Why Red Dead Redemption Isn't Playable on Xbox One...Yet

"We're definitely engaged with all of our publisher and developer partners--including Rockstar."


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Microsoft has spoken out to explain why Red Dead Redemption, among other Xbox 360 games, are not playable on Xbox One through backwards compatibility--at least not yet. As you might have guessed, it likely has something to do with licensing agreements.

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"After the technological breakthrough that got backwards compatibility working, the next step was to figure out how to license all this content, originally released on Xbox 360, for Xbox One," Microsoft engineer Richard Irving told Eurogamer. "As you can imagine, publishers have cut very specific deals on some of that content. For example Madden--you can imagine how many licenses go into a game with the players, the NFL, sponsors, and so on. And there's over 1000 games at this point on Xbox 360."

Irving said it "didn't seem fair" to ask publishers to go out and obtain licenses for these games without knowing if there would be demand for them. To that end, Microsoft opened a voting portal on its Xbox Feedback website where fans (including Snoop Dogg) could demonstrate their interest. Armed with that information, Microsoft can then reach out to publishers about specific games and say, "'Please let us know if this is something you can do,'" Irving said about obtaining the required licenses.

He added that, ultimately, it's publishers who decide if they want to approve their Xbox 360 titles to be playable on Xbox One. This back-and-forth takes times, Irving stressed, which is why Microsoft was not able to deliver all of the top 50-100 most-requested games.

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Pressed about Red Dead Redemption specifically, which is published by Rockstar Games, Irving said, "We're definitely engaged with all of our publisher and developer partners--including Rockstar--on when and how we can [deliver] on that fan feedback."

GameSpot has contacted Rockstar Games in an attempt to get a response from their side of the table. We'll update this post with anything we hear back.

Rockstar Games is one of the only major publisher that has no presence in the initial list of 104 backwards-compatible games. Hope is not lost, however, as Microsoft plans to deliver "hundreds" more in the future, though a specific lineup of upcoming games has not been announced.

Clearly, there is demand for Red Dead Redemption to be added to the lineup. On the Xbox Feedback site, the acclaimed 2010 western has more than 104,000 votes, sitting behind only Call of Duty: Black Ops II. That game also did not make the cut, though the original Black Ops has been confirmed to be coming later.

Some games you shouldn't expect to see in the Xbox One's backwards compatibility program are Xbox 360 Kinect titles because the Xbox 360 and Xbox One have different Kinect cameras.

What games would you like to see added to the backwards compatibility lineup in the future? Let us know in the comments below.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Avatar image for drairwair

40k Space Marine!

Avatar image for AstroGazer

Don't forget Oblivion, Mass Effect 2, 3.

Avatar image for port76

You can forget about Rockstar games and any of the old Call of Duty games.

Avatar image for ArchoNils2

So to get this straight. If a device like the WiiU has full BC, there is no problem playing any Wii game.
But emulating some x360 games on a xOne is a problem? I'll never understand how licensing works

Avatar image for huddle1

All Microsoft really did with their vote was give publishers an idea of what fans wanted on xbox one. Armed with that knowledge the real reason why the top voted games haven't been licensed yet is because now the publishers can decide if an HD remake is worthwhile.

Avatar image for SOul_FUNk

Well , they dont even bother with PC gamers request ...Wut a Fkin shame to these publisher !

Avatar image for s3ntinel2001

If Microsoft knew there were going to be licensing issues, why even have us vote at all?

Avatar image for bigrod69

@s3ntinel2001: That's covered in the story dummy.

Avatar image for penkowalski

@s3ntinel2001: I guess you didnt read the entire article. Here's your answer.

"Irving said it "didn't seem fair" to ask publishers to go out and obtain licenses for these games without knowing if there would be demand for them. To that end, Microsoft opened a voting portal on its Xbox Feedback website where fans could demonstrate their interest."

The answer was there in front of your face. Make sure you read the entire article before commenting.

Avatar image for Wesleypipes77

How about why the **** it isn't on PC yet?

Avatar image for jasonmzk

@Wesleypipes77: Piracy. End of.

Avatar image for anevilwithin

@Wesleypipes77: CONSOLE MASTER RACE.

Avatar image for penkowalski

@Wesleypipes77: pfffft.

Avatar image for Wesleypipes77

@penkowalski: Pffft yourself, it's a hugely popular request for PC and you can't even try to deny that it would be the best looking version available the second it came out. So take your attitude and stick it.

Avatar image for Marky360

I really just want Halo Reach and all my Xbox games with gold games to be backwards compatible.

Avatar image for rosinmonkekyx17

Fix your upvote system gamespot

Avatar image for rosinmonkekyx17

Isn't RDR (multiplayer) filled with hackers and glitches?

Avatar image for PrpleTrtleBuBum

@rosinmonkekyx17: Ironically in a Wild West game that feels completely appropriate. In GTA its annoying when idiots come to kill but in RDR its right

Avatar image for penkowalski

@rosinmonkekyx17: People really care for multiplayer on RDR? That's a game that MP is not even needed.

Avatar image for AyatollaofRnR

Skyrim or GetOut. Although I'd happily by an actual Xb1 version on that.

Maybe Rockstar is considering giving Red Dead the HD update treatment, so is holding back making it BC.

Avatar image for deathBRINGER201

@AyatollaofRnR: I hope so otherwise there would be no point in playing it using BC as i still own Red Dead

Avatar image for StokeMeAClipper

I think it's ridiculous that licensing is an issue at all with backwards compatibility. Surely the license agreement was to create XBOX 360 compatible software containing the licensed intellectual content. It should be irrelevant what platform it is running on. It isn't a port, it's the same software. It's like an air freshener manufacturer asking to be paid again because you've taken the air freshener out of your old car and put it in your new one.

Avatar image for BovineDivine

@StokeMeAClipper: It is the same software, but it is software that was licensed for the xbox 360. An emulation of the 360 running on the One isn't a 360. Surely, you realize that.

Avatar image for jeff_t97

Mortal Kombat Arcade!!

Avatar image for Shadowdanc3r

But this isn't a licensed game like Madden, it's an original IP. If R* needed to obtain a license from anyone it would be Take-Two Interactive, and if they're not giving it up it's likely because they're thinking about releasing a remaster so the consumer would have to pay.

Avatar image for cainetao11

@Shadowdanc3r: Exactly. I said from the announcement of this publisher decided BC who is for the gamer and who wishes to milk. We will see.

Avatar image for gigantor21

@cainetao11: I felt the exact same way. The Xbox One not doing BC natively with physical disks (like, say, the PS2 or the WiiU) left the door wide open to such shenanigans. If Take-Two/Rocksteady are holding out because they'd rather do a remaster, it'd punch a whole in MS's "why pay for games you already have?" angle.

Avatar image for ramonleal1

@gigantor21: well what I would say to that is don't be mad at Microsoft be mad at rockstar. MS isn't forcing rockstar to make a remaster

Avatar image for metallunar

xbox 360 emulator coming soon to pc! Now that hacker's will have access to an official xbox 360 emulator.

Avatar image for just4gamerstube

@metallunar: It's such a shame that we have to wait as pc gamers to use a xbox emulator just to play red dead redemption. I myself hated the graphics so much i quit after a hour. Those damn jaggies were horrible

Avatar image for BovineDivine

@just4gamerstube: You do the PCMR a disservice with such narrow thinking. Do not sink to the level of the squalor that surrounds you. Enjoy a good game because it is good, not because it has Temporal Anti-Aliasing. And it was said that games are good or not good, and no game that is good shall be treated as inferior simply because it wears the mask of peasantry.

Avatar image for deathBRINGER201

@just4gamerstube: Lol typical PC race, this is the reason I barely use my early access machine anymore, the communities are cancerous at times.

Avatar image for arrowhead927

@just4gamerstube: pc gamers are such wimps. why miss out on such a great game just aliasing

Avatar image for smizzoker

@just4gamerstube: really? game is really good, its not like your eyes are gonna start to bleed cause of no AA. maybe the game is just not your cup of tea. and be prepared to wait cuz even if they successful emulate an x360, RDD is not gonna automatically going to work. i would much rather take jagged edges than constant crashing if it even boots up.

Avatar image for emerin76

the tomb raiders would be nice (Legend, underworld, anniversary) and XBLA games too.

Avatar image for fordy269

Please release a stand alone old western bounty hunting game!

Avatar image for raxel__uk

Release the entire XBLA Sega game line up. The main reason I have played Xbox for 14 years, is because of their great line up of Sega games over the years.

Avatar image for LPDisturbedHU

@raxel__uk: Well, they've brought over quite a few in this intial list! I'm hoping for the rest of the Sonic games to carry over (especially the All-Star Racing titles) , Aliens vs. Predator, and a few others and then I'll be happy with the SEGA catalog on the One.

Avatar image for lvsolja

because their working on the remaster ?..duhh

Avatar image for gokartmozart89

Rockstar doesn't want it to be BC because they want us to buy the re-master that they're waiting to announce.

I'm only kidding. Sort of.

Avatar image for muppetbabymastr

I dont really see the value in this for developers. There is one game I missed and will want to play, thats the Stick of Truth. So this game is 12.99 on Amazon brand new. How much are they making on that? I really think this helps gamestop more than anyone as people will mostly buy used games. This just gives developers a reason not to lower the prices on dlc for old games so they can try to squeeze something out of us.

Avatar image for lrdfancypants


GameStop employees everywhere were ordered to grab their pricing machines in anticipation of increased demand and strained supply the minute BC was announced.

Avatar image for lrdfancypants

Why doesn't Microsoft pay the licensing fees for the most popular requests instead of, in a round about way, laying the blame and pressure on publishers?

Avatar image for Bigjoe275

@lrdfancypants: Then we would have a shitty PS Now. And we don't want that.

Avatar image for TwinStripeUK

@lrdfancypants: Probably because the blame and pressure IS on the publishers? Why should MS pay money in order to cover that up?

Avatar image for freeryu

@lrdfancypants: GTA V has been on the top 10 best selling games list for a while now, Rockstar is swimming in money. If they release RdR for BC it will hype people up for the next one.

Avatar image for lrdfancypants


Isn't MS swimming in money?

I read it daily in comment sections.

They will benefit a lot considering its for BC on their platform.

I think MS should pay whatever licensing fees there might be to ensure the top requested games by their consumers are available. That's a great way to offer even more value.

Avatar image for cheers

@fanboyman It doesn't matter how MS did it as long as it's emulation nothing could stop any 360 game being played. Why do you think Sony was unable to win any case against Bleem?

Avatar image for fanboyman

Please give us the Street Fighter/Capcom VS and KOF games, the XBONE needs more fighting games.