Microsoft addresses ID@Xbox launch parity 'on a case by case basis'

Microsoft is addressing its ID@Xbox launch parity clause, which requires developers to launch games the same day on Xbox One and other platforms, on a case by case basis, a Microsoft spokesperson told Edge Online.

"Our goal is not to limit developers who are interested in Xbox One," the spokesperson told Edge. "In instances where games have signed a timed exclusive with another platform, we'll work with them on a case by case basis. We encourage them to get in touch at id@xbox.com."

The ID@Xbox program launched alongside the Xbox One last year. Developers accepted into the initiative received two development kits for free and Microsoft plans to eventually allow devs to use retail Xbox One consoles as dev kits and self-publish on the hardware.

Some of the first Xbox One indie titles from Microsoft's ID@Xbox program include NinjaBee's Nutjitsu and Team 17's Worms Battlegrounds, which will also see release on the PlayStation 4. Developers such as Double Fine, Crytek, Hidden Path and numerous others have also joined the initiative.

Rami Ismail of Ridiculous Fishing developer Vlambeer previously stated that having the opportunity to release on a platform doesn't mean that developers will accept demands like the launch parity if the competition does not have them. He added that the clause excludes developers that are more comfortable with releasing on PlayStation platforms first.

The developer will release Nuclear Throne for both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Vlambeer signed a one month exclusivity deal with Sony to avoid Microsoft's launch parity clause and bypass a simultaneous launch and focus on one platform at a time.

"We'd rather Microsoft allow us not only the freedom to self-publish, but also to publish in whatever order we prefer," Ismail said last December. "We'll keep pushing for Microsoft to drop the clause, and we'd recommend any other developer to do the same."

Lab Zero Games' Peter Bartholow told Polygon last year that while the program was encouraging, the content parity policies were "restrictive and destructive" and "made things significantly more difficult for developers."

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