Buy one version of Skulls of the Shogun, get another for free?
Developer 17-Bit would like to make that happen, but CEO Jake Kazdal told Polygon that the indie studio is hamstrung by Microsoft — the company doesn't have anything like Sony's PlayStation 3/PlayStation Vita Cross Buy promotion set up across Windows 8, Windows Phone, Windows RT or Xbox Live Arcade titles.
"They don't really have the pipeline in place to do it, but they're continuing to look into it," he said, referring to Microsoft.
Kazdal added, "It's a little difficult because they don't support token stuff with mobile platforms." Without download codes, it would be a hassle for 17-Bit to give players free copies of mobile versions of Skulls of the Shogun.
"It might happen in the future, and if it does, we would definitely want to support that," he said.
Through Sony's Cross Buy program, which only applies to certain games available on both PS3 and PS Vita, people who buy either version of the game receive the other version for free.
Microsoft representatives confirmed to Polygon that nothing like Cross Buy exists at Microsoft, but said the Windows Phone platform supports providing tokens for gift cards valid in the Windows Phone Store. For example, U.S. Windows Phone users can redeem Bing Rewards credits for $1.25 or $5 — in the form of the typical 25-digit token — toward Windows Phone games or apps. But it doesn't seem like Microsoft's platforms are unified in a way that's conducive to a Cross Buy-like deal, at least not at this time.
Skulls of the Shogun will be available soon, launching simultaneously on Xbox Live Arcade, Windows 8, Windows RT and Windows Phone. Check out our full interview with Kazdal and programmer Ben Vance on the difficulties of developing for four platforms at once.