BUT STILL WELL WORTH TO PUBLISH ON!
The costs incurred by indie developers releasing games as part of ID@Xbox program, Microsoft's Xbox One independent developer initiative, can reach up to $5,000, according to a post by Happion Labs founder Jamie Fristrom.
Sixty Second Shooter Prime developer launched its twin-stick shooter on Xbox One last month to a sum of $5,143, but as outlined in the breakdown, there are a lot of variables so each game will incur a different cost. The breakdown of the costs involved to launch Happion Labs’ game on Xbox One follows:
- Maintaining the Sixty Second Shooter URL = $19
- Sending the second dev kit to Brett Douville = $63
- Hardware (usb and video cables and the like) = $72
- Video capture device (for making trailer) = $181
- Localization (French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese) = $729
- E&O Insurance = $2,037
- Foreign ratings boards (PEGI, USK) = $2042
Fristrom notes that developers are contractually obliged by Microsoft to have First: Errors & Omissions Insurance that specifically covers Intellectual property and copyright violations, “so the cheap E&O Insurance you can easily find online doesn’t qualify.” A further $700 was spent on localization in French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese.
“Obviously, localization and other territories are optional - if you limit yourself to regions where you don’t have to pay (which would mean skipping Europe) - you could get the costs of your Xbox One game down to well under $3,000,” Fristrom writes.
Fristrom spent almost $2,000 on ratings by PEGI and USK, but opted to skip getting the game rated in Australia and New Zealand due to the rating boards’ costly classification fees. Fristrom will consider launching in the regions later “if the game seems to be selling particularly well.”
“All that said, although those costs were somewhat daunting for a shoestring developer like myself, it was absolutely worth it,” the post reads. “Although we haven’t gotten our first sales report yet, there were at least ten thousand entries on the leaderboards last we checked, so we’ve certainly covered our costs and made a living wage to boot - which is kind of rare in the indie game development world, in my experience - so I'm really happy we jumped aboard the ID@Xbox wagon.”
Microsoft's initiative, first announced August 2013, was created with a goal to make the Xbox One development process as easy as possible for indie developers. Participating developers get free access to two development kits and incur no fees to update games released through the program. ID@Xbox currently boasts more than 200 studios.