It’s possible for a budget-conscious independent game developer to get its game on Xbox One for a bit more than $5,000 if the developer is willing to stick to the budget laid out by Happion Labs, whose founder described himself in a blog post as “one of the cheapest developers I know.”
In the post, Happion founder Jamie Fristrom said that releasing his first ID@Xbox game, Sixty Second Shooter Prime, set the studio back a grand total of $5,143. The most expensive two line items were ratings board certifications and Errors and Omissions (E&O) Insurance.
“Microsoft requires this; it’s in the contract,” Fristrom wrote. “And it’s not just any E&O Insurance – it has to cover IP and copyright violations, so the cheap E&O Insurance you can easily find online doesn’t qualify. I went through an insurance broker (Parker, Smith, and Feek) and found the cheapest insurance that would qualify.”
Ratings boards submissions are also required by all console holders, including Microsoft. In addition to $700 in localization costs, Fristrom dropped almost $2,000 getting his game rated by PEGI and USK. He elected not to release his game in Autralia and New Zealand because each country’s ratings board wanted approximately another $2,000 from him to rate Sixty Second Shooter Prime. In fact, Fristrom suggested that releasing in even fewer territories could potentially cut the full cost of landing on ID@Xbox back to $3,000 or less.
Sixty Second Shooter Prime is developed and published by Happion Laboratories. It was released June 18, 2014 on Xbox One for $4.99. An Xbox One copy was provided for review purposes.
ID@Xbox is shaping up to be an excellent and very welcome platform for independent developers to bring their beloved games to the Xbox One platform. With the program, we’ll see exciting creative directions and artistic expressions. But then there comes along a game such as Sixty Second Shooter Prime that brings out the worst plague of the mobile market today: cloning.
Sixty Second Shooter Prime is a twin-stick shooter that tasks the player with traversing a two-dimensional plane, blasting away hordes of geometric enemies, each with different patterns and tactics the player must evade. The catch? The player has only 60 seconds and one life. Rack up as many points as you can while collecting powerups and multipliers and try to topple your friends’ high scores. Sound familiar?
Looking for something new to play during the post-E3 doldrums? You’ve come to the right place. A wave of new downloadable titles just hit Xbox 360 and Xbox One, so have a look at the fresh merchandise. You can expect full reviews soon for almost all of these.
Outlast: Whistleblower (Xbox One)
Last year’s survival-horror cult hit Outlast made a splash in people’s chairs. Now you can embarrass yourself in front of your Kinect! The main game is available for $19.99, and the Whistleblower DLC is available for $8.99. Get ready to run for your life.