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Tim Schafer questions the future of small developers on next-gen consoles


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Initial post: Dec 14, 2012 5:11:10 AM PST
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2012-12-14-schafer-questions-double-fines-place-on-next-gen-consoles

New consoles must open up to remain "friendly" to smaller, independent develolpers

Tim Schafer is unsure whether independent companies like Double Fine will have a place on the next generation.

Speaking to Polygon, Schafer claimed that Double Fine would be unlikely to return to the $40 million investments required to make a game like Brutal Legend. The company has enjoyed great success launching smaller IPs and its back catalogue on Steam, and the numerous costs involved in developing for consoles - even online services like Xbox Live - no longer make sense.

"Our fear was that next generation was going to be only big AAA games. It was only going to be a place for Call of Duty and Halo," he said. "But we've talked to [the console manufacturers], and told people what things would be hard for teams our size with regards to consoles."

Schafer highlighted the hidden expenses associated with self-publishing on consoles: certification, patches, TCRs, and so on. For the next generation of consoles to remain viable marketplaces for companies like Double Fine, they will need to adopt certain aspect's of Steam's open approach.

"We'd still like to be active in that space, we care about consoles, but unless they open things up a lot more like what we have on Steam... if they opened things up more it would be a more friendly place from our perspective.

"We've talked to them about this stuff, and you know, they hear us. They're big companies and they can't make changes overnight, but I think they're taking all of that stuff into consideration. We'll have to see what happens."

Posted on Dec 14, 2012 5:13:06 AM PST
I think between MS and Sony, Sony has been doing more for the system as of late to accommodate new ideas from smaller devs. Hopefully they both do this in their next system, but I think MS makes it more difficult for devs to post, update, and innovate on the system.

Unless they've been more open lately and I just haven't seen much on it...

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2012 5:17:07 AM PST
" I think MS makes it more difficult for devs to post, update, and innovate on the system."

How so, exactly? I'm not saying that MS doesn't make things difficult. I just don't know what MS does that Sony doesn't in some way, shape or form. I mean, the PS3 version of Brutal Legend won't be patched because of Sony's certification fee.

Hey, Tim! Wii U is VERY Indies friendly!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2012 5:18:48 AM PST
GUEST!! says:
Considering the bulk of their "good" games over the last three years have been XBLA titles, I think it's pretty much imperative that they open up a littl ebit on next gen. Of course, good luck getting them to see it that way. That company's been a fan of the nickle-and-dime since time immemorial.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2012 5:18:59 AM PST
Oh, wasn't the cert fee also the reason Fez didn't update their XBLA game? Maybe they're the same then. It's early. :D

I was thinking more on how Dust on PS3 allows cross platform and such.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2012 5:22:07 AM PST
Kin-foot says:
Look how MS has treated Indie gamers. Doing things like pretty much hidding them in newer dashboard updates. Or patching games like Fez.

Even big developers like Valve wanted to give us free DLC but MS wouldn't have it.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2012 5:22:51 AM PST
Yeah, that's what happened with Fez.

Nintendo has done quite the turnaround. They put QA on the developer so updates can go through without having to wait months for a response.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2012 5:23:55 AM PST
Microsoft will probably charge a fee just to browse the Arcade.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2012 5:25:47 AM PST
GUEST!! says:
Hah, well, I don't know about that.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2012 7:41:08 AM PST
Kirksplosion says:
Guess that's why The Cave is already set to be on Wii U. :D

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2012 7:43:53 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 14, 2012 7:44:38 AM PST
Iso says:
Does PSN even allow indie at all? Serious question, all I hear is how bad MS is but I do not know if Sony even has any method for indie titles.

Posted on Dec 14, 2012 7:47:43 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Aug 22, 2013 5:33:53 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2012 7:50:26 AM PST
Iso says:
DOA ;)

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2012 7:51:38 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Aug 22, 2013 5:33:53 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2012 7:52:28 AM PST
Did you ever think about turning off the TV, sitting down with Tim Schafer, and hitting him?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2012 7:54:29 AM PST
Kin-foot says:
I know they get some of the more popular titles but not sure if they get the smaller ones.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2012 7:55:20 AM PST
Tim Schafer....I hate you for not making a Brutal Legend 2!!!! Serious hate!!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2012 8:02:45 AM PST
Kirksplosion says:
They allow for indies. I think the PSN Minis section is kinda-sorta comparable to XBLIG, though it seems Microsoft is more open there.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2012 8:52:21 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 14, 2012 8:52:45 AM PST
Iso says:
Yeah, I was wondering what that was. I just find it amusing that it is completely silent on PSN about indie titles. Are minis kind of hidden too? What programming language are they too?

Hmm...

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2012 9:28:39 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 14, 2012 9:30:24 AM PST
Kirksplosion says:
They're pretty easy to find, but similarly to XBLIG, they're not publicized as far as I've seen. Most of the stuff I know of on the service is from word-of-mouth. No clue about the programming language, but the dev kit is $1,500.

Though if indies can afford it, they can self-publish on PSN. Pretty sure that's what Harmonix did with Blitz.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2012 9:30:10 AM PST
Iso says:
Ah, that's pretty cool.

Sounds exactly the same as to what XBLIG gets scolded for. Heh...

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2012 9:37:26 AM PST
DVvM says:
At least Brütal Legend ended up in a place that's okay to leave off on. It's a fine ending.

Psychonauts ends on a cliffhanger!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2012 9:39:10 AM PST
Kirksplosion says:
True that. You may have read this already, but it's an interesting insight into indie self-publishing on the different gaming ecosystems:

http://penny-arcade.com/report/editorial-article/how-do-you-launch-on-all-three-platforms-without-a-publish-lease-an-xb1

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2012 9:46:08 AM PST
Iso says:
So you can self publish on PSN and be in the standard arcade area?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2012 9:51:00 AM PST
Heck if you watched Indie Game: The Movie, just how MS kind of treated Super Meat Boy shows how little they care. Had them rush to finish the game to be offered a nice spotlight, only to then have MS bury the game and make it harder then heck to find.
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Discussion in:  Video Games forum
Participants:  12
Total posts:  27
Initial post:  Dec 14, 2012
Latest post:  Dec 14, 2012

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