Friday, December 5, 2014

Microsoft and Indies

Microsoft hasn't been paying their indie developers on time. And that really gets to me, because while I don't create video games, I don't like seeing indies being taken advantage of.

The first thought that comes to me is relatability. I'm an indie author who receives payments from a large company, Amazon. What baffles me is how Microsoft's Xbox division can't properly manage their own services. I get paid once a month by Amazon on my royalties, whether I sold anything or not. It can be $100 or a blank spot on the paper that signifies nothing, but I don't miss out on any payments.

Indies need that sort of automated system, because even if the payment is a small amount, we need it. We somehow survive by subsisting on the smallest amount until we can create bigger meals for ourselves.

I think what hurts me the most is I was expecting more from Microsoft this year. I felt they learned something from their humbling of the Xbox One.

Maybe I put too much humanity into them. The Xbox was the excuse to try and take control of the video game industry; to hold as much power in the tech industry as possible. A calculated business decision, and you know what?  That's fine. Nintendo themselves jumped in to sell toys to children, and somehow that's held to some higher esteem for whatever reason.

Anyone who's in any kind of workplace or industry becomes attached in some way. We start to understand and emphasize, and we gain a greater insight than we could have be reading about it. Not Microsoft, it seems. They bought talented developers since they had none, and did little with them. They haven't used their resources to build a stable roster of first-party titles. And they told us they valued their indie partners, except not enough to pay them on time. This is their third console generation and nothing much has changed.

It's hard for me to excuse that kind of behavior, so I'm not. I'll have to see a consistent history of Microsoft's change in the future before I trust anything they're shopping to me.