Schafer: Microsoft, Sony Must Heed Indie Developer Complaints

In a recent interview with IndustryGamers, Double Fine co-founder Tim Schafer said that the indie developer exodus from Xbox Live and PlayStation Network should be a wakeup call for Microsoft and Sony. Indie developers who once flocked to consoles have been steadily leaving for platforms that offer more exposure to their games and listen to them when they have issues. Schafer noted that nothing has changed since 2D Boy's Ron Carmel penned an article on the mass exodus from Xbox Live.

"I was hoping that would be a really, really eye-opening article for the console manufacturers… and I feel like it's been totally dismissed. I really think it's something they can't dismiss and they should really pay a lot more attention to because he's calling attention to a migration, an exodus of real creative talent away from those platforms to more open platforms, and I think they should do something quick to reverse that," Schafer commented.

One of the reasons so many indie developers are moving towards Apple's App Store, Android, and Steam is that the platform holders make the process easy and painless.

"We can put something up on the App Store pretty easily. We can put stuff up on Steam really easily. I like the Xbox and the PS3. I like Sony and Microsoft, but those systems are closed and curated very closely and it costs a lot more money to go through that system, to patch a game. It makes me stressed out that if I put a game up there, I might not be able to patch it because it might cost too much money, whereas these more open platforms will let us manage our own price and our own updates. It's just a lot more appealing right now," explained Schafer.

Finally, Schafer says that Microsoft and Sony need to change their way of handling indie developers and deploying games on their respective services.

"We were used to thinking of these huge triple-A games and all of a sudden when you got your 360, one of the things that felt really next-gen about it was that you could download Geometry Wars for five dollars, and we hadn't done that before. I hadn't thought of buying that kind of game on a console before and I'm having tons of fun and I think that leads to a new creative outlet and brought us games like Limbo and Castle Crashers and all the great games that we saw on that platform. I want that to succeed. So when you read an article about that, warning about the migration away from the platform, that's a shame and we want that not to be the case," he concluded.

You can read the entire interview here.

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