Introversion Software co-founder Mark Morris has spoken out against the Microsoft's expensive Xbox Live Arcade certification process. Morris, who helped Introversion make such hit games as Uplink, Darwinia, DEFCON, and Multiwinia, says that Microsoft has to make changes to the process and lower or eliminate its fees if it wants to continue to compete with services such as Steam.
Morris made his comments in relation to the company's newest game – a cute prison simulation game called Prison Architect. The game, which is currently in alpha and can be pre-purchased on the company's official site, will not be making its way to Xbox Live Arcade, according to Morris, because of the "ridiculous" pricing on Xbox 360 development kits needed to get the game on XBLA.
"Hopefully we'll get a Steam deal – I'm pretty confident we will as we have a great relationship with Valve – and then we're exposed to Valve's market of 20 million people," he said. "Alternatively we could spin out a team of probably 10 people, we need to pay Microsoft £10,000 a go for a development kit."
"I think our quality assurance bill was $30,000 for testing with Darwinia+, and it took four years to get the game certified to a standard that Microsoft wanted," he added. "It then sold rubbish. We hardly shipped any units on Xbox 360, compared to PC."
Morris went on to say that he is not neccesarily opposed to outsourcing Prison Architect to someone else who might want to bring the game to Xbox 360 once the title releases for PC, but his company is not interested in working directly with console owners now.
"Microsoft and Sony come along and they say, 'well we don't want to have your game second, we want to be first.' Well, they can't be first. We're on PC because they've made it too hard. Also, they want exclusive content, well piss off. You're not delivering the amount of sales, you're making us work harder, and ultimately we're getting paid less than what we do on PC. So I think they're definitely – in the indie world – second class customers."
Prison Architect is currently in Alpha and is available on the official Introversion Software website if you're willing to put some money down before the cake is completely baked…