Microsoft’s attitude towards indies is much better than it used to be, according to Teddy Diefenbach, coder and designer for the hotly anticipated, Kickstarter-backed, retro-inspired action-RPG Hyper Light Drifter.
“They were kind of dicks about it back in the day,” Diefenbach told Eurogamer, going on to note that things have improved substantially with the advent of the company’s ID@Xbox program. “It’s friendly, it’s got the same terms as everybody else, basically. It’s much more open than it ever was. It’s not like it was in the 360 days.”
He also noted that, as a result of the new intiative, Microsoft is closing the gap against rival Sony, whose push to bring indie games to the PlayStation 4 has garnered praise from the independent development community. “As far as the terms go, they’re relatively similar,” he said. “The biggest difference between Sony and Microsoft was that Sony has had a large push behind gathering indies and they reached out to us initially, even when the Kickstarter was still going, and they have a bigger team behind it all. Microsoft has been a bit slower to come to the table, but now they’re coming around, so it seems like they’re going to be on much more even ground.”
Hyper Light Drifter developer Heart Machine originally intended to put the title on PC, Mac, and Linux, but following a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign that raised more than $645,000, the target platforms were expanded to include just about everything under the sun, including the Vita, Ouya, and Wii U—though the Xbox One version wasn’t announced until after the campaign had closed.
The game is due out in late 2014.