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Frozenbyte’s Kai Tuovinen talks about being an indie developer, why Trine isn't on Xbox One

Fronzenbyte are still riding high on the success of the Trine series. Now, with the imminent arrival of Trine Enchanted Edition, hitting the Wii U and PS4 respectively, we sat down with Marketing and PR Manager, Kai Tuovinen and discussed the past, present and future of Frozenbyte, including, the possibility of Trine 3…

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gangsta_red933d ago

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Will the Trine Enchanted Edition be coming to the Xbox or does it look unlikely?
-Unfortunately it’s very unlikely at this point. Since we did want to be on Xbox too with both Trine 2 and Trine Enchanted Edition, but there was simply not enough time and resources to do that.-
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I think it is fairly obvious why a lot of these games are coming to Sony's platform first. And it isn't because Sony is being very friendly with these indie devs...well I guess they technically are, because they are money hatting these indie devs for having their game appear first on their system.

http://www.forbes.com/sites...

But I do find it strange that they had resources for a WiiU version but not the Xbox One.

Lenrulesdaworld932d ago

aye red i did an interview with an indie dev and asked how was it joining the xbox program. he said easy and really he was taken care of, the parity clause isn't as restrictive as people make it out to be he said. stay tune for march gonna speak with chris charla about [email protected] games and parity clause.

LexHazard79932d ago

Why the disagrees? PSfanboys mad you talk to real devs and big dogs of MS, I guess. Cant wait to hear next podcast.

BitbyDeath932d ago

Sony has also been giving out PS4 dev kits for free.

http://www.polygon.com/2013...

Quite a deal. Why it doesn't come later to Xbox though would be due to the parity clause MS has.

Gotta be on Xbox first or it isn't first class.

LexHazard79932d ago (Edited 932d ago )

NO, it doesnt have to be on Xbox first. Nice way of trying to twist what Phil said. He meant they should release at same time. MS sees Xbox consumers as first class and if a game is releasing it should release same day on both PS and Xbox. Not PS4 then three months later on Xbox. Tho i noticed he did make some exceptions. Which he said they would for some indies releasing later on Xbox.

Edit: im talking Indie games.

ShwankyShpanky932d ago

Pub fund != "moneyhatting"

Moneyhatting is just throwing money at a dev/publisher for full or timed exclusivity. Pub fund pays for actual development. One lets small devs make games they might not otherwise afford to make, the other just keeps games already being made from coming to competing platforms.

Parity clause am cry.

LexHazard79932d ago

Is it possible that maybe xbox/ps4 didnt fit the budget but the WiiU/PS4 did? I mean understand what your saying but Im going from the statement of not having the resources. Hey is Xbox ID only for Xbox exclusive indies or could Trine devs use it for this game?

Btw-As im tryping this a Microsoft Cloud commercial came on, the first one ive seen. They showed one guy play games on TV using keyboard. Not saying anything but if anyone else noticed it. Maybe MS teasing....

MasterCornholio932d ago

It sounds like its more due to Microsofts parity clause than anything else. Sure Sony is giving them the money to release their games on the PS4 first but they could always release it later for the Xbox One if it wasn't for the parity clause.

LexHazard79932d ago

Got you. They should just get rid of it. I mean i know they want Xbox owners to enjoy it same as PS owners. But whats the difference from paying for timed exclusives to keep it from the first class PS4 consumers? I also own a PS4 so Im first class no matter where the games end up first.

gangsta_red932d ago

And so far not one game has been denied because of the parity clause.

And why are they releasing the game simultaneously on the WiiU and PS4? I mean let's be honest the WiiU isn't the most popular of consoles compared to the PS4 and Xbox One.

It's because SONY money hatted this game and more than likely wants the game to appear on their system first. Sony probably doesn't care about the WiiU so it's okay to release it on that system...but not the Xbox One.

It is definitely Sony's pub fund(money hatting).

ShwankyShpanky932d ago (Edited 932d ago )

"And so far not one game has been denied because of the parity clause."

Phil Spencer's N4G account revealed. Or maybe you're just pulling that out of your ass. Hm... considering the PS4 literally has like twice as many indie games as the One, I wonder which is more likely.

Also: "47 new PS4 games revealed since September, and NONE of them were announced for XB1."
http://www.neogaf.com/forum...
(post authored by actual indie dev)

"(money hatting)"

http://futureisfiction.com/...

gangsta_red932d ago

@Shwanky

I wonder why there's more indie games on PS4? Could it be that Sony is paying indie devs to appear on their console first?

http://www.forbes.com/sites...

Noooo, that couldn't be the reason right? Indie devs don't want money, it must just be out of the kindness of Sony's heart that these indie devs are choosing the PS4 first.

"Or maybe you're just pulling that out of your ass"

Do you have any proof directly from a dev that they were denied access to the Xbox One because of the Parity Clause...or are you going to link a bunch of devs that say they MIGHT get rejected by the parity clause...

let's wait and see everybody..

ShwankyShpanky932d ago

"I wonder why there's more indie games on PS4? Could it be that Sony is paying indie devs to appear on their console first?"

You again link to the same article about the Pub Fund. Pub Fund isn't "paying indie devs," it's an advance on royalties to fund the development of the game.

I suppose Sony should offer interest-free loans to devs to make games with no benefit Sony because, um… “goodness of their hearts” or something.

"Do you have any proof directly from a dev that they were denied access to the Xbox One because of the Parity Clause...or are you going to link a bunch of devs that say they MIGHT get rejected by the parity clause... "

Do you have any proof to the contrary? Microsoft has a much-publicized parity clause in their [email protected] policy, a policy that has been publicly endorsed by Spencer himself ("first-class citizen" blah blah blah) , and *you're* the one claiming that this clause is NEVER enforced. Yet there are scores of indie games on PS4 that aren’t on the One, and scores announced for PS4 that have not been announced for the one.

Thing is, Pub Fund doesn’t mandate permanent exclusivity, so if you’re going to claim that all these devs just went PS4 first because they took a Pub Fund advance (which I’d wager is unlikely for all of them, but whatever… you’re the one that keeps bringing up Pub Fund), then that still doesn’t explain why they’re not on the One after that timed exclusivity expires. Why do you suppose that might be? I guess “indie devs don’t want money,” and they’re just forgoing selling their games to One owners because they’re all just secret Sony Ponies.

Do *you* have any proof that all these devs took Pub Fund money, and that’s why they’re on PS4 first? Perhaps consider the possibility that they found a “PS4 first” approach to simply make sense, possibly due to:
1) 2:1 install base
2) ease of development (no eSRAM shuffle to deal with)
3) more indie-friendly user base (funny how so many call the PS4 an “indieStation” like it’s some kind of epiphet)
It’s a sensible business strategy to develop for your most profitable platform first, and then use the returns to fund development for smaller markets. When you're a small team, priorities must be set, all platforms can't be done at once.

What’s funny about Frozenbyte’s actually developing for the Wii U is that this is actually a potential indicator that the parity clause *was* the reason they’re not going for the One. What exactly is your proposed reasoning for them to skip over the second-largest console market and similar architecture for the third-place console with a different architecture?

Don’t be upset at Sony for having a better indie program/policy… be upset at MS for not stepping up their game and for having a policy that keeps games off their console.

gangsta_red932d ago

"it's an advance on royalties to fund the development of the game."

LMAO, in other words an advancement in royalties IN EXCHANGE for the game being exclusive or timed exclusive on Sony's PlayStation console. Let's not leave that little tidbit out. Money hatting!

They are paying devs for their game to appear on their system first. There is no spinning, twisting or denying that fact.

"Microsoft has a much-publicized parity clause in their [email protected] policy, a policy that has been publicly endorsed by Spencer himself ("first-class citizen" blah blah blah)..."

So basically you have no proof? Pretty much what i thought, you and others like to always bring up the parity clause but not one of you have any concrete proof of any games that were rejected because of it.

But yet you think the reason Sony has all these indie games and not Xbox is because of the parity clause.

You really think that these games are appearing on PS4 first not because of these "advanced royalties"?? Seriously?

1) Not likely
2) how many indie developers have complained about ESRAM? Most indie games are not even big enough to run into these problem, so again Not likely.
3) More friendly user base? Not likely. But I guess it is when Sony is paying advanced royalties in exchange for exclusive or timed exclusives.

"Don’t be upset at Sony for having a better indie program/policy…"

And by better you mean money hatting indie devs and getting their games to appear exclusive or timed on their system first. Hey if that means its better by paying devs to keep games off of other platforms than by all means more power to them. It is definitely getting them the games first.

ShwankyShpanky931d ago (Edited 931d ago )

“LMAO, in other words an advancement in royalties IN EXCHANGE for the game being exclusive or timed exclusive on Sony's PlayStation console. Let's not leave that little tidbit out. Money hatting!”

http://futureisfiction.com/...

“So basically you have no proof? ...”

You made the claim that MS has 100% never enforced a policy that has been defended by Spencer, so you provide the proof.

Here’s what Curve Studios had to say:
"It’s preventing us from bringing some of the older stuff through and doing what we want. There’s 40 of us, and we’re still saying we should be able to work around it, so you can imagine how hard it is for smaller developers in one and two man teams who are faced with having to release on PlayStation and Xbox simultaneously. We’ll hopefully be on Xbox One at some stage.”

Vlambeer said they got around the clause via a loophole regarding previous exclusivity deals… in other words MS policy directly influenced their decision to sign an exclusivity deal with Sony.

“But yet you think the reason Sony has all these indie games and not Xbox is because of the parity clause.”

It’s fair to assume that the launch parity clause may have some bearing on some of the games that are on or coming to PS4 without any One launch announced. No reason to assume otherwise.

Even if you assume that all of those games that are not on or announced for the One are being made with help from the Pub Fund, Pub Fund only requires timed exclusivity. Yet it’s not that some of these games are coming late to the One, it’s that they don’t appear to be coming *at all.* If Pub Fund requirement is only timed, why is there no late One release? Oh that's right... “indie devs don’t want money.”

“You really think that these games are appearing on PS4 first not because of these "advanced royalties"?? Seriously?"

You’re again making the claim that every indie dev that is on PS4 but not the One is using Pub Fund. On what basis are you making this claim?

“1) Not likely”

2:1 global sales ratio is “not likely?” Here… I’ll concede that maybe it’s “only” 1.8:1 or 1.9:1. PS4 user base is still a far larger market than the One’s.

“2) how many indie developers have complained about ESRAM? Most indie games are not even big enough to run into these problem, so again Not likely.”

I didn’t say people were “complaining,” simply that it’s more complex. Not a bicycle-to-combustion-engine level of difference, but the fact is working with the unified memory pool eliminates the step of eSRAM implementation. Dev kits don’t come with an “add eSRAM usage” button.

“3) More friendly user base? Not likely. But I guess it is when Sony is paying advanced royalties in exchange for exclusive or timed exclusives.“

There’s a difference between policy and user base. It’s not hard to find Xbox fans disparaging the “indieStation” for its “crappy phone games” etc. Many indies have also lauded Sony for being more pro-active in reaching out and transparent in their methods to get games on the PS4. It’s not a secret. Most articles out there re: indie/platform relations echo this sentiment. Just babbling “herp derp moneyhat” doesn’t negate that.

“And by better you mean money hatting indie devs and getting their games to appear exclusive or timed on their system first. ...”

<please see previous .gif>

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lemoncake932d ago (Edited 932d ago )

Sony went out and splashed the money big time onto these indie developers, seems they caught microsoft completely off guard with how aggressive they have been in this area.

I really hope Microsoft does pc to xbox streaming, would be indie paradise then cause you don't even need that powerful of a pc to play the majority of these games.

dcbronco932d ago

A lot of these developers are using that excuse. It should be an insult to gamers. Most gamers should know by now that with such similar parts if you make it for PS4, it's an easy port to the Xbox. Or PC to Xbox. But like it was mentioned above, if you made a Wii U version, you have no excuse for not making an Xbox version because the Wii U is a totally different architecture. Lame.

MasterCornholio932d ago

Your right they could always release it later for the Xbox One. But then the parity clause gets in the way.

That's the real issue.

dcbronco932d ago

It's an excuse period. If they had the resources to support the Wii U, again a completely different architecture, they could have used those resources to instead support Xbox One. Especially given Xbox One has a larger install base already. So they could have launched on One at the same time as PS4.

It's actually a really stupid move. Sony support is great now, but they are struggling financially and that support isn't guaranteed in the future. Nintendo also is not financially stable. Why completely alienate the most stable gaming company. And then lie about it. Some people on N4G may not get the lie. But I'm sure Microsoft gets it fully. Indies aren't in a position to poke bears.

ShwankyShpanky932d ago

"It's an excuse period. If they had the resources to support the Wii U, again a completely different architecture, they could have used those resources to instead support Xbox One. Especially given Xbox One has a larger install base already. So they could have launched on One at the same time as PS4."

The Wii U version isn't launching at the same time as PS4, so there's absolutely zero basis for claiming that they could have just used Wii U resources for a One version and done a simultaneous release. There's not even a release date for the Wii U version, so you have absolutely no idea how they allocated their resources.

"if you made a Wii U version, you have no excuse for not making an Xbox version because the Wii U is a totally different architecture. Lame."

There's a fair likelihood that the "excuse" (aka "reason") is that Nintendo doesn't have a release date parity clause.

"Sony support is great now, but they are struggling financially and that support isn't guaranteed in the future. Nintendo also is not financially stable. Why completely alienate the most stable gaming company."

This is just adorable. MS took a peripheral that they insisted was inseparable and integral to the system ("Xbox One is Kinect" ~Phil Harrison) and dropped its requirements when the sales winds weren't blowing in their favor, and you want to talk about support for an indie dev being "guaranteed in the future?" That is for to laugh. Ha ha.