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Xbox One's launch parity clause looms over self-publishing program

Microsoft is ramping up its self-publishing efforts via its [email protected] program, but the issue of Xbox One’s launch parity clause is still a thorn in the side of game developers.
Microsoft’s self-publishing efforts are full-steam ahead, but a problematic clause is still causing headaches for some game developers, according to an Edge Online report. The caveat in question is the launch parity clause — a request that [email protected] developers launch the Xbox One version of their games at the same time as other platforms. This clause tends to be a thorny issue for developers making a game for multiple platforms. "Sony still has the better deal, since they don’t have launch parity requirements," said Vlambeer’s Rami Ismail, an outspoken critic of the rule. “I also think Sony has won a lot of loyalty by having been approachable for the past few years, while Microsoft sort of needs to fight back an image of being terrible to work with." Ismail and other developers said despite the clause, [email protected] is still generally heading in the right direction. The rigidness of the clause is still in question. While some developers claimed Microsoft was firm on the clause, others, namely Zen Pinball developer Zen Studios, said they had no issues with plans to launch its upcoming Xbox One and PlayStation 4 games around the same time. Microsoft told Edge Online in a statement, "Our goal is not to limit developers who are interested in Xbox One. 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 [email protected]."

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