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Here's why Microsoft should abolish its ID@Xbox parity clause for Xbox One

Microsoft helped pioneer indie games on consoles with the Xbox 360. Even though Microsoft was the first of the big three to support indie games, many developers hated the company's strict guidelines. Indie games had to be published by larger companies, making it tough to get your game on Xbox Live Arcade.

With the Xbox One, that was all supposed to change. Microsoft would allow all Xbox One consoles to become dev kits in order to reduce development costs. However, Microsoft has since backtracked from that plan. On the plus side, they started the ID@Xbox program to help indie games come to the new console. But it seems as if the ID@Xbox parity clause is beginning to hurt indie dev and gamers alike.

For those who don't know, Microsoft has an equality clause for indie developers that makes it impossible for an indie dev to bring its game to Xbox One if it has already launched on Playstation 4. The only way Microsoft allows an indie game to hit both consoles is if launches within the same window on Xbox One. Back in October when the parity clause became a huge headline, head of Xbox Phil Spencer defended the parity clause, saying:

"I'll be honest; the thing I worry about is I look at all the people who buy an Xbox and invest their time and money in Xbox One," he said. "Millions of people own Xbox One and I want those people to feel like they're first class, because they are."When a third party game comes out it comes out on all platforms at the same time. When indie games come out, I want them to come out, and I want Xbox to feel like it is a first-class citizen when an indie game launches."I don't want somebody to come in and just think 'I'm going to go do a special game on one platform and then I'll get to Xbox whenever I get to it.' I don't think that's right."

As expected, this helped dwindle the flames of ire that Microsoft had created for itself. But as many Xbox One owners watched the PlayStation Experience this weekend, those flames have begun to burn once again.

Yesterday on NeoGAF, a game developer revealed the fact that since September 1 of this year, 66 indie games have been announced for current gen consoles. Now here's the heartbreaker: 47 of those games have plans for PlayStation 4 and no plans whatsoever for Xbox One! Now thanks to the parity clause, these games could never end up on the Xbox One platform without special permission from Microsoft. This decision leads me to believe that Microsoft still doesn't understand indie game developers.

No Man's Sky PS4

No Man's Sky

There is no set in stone definition for a game developer to be considered an indie game studio, but these studios do share some common characteristics. First off, indie games are usually developed by small teams. I would say that most indie studios have less than 50 people working on the game, with the majority having fewer than 20.

For example, Hello Games, the studio behind No Man's Sky has 12 people working on that game. Whereas Ubisoft Montreal has 2,100 employees that worked on Far Cry 4, Assassin's Creed: Rogue, and Assassin's Creed: Unity this year alone. You can easily imagine how hard it would be for 12 people to work on Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC at the same time. It's safe to say that the game would have little polish and tons of bugs.

Secondly, most indie games run on engines that still haven't been optimized for the new consoles. That means that developers would have to tweak their engines while in full development in order to ensure optimal performance. This requirement could be extremely hard for a small team to do for three different platforms simultaneously. The need to support multiple platforms creates a longer development process and higher development costs. In other words, time is money.

That last word is the key issue: money. Many indie devs reach into their own pockets for game development costs. Some have even gone to the lengths of using Kickstarter and Indiegogo to help them fund their game. The thing about indie studios is they typically have no revenue coming in while they are developing the game. If they don't crowdsource, they will usually have money set aside for development, or else they have another full-time job to help with development costs. Until a game ships, it can easily just be considered an expensive hobby.

The Forest PS4

The Forest

Phil Spencer stated that Xbox One gamers "are first-class." They deserve to get access to indie games no matter which console it launches on first. They shouldn't be prevented from having great experiences just because a developer didn't have the time or manpower to create a game for both platforms at the same time.

We as Windows Phone users know exactly how this feels. We have fought for app parity, yet we do understand the reason behind late ports to Windows Phone. Now just imagine if Microsoft held an equality clause for app developers that want to bring their app to Windows Phone. Developers would jump ship, and we would be screwed.

If there is one thing owning a Windows Phone has taught me, it's that indie developers deserve support, especially when they create something truly amazing. I don't want to have to spend another $400+ on another console just to be able to enjoy the best narrative experiences or gorgeous art styles of the many indie games that are launching on PlayStation 4.

I bought the Xbox One with the hopes of being able to play the best games made, whether exclusive to Xbox One or ported from another console. This gaming experience is why I want the Xbox One parity clause abolished. All Xbox One gamers deserve the first-class experience and innovation that indie games so often produce.

I know many of you would love to play No Man's Sky, The Forest and the newly remastered Grim Fandango. Tall will be great experiences that no gamer should have to miss out on... Especially not due to an undercooked parity clause. All indie games should be able to make the Xbox One their home, no matter where they first launched. Let's tell Microsoft that we want the parity clause to go away so the Xbox One can get the great indie games that it deserves.

  • Amen brother.
  • At least the launch date parity. The other clauses (quality, content, etc) are fair enough, especially considering Microsoft is giving the developers free hardware.
  • So another mismanaged product brought about by misguided Microsoft decisions. Should be used to this by now....
  • Wish I could disagree with this.
  • I can completely disagree.  First of all, you didn't need a publisher on the Xbox 360 if you wanted to publish to XBLIG (Xbox Live Indie Games).  In fact, XBLIG was THE most indie of any console system as it's almost completely unregulated.  Second, part of the success of the 360 was the fact of launch parity.  If you owned consoles for a very long time (for the young people, going back to the PS2 days will suffice), you know how the dominant platform maker will overly exert its market power to deny smaller competitors.  The OG Xbox suffered as a result.  Game makers of the day talked much about how Sony would pay them, give incentives, or give disincentives to delay release or not release at all on the OG Xbox.  Where would the 360 be if Xbox continued to let this happen? It is not an egregious idea to give fair share to both platforms.  If the cry is that the dev team is too small, then why not release for Xbox/PC first and then release Playstation?  Back when these games are first started (game development takes a long time), the developer could not know market conditions so there was no reason to favor a platform over another.  Xbox is not asking for release parity with PCs.  Just with consoles.  A lot of these indie games are PC already.  Plus, PC games are already designed for Windows so porting should be easy.  The Xbox is basically an AMD PC. Would Playstation fans stand for first release on Xbox?  Of course not.  So why should Xbox owners stand for first release on Playstation? The analogy to Windows Phone is wrong.  The Xbox does not have 5% marketshare to Sony's 95% marketshare.  If that was the case, the Xbox could make no claim for equality.
  • I don't think TOO many Playstation fans care if a game is released on Xbox first? I mean, I could be wrong, but it's my understanding that the PS4 release of Rise of the Tomb Raider has gotten a good number of preorders. But even if what you are saying is true, that Playstation users wouldn't stand for it...then it seems more logical to give it to them first, since there are more PS4 owners than XBONE owners(Or like me, just have both consoles) Honestly, while I do enjoy some Xbox games(Mainly Halo), if I was developing a console game, I wouldn't release it on Xbox, simply because I don't like being told what to do with my product, and since making it for the PS4 means I have a bigger potential customer base, it makes sense to give it to them first. That way I can use the extra money to work on my next project, since I don't have to worry about porting it to xbox.
  • Agreed.
  • I agree with Phil Spencer on this, for this very reason: "66 indie games have been announced for current gen consoles. Now here's the heartbreaker: 47 of those games have plans for PlayStation 4 and no plans whatsoever for Xbox One!" If the parity clause were not in place, that number wouldn't be'd be 57. The only reason Xbox One is getting any of those games is because of the parity clause. Interestingly, the parity clause is attacked as irrational, but really it's the developers who are acting irrationally. If one platform has a parity clause and the other platforms do not, for those developers who want their games on the most platforms but who lack the resources to develop simultaneously, the logical move is to release first on the platform with the parity clause (here, Xbox), and then, port the games to the other platforms (which have no restrictions). By bringing the games to PS4 first, and thereby violating the Xbox One's parity clause, precluding the ability to release the game on Xbox One, the illogical developers have restricted the market for the game. Of course, humans rarely are rational creatures, and irascible developers let emotion get the best of them: "Oh, you think you can tell me what to do, Microsoft? Screw you, I'll just release my game for your competitor, then." But, again, that's irrational. It hurts the developer, not Microsoft (very few indie games, especially those that would later on be ported to the Xbox after already being on the PS4, make enough money for Microsoft, who brings in approximately $90 billion in revenue every year, to even notice, and those exceptions will likely be granted exception by Microsoft). In sum, the developers are acting foolishly. The wise thing to do, given the situation, is to develop your games first for Xbox One, and then port elsewhere later. Stick to your guns, Mr. Spencer; don't reward irrationality.
  • But how do we know it's because of the parity clause. How do we not know that number could potentially be 37 without the clause?
  • This. It just seems kinda arrogant from Microsoft, and I feel I actually discourages developers from building games for Xbox One.
  • Because there are plenty of case studies suggesting otherwise, with Windows Phone being the best one. Developers will develop first for those platforms with the largest user base. PS4 has the largest user base. Thus, unless Xbox gamers want to start feeling like Windows Phone owners--who see apps and games come first to iOS and Android and then, much later (if at all), to Windows Phone (a dangerous slope to start downward because such a situation stagnates growth on the trailing platform, as the 'app gap' convinces fence sitters to go with the lead development platforms)--then we need the parity clause. If irascible indie developers want to act irrationally and "stick it to the man" Microsoft by developing for PS4 first (and therefore, only), let them act irrationally. Those few who gamble and win (i.e. the rare indie hit) will be pardoned by  Microsoft anyway and allowed to port to Xbox. But the grand majority of stubborn and irrational indie developers will simply be shooting themselves in the feet by limiting revenue opportunities due to their own pride.
  • Thank you for saying this. This is what people don't realize when they attack the parity clause.
  • I agree..
  • I think its good.
    Xbox is NOT Windows Phone and if a dev cant deliver to Xbox first or soon after PS4... then the window closes. No soup for you.
  • So essentially what you are saying is that indie developers need to suck it up and accept some ridiculous policy on MS part and make sure to develop their game for the Xbox One first? Also (and this might have been just a case of poor word choice on your part), but I would hardly call a developer choosing to develop for a console over another initially "violating" any policy. And the fact you see a developer not swallowing this BS as irrational and not the actual policy itself is a bit surprising.
  • Yes, if the developer wants the support and tools provided under the ID@Xbox program, they should commit to developing for Xbox One first. Microsoft isn't a charity. If not, they can find a traditional publisher and get their games on Xbox One whenever they want that way.
  • "And the fact you see a developer not swallowing this BS as irrational and not the actual policy itself is a bit surprising." It's not "BS". It's rational. Any developer who set aside his emotions and examined the situation objectively would realize that. "So essentially what you are saying is that indie developers need to suck it up and accept some ridiculous policy on MS part and make sure to develop their game for the Xbox One first?" It is a privilege to release one's work on another's platform. You can't just record a music album and walk into Best Buy and put it on the shelf and demand that they sell it. You have to play by their rules. Same with Xbox One. So, yes, if a developer wants the privilege of putting his game on Xbox so that he can profit from it, then he needs to abide by the rules set by the platform holder. I already explained why it's rational for Microsoft to have the parity clause and why it's rational for developers to abide by it. All you've done is let emotio cloud your judgment, just like many indie developers, unfortunately.
  • How do you assume that the indie developers are just being misled by their emotions? They are, in the end, running a business, and they will naturally be interested in furthering it. If, as you say, it hurts them enough to not have their games on XBox, they will be doing as you said - release first on XBox and then on other platforms that do not have this policy. The reason that indie devs are daring to give XBox a miss is because they percieve that if they target just PS4, they can recoup their investment, and make a tidy profit. The larger picture is that XBox is not the preferred development platform for these indie devs, and MS should do more than what they've done to make the platform more attractive. To that end, the author is right.
  • Because humans act irrationally, all the time. Any developer who cannot simultaneously develop for PS4 and Xbox One, but who wants to release on both, who then chooses to develop for PS4 instead of Xbox One first, is acting irrationally. Maybe they can recuperate their costs and make a tiny profit if they publish just on PS4, but all that means is that they then missed out on a much larger profit if they had published on both platforms, for the sunk costs they poured into the PS4 development can then never be re-used. Porting code is cheap. It takes way less time and man hours than writing code from scratch. They're missing out on easy money. That's foolish.
  • And what would you say if both platforms had that clause?
  • I'd say that's wonderful: it would mean that Xbox One gamers and PS4 gamers got all their games at the same time. No more inequality.
  • i thought you only needed to aby by the parity clause if you were using any of microsofts tools of assistance to publish your game other wise you could just post your game up when you wanted... isnt that the point of the ID@xbox program  
  • I think the big issue with parity not happening is that Xbox becomes the also-ran. If, say, Don't Starve hit Xbox tomorrow it would be news for Xbox One owners only. General websites would have one notification article and that's it. Meanwhile, when it hit PS4, there was news all over about it coming to consoles. Parity does matter, just not if it stops us from playing anything at all. That said, if they want to keep it they need to send out MS employees to work with these small teams to port code. Just port code. Nothing else. Optimize it for Xbox One. There should be a team size maximum and maybe some other concession to ensure developers don't just rely on it always, but I think it could work. That or get rid of parity and trust that all the martyr developers that have been making a big deal out of it magically start putting games out on Xbox because they "want to but the parity clause stops them" (sorry to generalize, I know there are hard-working indies out there who really do want their game in all revenue channels, I just doubt the most vocal had any intention to support both anyway.)
  • Ok so PS4 has no such clause right?? So why don't the devs ever say like we will do it for Xbox first then think about PS...Jonathan said it right...Microsoft still hasn't totally figured out the indie dev market...Instead of funding them for porting over games at a later stage...they should start funding right at the development stage...
  • Well like I stated above some engines and code aren't compatible with Xbox One yet and there are many more that are already compatible with PS4. That's why development starts with them first. Also I think Sony is actively looking for Indies while Microsoft is waiting for the indies to come to them.
  • That's because Sony is betting everything on the PS...Their company more or less depends on the PS...and the risk of losing money on indie devs is far lesser than big exclusives and 3rd party games...MS can just be humble enough and get that clause out...i can only see positives coming out of it..
  • The amount of spin you put on that outlook made me dizzy bro
  • Loosing out on a good game I might have loved wasting my time on, doesn't make me feel like a first class xBox citizen at all. The kind of mentality shared by Mr. Spencer is so Apple (dated) and insulting to the customers!
  • Amen. We are with you Jonathan. Do we have a hashtag for share our opinion?
  • You guys are more than welcome to start one!
  • here you go #removexb1parity4indie
  • #MakePartyNotParity
  • That's a bit too long mate. Here's a better one. #nopartyclause
  • #nopantiesclause
  • What background is that??
  • The Forest, No Man's Sky, and Grim Fandango all look crazy awesome. Grave, Ghost of a Tale, and Aztez too.
  • Don't think we'd get Grim Fandango anyway, Sony is helping with development/funding it
  • Aztez is coming to Xbox One, along with a lot of other indies that are exclusive (at least, for awhile) to Xbox One: Fru, Below, Cuphead, Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime, etc.
  • I was sad that Grim Fandango was PS4 only, but Sony is sponsoring that remake so... there's not much we can hope for. But No Man's Sky is a BIG one... but at least there's PC for that one.
  • This is definitely one of the last idiotic decisions the Xbox Team made that has yet to be reversed. Anti-consumer DRM, forcing Kinect, Gold for IE and NetFlix, etc were all stupid and reversed. 
  • Xbox One never had anti-consumer DRM. It had anti-reseller DRM if anything. They offered us a way to load a game from disc and not have to use the disc again. The DRM was there so that you couldn't just hand off the game to a friend or sell it after putting it on your harddrive. But you could still do it. Re-used games were always a possibility. I would have much rather they fixed HOW that would work as opposed to haphazardly aboloshing it. The Xbox's original intention is no different from Steam/Origin/GOG etc. It would have likely also opened up the opportunity for steep discounts at the developers discression.
  • Preach !
  • Finally someone else who saw this besides me. The crazy part about it is they didn't even have to really fix how it was done other than make an "offline mode" that would disable games being played sans-disc if the console hadn't checked in in X period of time. Microsoft was trying to push the games industry forward, and I would have loved to see how the console would have looked had they not backtracked. Instead, the industry has been pushed back a good decade if not longer. All the problems that existed at launch for the One are a direct result of them having to retcon like 60% of the system software.
  • Here! Here! Ignorant people ruined the steam type service that the X1 could have been.
  • It's nice to finally meet someone with an understanding of what the original idea was. I'm also Canadian. If you are near Ottawa I owe you a drink.
  • Put an emphasis on "Likely". There were zero promises or even inferences from MS, publishers, or Devs that Xbox One's DRM would lower the price of games. Anti-reseller includes consumers who had to resell the game first, before any retailer could. That said, I like Microsoft's stance on indie game parity. Indie games have not been big system sellers in the past, and aren't predicted to be in the future. It's a big gamble for devs, and they take on far more risk than MS.
  • There are lots of examples of exemptions from this. They're not so hard headed as you make it sound.  They've completely offered to work with devs to accomodate them in some way and there are already lots of games on Xbox One that came late. Microsoft isn't totally blocking games.  In most cases they seem to negotiate that they release some sort of Ultra version or what have you.   
  • This is true but only for certain cases. I believe out of those 47 games we see coming to PS4 we'll be lucky to see maybe 10. But why not just abolish this and allow the smaller studios and games to port to Xbox One as well and not been shunned.
  • Because if you abolish it, all indie developers will make their games first for PS4, and Xbox One's indie scene will become exactly what gaming is like on Windows Phone: sloppy seconds to iOS and Android where you are lucky to get the same version of a game that launched years earlier. Case in point: Minecraft: PE, 2011 debut on enemy platforms, 2014 [almost 2015] debut on Windows Phone; same game. That will become the norm on Xbox One if the parity clause goes away.
  • One exception to this rule would be contrast. Which was given to ps4 owners for free and then what all most a year later showed up on Xbox One.
  • There has been a couple of exceptions but it's usually bigger titles not small titles.
  • Translation:  It's usually better titles, not failures.
  • I can name a bunch of games that are smaller titles that have amazing reviews that haven't been ported. But it's usually games that have lots of press that are ported. The smaller ones deserve the support as well.
  • what exactly is there to accomodate? It's like saying: "we're being unreasonble pricks by default, but we're willing to negotiate". how about this: "don't be an unresonable prick".
  • It's actually the developers who are being unreasonable. Rational choice theory dictates that they should develop first for Xbox One in this situation.
  • Rational choice would be to develop for the console with the largest user base to maximize revenue. This rational choice would result in ps4 getting the release first. This is the same logic applied to a mobile app developer when they're deciding which platforms to launch on and the reason windows phone gets whatever after IOS and android.
  • No, that's a fallacy because no mobile platform has a parity clause. The "largest user base" is to develop for all platforms: Xbox One's user base + PS4's user base > PS4's user base. If by developing for the PS4 first means you cannot then develop for the Xbox One, then it is irrational to develop for PS4 first. Either you release simultaneously or you develop first for the platform that does have the parity clause (in this cause, Xbox One).
  • You're forgetting the very real reality of budgets, funding and risk management. Of course being able to have your game in both user bases is better than just 1. But what if you've only got the money for one at a time? What if you publish to the smaller install base and you don't make enough money back to fund the ps4 version or any other project for that matter? You're dead in the water, thats what. So its easy to say, oh, just go for Xbox then ps4, but indie devs are indie devs for a reason; they're small and so are their budgets. So to someone with limited resources, a risk assessment may recommend attacking the largest user base so they have the greatest chance of making money and funding future projects.
  • Just wanted to take a moment to agree with your common sense, Killa. By the other logic I'm hearing, Windows Phone should come out with a parity clause soon, because everyone else is being so irrational to devote more time to larger install bases. What we need is more parity clauses. /s
  • Nope. Huge difference. Windows Phone has no clout. They have 3% of the global market share. Beggars cannot be choosers. They should take every app they can get. In contrast, Xbox One still has a chance to be a major player in this generation of gaming. One way to end that chance, though, is to start seeing the majority of games being developed first for your enemy. Right now, Xbox One still has clout. They must use it before it's too late.
  • The grand majority of development costs come with developing a game, not in porting it. Porting it to other platforms is the cheapest part of game development processes, and any struggling indie developer absolutely must get his game on as many platforms as possible or he'll never recuperate the sunk costs of developing the game in the first place. For that reason, it's even more irrational for poor indies to eschew Xbox One development.
  • Okay, so the buzz word is now 'clout.' Windows Phone lacks the 'clout' that XB1 enjoys? What constitutes 'clout?' Global market share? Who has the 'clout' this console generation? If XB1 has this 'clout,' what evidence do you have that the 'clout' they have has been working in their favour so far? Why shouldn't the XB1 "take every [game] they can get?" How has that been benefitting XB1 gamers (not Microsoft--gamers) so far, given the disparity in indie games?
  • Clout is not a buzzword. It's one of the oldest principles governing human interaction. In this context, the platform with the greatest percentage of game sales has the clout. Xbox One doens't have the clout. PS4 does. That's why PS4 doesn't need a parity clause and Xbox One does. Xbox One has enough clout to throw it around, for now, but they could easily lose enough of it that they fall under the power threshold, much like Windows Phone, and they'll have to accept table scraps from there on out. The parity clause is seeking to prevent that from happening.
  • This isn't 2001, when the PS2 and Xbox's user base focused on different game genres. PS4 and Xbox One owners will both primarily buy shooters and sports titles, with a few action/adventure games thrown in. If a dev loses their shirt on Xbox One, it's doubtful they would be any more successful with the PS4.
  • The isomorphism in consumer tastes in Xbox One and PS4--that is, the narrowing of customers' desires for certain types of games--is all the more reason why indie developers should want to hit as many platforms as possible. Developing a game is the brunt of the costs. Those are sunk costs. They only way to get them back is to sell games. The more games you sell, the easier that becomes, especially when porting to other platforms comes in, which allows you to tap new markets. If it costs $100 to make a game, it only costs $20 to port it. So, if a $100 game goes to PS4 and makes $80 back, they're in the red. If a $120 game goes to PS4 and Xbox One and makes $140, they're in the black.
  • You're speaking completely in hypotheticals now. So, to follow suit: If I have $100 to make a game and I aim for the biggest install base there is and remain in the black with no hassle from my platform, why jump through hoops I don't need to? And you speak as if you've only lived through one gaming generation. The 360 had market and mindshare last generation, and its total software count puts the PS3 to shame. If they had more 'clout' back then, by your logic they didn't need a parity clause. But they did. In fact, their indie practices (as described here) were frustrating for many developers and far worse than ID@XBOX. So something about what you're saying and what Microsoft is doing doesn't add up. The developers, however, are making perfect sense.
  • "If I have $100 to make a game and I aim for the biggest install base there is and remain in the black with no hassle from my platform, why jump through hoops I don't need to?" To make more money. Porting is cheap. " by your logic [the Xbox 360] didn't need a parity clause. But they did." No, my logic is to always have a parity clause if you have the clout to have one. That Sony doesn't have one is just indicative of their poor management strategies. "The developers, however, are making perfect sense." Of course what they're saying makes sense: they want absolute freedom. Who wouldn't want that? But they don't have the power to make those decisions. They can only complain about it and throw irrational temper tantrums when they don't get their way. Rational Choice Theory is decades old and well accepted in the social sciences. Indie developers can complain all they want, but if their hissy fit results in them not being able to publish on Xbox One when they otherwise would've published on Xbox One, then they're acting irrationally and costing themselves money. There are a few exceptions to any rule, but for the grand majority of them, Microsoft is doing them a favor by letting their games onto the platform, not vice-versa.
  • Okay, let's see here... "To make more money. Porting is cheap."
    How cheap? Evidence please.  "No, my logic is to always have a parity clause if you have the clout to have one. That Sony doesn't have one is just indicative of their poor management strategies." In response to that, I'll just copy/paste what you said earlier: "Xbox One doens't have the clout. PS4 does. That's why PS4 doesn't need a parity clause and Xbox One does." "Of course what they're saying makes sense: they want absolute freedom. Who wouldn't want that?" They're getting more freedom from Sony than they are from Microsoft. Microsoft had to backpedal on a lot of guidelines because developers were aiming for as much freedom as possible. We seem to agree here. "But they don't have the power to make those decisions. They can only complain about it and throw irrational temper tantrums when they don't get their way." They're not throwing "irrational temper tantrums." Again: evidence please. From the looks of it, they're doing quite the opposite, and simply walking away from a platform with a ridiculous clause, and a company with historically ridiculous practices when owning a dominant market share. Nobody's angry except the gamers who can't play a game on their platform because there's a clause in their way. "Rational Choice Theory is decades old and well accepted in the social sciences." That's awesome. "Indie developers can complain all they want" They're not 'complaining' so much as they are 'abandoning in droves.'  "Microsoft is doing them a favor by letting their games onto the platform, not vice-versa." And there is the crux of the problem. I don't know how those poor devs are going to survive on just the PS4. Best of luck to them. I'm sure they'll come crawling back to Microsoft eventually. Give it some time, I guess.  
  • "How cheap? Evidence please" Decades of economic theory is the evidence. They're called sunk costs. They make up the bulk of game development costs, particularly for indie developers. Things like the initial programming costs, localization, translation, ratings board fees, insurance, and the like. If you develop for only one platform, you pay all of those platform. If you develop for multiple platforms, you pay them once. Porting already existing code is much cheaper than writing code from scratch. This ID@Xbox developer breaks it down for you here. Note the sunk costs. "In response to that, I'll just copy/paste what you said earlier." There is no contradiction there. Read more carefully. Previously, I said PS4 doesn't need a parity clause. They don't. Later, I said, they should have one. They should. Those are not in disagreement. "They're getting more freedom from Sony than they are from Microsoft." Which is exactly why it's more logical to develop first for Xbox One: Sony will still let them port the game to PS4. Ergo, they can easily hit both markets instead of just one. "They're not throwing 'irrational temper tantrums.'"
    Yes, they are. If they otherwise would've ported the game to Xbox One but are choosing not to just to "stick it to Microsoft" for the parity clause, then they're irrationally costing themselves lost income. "walking away from a platform with a ridiculous clause, and a company with historically ridiculous practices" That's emotion trumping reason. That you wrote it that way reaffirms you're still clouded by emotion. What they're doing is walking away from easy money and eating those sunk costs. That's foolish, and any company that does that deserves to go under. "And there is the crux of the problem. I don't know how those poor devs are going to survive on just the PS4. Best of luck to them."
    That's all nice and everything, but that's emotion seeping in again. Logically, if they eschew Xbox One development because they don't want to play by Microsoft's rules (and take advantage of Sony's lack of rules), just to 'prove a point', and they suffer financially because of it (which they will), then that's their own fault and, quite frankly, they deserve it. Emotion should have no place in the business world. Act rationally or get weeded out.  
  • I'm not about to parse the entirety of that message. I only did it last time because you chose to do so, but it's turning into a trend. I do want to address one particular thing, though: "That's emotion trumping reason. That you wrote it that way reaffirms you're still clouded by emotion." That may, in fact, be the case--that's why nobody's paying me the big bucks to work in the business world. I am however a consumer, and essentially so are the developers. You like age-old, historically relevant and accepted theories and buzzwords, so here's one for you: you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. You said it earlier that beggars can't be choosers. Platform holders should be beggars. If the parity clause is helping Xbox so much, perhaps they should go the other way and reintroduce all of the developer-unfriendly things while they're holding onto whatever 'clout' they still have. Remove ID@Xbox entirely. Go back to the days when Super Meat Boy was in development. Then the developers would learn. They'd suck it up and fall back in line and develop for both systems again. What the developer behaviour shows, however, is that they can survive without Xbox. A lot of consumers can, too. Maybe that's emotional of me to say--I don't know, I'm not a social scientist. I went to school for other things. But the next time I'm in a board meeting discussing my company's next move, I won't be so emotional.
  • You seem disappointed, or at least surprised, that human behavior often is irrational and emotion-fueled. Don't be: that's what sets us apart from robots. Humans act like emotion-fueled fools all the time, it's why economic theory on its own doesn't work: sociology must inform economic theory (voila, socioeconomic theory) because of this very reason. " you catch more flies with honey than vinegar" If there are two dabs of honey to choose from, one has no vinegar in it but only leaves you half full, the other has some vinegar in it but would get you all the way full, and you're hungry as hell, then you'd be pretty foolish to not eat them both just because you don't like vinegar. "If the parity clause is helping Xbox so much, perhaps they should go the other way and reintroduce all of the developer-unfriendly things while they're holding onto whatever 'clout' they still have." No, that would not work becuase, again, humans are irrational, emotion-driven creatures. This would be seen as too authoritarian, and it would alienate developers to the point they'd leave, and then Microsoft would have no clout at all. You are acting like the ID@Xbox program is completely unfair. It's not unfair at all: You want access to our customers and you want us to throw in a free dev kit too? Okay, we only ask that you publish your game at the same time as everywhere else. That's quite reasonable.
  • Seriously? First thing in the morning?
    Ok, to be clear: Nothing you've said is new or surprising information. You have an inflated opinion of your intelligence. You cherry pick between hypotheses and reality when you want. To reiterate my point: There is absolutely no evidence that the parity clause helps anyone but Microsoft, and even that claim is dubious at best. The isomorphism you so happily explained, in theory (but I'm sure I could say this is decades-old and accepted based on events from previous console generations) just means that Microsoft will lose potential customers to Sony in the long run when developers ignore them, and an increase to Sony's market share just makes Xbox increasingly inconsequential to develop for. If developers are throwing irrational hissy fits and temper tantrums, they're helping the industry by doing so, because they're helping eliminate clauses that don't help anyone (ID@Xbox is a perfect example of this actually happening in real life).
    Now, please go back to saying how this shouldn't be happening because of the way business should be conducted, and all the widely accepted theories you learned in school, because that's all I've been hearing this whole time. Afterwards, I'll tell you what's happening in the reality of the current console generation.
  • First thing in the morning? You don't know where I live. The world is large, with many time zones. "You have an inflated opinion of your intelligence."
    It's not about intelligence; it's about knowledge. I know what I'm talking about. I have a PhD in this stuff. I have published papers in peer-reviewed, academic journals about this stuff. Unless you have one too (and if you do, I'd like to talk to your dissertation committee chair, because you missed some stuff along the way), maybe you should start listening instead of being so contentious. You know who else supports this policy: the head of Xbox, Phil Spencer. Does he have an inflated opinion of his own intelligence too? "Nothing you've said is new or surprising information." Of course nothing I've said is new or surprising: it's all based on established and empirically tested socioeconomic theories. I cherry pick nothing. It's called applying extant theory to a relevant case. "There is absolutely no evidence that the parity clause helps anyone but Microsoft." It's Microsoft's policy; it's not supposed to help anyone but Microsoft. "The isomorphism you so happily explained..." No, you misinterpret what isomorphism means to this situation. The convergence of consumer tastes has strengthened Microsoft's bargaining power, not weakened it. If developers revolt and Microsoft is forced to capitulate, good for them. That's called a social movement and it's one way to upset power relations. But that still doesn't change the crux of the argument: given the current situation, if they publish first on PS4 and thereby preclude their ability to publish on Xbox One when they otherwise would've wanted to, they've acted irrationally and cost themselves money. If that situation changes, then the situation changes. It's not the GRE. Those theories you ignorantly dismiss are based on decades of empirical research and real-world case studies. Your uninformed dismissal of them only reaffirms that you're letting emotion trump reason.
  • Thanks for the predictable credentials. You know who doesn't support this policy? The majority of indie developers. You know who don't support this policy? The majority of gamers. And those developers and gamers are all hurting, what: the industry, or Microsoft? You know what: You don't even need to answer that, because unfortunately I don't have a Ph.D. Now, admittedly, it's obvious to me that I'm in the wrong, and none of this is happening, and I should really go talk to my committee chair (or psychiatrist, because I live in a fantasy world) about all this. In the meantime, I'll play my video games and sleep soundly at night knowing how wrong I was about the reality of the gaming world and the overwhelming success that is the parity clause.
  • You're just getting emotional and not really making sense f88. Coip makes valid points in a lucid manner.
    And I, as a consumer and gamer dig this parity clause and I'm not hurting one bit.
    And as coip puts it, "You want access to our customers and you want us to throw in a free dev kit too? Okay, we only ask that you publish your game at the same time as everywhere else" is what they're saying and the indie developers are being unreasonable, if ego be a reason to shun the xbox one, thereby losing revenue and exposure. 
  • To say what the author couldn't in the article..... Dumb F****** Move MS. I totally agree with the author(95%) but I also see Spencers pov, as boss of xbox, he doesn't want to be seen as 2nd best but sometimes one has to be humble...
  • I understand his position as well but seeing that list. That must hurt.
  • And how do we know with a 100% certainty that those games would've been ported to Xbox One anyway? Imagine the embarrassment if they remove the "parity clause" and devs still decide to go with PS4? There's no guarantee either way.
  • That's true but imagine the more we'd have.
  • If they remove the parity clause the developers absolutely will release first on PS4. Phil Spencer is right: removing it will make Xbox One a second class citizen for indie development, just like Windows Phone is.
  • What list? And do you actually believe Microsoft wouldn't work with a studio like say, Double Fine (who is also releasing a game first on Xbox One with Massive Chalice), if they come to them with a plan stating that it's due to money issues or whatnot? This entire piece is speculative.  
  • An editorial is absolutely an opinion piece. But believe me if you take everything I said into consideration you would be at the same conclusion I came tom
  • Untrue. I considered what you've written and while I can see your point I think you're just wrong.
    I find what coip is saying to make a lot more sense. If PS4 has more market share, then that's the obvious development target. Microsoft is using their (still significant) market influence as a deterrent to try to keep indie developers from treating the XB1 as a second class citizen.
    If the deterrent is removed, how is that, logically, going to male developers more likely to develop for XB1? It seems to me logic dictates the result would be the opposite.
    Obviously your argument is simply that it's "better late than never" but while that's a neat saying it's not really true. Getting indie games late will only further foster the image of the XB1 as a losing platform. While it is true that PS4 has sold more units that perception is utterly wrong and only serves to undercut the platform's future growth.
    Look at PS3, it actually won out the 7th Gen "wars" in the end, if we go by unit sales, despite a similar (if reversed) perception in it's earlier life.
    I think Microsoft is actually doing the right thing here. Just needs to also show a carrot, not only the stick.
  • Not saying that this would be a smart move particularly but is anyone else think MS is waiting for Windows 10? I know that means waiting another 10 months, but think about it: Release a game on PC windows 10 and it already just works for Xbox. Slap in some achievements and done. Attacking indies then would be a big get. Then the game can work across Windows, Xbox and WP10 at the same time. Gets all screens. Cross buy or no, can be up to each developer. After typing that, I call BS when devs are too small. Can there be THAT much code similarity between PS4, PS3 and PS Vita because it seems 1/3 of all announced games for PS4 have a cross-buy version on one of the other two. If they have time to supprot Vita, they have time to support Xbox One.
  • I seriously doubt universal apps will work the way you state. With different screen sizes, resolutions and hardware capabilities there's no way you'd write just one app and have it work well on all Windows platforms.
  • Games would be a little more complicated but less so if you start from PC, but apps will pretty much work exactly that way... The way the code is set up the components are devided in standard ways that will reconfigure automatically for the other platforms. There will be small tweaks to make for certain system hooks and such but 90% of the conversion should be done for you buy the platform. If you want an idea of how that works look at a squarespace website, that will automatically reconfigure teh webpages you make using their tool to format for mobile, hell if you just squish your browser window down enough it will change to mobile view.
  • No, no, no, and no. I'm working on a universal app now, and there's far greater disparities than you think. And that responsive website you're talking about is a totally different thing, but responsive websites don't just rejig a layout automatically; a developer has to code the different views using media queries and CSS. Nothing works from screen to screen without a developer planning and implementing it. I say this as a web and app developer with more than a decade of working experience, you're wrong.
  • Well fair enough about the universal apps, though my understanding was that the code did like 70% (I got carried away stating 90%) of the work, but if that's not the case that's good but disappointing to know. But I have tooled around with the squarespace site builder, I guarantee that I was not doing anything with media queries or CSS. Their framework does it all automatically.
  • You can have all the coding experience that you want, the goal of universal apps is to do exactly what you're saying can't be done. They're not there yet (W10 hasn't even released...) but in theory if the underlying OS is the same then the only development work needed to port is for the abstracted presentation and input layers and much of that work should be reusable... I don't think Microsoft is waiting for Windows 10 per se, but I do think the furthering of universal apps will greatly help their developer story.
  • That's my hope. That the prospect of hitting those millions of standard Windows installs will compel ASP development for all forms of Windows
  • The coding would be easier is all I'm suggesting.
  • How many of you bitch about games coming years late to windows phone. ( majority of you ) ... All I hear is candy crush is still a thing. Draw something is old pvz2. Oh wait they're getting pvz3 and we are now just getting pvz2 years later. I'm so over that game or that app is what 90% of you say yet your against this.... You guys are just mad because they article tells you to. I mean its is Xbox so yell then backtrack later... Right ?
  • state your point better. ,You typed gibberish. What is your question or statement?
  • Are we really getting PvZ2 on Windows Phone?
  • Lol I was asking that very question! When?!?!?
  • The original game is much better IMO, but PvZ2 certainly has a lot of content. Would be nice to see it come over.
  • Windowsphone is getting pvz2 when IOS and android get pvz3. Didn't you read my previous article
  • If you mean your comment, it was difficult to read. The sentiment also sounds like conjecture. I was hoping it had really been announced.
  • As to Why i can't call my comment an article is beyond me. Also pvz2 is coming to windows phone at some point. All popular games eventually make there way to WP with in a year or two or three after IOS android. Hashtag Fact..... Just ask Microsoft.
  • Maybe we're having a language issue here. A comment and an article are two different things. This story is an article, and the things we're typing in response to it are comments. The word article can mean "a thing," but it's very non-specific. We do often get games on WP some time after they release on iOS and Android. But many games might never come to WP at all, which would be a lot worse. For instance, we still don't have Peggle.
  • Sorry my humors really dry. I could put lol at the end of my comments but its funnier that way.
  • Heh, no worries.
  • Nice article. Problem is... Even if these words reach the high and mighty hearts and minds of the Microsoft upper crust, and they recant the Parity clause... Would games like No Man's Sky even bother to venture to Xbox. Sadly I think not. That was one game that if I knew about it before my Day One Xbox purchase, it would have probably made me pause and think.
  • No one ever thought their previous games would come to Xbox 360, but they did. And even if they don't come this is more about preventing other future big titles from not being able to port to Xbox One.
  • why not? why does farcry 4 run on xbox? because there is money to be made.
  • and this will repeat itself. sony will at any time open their appstore to any developer. MS still playign war against developers and refusing to allow anybody to publish an xbox app with the same ease they publish a windows 8 or windows phone app. ironic considering MS used to champion developer openness and this is what made windows so popular. iOS became popular for the same reason. I bet if was it not for apple, and I can't believe I'm using apple as an example of the right side of history, MS would to this day not open up windows 8 or windows phone to all developers. It would be more like zune, where only a few select insiders and big names could make it, just as xbox is right now. We all know where the zune went.
  • There's a parity clause. The smart develpoers will dev for the Xbox One first, then.  The rest locked themselves out.  
  • Some devs engines and resources don't work on Xbox One yet.
  • For example...?
  • Why would a Dev do that? PS4 has a higher installed base, more indie friendly, and also appears to be the more versatile platform in terms of games. XBones get all the shooters, while Sony has all their bases covered. Microsoft didn't even care about indie developers. But since they saw....once again they were losing the battle on that front, they do what they always do...backtracked and started their ID@Xbox program. Microsoft may have had the upper hand last gen and Devs had to bend over for them. I think it's high time they returned the favor.
  • "and also appears to be the more versatile platform in terms of games. XBones get all the shooters, while Sony has all their bases covered.​" ​ this makes it sound like the Xbox can only run shooters when the consoles are virtually identical... ​ ​
  • Or, locked themselves into the bigger user base and therefore larger market share (ps4)
  • As stated elsewhere in these comments Xbox One + PS4 userbase > PS4 userbase alone. Why lock yourself out of 25% of your potential marked right off the bat?  
  • I don't know what Microsoft was thinking with this BS, if I was an indie dev I = would not touch the Xbox One just out of principle, until MS abolishes this sort of BS business practice, holding indie devs hostage if they want to release on all platforms, but can't do so at once.    
  • Then you'd be a foolish business man who let hubris remove a significant chunk of your potential market.
  • I may be in the minority but I actually like the parity clause.
  • Me too
  • I understand why you guys support it as I once did. But she I hear devs saying they want to dev for Xbox one but can't because they don't have resources yet and can only dev for PlayStation for the time being it hurts me. Especially since they are locked out due to the clause.
  • Those same devs can chose to only dev for Xbox for the time being instead of locking them out completely by targetting the PS4 first.  Then, if successful, use the Xbox earnings to fund a PS4 version.
  • What resources don't they have? ID@Xbox developers get free Xbox One development kits.
  • Some engines don't run on Xbox one yet. Developers have even stated that it's now easier to development for PS4 than Xbox One. Many indie studios have in house engine thus would be harder to develop for Xbox.
  • Agreed 100%!
  • Agreed and seconded!
  • On one hand, I have no interest in indie games and do not care about any of the 47 playstation exclusive titles. On the other hand, I hate to see a company put such bullheaded restrictions on what can and cannot be on a certain platform. Restricting broken/cloned/malicious apps is good. Restricting good games that someone (even if it is only 1 person) can enjoy, and pay for, is bad.
  • I'm with you. Were/how do we tell them? I'm going to be F'N pissed if me and my friends don't get to play No Man's Sky on Xbox One. It's my most anticipated game of 2015. Even more than Mortal Kombat X, and I'm a huge MK fan. Seriously though I'm going to flip if we don't get to explore the galaxy because of some egotistical party clause. The thinking is so short sided. If those indie games all stay on ps4 then gamers have no choice but to decide to buy the competitors console. Ultimately this policy will create sales for ps4 and that's wack! As apposed to just letting the game makers take their time to create an optimized experience for our console of choice, Xbox One. Late is far better than never.
  • Indeed! I think grabbing there attention on twitter is the least invasive way to go about it.
  • No man sky is a PS exclusive, its not due to the parity clause, Sony just bought up the rights after sewing how insanely popular their game had become. When it was announced back in 2013, it was a multiplat game
  • I've seen an interview with the developer and they didn't say it wasn't coming to Xbox One. He was actually kind of waffling on the question and said something about a deal with Microsoft not being finished. What I believe it's the game will definitely be released on ps4 and PC first. I think a version for One will come later.
  • Because as mentioned Sony bought the console exclusivity.
  • As we know exclusivity these days most often is timed so. Oh and the interview I mentioned was recently.
  • Totally agree, then please give out 3 votes to this suggestion and share it:
  • i thought the parity clause was only for devs that got free dev kits
  • If I was an indie game developer, I'd have several small teams working on it. One team for Xbox One, one for Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1, one for OS X, one for iOS, one for Android, and one for Windows 7. Just because it's still so popular. And maybe I'd also have a team working on it for Xbox 360 and another for PS3. Just to show people still with an older console that they still matter.
    Then once it's done on all platforms, I'd have it launched all at once. Same goes for DLC and updates.
  • What about the devs that literally barely have enough as it is. The creators of No mans sky started with 4 people and has went up to 12 since development began
  • Yeah cause Sony bought exclusivity for it
  • If you had that kind of manpower for one game, you probably wouldn't be considered an indie developer
  • Thanks Jonathan for your Article. This kind of article should write every week. Because we love Microsoft and we want it's improvement!
  • Unforutnately, I think the author of this article missed a very important point in the thread he is referencing and it has led to numerous comments here that are based on a bad assumption. The original poster of the thread admits more than once that he does not know if the parity clause is the reason for all of the indie games coming to the ps4 and not the Xbox One yet. There are many other variables at work that could lead to an indie dev coming first to ps4. Do any of you remember E3 and the wave of indie games announced there for the ps4 as 'coming first to the ps4', or 'launcing first on ps4'?  The wording Sony was using as very improtant and pointed to the possibility that most of those games would end up on other consoles.  The Xbox One could very well be getting many of those games after they alunch first on the ps4, we do not know.  Maybe MS gave a bunch of waivers out, or there is something else at play that allows these developers to release for the X1 after the ps4, but the point is that you guys are all reacting to assumptions and anecdotal evidence. The clause itself is clearly annoying for developers, no doubt there, and I'm sure at aleast a few developers were put off enough by it that they will not release for the X1 ever, but until there are hard facts, I would suggest not using them as a call to arms. In fact, forget about the number of devs this has affected and just consider the clause itself.  If having the cluase create negative pr, Then MS must seriously consider getting rid of it, or at least being more transparent about it.  Maybe change it so that MS offers more free support to any developer that agrees to the clause, but then let any developer that doesn't still be allowed to self publish on their own.
  • Definitely but that clause shouldn't even be there to begin with. And the fact that Microsoft isn't transparent about it makes it seem somewhat shady. I used that post as inspiration. He has his beliefs and I have mine. Mine are that as long as this clause is alive it will push more devs away then bring in. It's stressful for devs especially in small studios to work on 2 platforms at once. I just want to get rid of any excuse that any dev may have for not porting.
  • The reason it seems shady is becuase its a private agreement between two parties, MS and a developer.  I'm pretty sure there are laws that govern privacy when entering into a legally binding agreement.  I do think MS could be more transparent in order to make everyone feel better, but they probably can't just release all of the details. You may have used the post as inspiration, but you used it as 'facts' to support your opinion.  You jumped on a possible pattern becuase it fit your opinion.  That's fine as long you are up front with the fact that the truth is:  there is no confirmation that the parity clause resulted in all of those games going to the ps4 first.  As far as the cluase being there to begin with, I wonder if MS felt like they were offering a fair deal considering the offer of free dev kits, etc, to offset the fact that they wanted a parity release on other consoles.  I really don't think MS did this out of some mean spite against developers, so it would be nice to know what the entire deal is.  We know bits and pieces, but not the whole story.  Again, if this is creating a negative pr atmosphere, then MS will have to change, just as they did by abandoning Kinect and changing their intial launch plans.  I would tell MS that if they want to offer developers a parity clause, then create two options for the developer: 1.  Create their own game without any assitance from MS beyond maybe free access to software tools and azure server resources. 2.  Agree to a parity clause and gain more direct support from MS in the form of free dev kits, maybe even direct support from Xbox engineers to build the game. Basically, create value for the developer.  Like any person, I would bet that a developer would be cool with it if there was enough up side for them.  Plus they would have a second option if they didn't like the deal.
  • Not a big deal to me. I got alot of games to play.
  • Well, it has its pros and cons, in a way I understand Phill Spencer. Imagine if AAA games did the same. So yes, indie devs should be supported, but come on, they sometimes behave like prima donnas with a foul mouth and a hipster beard.
  • I totally understand Phil! He's helped turn the Xbox image around so much. We wouldn't be anywhere without him. I just don't see a need for this clause. Some AAA studios act the same way btw.
  • Well Microsoft saying they want their customers to feel special bringing it on time with other console launch? So why did you not publish halo series or gears of war series on windows? And wat abt "timed exclusive" of rise of tomb raider on xbox one, why were pc gamers who also use Microsoft windows left out? Double standards of Microsoft!
  • Come on Wpc Team. You may have the power to talk to Microsoft. Help them making the right decisions. For us! I love the Forest and Xbone!
  • When did they backtrack on making the Xbox One a dev kit? I remember them saying a few months ago that its coming sometime within the next year. Actually, I think some hackers already found a way to enable a dev mode after an Xbox update came out
  • They said it's on the roadmap but it's not a priority. It needs to be a priority.
  • It is ridiculously easy to "get around" the parity clause on the One.  Look at how many of the ID@Xbox games came out first on PC or PlayStation, some of which are even promoted by Microsoft at events like Gamescon and E3.  Clearly it isn't that restrictive.  The parity clause is effectively to protect developers from putting out a game on PS/PC/other, then a month later release it on the One when the demand for the game is signficantly less due to consumers having already taken the opportunity to buy the game on another platform. Microsoft actually does a lot for indie developer through their ID@Xbox program, including a lot of free dev kits and professional help.  It's not unreasonable for the other end of the contract to be "please release your game when you release on other platforms, or work out some other agreement with us".  That's business. And indies aren't somehow insulated from normal business practices.  They are the video game's small businesses, the industry's "Mom and Pop stores".  Expecting them to have to partcipate in a "give and take" is just a normal part of every industry, and that needs to be understood.
  • Since the PS4 and XBOne have like 80% hardware parity, I dont think the clause is terribly necessary... I mean sure there will be some differences but these are effectively PCs this generation If there was any delay between one console and the other I don't think it would be very extreme. At the same time I appreciate the motivations behind that policy, but...
  • I totally understand Phil S. Bigger developers have a team of thousands of developers able to focus on game development for each console. The same can't be said about indie developers. They don't want Xbox One to be the, we will get to it when we can system, while developers stick with development on the other system leaving consumers waiting on Xbox One for updates, development fixes or what ever. Its like instagram on Windows phone, still in beta. Phil does not want that to happen. Indie developers must develop, patch, upgrade the games equally for each system, they know that indie game developers would have to have the man power to support that type of development. So, I'm in total agreement with Microsoft. XBOX ONE is for quality games, but not a dumping grown. I'm happy to see that Microsoft cares about game support and quality. I dont know many people who would jump ship because of indie games. Not many of them are very good, some are Gems. Its a hit or a miss.
  • I want to play "the last of us" on my 360 :'(
  • That's practically a first party game for Sony... and it's overrated as hell anyways. Story is great but the gameplay is EXTRA mediocre.
  • Still wish I could play it on my Xbox. And I love these type of games. The last of us is basically created for guys like me.
  • GOOD JOB PHIl! Don't let these developers treat Xbox like they treat WP. These developers and their sympathize make me sick. The "platform is not big enough to justify their/my time" or "they/I don't have the money to do both." Those 47 games that "HAS NO PLANS FOR XBOX" probably thought Xbox wasn't going to rebound from the slow sales. So they bet on PS4. It's their the right, but is also the right of Xbox to stand up to their customers
  • Can't the Parity clause be sidestepped by changing the title and fiddling with game modes? Isn't that what Guacamelee did?
  • They actually came out with that new version of the game the same day as PS4
  • Someone is thinking
  • I think most of these indie games can run on web browsers or phones anyway. It's not like any of them are particularly strenuous on resources is it. When Windows 10 is released I believe they will more likely have these indie developers publish them as cross platform apps rather that xbox one games, which will clearly bypass this parity clause anyway.
  • "yet we do understand the reason behind late ports to Windows Phone" Because nobody cares/can make money off the platform?
  • They should make the release window royalty based. If it launches first on Xbox One MS takes a 15% cut, if it launches same week on Xbox One MS takes a 25% cut, if it launches after PS4 then MS takes a 35% cut of sales. Better to incentivize developers to publish early than to just ban them outright.
  • I think I can live without it none whats been released so far is worth my time. At least their fairer then Nintendo is
  • I always felt the parity clause for indie devs was ridiculously moronic for the reasons rightly stated in the article: Indie devs have limited resources, funds and man power. You could say parity clause makes sense for the larger studios who have deep pockets and immense number of staff, however that is also a catch-22 situation.
  • I Really hope Microsoft reads this article...
  •   I agree wih both sides to an extent. While Xbox One users do deserve to be treated like first-class citizens, the parity clause is only hurting the system in the long run. Did it occur to Phil Spencer and Microsoft that the reason that so many indie developers are going with the PS4 as their first choice is because of what happened when the One was first announced? They basically turned their backs on indie developers so what choice did they have but to turn to Sony? So, of course, they only have the PS4 version in development or further along.    With the money that Microsoft used to buy Mojang, they could have bought/started 20 indie game studios, many with games well into the development cycle and the gap wouldn't be so large now. Food for thought maybe.
  • I can't think of an indie game I actually ever wanted to play, so this doesn't affect me one bit.
  • What this author of this article does not realize is since the late nineties there has been an anti Microsoft movement going around. Started by the Linux coders and Grabbed by Google and Sony (Sony use to sell Windows computers they sold that Devision to Lenovo so they would not be affiliated in anyway with the makers of Xbox, I mean look at how close Sony is to google in search, and Software (one of the first google tvs was a Sony Blu-ray player and Smart TV)). I mean Microsoft had to buy Minecraft to get it on Windowsphone. There is this Tech Monopoly Image that Microsoft cannot brush away. And Google and Sony want to keep that image of Microsoft in our heads. I would love for No man Sky E.T.C. To come on Xbox. But you know. That's why Satya has released office ETC on other platforms and Phil Spencer has that Xbox parity clause in place. Because of images like this: and This:
  • you tell em man, wish we could get that final fantasy 7 on XboxOne ftw :D
  • I am not a console gamer, but perhaps Microsoft should follow their own policy. In recent months, they've introduced or announced apps for iPhone and Android before Windows Phone. I realize that Phil Spencer isn't in charge of WP, but Microsoft management all needs to get on the same page about Microsoft product users being first-class citizens.
  • Yup, it's stupid for MS to keep up with this parity clause when they're behind in the console race. Without the number one position, they have no leverage, yet they try to strong-arm devs as though they're the clear number one... And end up just missing out on games. Who loses here? Gamers who only own an xb1. :(
  • Seems weird that no one has considered that the PS4 has a much larger base than the Xone, and would seem logical to develop for said system. Just because their is no parity clause, doesn't mean their isn't underlying pressures from Sony to boycott or hinder future projects from indie developers if they choose Xone first.
  • I was happy with this on Xbox 360 I really felt like a first class , but now not so much , but yes im with them if you want to make games make thim first on Xbox then port to other
  • I agree. I want to play No Man's Sky and I'm about to buy a PS4 because I feel that it won't be released on Xbox One due Parity Clause.   Share your thoughts at
  • Why does no one mention that Microsoft gives the development kit for free as part of the parity clause?