Ridiculous Fishing developer Vlambeer has scrutinised Microsoft’s ID@Xbox policy. The studio has highlighted one clause in particular, which demands that any title releasing on Xbox One does so at the same time as other formats.
It follows the announcement of 32 developers signed up to ID@Xbox.
This is problematic for indie developers that often – due to team sizes or budget constraints – focus on one platform at a time. Speaking with Joystiq, Vlambeer co-founder Rami Ismail explained that the clause can be broken if a developer has an exclusivity clause in place already. Upon learning of the ID@Xbox parity issue, Vlambeer sought a deal with Sony to loophole the simultaneous launch requirement
He said, “Microsoft was doing reach-out to certain developers back in the early days of ID@Xbox, and we discussed potentially bringing Nuclear Throne to Xbox One with them. There had been mentions beforehand that there was a launch parity clause in the contract, with the exception of games that were already signed to another platform during the announcement of their self-publishing program. Thus, before we signed with Microsoft, we e-mailed Sony that we quickly wanted to sign Nuclear Throne with them with a month of exclusivity.”
Ismail then suggested that the parity clause be removed from contracts. “Honestly,” he stressed, “we’ve had enough trouble with our promise for a simultaneous release for Luftrausers, so by getting rid of parity we’d be able to focus on one platform for Nuclear Throne first. We’d rather Microsoft allow us not only the freedom to self-publish, but also to publish in whatever order we prefer…. We’ll keep pushing for Microsoft to drop the clause, and we’d recommend any other developer to do the same.”
What do you make of the above? Should Microsoft ditch this policy? Let us know below.