Microsoft good or bad for indies?

3 min read

According to Borut Pfeifer of Plush Apocalypse Productions, who collaborated to make Skulls of the Shogun, Microsoft Studios appears to be “institutionally incompetent”.  Drawing the line between Microsoft and Microsoft Studios, he explains that it’s not an issue of Microsoft loving or hating indies – they are “an indifferent machine to it all”.

In his interview with Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Pfeifer gives the detailed rundown of how they suffered as indie gamers, partially due to Microsoft and partially due to their own poor decisions about releasing solely on Microsoft platforms, particularly their choice to release exclusively for Windows 8.  One of the main complaints was that Microsoft was late with payment, forcing the studios to take out loans in order to complete the game.  However, he still says Microsoft is not malevolent.

“When people call Microsoft ‘evil’, while I don’t want to defend them, it’s kind of an undeserved compliment. To be evil, you have to have vision, you have to have communication, execution… None of those are traits are things that I would ascribe to Microsoft Studios.”

He goes on to say that Microsoft Studios

“… Came across as though they were institutionally incompetent. I think they’re not really set up to be a decent publisher.”

However, when it comes to indies, he says that Microsoft isn’t anti-indie.

“… it’s not that Microsoft loves or even hates indies. It’s just that they’re an indifferent machine to it all.”

I suppose this indifference would explain why Pfeifer says that they “never tried to interfere with us creatively” – they just didn’t care!  I’m not whether this bodes well for indie game developers who sign on with Microsoft Studios in the future.  I just hope that other indie game studios make better decisions.  Pfeifer is now broke and it doesn’t look like we’ll be seeing more games from him anytime soon.  It would be sad if other developers suffered the same fate.  I still believe indie games are some of the best for providing unique game play experiences – they may not be at the level of AAA titles, but sometimes they are more fun.

Read  Is Fable 4 in the works from Forza Horizon’s developers? I certainly hope not

Last Updated: June 23, 2013

Zoe Hawkins

Wielding my lasso of truth, I am the combination of nerd passion and grammar nazi. I delve into all things awesome and geek-tastic. I believe people should stop defining themselves and just enjoy playing games, so let’s get on with it!

  • Purple_Dragon

    Surpised to see articles up on a Sunday!

    • Brady miaau

      Yip, dedication is rife at lazygamer, like a slow moving disease.

      Well done, peoples

  • Hammersteyn

    The problem is that he released a game exclusively for Windows 8. Maybe this was part of the agreement with Microsoft and maybe you shouldn’t put all you eggs in one basket.

    • Brady miaau

      My grans always said that. Wise woman.

      But most especially do NOT put all yon eggs in a new basket!

  • Trevor Davies

    I’m pretty sure I saw this game on Steam. I’d also like to hear a non-PR version of the other side of the story.

  • OVG

    Bad bad bad bad bad baaaaaaaad… Oh, you talking about Indies… BAD.

  • CaptainNemo42

    With lots of rumours and news on Microsoft’s “indifference” towards indie developers, and Sony’s apparent full support, I’ll wager that you will see less and less studios dealing with MS. That being said. Indie games doesn’t sell consoles, Call of Duty sells consoles.

  • Eish

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