So I just heard back from my second attempt to try the ID@Xbox program that M$ offers to “help” indies get on their platform. Like last time, I get the brush off (not even a different message from the first time but seems like a boilerplate response.)
They mentioned in the response that my game “Chicken with Chainguns” as well as my first game “The Mines of Morseph” were not a “good fit” for release on their platform. Strangely enough, they still offered their second rate Windows 10 store and Creators Program. I am not familiar with the success or failure of games listed on the creators program but I really don’t want to purchase an Xbox One, the membership for the Creators program and unlocking my Xbox as a dev kit, as well as spend God-knows how much time porting my game to work on their platform just to find out.
If any new indies are reading this, do not waste your time with M$ and their platform. They are not interested in indies unless you already have the name, already have a highly regarded title, or have something that grabs media attention like the Cuphead game. They have zero interest in helping true indies getting a start. Indie gaming is, sadly, beginning to follow down the path of AAA by having their own elitism and royalty and those whom aren’t well connected are just ass out.
I am not sure if Sony is a better outlet to pursue now or not. The things that prevent me from applying to them are: 1) my business is not a corporation (which they seem to require) and 2) I don’t have a static IP. (#2 is easy enough to solve but #1 is not so much.)
For now, it is just Steam and PC platform for me. Steam may have a lot of people who slam it but it is still the BEST opportunity for indies. I am very grateful that Steam Direct exists to give my small team and all indies a legit chance to be on a legit storefront. I still believe being well connected gives benefits even on Steam but at least they are letting us “true indies” be on their platform.
*When I say “true indies” I mean those of use who have nothing more than a dream to make games and the skill to carry it out. No huge account, no friends in the industry, no massive Kickstarter seed money…just a love for the craft and the determination to carry it out. True indies are like the old punk rock scene back in the day. We will sell games off of our website or out of the trunk of our car if we have to.
I gotta get back to making Chicken with Chainguns….forget M$ and their elitist platform…forget GoG and their “curation.”