Oddworld Creator: Microsoft “Not Interested” In Indies
Oddworld Inhabitants head Lorne Lanning has a dim view of the approach Microsoft has taken with indies on Xbox 360 and continues to on Xbox One.
Speaking with Eurogamer, Lanning decried Microsoft’s insistence on every game having a traditional publisher. “Why do we need a publisher when we self-finance our games, we build our own IP, we manage our own IP, and we've turned nearly two million units online as indie publishers sold – not free downloads? Why? What's wrong with us?”
The outspoken Oddworld creator's next game, Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty, is coming out on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Wii U, PC, Mac, and Linux. Of the conspicuous absence of Microsoft platforms on that lists, Lanning says: “There's one party that's making it very clear they're not interested.”
Getting a clear view of the relationships between publishers, developers, and platform-holders like Microsoft is always difficult from the outside. For all of Lanning’s frustration, it’s a fact that Microsoft spent time at its E3 press conference on the undeniably indie Below from Capybara Games. The company has justifiably trumpeted Xbox Live Arcade’s role in bringing indie games to vast audiences, from Braid to Castle Crashers and dozens more. Nonetheless, having to split profits with a publisher who in Lanning’s view brings little value to a project like his is a bitter pill for a small independent studio to swallow.
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