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Eufloria dev: Self-publishing on XBLA "impossible" for small devs

Fri 07 Oct 2011 7:57am GMT / 3:57am EDT / 12:57am PDT
PublishingDevelopment

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.

UPDATE

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."

6 Comments

Terence Gage Freelance writer

1,288 120 0.1
I really liked the demo for Eufloria, but it has been released at too busy a time for me - with Ico/SotC, Dark Souls, Crysis, Dead Nation DLC and more to compete with. It's on my 'to buy' list if I get a gap in my gaming schedule in the coming months.

Posted:3 years ago

#1

Tony Johns

520 12 0.0
Microsoft buys out your IP while Nintendo does not try to aknowlage it with all of their own IPs in the Wii Ware service.

And with the PSN hack that went on this year, I really feel for those who had to relly on the PSN system for marketing their self published games. :(

Posted:3 years ago

#2

Blaise Guy Studying Bachelor of Games and Interactive Entertainment, Queensland University of Technology

9 0 0.0
Hmm? What's that? I bought Eufloria on Steam anywhere from 6 to 12 months ago.
I wonder what Valve takes away from that... just a percentage based cut of the profits?
The trick of having to play the game through Steam?

PC seems to be the strongest self-publishing platform at the moment, and I continue to stand by it as my gaming platform of choice.

Posted:3 years ago

#3

Matt Hackett Game Developer, Lost Decade Games

49 2 0.0

Posted:3 years ago

#4
I agree with Ron and Rudolf - Microsoft's policy of not allowing the new breed of digital publisher/developers to publish directly on Xbox Live needs to change. It forces studios into the wilderness of the Indie area, to go via a 'big retail publisher' or for Microsoft to be the publisher, and I truly believe this policy is going to hurt them in the long term (and is probably hurting them already). There are so many great new studios full of innovative ideas. Some, hopefully many of these will be much bigger players in the future. Currently, they're working on almost every platform other than Xbox, which is such a shame given the quality of the hardware and some of the great people who work at Microsoft.

Posted:3 years ago

#5

Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game

1,254 421 0.3
@Matt " For *any* XBLA game, Microsoft is the publisher "
MS is not the publisher for the EA/Ubisoft/THQ/Capcom XBLA games, so no, not really.

Posted:3 years ago

#6

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