Microsoft Dodge Questions About The Day One Parity Clause

“We’re not talking about that now” is one of the most annoying – and frequent – answers games journalists will receive when interviewing publishers and developers about games. Everything is managed now, and it is very hard to get any sort of answer other than the one that has been carefully planned by a PR suit, so hats off to CVG’s Rob Crossley for at least trying to get Microsoft to answer questions about the Day One Parity clause.

For those who do not know, this is a clause written by Microsoft that states that any game appearing on Xbox Live must not appear on a rival platform (the PSN) before its debut on Xbox. Assault Android Cactus, a twin stick shooter, is one game that will not be available on Xbox due to parity clause.

“The simple answer is that our plans wouldn’t meet the launch day parity requirement of the [email protected] program,” co-creator Sanatana Mishra told Eurogamer. “We started development on our other console versions long before self-publishing was an option for Xbox One and the only way we could meet that requirement would be to delay the other versions of Cactus.”

So, back to Rob Crossley who asked Microsoft’s Chris Charla, manager of the [email protected] indie program, if there were any plans to drop the clause.

“I can’t comment on our publishing policies,” said Chris, “But I can say we’re taking feedback from developers, and we’re always taking feedback, and we want to make [email protected] as great a platform as it possibly can.”

Rob persisted and asked “Can you explain how the day-one parity clause benefits the games industry?”

“That’s almost like you’re asking the same question,” said Chris. “I really can’t talk about it. We encourage developers to reach out – I can’t talk to you about the policy, but I can talk to developers about it.”

Rob then asked why they topic could not be discussed and a PR person stepped in and said those magic words, “It’s not something that we’re talking about, we’re here to discuss the development of the [email protected] program.”

Microsoft say they are “listening” to developers so perhaps the clause may be removed in the future but for now it may continue to discourage indies from signing up to [email protected] At the moment, it seems as though Microsoft are missing out on potential ports of great PSN exclusives.

Source: CVG / Eurogamer



  1. They really are just monopolising bastards.

  2. Does this include games released on steam? So We’ll never see the likes of Torchlight II, FTL, and magicka on Xbone. Even more reason for me not to touch that system with a ten foot pole.

    Seems like MS are shooting themselves in the foot with a grenade launcher…Why WOLDN’T you want another platform to take the risk of promoting a game? If it flops, it costs you nothing. If it’s a success, you can sell it to all your loyal customers who likely wont have both systems.

    I can’t begin to get my head round this decision.

    • *Wouldn’t

      Typical, the one typo I made was the word I capitalised…

  3. So Microsoft, who everybody knows thrived on timed exclusives at the beginning of the past console generation, is demanding day one parity for games to appear on XBL. Typical. Their alienation of indie developers and their lack of first party output is painfully obvious.

    And perhaps it’s only me but whenever I see [email protected], I tend to read it as Idiot Xbox. LOL

  4. I wasn’t aware of this, or if Sony are doing anything similar. It does however bring back my feelings of how pig headed Microsoft can be & seem to think they are the be all and end all.
    Understandably companies will bow down to this as they’ll want their game on as many platforms as possible but respect to the ones who give them the big finger.

  5. This kind of thing should surely break some corporate monopoly law.These are peoples livelihoods they are messing with here.

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