If you're among those lamenting the non-appearance of Abe's Oddysee: New 'n' Tasty on Xbox (hi plamsa!), be of somewhat greater cheer. The developer has reassured Twitter followers that the Oddworld games may still release for Xbox One, especially now that Microsoft has introduced a self-publishing program. An Xbox 360 release for New 'n' Tasty is less likely, however, as self-publishing isn't possible on Xbox 360 unless you release via Xbox Live Indie Games.
Log previewed New 'n' Tasty last December - in brief, it's a remastered version of the original Abe's Oddysee for PS1, co-developed by Oddworld Inhabitants and UK-based Just Add Water. We rather like the looks of it. What's more, Just Add Water and Oddworld Inhabitants would very much like to develop a brand new Oddworld game next - according to the former's CEO Stewart Gilray, this could be either a sequel to funky FPS Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath or The Brutal Ballad of Fangus Klot, which stars a rabid canine shepherd.
Asked why Oddworld Inhabitants doesn't appear on the list of confirmed ID@Xbox applicants, the developer tweeted: "We're still talking to Xbox. We shall see!" Conversations don't appear to be under way as regards an Xbox 360 release, however. "Just for clarity, they changed their policy only for Xbox One, not on any other platform. We're still talking to them for X1!"
This follows comments to Eurogamer in October by Gilray about the appeal of ID@Xbox. "We develop wherever we can," he told the site. "There's no reason why we internally wouldn't want to develop on it as a piece of hardware. If we're allowed to develop on it, we will develop on it. That's why we're doing a Wii U version as well.
"Why not? We have fans on that platform potentially, so why wouldn't we want to support it. It's not a case of, oh it's Microsoft, screw them. Our stance is, Microsoft needs to support companies like us who don't need or want a third party publisher."
"I can't see why not," he went on. "There are a couple of things we have to look into first. One is, where's Unity for Xbox One? But if we get approved, there's no reason why we couldn't do it for Xbox One. It's all provided their policies are right. If we do get approved we'll check the documentation and see what it says. There's still a quibble about Microsoft reserve the right to change the price."
In November, Microsoft announced that all those who register for ID@Xbox will receive free Unity tools for Xbox One and PC (in addition to two free Xbox One development kits). The tools won't be "widely available" till some point in 2014, however.
As regards game pricing, Microsoft still determines the final RRP, but ID@Xbox developers decide how much they sell each copy to Microsoft for.
Here's a massive feature from me about the future of Oddworld, which includes a lengthy chat with Gilray about Fangus and Stranger's Wrath 2. Let's hope somebody greenlights one or both of them.