An ID@Xbox developer has revealed it cost over $5000 to release an indie game on the Xbox One.
Jamie Fristrom, developer at Happion Laboratories, a team that recently launched Sixty Second Shooter Prime, has provided a full breakdown of the costs to release his game on Xbox One via his blog.
Although Microsoft has lowered the barrier of entry for smaller developers to release their games onto the console by offering free dev kits to members of the ID@Xbox program, it seems that there's still quite a lot of money involved. Take a look at the numbers for yourself:
- 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
- Localisation (French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese) - $729
- Errors and omissions Insurance - $2037
- Foreign ratings boards (PEGI, USK) - $2042
Total - $5143
Fristrom goes on to explain that the errors and omissions insurance is a payment that is required by Microsoft, "it has to cover IP and copyright violations, so the cheap E&O Insurance you can easily find online doesn’t qualify."
Microsoft also requires the ratings board payment. "If you want to release in a given territory, you have to get your game rated by the official ratings boards of that territory. It's sad but true, getting your game rated in some territories can be a lot more expensive than simply translating your game to that territory’s language!"
The developer does go on to conclude with an upside to all the expenses. "Although those costs were somewhat daunting for a shoestring developer like myself, it was absolutely worth it. 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."