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Fez 2 shuns Xbox One

Developer Phil Fish of Polytron has confirmed that Fez 2 will not be coming to the Xbox One over Microsoft's refusal to allow indie developers to self-publish.

Developer Phil Fish of Polytron has confirmed that Fez 2 will not be coming to the Xbox One over Microsoft's refusal to allow indie developers to self-publish.

(Screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET Australia)

We don't know much about indie game Fez 2, announced at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo, (E3) but we do know one thing for sure: the title will not be releasing on the Xbox One.

The decision was made over Microsoft's policy that indie developers can't self-publish games to the Xbox Live Arcade. Instead, they have to either find a third-party publisher to publish it for them — or pitch it to Microsoft Studios. Both of these options mean that the publisher gets a cut of the revenue.

When Polygon asked Polytron developer Phil Fish which platforms his upcoming game will be released to, he was quite firm. "Not Xbox," he said. "Microsoft is making a console for itself. Not for gamers. Not for developers. Just for its own, greedy little Orwellian self. I'm not interested."

This isn't the first issue that Polytron has had with publishing for the Xbox. About a year ago, Polytron claimed that patching a bug in the original Fez would have cost the developer through the nose for XBLA recertification — money that the developer did not have — leading to the decision to pull the patch from servers.

For the Xbox 360, Microsoft did have a platform for indie developers called Xbox Live Indie Games, and although some fantastic games were released, its low position on Microsoft's list of priorities meant that it was "a cesspool of low-quality fart apps, avatar games and Minecraft clones", according to indie developer Thomas Steinke.

However, even though Microsoft doesn't want to invest resources into managing a marketplace for self-publishing indie developers, the platform has proven to be invaluable for some. Sony has been aggressively courting these developers, with a line-up of great games coming to the platform.

Fish applauds this move. "PS4 seems to be doing everything right," he told Polygon. "It's too early to tell how everything is going to unfold, but their heart definitely seems to be in the right place... With Microsoft, they've made it painfully clear they don't want my ilk on their platform. I can't even self-publish there. Whereas on PS4, I can. It's that simple. Microsoft won't let me develop for their console. But Sony will."