Microsoft group program manager Richard Irving explains why Red Dead Redemption isn’t on Xbox One via backward compatibility despite so many fans requesting it.
Today, Microsoft’s Xbox One officially becomes backward compatible with Xbox 360 games. Over 100 Xbox 360 games now work with the current generation console, with more to be added in future. And the newly introduced feature is being cited as one particular factor why the Xbox One could shift millions of units this holiday season. However, one game that isn’t been lined up for the backward compatibility treatment just yet is Rockstar Games’ Red Dead Redemption, and Microsoft has explained why.
The fact that the Wild West sandbox wasn’t a part of the strong, backward compatibility launch line-up is a surprise given that Red Dead Redemption is one of the most requested games for it, but, speaking to Eurogamer, Microsoft’s group program manager Richard Irving says that it all comes down to licensing.
He tells the publication that “after the technological breakthrough that got backwards compatibility working, the next step was to figure out how to license all this content, originally released on Xbox 360, for Xbox One” and that “publishers have cut very specific deals on some of that content.” One example Irving gave was the Madden franchise, with EA having to put together new licenses for players, the NFL, sponsors and more in order to get the franchise’s Xbox 360 versions onto Xbox One.
Irving also revealed that this is why Microsoft came up with the fan-voting system in the first place. Instead of asking partners to “go off and find licenses for all this Xbox 360 content” (there are over 1000 Xbox 360 games, Irving notes) the company wanted to “give fans the opportunity to prioritize which games they want”. Then, Irving says, Microsoft can go to those publishers and ask about specific games (presumably citing the high demand for those games, per the voting statistics), saying “please let us know if this is something you can do”.
On the specific case of Rockstar, Irving said that Microsoft is “engaged with all of our publisher and developer partners” meaning that if they’re lucky, fans will be able to play the likes of Red Dead Redemption and even Grand Theft Auto 4 on Xbox One at some point. Though, some may prefer Rockstar prioritize Red Dead Redemption 2, with speculation about the (rumored) sequel heating up ever since the studio behind the game went on a hiring spree. So it remains to be seen if Rockstar will pursue re-licensing or just focus on the future instead.
Do you want Red Dead Redemption to come to Xbox One? Or would you rather just play a current-gen sequel? Leave a comment and let us know