthcoming stance on independent self-publishing had only been referenced in relation to the Xbox One. In light of this news, their intentions also seemingly extend to the Xbox 360, even if they’re not yet ready to announce it just yet. “We have not announced any changes to our publishing policy for Xbox 360,” Microsoft responded in an issued statement. “We look forward to sharing more about self-publishing on Xbox One at Gamescom.”
If the news is true, this could go a long way to sustaining the aged console and retaining the user base while next-gen adopters decide where their purchasing power will lead them. Microsoft has already stated they plan to continue supporting the current console well into the new cycle, and a surge of downloadable, independently published content is a very good place to start.