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Microsoft's Hunger for Control is Killing Their Indie Support

The rise of indie devs has become one of the major progressions of the seventh generation of consoles. As AAA budgets skyrocketed and B-game releases dwindled, the indie crowd rose with inexpensive, digestible experiences that could satiate gamer’s appetites, but never break the bank.

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NextLevel1539d ago (Edited 1539d ago )

Microsoft's hunger for control almost killed the Xbox brand, in a short period of time. Hopefully they learn from their mistakes.

60FramesPerSecond1539d ago (Edited 1539d ago )

Really wasnt hunger for control. They had innovative ideas (game sharing), and that cost them a lot of sales. If people didnt want a drm xbox, they didnt have to buy it. I know im gonna get a lot of disagrees, but thats what i think. Thats not to say it wasnt a terrible idea, just that it wasnt about control. not every corporation that isnt sony isnt trying to corrupt the world and what not.

Godmars2901539d ago (Edited 1539d ago )

"If people didnt want a drm xbox, they didnt have to buy it."

That was literally the issue: MS offered it, failed to deliver a good message in regards to it, so people expressly showed that they didn't buy it by not pre-ordering it to a level MS wanted. So instead of trying to improve the message - because they couldn't - MS backpedaled.

Nevermind that this article is about how MS setting exacting terms with indies, terms which favored them while also actively hurting indies, has hurt their relationships with indies. has them again backpedaling.

Bigpappy1539d ago

The truth is, this indie thing is getting blown way out of proportion. I know there are indie fans on Xbox, so I wouldn't say "GET LOST". But I am jet to buy any of their games on X1, and bought very few out of the thousands on 360. I bought my console for deep AAA productions, not to be bombarded by a bunch of startup's. They should be happy to get on as many systems as possible. They are in no position to be making demands.

IVIEDICATED1539d ago Show
guitarded771539d ago

"Innovative ideas"... spin it however you like 60. You neglect all the BS that came along with that one interesting idea.

MS's contractual agreements demanded things as absurd as the game has to release on the same date, or before other platforms. That is BS... "let developers dev" I say. MS's "innovative ideas" were so great that they've had to revert every one of them to be more like someone else.

HacSawJimThugin1539d ago

@IVIEDICATED if you had an XB1 one then you would know that there is a shred of proof to family sharing. In the settings (don't know exactly where) there is a tab that clearly says Family Sharing. It has no functionality but it's there...maybe for future use.

mixolydian_id1538d ago

I agree with you.
It is the future and aligns with what the Xbox one was actually designed for

To elaborate, they've integrated unique programming functionality e.g a NOC and move engines (network on chip), into the design for a reason.

Late gen, once again there will be futuristic features the Xbox does that the PS won't be able to do... unless a full re-design is on the cards.

Obviously this all came as a trade off for local processing power but customised hardware and such is the way of the future.
With time, it'll do it's desired objective... that will only be able to be matched by hardware matching its own (or better).

I envisage that cloud computing will take off... and the more reserved local computational power is really actually deliberate. Trying to get a huge game running on a 4 Tflop device, would be a nightmare to implement with the cloud... too much to program, huge development costs etc. Simply not feasable.. where as a more reserved system with specific hardware to complement will be a much better introduction for developers into the wolrd of server/network engineering.

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Pogmathoin1539d ago

Fanboys hunger for negative news is killing gaming.

Gunstar751539d ago

Best comment I've read in a long time

mcstorm1539d ago

I agree with Gunstar75 and you are spot on. Gaming is a different world. For me gaming changed last gen and became reparative as all we saw were year on year games like cod, AC, NFS, BF etc gaming has become the cool thing to do but in becoming cool it has gone like everything else that is cool and people buy the same things and don't look at other things on the market.

I do like what Microsoft are doing with the Xbox one now though as it has improved a lot since it hit the market last November and I am excited for some of the games that are coming out this summer and winter.

Looking at the games industry at the moment though I am more excited about the Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo IP's over any 3rd party games so far and I think for me my collection will be full of exclusives.

mrpsychoticstalker1539d ago

hahaaha Yes sir, no food , no sleep, no life... seeking Negative news, in any language possible!

pyramidshead1538d ago (Edited 1538d ago )

It's been happening for generations. It's glamourised now because of the 'faux-console wars'. Not to mention what you just stated was abused quite badly by MS fans last generation. It was always going to continue this generation. The curve ball was that this time it wasn't Sony a second generation running but Microsoft.

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nicksetzer11539d ago

Which company was it that has allowed insomniac, crytek, capy, and capcom keep full rights to their games even though fully published by MS.

SilentNegotiator1539d ago

Which are all fantastic indie studios.

/s

nicksetzer11539d ago (Edited 1539d ago )

@silent good job, deflect the 100% accurate point to suite your agenda... this article is flamebait and provides no evidence of it's claims. (Other than one clause which can be waived as we have seen with contrast, outlast and a few others already)

It claims right in the title MS's "hunger for control" is rampant. Yet, they are the only publisher in the world who invest as much as they do without owning the rights.

But since you seem to think "hunger for control" ONLY applies to indies .... MS gives free dev kits and unity support, as well as access to all developement tool (kinect, cloud, technical support) for free.

ANY INDIE DEV can simply put their game on XB1, they just will not be part of [email protected] Not to mention MS charges 20% vs 30-40% that sony charges. (For digital titles)

@cgood c'mon now ..... you are talking about controlling the video game market, EVERY SINGLE console manufacturer is shooting for that. This article is about MS trying to control the individual devs within the market, (and force the devs to jump through hoops) stop trying to spin both what I've said as well as changing the entire meaning of the article. (Assuming you read past the title.)

spacecat50501539d ago

Well said Nick, it's a shame that you only have 2 bubbles for stating the truth but an honest to god troll like silent is on 8.

no problems here.

Christopher1539d ago (Edited 1539d ago )

***It claims right in the title MS's "hunger for control" is rampant. Yet, they are the only publisher in the world who invest as much as they do without owning the rights.***

Well, that is a sign of their desire for control. They have the money to put into IPs that they decide to not have any control over. Sony doesn't have that sort of liquid asset.

MS is flushed with cash from other areas, but these deals hurt them now but their long term goal is to take away any possible exclusive from Sony in the console market. It's not at all a coincidence that they were the ones to pick up an Insomniac game. If Insomniac are working on their game just for XBO, they aren't do squat to help their competitor. That's just smart business. A business built around control.

I get what you're saying nick, but that doesn't disprove their goals to establish control. It just establishes that they have the cash to go to extra lengths to obtain it.

To be honest, though, every company wants control in some way or fashion. I disagree with some methods over others, but they all have the same goal in the end. Microsoft is just able to throw more money at things, and that's seen as a negative more often than not.

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XStation1539d ago

You all are still stuck on the past? That DRM and Kinect stuff is over now, let it go...

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Lawboy21539d ago

I agree...the indie lineup for xbox one is actually good...no none sense...most of the indies I see coming are actually legit games...I may not play them but they do look fun

ValKilmer1539d ago

Their hunger for control is killing EVERYTHING around them.

jnemesh1539d ago

Windows 8, Windows Phone, Surface...AND Xbox.

iDadio1539d ago

^^ above just nailed it

Redgehammer1539d ago

So Sony TV, vita, smart TVs, Ps4, PS now, and PS3 aren't an attempt at control? It's just companies devoping, fostering, and attempting to please a wide, diverse audiences through connected experiences. IMO of course.

JohnJ1539d ago

They didn't kill those things - they made those things. You're confused

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Sm00thNinja1539d ago

Microsoft is working on improving their image and have done a great job these last couple months. These articles are going to have to go away eventually their getting monotonous. Back pedaling maybe but if you can recognize a deficiency and fix it, why not? The only ones with no room to forgive and move forward are those that want to see the Xbone fail IMHO

Darkstares1539d ago

True. They already announced at E3 there are hundreds of indie games being developed right now and they also showed quite a few. Maybe not as many as Sony but it seems more than Nintendo. More isn't necessarily better as we've witnessed with Mini's on PSN.

rainslacker1539d ago

MS has been working on fixing their image for a long while now. They even stated they were going to actively improve their public image.

What most people fail to really mention when mentioning what you do, is that if MS didn't do such stupid anti-consumer things(long before the X1 was a thing), they wouldn't have to fix their image in the first place.

The best way to improve their image is to change their corporate mentality, which is what people have a problem with. They haven't done that. Their goal is to get people to not pay attention to it, and instead focus on the good PR that they put out there.

Darkstares1539d ago (Edited 1539d ago )

If you care more about public image than what a product offers then your simply limiting your experiences. Also they have changed there public image, all the way to the top. MS has a new CEO and they have put Phil in charge now of the XBOX, who seems to have made a whole bunch of changes to the XB1 since being assigned the new position. So again, it comes down to the product in the end.

I think some of you people get far too wrapped up in all things going on that really don't have much to do with anything. We buy products based on what that product offers, that's it. And since the XB1 was unveiled a lot has changed and for whatever reason some of you don't seem to want to let things go. Even the indie program has changed and that parity clause is not set in stone. Outlast and even Lorne Lanning has been making progress with MS who used to be very vocal against them.

rainslacker1539d ago

Their public image is directly linked to their corporate mentality. This isn't anything new for MS. They said years ago they wanted to improve public perception of their company. It wasn't until very recently that they changed things up, but their X1 reveal was exactly the kind of thing I'd expect from MS, because they've done it so many times before.

However, even after the initial proclamation that they wanted to improve this perception, they still made the same mistakes they always do. That's creating products that the consumer didn't ask for, and forcing manufacturer's hands to use those products.

Unfortunately, their corporate mentality is apparent in their products. I'm not just speaking of XBox here, but Windows, DirectX, etc. That's why I care about their public image, and what their product offers isn't the only thing worth looking at, at least not for me.

I like the changes they made for the X1, don't get me wrong, but I don't see anything changing elsewhere in their company. It's still put out some products that have dubious benefit to the consumer, yet they try to force the upgrade and drop support for those that already purchased prior products.

Because of this, I find it very hard to put trust into the X1, because I know that the corporate mentality is still there, no matter how hard they try to hide it. Good PR does not change what MS does. The only thing that will change that is if MS itself decides they want to change for the better for the consumer. If that day comes, their actions will speak louder than their PR department.

Darkstares1539d ago

"Their public image is directly linked to their corporate mentality. This isn't anything new for MS. They said years ago they wanted to improve public perception of their company. It wasn't until very recently that they changed things up, but their X1 reveal was exactly the kind of thing I'd expect from MS, because they've done it so many times before."

I didn't get that when they unveiled the XBox 360. I think most of the blame has to lie with Don Mattrick. He was the main guy pushing Kinect which led to less support later on in those years.

"However, even after the initial proclamation that they wanted to improve this perception, they still made the same mistakes they always do. That's creating products that the consumer didn't ask for, and forcing manufacturer's hands to use those products."

The consumer didn't ask for Killer Instict? Forza Horizon 2, Crackdown? Consumers aren't asking for all those monthly system updates that seem to be coming faster than the competitors who lag behind in requests being fulfilled?

"Unfortunately, their corporate mentality is apparent in their products. I'm not just speaking of XBox here, but Windows, DirectX, etc. That's why I care about their public image, and what their product offers isn't the only thing worth looking at, at least not for me."

How about we stay on topic. Should we go on about Sony TV's? The XBOX is one division and Phil is turning the ship around. If you don't think he is then that's your problem but most people in the media suggest otherwise. It's mainly those who refuse to mover on that fail to see these changes.

"I like the changes they made for the X1, don't get me wrong, but I don't see anything changing elsewhere in their company. It's still put out some products that have dubious benefit to the consumer, yet they try to force the upgrade and drop support for those that already purchased prior products."

Again, lets' stay on subject shall we? Sony is also a huge company with many sectors to it but I'm not about to blame what they do in computers on the PS4.

"Because of this, I find it very hard to put trust into the X1, because I know that the corporate mentality is still there, no matter how hard they try to hide it. Good PR does not change what MS does. The only thing that will change that is if MS itself decides they want to change for the better for the consumer. If that day comes, their actions will speak louder than their PR department."

It's a $400 investment. That's it. This isn't like investing in a mortgage. The system will be around for years. Those games you buy now will work just like they work on the PS4. So what trust defies any difference to the experience you will get playing on the Wii U or PS4? There isn't. You know what you are getting and if you don't see the value in the XB1 that's fine. That is the only thing to trust. PR doesn't matter at the end of the day. Sony telling me they care about me doesn't make my gaming experience any different when I put Killzone in my disc tray as opposed to how my gaming occurs when i put in Halo. Again you're reading way too much into things that really have nothing to do with anything. It's not like MS is going to all of the sudden say hey wait a minute, lets put in those 24 hour check ins back in place. But then again maybe you think that because you refuse to move forward.

BenRage31538d ago (Edited 1538d ago )

I ran out of bubbles in the 5 most overrated games of all time discussion, so I wanted to address your claim if I may, and I apologize for going off topic in this particular comment section.

You said I didn't offer any specific reasons on why I felt certain games were overrated, and I am scratching my head as to how you can say that. I gave several very specific criticisms pertaining to Last of Us. You said my claims were vague. Look, I didn't want to write a novel, so I basically pointed out what I didn't like. But here's my premise for each one. Story: unoriginal and derivative, like children of men combined with atypical zombie story. Gameplay: derivative, lame third person shooting mechanic, because of lousy frame rate.Stealth: boring, because repetitive, and completely unbelievable, who in their right mind would try to put a sleeper hold on a zombie, and since when are zombies put to sleep by one? Crafting mechanics: completely unrealistic, as someone with a moderate amount of experience with knives, I know that most do not break after a single application. And I gave what I feel is valid example of the breaking of the willing suspension of disbelief, although I have more examples if you need them.

See how long that took to write the short version? I was trying to be brief. I also think your last two paragraphs are irrelevant and borderline on using a logical fallacies (argumentum ad populum) by saying that the majority liking something is somehow a valid argument in addition to name calling (troll), which is an Ad hominem. I was never disrespectful, and all of my criticisms were descriptive in nature and not personal attacks. As someone who loves videos games and plays just about anything I can get my hands on, I have every right to give my two cents even if it goes against the majority. The majority doesn't always get it right.

rainslacker1538d ago (Edited 1538d ago )

I'm not speaking exclusively of the Xbox in what they're doing. I'm speaking of MS as a company as a whole. Based on MS previous history, and the common themes in how they release and put restrictive policies on their products, it becomes hard to have faith that all of a sudden they are suddenly altruistic just because of a few months of good PR.

I like what Spencer is doing with the Xbox. He obviously is getting the higher ups to do what needs to be done to make the system appealing to a bigger market, but that doesn't wash away decades of MS poor consumer service and products, and certainly doesn't wash away the huge number of anti-consumer complaints that have been lodged against them either formally or informally.

If you wish to continue to stay on topic, please leave Sony out of it. The whole "The other guy does it too" argument doesn't change anything that I've said.

@ben

Fair enough. But you could have wrote a PM. Wont bubble you down, but others could for it.:)

My point was that you found it to be all those things that you mentioned, but others obviously didn't. Either that, or the things you mention were still done really well, thus it wasn't considered a game killer.

My whole argument is that the the praise just doesn't live up to your experience, but that doesn't mean that it's overrated if lots of other people feel it deserves praise.

Overrated would be more something that gets a lot of critical acclaim, but the majority find it to be not worth it. Any number of COD games could fit that bill if you go by what's said on forums. This obviously isn't the case with TLOU, as it seems to be generally well received both by the community and by critics.

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nevin11539d ago

This whole Indie takeover is getting out of hand.

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