Xbox One's controversial indie "launch parity" clause will continue

Microsoft gaming boss Phil Harrison says, "the winners in all of this are game players."

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The Xbox One's controversial "launch parity" clause for indie games--which requires games launch on Xbox One the same day they do on other platforms like the PlayStation 4 or PC--is here to stay. Xbox boss Phil Harrison told Edge in a new interview that Microsoft's stance that it will review publishing agreements on a case-by-case basis is not changing in the immediate future.

Microsoft's indie program, ID@Xbox, has drawn the praise of many developers, but some see the launch parity clause as thorny issue. "I can only speak for us personally, but simultaneously shipping is pretty challenging; you need a little bit more time and a bigger team," Super Time Force developer Capybara Games president Nathan Vella told the site. "I do think that it's not ideal."

At the end of the day, however, Harrison said he laughed when Sony's Adam Boyes took a shot at this policy and claimed there are more great games now than perhaps ever before, regardless of which platform you're playing on.

"Taking aside competitive positioning and all of that, the winners in all of this are game players," Harrison said. "There are more games coming out for these platforms, there are more developers creating for these platforms, there are more fresh minds coming into our industry than any time in recent memory. And that's so, so important to the future of our industry."

Finally, though Harrison wouldn't say if Microsoft is considering dropping the launch parity clause, he made it clear that bringing great games to the Xbox One is Microsoft's main focus.

"What I would say is that everybody in our program, whether it's a developer or people on the platform side working with [ID@Xbox boss Chris Charla] is committed to making sure the best games are on Xbox One," he said. "That’s our job, basically, if you boil it all down to the essence of what a game platform is, it's to make sure that the biggest, best, most exciting, most creative games are on your platform and we are working super hard to make that happen."

Yesterday, Microsoft promoted Phil Spencer to Head of Xbox, where he will oversee the entire Xbox platform. He has pledged to support core gamers going forward.

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