Well, Microsoft finally found a way to blackball indies to hurt competitors

#1Red_JesterPosted 12/21/2013 2:07:57 PM(edited)
We all knew it was inevitable for their previous generation practices that were entirely based around the strategy of stifling competition rather than providing quality hardware and software to gain consumers.

So Microsoft allowed indies to self-publish this generation and it would appear they could no longer screw over indies by forcing them to have a publisher like last gen. (Microsoft being the only reasonable option for a studio that didn't want to give a third-party publisher a huge cut of their profit when they did all of the work, that meant Microsoft got huge amounts of control over indie studios and their games)

So their new strategy is just a rule. "You either release your game at the same time on the Xbox as other platforms, or you don't get to release on the Xbox." This essentially cuts off indies from taking advantage of Sony's very generous publishing offer for indies, which still allows indie developers to release their games whenever and wherever. If they're a really small developer, their only option is to release for the Xbox first since they can't manage a big simultaneous multi-platform launch.

The only reason we know about this is because a developer broke an NDA to tell us about it. It's only a matter of time until Microsoft also reintroduces a similar strategy for retail games from big publishers. Last generation, Microsoft would refuse to license a game for the Xbox if a superior version that took advantage of superior hardware or features of the Playstation was released at the same time. That cut out 50% of the market from publishers and they then had no choice but to go along with it because profit is their number one directive.

In other words, since Microsoft has throughout history released inferior hardware and software, their entire business strategy revolves around hurting the competition rather than making quality products. When faced with competition from smaller companies, they move to outright remove them from the equation either through acquiring them or stealing from them and using courts which side with large US corporations from stopping them.

Since we all know Microsoft's throwing millions of dollars at companies for exclusives is not going to last forever and they certainly aren't going to keep first-party studios around when they'd rather develop for Kinect and TV, movies, sports, Call of Duty, etc, this will become their primary strategy to keep the Xbox competitive.
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#2fataliPosted 12/21/2013 2:17:38 PM
The difference this time is that PS4 have a bigger user base, so it would make more sense to release it for PS4 anyway. Last gen there were more 360s, so it was imperative for most companies to release for them instead of PS3s.

Following the directives of MS, they just need to add any dumb feature and they can release it for the 360 later.
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#3punisher1Posted 12/21/2013 2:18:48 PM
kind of old news but it does suck don't it. And the indy devs are sadly going along with it. And the only real thing us gamers can do is just not get their games for it. forcing them to make a choice.
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#4electroflamePosted 12/21/2013 2:19:13 PM
From: Red_Jester | #001
This essentially cuts off indies from taking advantage of Sony's very generous publishing offer for indies, which still allows indie developers to release their games whenever and wherever. If they're a really small developer, their only option is to release for the Xbox first since they can't manage a big simultaneous multi-platform launch.

Every indie developer I talk to has said that they'll probably just skip the Xbox One because of this -- not try to pander to Microsoft's ridiculous rules. If they have to push back release dates to get a game running on the Xbox One, they'd rather just skip it.

I tend to agree. Microsoft burned a lot of bridges with XNA last gen, and this isn't helping.
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#5muffinmasherPosted 12/21/2013 2:29:12 PM
This has been going on for awhile.

Remember Rayman Legends for Wii U, delayed in order to get an Xbox release?
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#6Natureboy99Posted 12/21/2013 2:29:45 PM
Microsoft is playing with fire. This will only lead to more PS4 exclusives.
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#7pokemon_45_79_1Posted 12/21/2013 2:34:27 PM
This does not surprise me and they say competition is good, in this case MS needs to GTFO of the gaming industry, this means indies might go ps4 only because the bigger the install base the better for them to sell on said console, I mean if Sony reaches 5 mill by March 2014 and most likely could go 10 mill by the end of 2014 fiscal year, indies are going to see the install base is worth it and skip the xbone altogether.
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#8NewMoonShadowPosted 12/21/2013 2:36:28 PM(edited)
muffinmasher posted...
This has been going on for awhile.

Remember Rayman Legends for Wii U, delayed in order to get an Xbox release?


^ This. This has been a Microsoft policy for a long time, and it's not just indie Developers who are affected. Ubisoft had to delay Rayman Legends, and Square-Enix had to delay the originally PS3-exclusive "Final Fantasy XIII". You just won't hear big publishers say it because they NEED good relations with Microsoft to reach the biggest possible audience.
#9IroncondorzPosted 12/21/2013 2:36:09 PM
No one is forced to release anything on the xbox. Try reading an actual contract sometime, like almost ANY contract ever made involving similar matters.
#10NewMoonShadowPosted 12/21/2013 2:38:05 PM
Ironcondorz posted...
No one is forced to release anything on the xbox. Try reading an actual contract sometime, like almost ANY contract ever made involving similar matters.


They don't have to release on the X-Box. But when the X-Box controls a large majority of the market, not doing so is a pretty daunting concept. It's not FORCE, but it is COERCION.