Publishing for the PC is hard enough, but publishing for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PS Vita and other platforms, as required by Microsoft’s indie initiative ID@Xbox, is “insane,” Vlambeer co-founder Raim Ismail told VG 24/7 in a report today.
The so-called parity clause with ID@Xbox, Microsoft’s program to bring indie games to the Xbox One, has been a subject of consternation among indie studios, as the policy requires all games to be published for other platforms at the same time as the Xbox One.
However, Ismail said it’s nearly impossible for indie studios to add yet another platform to develop for while also publishing for all of them at the same time.
“You can’t just launch on all platforms at once, because no, we can’t. It’s hell getting a game to work on PC, it’s awful getting it to work on PC, Mac, PS4 and Vita. Adding another format on top of that is insane,” Ismail said.
With its title Nuclear Throne, Vlambeer avoided the parity clause, which allows for exceptions to the policy if under an exclusive contract with another publisher, by signing an exclusive deal with Sony to break the contract.
Even then, Vlambeer will publish Nuclear Throne in stages.
“With Nuclear Throne, we’re launching on PC first, then focusing on other computer, platforms, then focusing on PS4 and Vita. Then after that, Xbox One, after we dodged the parity clause by being jerks,” Ismail said, laughing.
It’s no laughing matter for some indie developers who don’t have the clout to threaten not to publish to the Xbox One, which in the end puts a strain on the studios’ relationships with Sony in publishing for the PlayStation 4.
You can read Ismail’s thoughts on the unfair punishment of other platform holders by reading this Examiner report.