Eufloria dev: Self-publishing on XBLA "impossible" for small devs
Update: Microsoft responds to Kremers' comments - is "proud of XBLIG"
Rudolf Kremers, the designer of the independent game Eufloria, claims it is "impossible" for people in his position to self-publish through Xbox Live Arcade.
Speaking to PSN Stores, Kremers discussed the importance of Sony's "Pub Fund" - a $20 million reserve of cash to help indies publish their games - in launching games like Eufloria on the PlayStation Network.
"We would never give up our IP. [Sony] did actually want it, they were making us an offer to publish it for us. But it meant that we would have to sell the IP to them in exchange," he said.
"We had to stand fast. We had to look at other ways, and that turned in to the self publishing route. We made that possible because Sony were happy to include us in the pub fund. One of the qualities of the pub fund is that it's a viable avenue for micro teams like ourselves - Microsoft don't have that any more."
Omni-Labs, Kremer's studio, was approached by Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony about publishing Eufloria, but the PlayStation Network was the only service offer an affordable way to self-publish without relinquishing IP ownership and creative control.
"For Microsoft the cost would be prohibitive, as they had all sorts of mandatory features - multiplayer and the like. And of course you have to use their QA... The cost picture would be so prohibitive that self publishing would be impossible."
Earlier this week, 2D Boy's Ron Carmel questioned Microsoft's content policies for Xbox Live Arcade, and offered data to prove that the service is losing "star talent" to competing services like the PlayStation Network.
Microsoft has offered the following response to Kremers' comments.
"There has been some recent discussion about how Xbox LIVE Arcade is managed and ways in which we work with developers. We love hearing feedback on our system from our partners, both good and bad, as this is how we continue to improve. We actively solicit feedback from developers to help identify their pain points and determine how best to mitigate issues, as a games publisher, as well as a platform owner.
"That said, we truly believe that Xbox LIVE Arcade is an exceptional platform for game development, and we're proud of Xbox LIVE Indie Games as an option for developers who want to create and publish games on an open platform. Independent games such as, "The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai" have gone on to see major success with Xbox LIVE Arcade.
"We want to continue to deliver great games to our consumers - that's our number one priority, and we're excited to work with our development partners to make the process of doing that even more streamlined."