Introversion on Windows 8: “nothing scares me more than the thought that one day, all Windows apps may have to be certified by Microsoft”

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Windows 8 is a problem: in it rush to create a tablet experience, Microsoft are pushing to certify and distribute apps and games through the inbuilt Microsoft store. Developers around the world are starting to understand the implications of Microsoft’s plans, and they’re not happy. We asked Introversion’s Chris Delay what he thought of the implications and process. Introversion, currently working on the wonderful Prison Architect, have experience with working with Microsoft through Xbox Live Arcade.

“I really hate the general concept of “closing down” Windows,” says Chris. “This seems to be where Microsoft are intending to go. Nothing scares me more than the thought that Microsoft before they can be released and installed on user’s computers.”

The original Darwinia began life as a small indie project – it took two developers three years to create it. The Darwinia+ port on Xbox Live took a staff of ten. Why? Because Microsoft “can’t help themselves introducing layers and layers of bureaucracy that just make it harder to reach the customer and harder to release a product,” says Chris.

Chris explains that it’s fine for app stores to have requirements, and “it seems reasonable to have some for the new Windows 8 store. What scares me about Microsoft is how the requirements will grow over time – they won’t be able to resist eventually requiring xbox controller support, then xbox live avatar integration, then tablet touch input, then Kinect support, and before you know it we’ll be coding Bing search boxes into our game menus. The list of requirements for Xbox Live Arcade virtually doubled in size during Darwinia+’s development and ended up including items about the Rock Band drum kit and guitar.”