Xbox One Backward Compatibility: Microsoft in Positive Talks With "All Publishers"

Activision, Konami, and Take-Two remain notable absentees from list, but Phil Spencer believes backwards compatibility is a big opportunity.


Phil Spencer, the head of Xbox, has indicated he is confident major publishers will support backwards compatibility for Xbox One as it offers a "valuable" way to keep people engaged in franchises.

During Microsoft's Gamescom media briefing, the corporation revealed a list of publishers that have already pledged support for backwards compatibility. This is a crucial issue, because for Xbox 360 games to work on Xbox One, publishers will need to give Microsoft approval to emulate each individual title.

However, there were some notable absentees from Microsoft's list, including Call of Duty Modern Warfare publisher Activision, Metal Gear Solid owners Konami, and Grand Theft Auto 5 publisher Take-Two.

Speaking in an interview with GameSpot at Gamescom, Spencer was asked if he anticipates support from the noticeably absent publishers.

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"We're having great conversations with all the publishers about backward compatibility," he replied.

"It's really been a good time for something like backwards compatibility to come around, because so many of the publishers have built more service-based games where they're able to find a business opportunity in the longevity of games."

According to Spencer, backwards compatibility offers publishers an ideal way to maintain or reinvigorate interest in their properties.

"[Longevity] can be through paid DLC or smaller transactions in some cases on PC and tablet. But engagement in franchises has become a critical measure for any publisher. So when you think about it, there's this opportunity to take franchise and get people re-engaged in it.

"One of the things that's really exciting for me, and we announced this with Gears of War, Just Cause, and Rainbow Six, is that when franchises are releasing an Xbox One version, [publishers] have an opportunity to give them the Xbox 360 version at the same time."

He continued: "I'll be honest, I didn't really have that in mind when we started thinking about backwards compatibility, but the studios have got the games, they realise they're not really selling them anymore, and can use them to introduce people who maybe didn't play the earlier entries in the franchises while growing engagement in the property itself. That's very valuable for a publisher."

Currently, members of the Xbox One preview program have been able to test the backwards compatibility features with titles including Super Meat Boy, Geometry Wars Evolved, and Kameo.

During Xbox press conference at Gamescom, Microsoft announced backwards compatibility will launch for everyone in November with more than one hundred games, and "hundreds" more coming later.

Phil Spencer, previously explained how Xbox 360 game emulation is being achieved on the Xbox One.

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