Jonathan Blow: Microsoft ‘have a cultural habit of treating small developers like s**t’

“Hopefully they will manage to get away from this on the new console.”

Posted By | On 14th, Dec. 2013 Under News | Follow This Author @GamingBoltTweet

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Well know developer Jonathan Blow who is behind super hit games like Braid and the upcoming The Witness is well known for his outrage against Microsoft and their indie policies. A few months back Jonathan Blow had criticized Microsoft’s claim of increasing servers to 300,000 and stated it was a lie.

A Twitter user asked Jonathan whether he ever apologized for being wrong since they do have actual servers, to which he replied: “Well, they said they are Azure servers, and Azure servers do exist physically. Nobody disputes that…”

He further revealed that why he does not give Microsoft the benefit of doubt: “They threatened to ruin my life, and I am not the only indie they treated this way. So I do not give them the benefit of the doubt. Actually some other indies (like Team Meat) got treated way worse than I did.”

He further stated that it is Microsoft’s habit of treating indie developers badly.

“They have a cultural habit of treating small developers like shit. Hopefully they will manage to get away from this on the new console, but I have reason to be skeptical, as many of the people who treated devs badly still work there.”

He also justified his public outrage against Microsoft stating that if he sees an injustice, he will speak out about it.

As usual, bold words indeed. It makes us wonder whether Jonathan Blow will ever release a game on Xbox One or Microsoft’s future products.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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  • Anti Troll Troller

    “They threatened to ruin my life, and I am not the only indie they treated this way.”
    WOW, go Microsoft.

    • ColinZeal

      YES!!! This is the kind of company I want to support!

    • Crapgamer

      According to Johnathan Blow. Yet there isn’t any proof or names other than Team Meat.

    • bigevilworldwide

      Phil fish there are others

  • Vincenzo Greco

    someone tell this guy to develope a nice game before open again his mouth to rant

    • standard

      Braid wasn’t good enough for you?
      Have you even SEEN the witness?

    • Guest

      In hindsight, Braid was crap and way too short.

    • You are flat out wrong

      In hindsight because you’re just another disposable Xbox fanboy?

    • Mike E. Delta

      I’m sorry, but their ignorant comments notwithstanding, NO ONE is disposable. Haven’t enough people died this year..? *sob* ='(

    • Vincenzo Greco

      i seen braid and i read about the witness…
      both nothig of special for a person that talk like if everyone cant live without his games…

      if he dont like ms just dont go with them..but istead he talk talk …OH GOSH how much he talk and then…he will release the witness on xbox one too..

      he seem like a baby that beat his feet on the ground coz is wanting something…

      jonathan..pls stop it u been seriously boring

    • standard

      Many things to cover with you then.

      1.You’ve played neither.
      2.You’ve assumed he deems his own games must plays.

      3.You seem to think he will work with MS again.
      4.You think he wants something personally, when all he wants is to alert other indie devs to beware.
      5.I point your last sentence right back at you.

  • Kevin

    Enough already u spent the early part of the year ranting about this and that , you said what you wanted to say now move the ? On.

  • Eagles83

    Yes they treated you badly by allowing you to make tons of money by releasing games on their platform. I wish this tool would shut up about this. No one forced him to release a game on Microsoft’s console.

    • p3ngwin

      “badly” is relative, and he describes how other developers like his didn’t get the SAME terrible treatment, so yes, he was treated differently.

      read the data and learn what happened before you make such a judgement.

    • Eagles83

      I honestly do not care one way or another. He and Phil Fish just would not shut up about this kind of thing for the past couple of years to the point I’m sick of hearing about it. Maybe Microsoft were being jerks or whatever but these douchebags need to get over it or at least admit that while they had problems with Microsoft it still made them a lot of money.

    • p3ngwin

      why should clients refrain from complaining just because “they made money” ?

      that’s like saying if you don’t like your job, quit and find another one. Nothing’s perfect, but that doesn’t mean you can’t complain about unfair treatment.

      ironically Team Meat did decide to leave, when they decided to not work with Microsoft again.

      it’s odd you think the victims of Microsoft’s treatment are “douchebags”.

      If you dislike hearing about it, maybe you’d like to help developers not get screwed by such companies?

      Oh, but apparently you “don’t care one way or another”. Which clearly you do from your unhappiness and blaming the victim’s for deserving what they get because they’re “douchebags”.

    • Eagles83

      No I’m not saying he should quit his job. There are other or “greener” pastures if you will on PC or now the PS4. Just develop on those and shut up about Microsoft. I don’t mind him complaining but he has been ranting like crazy for well over a year at this point. Enough is enough.

    • guest

      The point is people are getting sick of hearing these two constantly moaning. They aren’t doing themselves any favours keeping this up. Why are you intent on defending them on so many posts here?

    • Cinnamon267

      Why comment if you don’t care one way or another?

    • Eagles83

      My hope is that some of these egotistical indie devs like Phil Fish actually research themselves online and find articles like this. Maybe……just maybe they read the comments and see that many people are tired of hearing about their whining.

    • Cinnamon267

      A bit arrogant to think they care about what you say in a comment section. They already know what people say. They don’t have to research anything.

      They know how whiny people are in comment sections are. Gamers are the whiniest group on the planet.

  • Again?

    I think he should just let it go now. Harbouring this much anger and resentment is not healthy. If he didn’t like working with Microsoft then don’t in the future but these articles every few weeks on various sites are starting to sound like a broken record. We get it already Jonathan.

    • p3ngwin

      “let it go”

      yeah, because justice and accountability works like that…..

    • kevin

      Really the dude needs to move the F on .

    • You are flat out wrong

      You would say that, Kevin Dent.

  • zebo

    i’d really like to know more details about that-especially from
    the “meat ball guys”.
    as this is of no surprise as MS has a long tradition of misstreating ,exploiting and stiffling others.
    This is the only way to create Monopols-but as long as you look like a geek(bill gates) pretend to be a philantroph(give a little to the poor in Africa while 100% supporting Monsanto(millions of mons. shares)=destroying farmers=famine in Africa)
    people ,especially americans will ignore this,as they need a big daddy like MS to worship.

  • spideynut71

    Little Johnny Blowhard is at it again. Just STFU and go away you little indie worm…your whining and BS has grown old and stale.

    • You are flat out wrong

      Xdrone crying because he beat down one of you. Off you scurry.

  • NeoZehnTehn

    All the fuss about indie games I just don’t get. At the end of the day there are not a lot of them out that is just worth playing let alone pay for. There are exceptions like angry bird minecraft etc. but from what I’m seeing, these devs cry more than actually producing games worth playing. Follow up on the successes like minecraft. More building and creating, less crying, and acting like everyone owes you something. If your game is good, Gamers will celebrate it. It’s been this way for a very long time. Everyone needs a voice and I get it, and the internet is the tool to effectively amplify that voice. So you’re crying for freedom as a developer, and you’ll get it and then we get flooded with all sorts of garbage games because quality control is replaced with a warped over romanticized, internet bred, ver. of creativity. F**k that! Last thing we need is an android app store like experience on our consoles.

    • bigevilworldwide

      It’s OK bro only 11 more months till the next COD

    • NeoZehnTehn

      I’m not into 1st person shooters like that, but It’s easy to understand why the appeal of the game is popular. It boils down to community. people just like to play together, especially competitively.

  • Pingback: Jonathan Blow Says Microsoft "Have A Cultural Habit Of Treating Small Developers Like Shit" - Indie Statik()

  • Liam Hall

    Talk to the guy on twitter who was having the conversation with him, Jonathan sounds like a total butt hurt child, I’m completely fine with his games not being on Xbox, and I’m sure Microsoft is too.

    • Crapgamer

      I’m the guy who was having the conversation and Mr. Blow is obviously harboring angry feelings towards Microsoft. The entire conversation started because I called him out on earlier comments he made about Microsoft lying about the number of servers they had. Azure servers are legit, real servers based in server farms and he knows it. Yet he wouldn’t really backtrack from his previous comments.

    • bigevilworldwide

      Whats it like working at Microsoft….I’m sure you don’t and i’m sure your full of shit…I have no doubt SOME of the azure servers are legit, I guarantee they do NOT however have 300,000 servers at least HALF are virtual servers. Which anyone with a 5th grade knowledge of networking know FACT virtual servers are not as good as physical servers….BTW they are still for ALL Microsoft devices not just Xbox live

    • Eagles83

      How would you know and what makes you an authority on the matter? You sound like just another anti-Microsoft Internet troll.

    • Crapgamer

      They bought server farms, Azure is 100% complete and real servers. Virtual servers are actually servers running off a larger server. This is Microsoft we’re talking about though, so I’m not sure why people are underestimating their money or what they have on the hardware side of things.

      The future is Cloud, obviously they are ahead of the curve.

    • You are flat out wrong

      “Bu bu but they had a video!!!”

      Yeah, they have a lot of servers for Azure. How many for XBL specifically? Let’s face it, MS is using skilful PR so Xdrones like you can more easily absorb every lie.

    • You are flat out wrong

      Another Xchimp Wagglecam apologist who can’t do maths.

      1,000,000 units sold first day in US/Canada
      700,000 units sold first day worldwide

      400,000 post-launch in around five days in US/Canada, around 57,000 units a day as of December 1st


      1,100,000 units sold first day in 13 countries
      900,000 sold in next 17 days over 13 countries, around 52,000 units a day as of December 11th.

      As for the Xbone, Swery’s garbage and two multiplats in 2014. Nothing worth buying until next November. You and the rest of the Xdrone vermin laugh at indies, but at least Sony has something.

      Stick to flinging your excrement on Twitter where there are less people to call you out.

    • Mike E. Delta

      You really think there are so few people on twitter…now who can’t do maths?! lol =]~)

    • Guest

      Jonathan Blow is a butthurt pauper and he will fail tremendously from here on out, just like those arrogant little sh*ts like Phil Fish and Team Meat.
      Jonathan Blows!

  • Crapgamer

    I’m the guy who struck up the conversation with Johnathan Blow, he comes across as spiteful and hateful. He obviously doesn’t like Microsoft due to a past bad experience, but that doesn’t mean he’s right in that others have had those same experiences.

    The point I’d make is that Sony had the exact same anti-indie policies as Microsoft this past gen. Except Microsoft did allow indie games on the Xbox 360 and had an entire section devoted to them. He’s skeptical of Microsoft, but not Sony? I mean Sony NEEDED indies because they absolutely had nothing else to offer with the PS4. I think Sony is using their indie love to get good press and basically use indie devs to help their platform which is obviously struggling a bit with content in much the way the PS3 did.

    I’m not against indie games by any means, but he makes it seem like it’s fact that Microsoft treats all indie developers bad and that Sony treats them all great. We know that’s not the case because we’ve seen people like Kevin Dent even come out and say Microsoft is very friendly and that every Xbox One dev kit is only $499, where as every PS4 dev kit to an indie developer is a crazy $2500. That isn’t indie friendly in my opinion.

    The internet is very quick to jump on anything any developer says if it’s negative about Microsoft. Johnathan Blow has a grudge, it’s obvious. I don’t take him at his word because of that fact.

    • You are flat out wrong

      Kevin Dent is a known shilland a liar. Also those PS4 dev kits are loaned out pretty much for free, meanwhile to have an Xbone becomes a dev kit requires registration and more than likely signing up to that malignant release date parity policy.

    • Guest

      Jonathan Blow is an epic failure of a dev and now he gets to feature on the $0N¥ PauperStation Foul indie junk pile.

    • You are flat out wrong

      lmao, crawl away Zaire. You and the rest of the Xbox Mafia cretins belong in the landfill.

    • Cinnamon267

      Braid was a huge success? How is he an epic failure of a dev?

    • Cinnamon267

      Are dev kits that cheap for Xbox One or is that the planned thing in the future where you can use a retail system as a dev kit?

      The price of the PS4 one is crazy but they’ve also been giving them out free temporarily to devs.

    • You are flat out wrong

      You’re correct, but Crap Lamer and Kevin Dent are lying shills so it’s expected.

    • Ω GUNTZ

      I’m sure MS got a great asssss. But clearly you have your head all the way up it,

  • ariessiren

    Well said. Speak the truth.

  • You are flat out wrong

    Quatman got wrecked by Blow. Absolutely wonderful.

    That’s what happens when Xbox shills stick their heads out of the gutter where they should stay.

    • Mike E. Delta

      Honestly, what do you gain at the end of the day by being rude? Can’t we all just play nice… =[

  • Rabayatul Islam

    Wana Know some secrets about BILL GATES? Go here:

  • Guest

    Jonathan Blow has the cultural habbit of talking out of his paupercocks*cking *ss. What a pauper and his new game will fail epicly as it is a rather mediocre Myst type game.

    • You are flat out wrong

      That’s enough of you, Zaire.

  • You are flat out wrong

    Hey Xdrones: this is why no one likes you, and why everyone is looking forward to you being kicked out of the industry when the Blessed Elop drops his axe on the cancerous Xbox brand.

  • Mike E. Delta

    These Indies sure are sensitive, I mean…that’s the whole reason they are indies and not actual employees of a business. When you have no choice but to work on your own as a freelancer or independent operator, of course the corporations and businesses aren’t going to seem friendly or really catering to your own personal needs, but that doesn’t give anyone the right to act as though they were owed something. In defense of Jonathan though, as he IS essentially on his own with nothing but his own drive, creativity and resources, there is no other behavior or attitude that will suffice other than the one he has taken. It’s kill or be killed out there and the best defense is a strong offense. So he will shout to the heavens and rail at the sky taunting the giants of industry…but if he really thinks that they could give enough of a damn to actually go out of their way to ruin his life, just shows how fragile he really is (they ALL are). =[

    • Mike E. Delta

      *Why is it hard to forgive others? Usually because we believe that they are 90% to blame for the problem, that ‘I am not as bad as they are.’ So we start to carry the load of other people’s actions. If our ego is too hurt, we will have the sense of correction, of justice: ‘I know I am right’, ‘That is not fair’. But if we start to forgive from the heart, sincerely, we remain humble and this forgiveness will bring us closer to others. Then we do not carry regrets or anger, we just let go and remain light.
      (Some inspiration I received this morning)

  • Kevin Revie

    I am a Windows 8.1 developer and Microsoft does not treat us well. I developed about 10 games which I released through the Windows App Store. One day Microsoft sent me a DMCA Copyright complaint from Nintendo for one of my games. My game was similar to one of Nintendo’s so I didn’t try to fight the complaint. As time went on, I kept getting new DMCA complaints from Nintendo. I received about 20 so far. Even games I specifically make to not upset Nintendo get complaints. I tried fighting the complaints, but Microsoft doesn’t care. Once they get a complaint, your game is gone. It doesn’t matter if the complaint is valid or not. Here is exactly what Microsoft told me when I told them my game did not at all infringes on any copyright and I sent them a DMCA counter notice:

    “We have had the opportunity to review your counter notice. The validity of the claim is not for Microsoft to determine and therefore, we cannot accept your counter notice.”

    My account is now locked out. I asked Microsoft why they locked me out of my developer account and they told me they will let me know in 5 to 8 days. There is a reason why Microsoft has a bad reputation with developers. Even if they let me back into my account, I don’t think I want to make games for them any more.


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