Double Fine’s Schafer Says Microsoft Needs to Reach out to Indies
Double Fine head Tim Schafer hopes to see Microsoft approach indie developers in the same way Sony has. Unfortunately, indie games don't seem to be a priority for Microsoft and the Xbox One, which could prove detrimental down the line.
While the Xbox 360 had a developed (if tumultuous) relationship with lots of indie devs, the Xbox One thus far doesn't seem concerned with the minor league titles. Sony on the other hand is embracing the indie crowd, even going so far as to seek them out in developing the PlayStation 4. With another Kickstarter initiated this week, Double Fine head Tim Schafer would like nothing more than Microsoft to give indies the same respect Sony did.
“Sony has reached out to us and asked us our opinions about what we’d like to see with new platforms and they’ve been really good with indies – allowing them self-publish and entering into partnerships and stuff like that,” Schafer told Edge in an interview. “Microsoft has been focused elsewhere up until now, I’ve kind of had my fingers crossed that hopefully they’ll change their minds about that because I think it’s really critical.”
Schafer attributes this concern to the variety of platforms out there for indie devs to use. No one has to rely on Microsoft to exclusively push the game through XBLA for it to reach an audience any more. "There are just too many options right now for indies as far as publishing goes," Schafer continued. "Steam is huge, mobile and all of those things are really profitable for indies so there’s too many reasonable and successful alternatives for indies to look towards – we don’t really need to go through the arduous process of acquiring a publisher that we don’t need just to be on a certain platform. I hope [Microsoft] figure it out.”
There's still plenty of time for Microsoft to get its act together in regard to smaller developers. For all we know, E3 will be a big showcase for just how varied the Xbox One's potential library will be. That said, Schafer's concern mirrors ours, and we can only hope to see Microsoft embrace the little guy, otherwise Sony might just eclipse the Redmond company this upcoming generation.