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[email protected]: "nobody else supports indies like we do"

Agostino Simonetta talks dizzying figures, even if "not everybody" strikes gold.

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Earlier this year it was announced that the 900+ indie titles that were part of the [email protected] program had already made more than one billion dollars in revenue. With this fact in mind, we talked to European lead Agostino Simonetta, who was at the big indie area built by Microsoft for Madrid Games Week.

"We've proven to everybody that probably nobody else supports independent developers like we do," Simonetta told Gamereactor during our interview in Madrid, before explaining that from those 900+ titles, more than half come from Europe.

"[email protected] titles have generated way over 1 billion dollars in revenues," he continued. "Developers are making a lot of money. Not everybody is [a] billionaire, not everybody's making money, no business allows everybody to make money, but great success for the product," he specified.

Among the available Xbox One titles in the indie area we found varied and promising titles, such as Children of Morta, Tunic, Etherborn, Generation Zero, and Dangerous Driving. "ID is not just pixel-art games," the man from Microsoft pointed out. "Not just small developers," as they also had "platform, adventure, fighting, shooting games", among others.

In the video, Simonetta also talks about how he travels around the world to find what later become his "children", and also talks about how studios can reach out and contact them.

And keeping in mind the recent shift in Xbox strategy (with a big, ambitious push for first-party content), Simonetta analyses how [email protected] fits the current and near-future Xbox strategy, as "Phil [Spencer] is a big sponsor of ID. The company believes in independent developers. We believe in it, we think independents bring a lot, and financially makes a lot of sense. It's the perfect setup."

The second half of the interview focuses on how ID relates to Xbox Game Pass (MS's on-demand subscription service), and all in all, Microsoft sees the combination as the "perfect opportunity for us as a business, for the consumers because of the value and the variety, and also for the publishers and the developers."

The company will tell us more about new indie titles coming to Xbox Game Pass "soon", which of course in our mind means the imminent X08 Xbox Global event in Mexico. We'll have to wait and see about that though.



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