Microsoft discussing Xbox One launch parity for indies on 'case-by-case basis'

Microsoft discussing Xbox One launch parity for indies on 'case-by-case basis'
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

March 10th 2014 at 12:48PM

ID@Xbox developers may be able to release on other platforms first

Microsoft is not ruling out allowing developers on its ID@Xbox scheme to launch first on rival platforms, a spokesperson has claimed.

Developers on the program were thought to have been required to release their games on the Xbox One first or on the same date as other platforms, such as PS4 and Wii U.

In a statement to Edge however, a Microsoft spokesperson has claimed this may not always be the case and the firm could allow some developers to break release parity.

“Our goal is not to limit developers who are interested in Xbox One. In instances where games have signed a timed exclusive with another platform, we’ll work with them on a case-by-case basis. We encourage them to get in touch at id@xbox.com," read a statement.

Although generally positive about Microsoft's indie plans for its new console, some developers have expressed concerns over the requirement for launch parity with their games.

Last year, Vlambeer's Rami Ismail described the need for simultaneous launch dates as a "strange notion", and was not sure if certain indies would accept such demands.

“ID@Xbox, Microsoft’s somewhat surprising indie initiative, is an exciting development,” said Ismail.

“It’s something we’ve been talking about with Microsoft for a while now and something I feel is a huge leap in the right direction. I still have reservations about some details that we hadn’t heard of before: launch parity for being allowed to release a game is still a bit of a strange notion: simply being allowed to launch on a platform does not mean that developers will accept such demands if the competition does not have them.

"If anything, launch parity excludes developers that are more comfortable with releasing on PlayStation platforms first.

“Only allowing console-published developers to release a game on Xbox means that indies are basically forced to go through either Microsoft Game Studios or – ironically – PlayStation to be able to launch on the platform. I caught up with Chris Charla today at Gamescom and he reassured me some of these limitations are temporary or guided by hardware constraints, which is reassuring.”