Consoles are just more work for lower sales says Prison Architect dev Intoversion
Introversion has been talking about their experiences of developing for console and why they're sticking with Steam for Prison Architect.
After spending four years and 30,000 USD trying to get Darwinia+ past the Xbox Live Arcade certification process Mark Morris, co-founder of Introversion believes that developing indie games for console just isn't worth it.
Morris explained in a recent interview for their new game, Prison Architect, "If you look at our position: we're two guys basically - although we're a little big bigger than that - working on a game we've launched ourselves. We're in alpha, we're seeing money now, which is enabling us to carry on developing it. Hopefully we'll get a Steam deal - I'm pretty confident we will as we have a great relationship with Valve - and then we're exposed to Valve's market of 20 million people."
"Alternatively we could spin out a team of probably ten people, we need to pay Microsoft $10,000 a go for a development kit," he continued. "It's ridiculous, and it's non-refundable once you've bought it. You've got to pay - I think our quality assurance bill was $30,000 for testing with Darwinia+, and it took four years to get the game certified to a standard that Microsoft wanted. It then sold rubbish. We hardly shipped any units on Xbox 360, compared to PC."
He went on, "We've got no interest in working with any of the big console owners now with Prison Architect. The only thing we might do, once the game's out there, is license it to another developer to do the port on our behalf. But Microsoft and Sony come along and they say, 'Well we don't want to have your game second, we want to be first.' Well, they can't be first. We're on PC because they've made it too hard. Also, they want exclusive content, well piss off."
"You're not delivering the amount of sales, you're making us work harder, and ultimately we're getting paid less than what we do on PC," Morris concluded. "So I think they're definitely - in the indie world - second class customers. If they want to work with us - and if they want indie games on their systems - they're going to have to change quite a lot to make it attractive."
Prison Architect is being crowd-funded with anyone backer receiving instant access to the Alpha build of the game.