From Japan to Finland: Indies flock to Xbox One

Microsoft reveals 32 teams signed up for independent publishing programme on new console

Vlambeer, Double Fine, Half-Brick, Crytek, Definition 6 and Capy are just a handful of the many independent development teams that have sign up to create content for Microsoft's Xbox One.

Detailed in August, Microsoft's ID@Xbox programme has attracted the great and the good of the independent development community - from micro studios to triple AAA teams - enabling them to self-publish titles on the new home console.

European developers Crytek, Vlambeer, Born Ready, Slightly Mad and Double Eleven have all signed up, with Japan's Inis and Comcept also on board.

Xbox Live Arcade veterans Double Fine are once again working with Microsoft, as are Zen Studios, Half-Brick, Ninja Bee and Signal Studios. Xbox Live Indie Games maker Zeboyd Games is also pledging support, and developers new to Microsoft Nicalis and The Men Who Wear Many Hats are also joining the programme.

Chris Hecker's Definition 6 and Jamie Fristrom's Happion Labs are representing for the smaller teams, while seasoned game makers Team 17, Panic Button, Drinkbox and Team Colorblind are all on board.

Capy, Frima Studio and Behavior are representing for Canadian development, and there's a cluster of Californian developers; Gaijin Games, The Odd Gentlemen, Way Forward and Other Ocean.

"While the rest of the world seems to be making it harder and harder for the little guys to succeed on their own, Microsoft is making it easier"

Mike Bilder, Jackbox Games

Iron Galaxy, Jackbox Games, Hidden Path and High Voltage round out the initial list, revealed today by head of ID@Xbox Chris Charla.

"Bottom line, we've been blown away by the interest in the ID@Xbox programme, and we can't wait until the games start shipping so players can experience the amazing titles that the independent developers will be bringing to Xbox One," said Charla.

Microsoft claims to have shipped over 50 SDKs to independent teams working on Xbox One projects, and intends to enable retail Xbox One units to be used as a dev kit in the near future.

"ID@Xbox allows independent developers like us to place our entire focus on developing games," commented Michael Putz of Bongfish.

"The time has come for small developers like Bongfish to benefit from new technology in next generation consoles. This breakthrough - a significant change - will expand our scope of development."

Iron Galaxy's Dave Lang, makers of Divekick, added: "All developers care about is being able to make the games they want and get them into the hands of as many people as possible. Now, thanks to ID@Xbox, Iron Galaxy can bring Divekick to a Microsoft platform for the first time. We've been working on Xbox One games for a while now, and because of that you can bet Divekick will take advantage of all the platform's unique capabilities."

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Latest comments (18)

Jakub Mikyska CEO, Grip Digital8 years ago
Meanwhile, the ID@Xbox team does not even reply to our emails anymore...
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Martin Brouard Executive producer, Frima Studio8 years ago
Hello Matt,

You listed 31 developers. The missing 32nd is Frima in Quebec City.
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Good to see indies on both next gen platforms.
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Show all comments (18)
Matt Martin Editor, GamesIndustry.biz8 years ago
Thanks Martin. Frima isn't listed on the press release MS sent over. Happy to add to the list though!
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Martin Brouard Executive producer, Frima Studio8 years ago
Thanks a bunch Matt. I appreciate it.
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Karl Jeffery Founder & CEO, Arooga8 years ago
... 32(!) Apple has over 1M registered developers and has already paid out over $10,000,000,000 in net payments to them!

Thirty two, whoopie do :D

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Karl Jeffery on 4th December 2013 3:28pm

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Donald Dalley Freelance writer 8 years ago
This read like a piece written by Microsoft's PR department. 32 doesn't even sound impressive, especially when no other real benchmarks are included. It's a meaningless number as it is presented here.
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Ah well its game news, lets not pick sides... :) go Playstation. haha
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Jakub Mikyska CEO, Grip Digital8 years ago
I don't want to sound too bitter, as I have nothing but respect for basically every developer on the list, but those are the "popular" choices. Developers who have all the doors opened already. Some of them even actually work with Microsoft for some time. While the 99% of the rest of the indie scene has to go to great lengths just to get to Steam.
I really don't see Microsoft opening the gates for indies as they said. Not yet.
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Jason Alexander Level Designer 8 years ago
The current iteration ID@Xbox has always seemed like kind of a stopgap until the "I buy a retail Xbox and then pay $99 to develop on it without ever talking directly to MS" functionality comes along. Which I would assume is still on the table for later in 2014.
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Tom Keresztes Programmer 8 years ago
Apple standards are quite low for what they think is acceptable for their store, a 1 star app can reach the top of their charts
You seem to confuse application submission and developer registration. Apple welcomes anyone as a developer who pays the $99 fee, but judges applications individually when submitting them.
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Pete Thompson Editor 8 years ago
Does make me laugh that anything Xbox ONE related recently in the news attracts the doubters, haters and for want of another word "fanboys".. Love it or hate it this is good news for "gamer's", especially when AAA titles on Console (Yes both XBL & PSN) are so much more expensive than buying the retail versions..

I have complete respect for Indie Devs, I look at the new releases every week on XBL Marketplace and where possible on PSN as well, and more often than not end up buying at least one game..
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Robin Clarke Producer, AppyNation Ltd8 years ago
The headline is a bit much. Microsoft have undoubtedly been courting some of the known-name studios heavily.

Of course the real test will be how many games result (and not months after appearing on other platforms). I remember when consoles used to flaunt lists of signed up developers that always, always included Hudson Soft and Koei...
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MS have money. What you dont own, try to buy....
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Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 8 years ago
Congratulations to small German indie developer Crytek. :D

I say, isn't that what we wanted Microsoft to do? They showed us TV and we asked them to rally the gaming coolcats. Who cares if the games are exclusives, they are on XO and they can make it a better platform. 32 might not be a world record, but at least it is a message that Microsoft is in the game now.
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Tom Keresztes Programmer 8 years ago
First 32 suggest that these are not all who signed up for it.
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Paul Jace Merchandiser 8 years ago
Does make me laugh that anything Xbox ONE related recently in the news attracts the doubters, haters and for want of another word "fanboys"..
You aren't the only one to notice although "laughing" isn't the first reaction that comes to mind. I can completely understand all the backlash that came against Microsoft for their initial XBO announcements that were less than user friendly. But ever since they've changed things around(for the better) they still get mostly negativity. While I understand the frustration that some have due to Microsoft's initial XBO vision, it's gotten to the point where if Microsoft gave 1 billion in support for the Typhoon victims people would accuse them of "only doing it for a tax break". That kind of negativity is expected on sites like youtube but I expected a little more professionalism on a site such as this. Or atleast I did.
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Charles Line CTO, NYTA8 years ago
But ever since they've changed things around(for the better) they still get mostly negativity
Reading user reaction to the MS statistics on gamer activity is enlightening as to how things are perceived, I think.

Firstly, they are questioning how activity relating to single user games is gathered. The obvious conclusion is that the console is sending back user activity at all times. This is raising suspicion that the previous, now apparently abandoned, strategy is merely waiting in the wings for its eventual emergence into light.

Secondly is the reaction to the banning of users based on swearing in apparently private Skype calls (at least that is how it is being reported in some places) as well as being handed red cards for "swearing at the ref". The always-on nature of the Kinect device and its constant monitoring of background noise, as well as the perception of it continually sending back the results of its eavesdropping for analysis, is causing a backlash in vocal communities. The silent spy in the living room is not something people expected and I think this may well backfire.

Personally, I fully expect the negativity to increase.
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