The Xbox One has had a major resurgence of late beginning with last summer’s drop of the Kinect. Microsoft’s entry into the new console generation has benefited from a tremendous boost in sales recently, topping the seasonal sales figures and hitting the top spot for console sales for both November and December. The immensely popular $350 sale price is also set to return, meaning those figures are likely to keep rising and rising. The console has recently gained critical success as well as commercial – The Xbox One even picked up an Emmy award.
It’s makes a major change from the criticism that faced the console both before and upon its release. Unfortunately for Microsoft, it appears as though there are a few more issues that need to be ironed out before certain developers are happy. The publisher has continuously faced criticism from the indie community, and not just because they haven’t been paid on time. Problems with the Xbox One’s launch parity requirement have refused to go away.
Indie bigwigs such as Phil Fish, Jonathan Blow and The Fullbright Company’s Steve Gaynor have all raised their concerns over Microsoft’s strict parity clause, which means the Xbox One refuses to accept games that launch on Xbox One after its PS4 rival. Now, another indie developer has revealed that Microsoft’s requirement has turned them away from the Xbox One. Free Lives Games, the creators of side-scrolling shooter Broforce, have stated that the parity clause led to Broforce being a Sony exclusive.
Speaking with Gaming Bolt, Free Lives Games revealed that their homage to ’80s action movies is set to launch on PS4 due to both Microsoft’s strict parity policy and a tantalizing offer from Sony. “Sony reached out to us with a deal we couldn’t reasonable refuse,” said Free Lives Games’ creative direct Evan Greenwood. Greenwood also ruled out a Xbox One release. “As far as I know Microsoft has a clause in their contract where they won’t accept an indie game if it launches on Xbox after PlayStation,” explained Greenwood.
That doesn’t sound good for those looking forward to seeing Broforce and it’s Contra-esque gameplay on the Xbox One. However, all hope is not lost. There have been some other games that have managed to negotiate around Microsoft’s parity clause, and Xbox chief Phil Spencer has said that workarounds can be found for developers working on limited timelines whilst defending the launch requirements.
It remains to be seen whether Broforce can be one of the chosen few to appear on the Xbox One after a PS4 and PS Vita release. In the meantime, be sure to check out our first impressions of the shooter, or try your hands at the free-to-play Expendables 3 tie-in The Expendabros before it disappears off Steam.
Broforce is currently in early access for PC and Mac, and is set for a full release for PC, Mac, PS4 and PS Vita in early 2015.