Microsoft Exec Softens Stance on Xbox One Parity Clause
"If devs don't have the resources to simultaneously ship, we totally get that."
Microsoft appears to have introduced a more diplomatic stance to its Xbox One indie parity clause, according to statements from one of the company's executives.
Chris Charla, who manages the Xbox indie games business, told GameSpot that there are some caveats and exceptions to its parity directive, which insists that indie games released on PlayStation 4 or Wii U must ship on Xbox One at the same time.
"What we've always said is that developers should just come talk to us," he said.
"If it's a situation where a developer needs to ship serially on console because they don't have the resources to simultaneously ship, we totally get that. It's no problem."
However, under circumstances in which a developer ships on rival systems first by choice, Microsoft will not likely accept a straight port many months later.
"If it's a case where a game is coming out significantly later on Xbox One than another console, in that case we just ask them to add something to the game that makes it fresh for Xbox players," Charla said.
Previously, the corporation had not publicly disclosed any caveats to the same-day-release clause, only going so far as claiming: "in instances where games have signed a timed exclusive with another platform, we'll work with them on a case-by-case basis."
Many independent games developers at studios such as Curve Digital and Vlambeer have previously criticised Microsoft's policy. PlayStation executive Adam Boyes has used the policy to his advantage, explaining that his company makes no such sanctions.
In the interest of transparency, I want to share our Dev clause that lists which platforms you cannot release on. pic.twitter.com/cJD46rFKcl— Adam Boyes (@amboyes) March 12, 2014
However, in recent months a wave of indie games that shipped on PlayStation first have been announced for Xbox One, including OlliOlli and Shovel Knight.
On Wednesday at the Games Developers Conference, Microsoft announce that its indie games program is also expanding to Windows 10. Charla confirmed there would be no such parity clause for PC.
He added: "Nothing stopping people making a game for Windows, it's an open platform, but if they want help from us, we're here."