We all know how important indie games have become to Xbox over the past decade, particularly following the formation of the ID@Xbox program back in 2013, and even though Microsoft will now be focusing a lot of attention on Activision Blizzard moving forward, it sounds like there are no plans to slow down on the indie front whatsoever.
ID@Xbox director Guy Richards recently spoke to GamesIndustry.biz for Paris Games Week, where he was adamant that indie devs "have never been more important to Xbox" and the team is investing more than ever in their games.
"The team working with indie creators has never been bigger and we have never been investing in more indie games, whether it's through ID@Xbox or the Developer Acceleration program, designed to support creators from underrepresented groups."
"I think with the Activision-Blizzard-King acquisition, and everything Microsoft has got lined up in the future, we will grow as well, and we'll get to create more opportunities for players and developers."
In terms of Xbox Game Pass, Richards mentioned that Microsoft has paid over $4 billion in royalties to developers so far, highlighting that Xbox adopts "customised approaches" and is "very transparent" with devs about "what they're getting". As recently as this afternoon, the publisher behind last week's Xbox Game Pass release Spirittea enthused how its Game Pass launch had been a "ridiculously good experience" for the team.
So, the clear takeaway here is that Xbox won't be reducing its focus on indie games despite the massive Activision Blizzard acquisition a few weeks ago, and that doesn't come as any big surprise. You could argue that Xbox Game Pass thrives because of its fantastic indie selection, and we look forward to seeing what else is in the pipeline!