Oddworld Dev Praises Microsoft’s Indie Policy, “Spencer Is More Like Yoshida Than Don Mattrick”

Oddworld Inhabitants president Lorne Lanning talks about the current state of ID@Xbox.

Posted By | On 06th, Nov. 2015 Under News

Xbox One_ID@Xbox

Though both companies have touted their AAA releases over the past few months, Microsoft and Sony continue to pursue strong indie policies on the Xbox One and PS4. The benefits have been numerous, especially for Microsoft since it changed its once draconian indie policies to the more agreeable ID@Xbox and bragged about the unique experience it brings.

The question is: How do the developers view it? GamingBolt spoke to Oddworld Inhabitants president Lorne Lanning about ID@Xbox and his thoughts on how it compares to Sony’s indie policies. Are there any similarities between the two at this point?

“I think they put the right people in play. Let’s just start there. I think that was a smart move. Phil Spencer’s been at Microsoft a long time. His whole career he’s been at Microsoft. As a lifer he’s seen a lot. And he’s been with Xbox, basically since the beginning of it. He’s seen all this happen and he’s gotten familiar with developers. He’s had different roles in the company. He’s more like a Shuhei Yoshida than a Don Mattrick in that respect. Someone who’s lived in the company for almost their entire career.

“They have loyalty to it but they also want to see it win. They’re not just there for the big stock payout for being a new CEO in a division or something. So I think that was a good move. When he got in and they created a new role for Chris Charla that was a great call as well. Because Charla has had a lot of experience in development with Foundation Nine, he was respected. When that happened, when Charla’s role was created and when Phil Spencer got in place, what we thought was that the right moves are happening. But what we said was to not expect all the changes to happen over night because it’s a big ship. And it’s hard to turn big ships. But you knew more appropriate people were being put in place. From that moment on we basically shut up (laughs).”

With Oddworld: New ‘N’ Tasty having released earlier this year for Xbox One, it’s obvious that big changes became apparent. “They just made some big, seismic changes here, give them a chance to succeed. Give them a chance to deliver what they say they’re going to do. From that moment forward we got nothing but support. It changed a lot. I know a lot of people had to fight internally to make those changes. But they did. And when they did we haven’t seen any backtracking. What I have seen in a couple cases is where people got really upset. I don’t know their reason but they felt like they were being denied by the system. Then I saw Charla come out and say, “why don’t you call us?” If you’re complaining and you haven’t made the call, you don’t have too much to complain about.

“So if he went public saying that, then I’m assuming it’s true. If it weren’t someone could just release an email and then he looks bad. All that being said, I think they put the right people in place. I think you saw drastic changes to the policy. Even though we were a critic I thought we were well balanced, objective critic that spoke to the developer cause in a passionate way without becoming inflammatory. Maybe they let you on their system, but maybe they don’t give you any support. If you say things about a company then you don’t know how that might impact your relationship for the future. What I can say is we got on the system, we were critics. We got onto the system not only did that go smoothly, and development kits were easily accessed at the time– I can’t speak for everyone, but I can for us– we got what we needed. Setting up a store is always a little complicated for little guys.

“There’s just a lot of hoops to jump through and documents to sign, and you don’t know what’s the right stuff. There’s a little bit of that friction signing up that new store. But to my relief they appeared to have judged the game on a fair bases and gave us generous exposure on the store. Meaning, I think they looked at the game without contempt, but looked at it like, ‘it’s a good game for the system, it’s got fans, let’s give it some support.’ On the European store we got good support and on the American store we got good support. To me it looked like the changes were happening. I saw something they’d never be able to go back on.”

Given the current leadership at Microsoft and the benefits seen from the same, there’s no doubting things are better than two years ago. However, will it be enough to combat Sony? Time will tell so stay tuned and let us know what you think in the comments.

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  • Psionicinversion

    Phil Spencer for life boom….

  • Starman

    yoshida is a crook …he is nothing like phil…while they make indie devs pay for that crappy toolkit

    • Soul Less

      LMAO herp…Shu > Snakes oil salesman spencer. (PS dev kits are free)

    • Rodney Patrick

      Get your facts right son,PS dev kits or not free for indie developers Sony rent them out to them,AAA developers must buy them. Microsoft let the indie developers use dev kits for free and AAA developers must buy them

  • Soul Less

    Why are artciles still saying “Combat Sony”, Sony has run away with it and thats not chaning.

    • Rodney Patrick

      And you stfu

    • Cypher-Unknown

      Are you naturally stupid or is it something you have to work at?

  • andy

    Lorne Lanning is also a legend. If he compared Phil Spencer to HIMSELF than Don Mattress that would have been just as awesome a compliment as Shuhei.

    But lets not kid ourselves. Phil has been the head of Microsoft Game Studios years before his current position. He is THE person that pissed off Indie studios like Oddworld Inhabitants when all they wanted to do was bring Stranger’s Wrath to 360. Microsoft/Phil were THE obstacle that stopped this every step of the way because of their backward, bullying parity policies AND size limitations on Arcade games back in the dark 360 days. http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-06-21-strangers-wrath-hd-xbla-finally-ruled-out

    This also means Phil is THE reason that No Man’s Sky is also not coming to Xbone (right now anyway). They bullied Hello Games and made them jump through ridiculous hoops just to bring their Joe Danger series to Xbox going so far to not letting them ever release the 2nd game on 360 unless they brought it exclusively to the console for a month or two before PS3. Guess what Phil, Hello Games DON’T CARE if they can’t bring No Man’s Sky to your current console now. You don’t have the blackmail power/userbase in the US to use these dirty tactics anymore.

    Again, don’t kid yourself, it was Phil Spencer at the helm of these decisions back then.

    • Rodney Patrick

      No you and eurogamer are why off on that

    • Rodney Patrick

      And PS f*** no one care ski,that game is trash and if I or anymore else without an ps4 want to truly play it I’ll play it on my PC

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  • Mr Xrat

    “Spencer Is More Like Yoshida Than Don Mattrick”

    Xgimps won’t be pleased!

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    • kee1haul

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