ID@Xbox boss Chris Charla has said the famous parity clause isn’t as draconian as it sounds.
Back when ID@Xbox was first launched, it was said to have a pretty unpleasant caveat: developers had to bring their games to Xbox One first, or simultaneously with other platforms, to be eligible for the scheme. Games released on other platforms first were not allowed.
Microsoft said at the time that it would make exceptions on a case-by-case basis, but there was significant backlash. A number of indie developers, presumably more intimate with the details than the general public, speaking out strongly against the policy.
In recent months it’s become clear that Microsoft does welcome indies that have already published on other platforms, with games like Wasteland 2 and Shovel Knight, as well as Elite: Dangerous, announced during GDC this year.
Speaking to Gamespot, Charla said that nothing has changed.
“What we’ve always said is that developers should just come talk to us,” the executive said.
“If it’s a situation where a developer needs to ship serially on console because they don’t have the resources to simultaneously ship, we totally get that. It’s no problem.”
Microsoft does ask that developers “add something to the game that makes it fresh for Xbox players” if the Xbox version is coming out significantly later, Charla added. One example would be the Battletoads content in Shovel Knight.
ID@Xbox has been extended to Windows 10, and Charla said there are no restrictions for PC developers regarding platform parity.