‘Xbox One A Train Wreck, But Microsoft On The Right Path’ Says Dev
Indie developer Vlambeer has been critical of some of the terms of Microsoft’s ID@Xbox programme, but the developer does feel that Microsoft is taking steps to fix the “train wreck” that is the Xbox One.
“If you look at the Microsoft announcement of the Xbox One, that was a train wreck if I’ve ever seen one,” Vlambeer’s Rami Ismail told VG247.
“It was impressive. The amount of stuff they did wrong was just frankly amazing. I think that will be in handbooks for students for the next hundred years as one of the biggest disasters in management.”
However, Ismail thinks that Microsoft is making efforts to turn things around, particularly in the way that they deal with indie developers.
“Microsoft saw that Sony was obviously doing something right,” Ismail said.
“Microsoft forcing indies to have a publisher didn’t work, so they started ID@Xbox which is led by a guy called Chris Charla. Chris is a good guy, he sincerely cares about indie games.
“He loves this stuff,” Ismail continued. “He knows about games and if you ever spoke with an indie who worked on Xbox 360, who didn’t hate their experience, the reason for that is because they probably talked to Chris, instead of somebody else at Microsoft.”
Nevertheless, Ismail still believes Microsoft needs to address the ID@Xbox programme’s launch parity clause.
“Chris’s heart is in a good place and he set up ID@Xbox. Now, the program is good. We are in ID@Xbox, and it’s a good program. You get the dev kits, it’s standardised,” Ismail explained.
“There’s no big surprises anywhere except for one thing, and that’s launch parity. That’s the one thing that’s still there and a problem at the moment, because a lot of indies simply don’t have the resources.
“You can’t just launch on all platforms at once, because no, we can’t. It’s hell getting a game to work on PC, it’s awful getting it to work on PC, Mac, PS4 and Vita,” Ismail continued.
“Adding another format on top of that is insane. With Nuclear Throne, we’re launching on PC first, then focusing on other platforms, then focusing on PS4 and Vita.”
Vlambeer themselves have managed to find a way around the Xbox One launch parity clause by, as Ismail jokingly described, “being jerks”.
The clause will doubtless be a problem for many other indie developers though, so let’s hope that Microsoft decides to remove the launch parity clause from the ID@Xbox programme.