Well before Gamescom even kicks off, Microsoft are having a press-only briefing. That didn’t stop Xbox spokesman Major Nelson from making the first big announcement of the event. Xbox Independent games program will have no fees, that’s free to publish people, no $99 per year like the Windows 8 Store or Windows Phone Marketplace. Also included in the tweet, is confirmation that there is no certification required. That’s an important step forward over the current Xbox 360 publishing system that required developers to go through a stringent application certification process that wasn’t cheap or fast.
No activation effectively means that you won’t have to have your console online to do a check back to the mothership and grant you permission to play the game. Reading between the lines, this is absolutely the terms of just the Independent Games program on Xbox One. The Independent application program may have completely different terms.