Do game developers still want to publish on Xbox?

Skill Up associate Edmond Tran spoke to individual gamemakers from around the world, all of whom had published games on Xbox consoles in recent years, and had new titles in development. They ranged from solo developers to mid-sized independent studios, though all requested anonymity in order to speak more freely on the subject.

Petebloodyonion19d ago

This is the Complete article to which this story https://n4g.com/news/260094... allude.

It's the original source of the Twisted Voxel Story and contains lots of details and information related to different topics not mentioned in the other story.

darthv7219d ago

you should have made a report and stated this is the original source for the other.

Petebloodyonion19d ago (Edited 19d ago )

I'll be honest every time I do it amounts to no change, at least, if this story is canceled there's a chance the real story will be fixed or members will get to see this link on the other one.

NotoriousWhiz18d ago

It's amazing how many people read the headline for that other article but completely skipped out on the content and just want to pretend that the content doesn't exist because it doesn't fit their own preconceived narrative based solely on the headline.

Hofstaderman18d ago

I believe they were asking the same thing at a recent conference.....

17d ago
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Petebloodyonion18d ago

Here are my thoughts on the article:

1) I commend Edmon Trans for the quality of his piece. It seems to capture the struggles that many smaller indie developers face when creating games for Xbox when they have a PC version (porting).

2) It was surprising to discover that ID@Xbox has become a mere shadow of its former self due to funding issues, with the focus now shifting to Gamepass.

3) Developers point out the paradox of subscription services: they recognize the potential for reduced sales but see the necessity of launching on such platforms due to the upfront payment and exposure, which is particularly true for smaller single-player games.
One question I would like answered is whether exposure on Gamepass aids in driving sales on other platforms like PC, or if it actually has the opposite effect, especially for titles that lack marketing support or visibility from Microsoft or Sony (e.g., The Ascent, Stray, Roller dome).

4) Developers note that insufficient storefront visibility is a key reason why games don't sell as well on Xbox and PlayStation compared to PC (this was also hinted at by another developer who criticized the 30% revenue share). I believe this could be mitigated by introducing a feature similar to Steam's discovery queue on Xbox and PlayStation.
Personally, I've discovered several hidden gems I would never have purchased just by browsing my queue (Raging Justice, Streets of Fury, DLC Quest, and Press X to Not Die, for instance). In fact, it was my Steam queue that led me to play DBD back in 2016.
Another suggestion is the possibility of donating MS rewards points to indie developers as a form of gratuity.

5) It was encouraging to see some developers emphasize how the push by larger publishers for deep engagement with expansive games (like COD, GTA, etc.) can hinder sales, as players, particularly casual ones, are unlikely to seek new games when immersed in a title that demands over 100 hours of playtime.
This isn't to say that games requiring 50+ hours shouldn't exist, but there's a need for quality experiences that can be enjoyed in a shorter time frame.

Quick note: Kudos to Copilot AI for correcting my text; it seems less broken than usual while conveying my opinion.

Abear2118d ago

No offense, but you’re post reads like it was written by AI with the numbered bullet points

Nacho_Z17d ago

That's what I thought. Xbox supporters often seem like they're reading from marketing lead press releases.

Petebloodyonion17d ago

Yes, as I mentioned, I used AI to correct my text, but the bullet point was my idea, as I often present my ideas in that format, and it describes what I appreciated about this interview.

At least I took the time to read the complete interview, which is more than I can say for you, since it's essentially a summary of it. Plus, I took the time to suggest ideas to help some of the indie developers, which is a lot more than your "XBOX SUCZ" attitude. What did you propose?

Doomeduk18d ago

Number 2 is the problem MS spaffed billions buying franchises that the Xbox would have gotten anyway to then shutter departments that were there to highlight smaller team builds
Can't see who this helps phil

Profchaos18d ago (Edited 18d ago )

Developers yes in most cases developers like tinkering with all systems and pushing them.

Publishers however only like putting games where they are profitable. And unless you're pushing a AAA that isn't on Xbox

ChasterMies18d ago

“Developers yes in most cases developers like tinkering with all systems and pushing them.”

You’re talking about hobbyists. Developers do this for a living. Studios and publishers do this to make money. They only want to publish games on systems that generate money.

DarXyde18d ago (Edited 18d ago )

"A few of the developers we spoke to said that in the past, they had been the recipients of funds specifically allocated to assist in porting projects, but programs like these had all but dried up. Now, all eyes were squarely focused on Xbox Game Pass deals – which were also not as lucrative as they were just a few years ago, but still enough to consider putting the work in for."

This is an interesting point to me. So there were incentives for Game Pass releases that appear to have become more anemic with time. Sort of like monetization schemes for content creators on YouTube or Twitch; those have also become less lucrative.

I don't think this ends well for Microsoft. They're applying a video/streaming monetization format to game development and publishing. I don't see how this shakes out very well, especially when video content is consumed for free and a stream/video's costs are kind of the infrastructure costs that are pretty much one time costs (exception being utilities). Game pass requires a sub—a much smaller pool than literally anyone with access to high speed internet.

To the point here, I think big publishers will launch on both platforms normally, but small to mid sized developers will do the opposite of what Xbox themselves are doing: Xbox launches first party day and date on game pass. Some of those trickle down to PlayStation and Nintendo. For these developers, I think they're going to launch exclusively on PlayStation/ Nintendo/ PC and once the games live out their lives, then hit Xbox. I have to say, that's likely to result in the Series X getting the inferior version. In that scenario, Game Pass is certainly an exceptional deal if Microsoft owns the studio. Otherwise, you might be playing a waiting game for a worse version.

However, there is another issue that we can speculate about: does Microsoft have a clause similar to the infamous parity clause? One that requires games to be available on Game Pass after a certain period/within a certain period? If so, I can see that being a deterrent to releasing on Xbox. Of course, I have absolutely no doubt that Microsoft will make exceptions for games that have higher bargaining power like GTA. It makes me wonder about BG3. Entirely possible that game was just going to have to skip Xbox, but the surprising popularity made its porting a priority for Microsoft (it's on MacOS too, so imagine Xbox being the ONLY place you couldn't play it besides Switch).

That last part is pure speculation, obviously. I'm pretty clueless about the deals in place for them. You might be wondering about Sony and there are probably some deals in place there too, but without any complaints or desire to report under anonymity as developers are doing here, there just isn't anything to go on. Presumably, in the absence of complaints, those deals might be structured better for developers.

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