In a new interview, Capybara Games president Nathan Vella explained why partnering with Microsoft to release its upcoming game Below on Xbox One and PC is a "best-case scenario" for the game and for the studio itself.
"Microsoft catches a lot of sh**--some of it deserved, some not--but they understand our goals," Vella told Edge. "They understand the goals of the game and of the company, instead of trying to shove us in a direction that would benefit them a little more and us a little less."
"[This is] the best-case scenario for both the project and the studio. It represents a positive shift in big publishers [and] companies understanding the way that independent developers develop games," he added.
In addition to Below, Capybara Games is bringing its time-bending sidescroller Super Time Force to Xbox One, as well as Xbox 360. It is scheduled for release later this year, while Below does not have a release date.
Microsoft's relationship with independent developers hasn't always been so great. Super Meat Boy creators Tommy Refenes and Edmund McMillen voiced a fair degree of displeasure with Microsoft in the 2012 documentary Indie Game: The Movie. Other indie developers have come out to say that Microsoft used be "a**holes" and "d*cks" to indies, but said developer relations have improved since Microsoft introduced its new indie self-publishing program, ID@Xbox.
One thorny issue that remains with Microsoft's ID@Xbox program is its controversial "launch parity" clause, which requires games launch on Xbox One the same day they do on other platforms. This would prevent an indie developer from releasing their game as a timed-exclusive on another platform, like the competing PlayStation 4. Microsoft is making decisions about this policy on a case by case basis.