We can all agree Microsoft may have us scratching our heads in confusion over its new policies but one thing is for certain, indie game Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty! and DayZ (published by Bohemia Interactive) will not be joining the Xbox One line-up and it all has to do with those pesky little policies.
As it currently stands, Microsoft does not permit indie games to self-publish. In addition, they charge a substantial fee for patches in case the game needs updating and debugging (a problem DayZ is facing). One of the other problems facing developers is that Microsoft currently insists all developers team with a publisher for any releases on its consoles.
So where will they go? PS4 of course. Microsoft’s policy is in stark contrast to Sony’s, which enables self-publishing across the PlayStation Network, while issuing a patch is free.
In Oddworld‘s case, they were granted a license but they still need a publisher. As of now, they still don’t have a publisher, even though the game is Xbox One compatible. What’s even more surprising is Oddworld helped launch the first Xbox back in 2001 with the exclusive Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee.
Oddworld‘s creator Lorne Lanning has some harsh words for Microsoft,
There are those who are looking at next quarter’s profits, and maybe one of these big guys looks like that’s all they’re doing right now. If they’re looking at the world that way, you’ve got the obvious, enormous titles. They’re going to be the big revenue generators. If the company’s purely about profit, profit and profit, they’re looking at those, and then they’re looking at the little guys saying, ‘oh, they only make this much.’ They’re not interested.
There is good news for DayZ. According to Dean Hall, the game’s designer, Sony has expressed interest in getting the game onto PS4, and Sony’s free patching policy is looking rather attractive. This deal could benefit DayZ greatly especially given the game’s bug-ridden status. Hall expressed interest in the deal by stating,
It’s gonna take a long time for us to be able to iron this out and we don’t wanna have to be paying ten, twenty thousand dollars – whatever it is – every time we wanna do an update.
It should be noted Microsoft’s general manager Phil Spencer expresses Xbox is “open to the idea of self-publishing in the future.” That said, until this comes to pass, some games will most likely be heading towards PS4’s open arms.
As of now, DayZ is still undergoing closed alpha testing. However, the open-alpha test is scheduled to arrive at the end of the month. Oddworld is scheduled to release for PS4 and Wii U in 2014.