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Vlambeer on the state of indies and consoles

Ridiculous Fishing developer Vlambeer has officially signed up for Microsoft's indie initiative, ID@Xbox, according to a blog post by Rami Ismail, sharing that he is still wary of the corporation's indie policies, along with Ouya's indie courtship.

"I still have reservations about some details that we hadn't heard of before: launch parity for being allowed to release a game is still a bit of a strange notion: simply being allowed to launch on a platform does not mean that developers will accept such demands if the competition does not have them," Ismail wrote of Microsoft's indie initiative. "If anything, launch parity excludes developers that are more comfortable with releasing on PlayStation platforms first."

"Only allowing console-published developers to release a game on Xbox means that indies are basically forced to go through either Microsoft Game Studios or — ironically — PlayStation to be able to launch on the platform."

Ismail chatted with Chris Charla at Gamescom — Microsoft's ID@Xbox champion — who reassured the developer that "some of the limitations are temporary or guided by hardware constraints." Comforting aside, Ismail offered the opinion that Microsoft "doesn't exactly have a great history in following up on their promises."

It was announced during Sony's Gamescom 2013 press briefing this week that Vlambeer's next game, the roguelike-like shooter called Wasteland Kings, is headed for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita.

Polygon chatted with Ismail immediately following the event, where he revealed the choice to release the new title on Sony's platforms was simple due to the publisher's track record supporting independent games.

Vlambeer's future titles may also see a release on Nintendo's platforms sooner rather than later, as the developer confirmed in the post that it is continuing talks with Nintendo about opportunities. He didn't, however, offer an opinion about the publisher from an indie development point of view.

Ismail also revealed that he is not sure about the Kickstarted Android-operated microconsole, the Ouya, saying that the console's exclusivity deals are stunting indie development rather than fostering it.

"I still like their goals, but I'm not sure they're going about them the right way," Ismail wrote. "... the little ‘console that could' has been signing on a lot of deals in exchange for exclusivity and their aggressive Kickstarter fund was unintentionally limiting to developers. It's hard enough to earn $50,000 in a normal Kickstarter, let alone if you're limiting your audience to Ouya-owners."

"If Ouya wants to be truly indie-friendly it needs to allow indie developers to spread their wings if they find success on the platform," he wrote. "Exclusivity should not be part of that, especially not for a console that is unlikely to be able to support a developer on its own. Ouya should be the console you also release your games on."

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