Xbox gamers tend to remember Jonathan Blow as the man who almost single-handedly kickstarted the independent games market on Xbox with Braid before swearing the Xbox 360 off, repeatedly ripping Microsoft over a plethora of concerns. But it now appears Blow may be warming to the 360’s successor.
Responding to a fan question on Twitter, the designer said on Saturday that he’s thinking about a possible Xbox One release of runaway PC and PlayStation 4 success The Witness.
“Now that we are done with the initial launch we are going to look into the possibility of going into XB1,” he tweeted.
The Witness only just recently released on January 26, but Blow has said the puzzle game likely outpaced Braid‘s first-year revenues in just a week on the market; however, it’s not an entirely even comparison considering Braid debuted at $15, whereas The Witness is priced at $40. In any case, revenues from Blow’s latest game have already allowed him to pay off whatever portion (Blow declined to reveal the exact amount) of its approximately $6 million budget that was borrowed, and the developer is now beginning to recoup his personal investment.
So despite the fact that The Witness is reportedly being heavily pirated, developer Thekla will now “be able to make the next game at a comparable budget level (maybe bigger, we’ll see!),” its designer said.
Blow releasing another game on an Xbox platform is something many thought would never happen considering he once referred to Xbox Live Arcade development as a “pain in the ass,” saying that the amount of BS developing for Xbox Live Arcade added last generation was “gigantic.”
About a year later he then called all three console holders’ certification processes “prohibitive,” while praising Apple and Valve because “they both genuinely care about the end-user experience.”
That wasn’t the end of it, either. In 2013 he turned his attention to Microsoft’s positioning of its current console, the Xbox One, claiming Microsoft was lying about its server numbers at the time because of virtualization. Continuing, he said any Microsoft claims of physics and lighting improvements from said servers was “BS.”
He again took the company to task in 2014 over its focus on TV over gaming. Though Blow was far from the only individual who was critical of the strategy that Microsoft eventually flip-flopped on, the designer said ahead of Xbox One’s release that “As a place to put the best, highest-performing version of our game on, it doesn’t seem as good a choice.”
It now appears that, like many who excoriated Microsoft for its initial Xbox One plans, Blow has had a change of heart following the Xbox’s course correction under Phil Spencer.