Kinect is not only open for starving indie developers to opt in, but apparently for Microsoft’s first-party dev houses to opt out.
When asked by Gamasutra whether Microsoft has a mandate for first-party devs to create games using Kinect, Microsoft Game Studio VP Phil Spencer simply replied with, “No.”
Thankfully he went on to elaborate that both Microsoft and third-party developers have been committed “in making sure that our experiences are as good as we know how to make them.” Spencer continued, “And that’s not born out of us putting mandates that a game has to be a certain length, a certain color, use a certain control scheme.”
Using Xbox Live as a parallel, Spencer elaborated, “What we think we do is we unlock potential, and the creators usually want to take advantage of things like Live.” He cited that Live now shows up in almost every game not because Microsoft says “you have to,” but because developers “just see the opportunity that’s there.” He believes that’s what we’ll see in the case of Kinect, but he doesn’t “want to force it into places it doesn’t belong.”
It’s hard to believe that Microsoft would take such a diplomatic approach on a platform launch as huge as Kinect. But if it keeps selling like this, you can bet that devs will find a way to squeeze Kinect functionality into more and more games without much prodding.