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Submitted by fastrez 223d ago | interview

ID@Xbox: Vlambeer blows the doors off Microsoft’s parity clause

Xbox One’s indie program ID@Xbox is solid, says Nuclear Throne developer Vlambeer, but its parity clause is a real threat to Microsoft’s olive branch of independence. VG247′s Dave Cook chats with Rami Ismail. (Chris Charla, PS4, Rami Ismail, Vlambeer, Xbox One)

zeal0us  +   223d ago
I'm pretty sure if all Indie developers had an exclusive deal in place to avoid the parity clause, MS would just update the agreement to prevent the loophole from being used.

Hopefully Chris Charla can turn things around for MS on the indie scene.
#1 (Edited 223d ago ) | Agree(13) | Disagree(3) | Report | Reply
Z_-_D_-_3  +   223d ago
“A funny anecdote I love telling is, how we signed Luftrausers to Sony. We were in a bar with Shahid (Sony) and he basically wrote the contract on a coaster and said, ‘So what do you need, and what do you want?’ We discussed it, and within a week we had everything we needed to start developing. We got the contract the day after we got the hardware, not the other way round like ‘sign this and then …’ No, this was just he trusted us, we trusted them. Done."

Wow. I don't see Sony losing any ground on indie support anytime soon.
McScroggz  +   222d ago
That is a pretty awesome story. I hope there are a lot of moments like that because indie games are the most creative, most interesting games being made today and there is a certain amount of trust you have to give to a team to allow them to do what they want. Indie games may not be huge money makers most of the time, but the sincere courting of indies is what really sold me on the PS4.
showtimefolks  +   222d ago
Z_-_D_-_3

sony has made a list of all they did wrong and have done everything possible to correct those mistakes

while MS has gone in different directions only to turn back around and say sorry or oops we didn't mean to.

all the mistakes of sony/ps3 yet it still outsold the xbox360 with one whole less year so what makes anyone think now a much more focused sony will loose any ground to ms this time around. MS you worry about entertainment and sony you please deliver games because i didn't spend $400 to watch TV, i want games and nothing but games. PS2 was successful because it had the most games
UltimateMaster  +   222d ago
If it weren't for PlayStation, ID@Xbox wouldn't even exist. It would just be the same greedy rules as before.
rainslacker  +   222d ago
Maybe. But this guy seems to think that MS is aware of the problem with this clause. While he doesn't want to speak on behalf of MS, he does believe that MS is trying to make ID@Xbox a good thing for indies, which will also be good for the gamer.

Seems his biggest thing was that Sony is making their indie program more attractive at the moment. Competition will bring MS back to the indie interest.

So that's a good thing, and I wish MS luck in it.
christocolus  +   223d ago
Chris Charla is doing a great job. Wonder why he was never in charge in the first place?
Volkama  +   223d ago
He was. The XBox 360 Indie scene was all his work as well.
christocolus  +   223d ago
Really? Never knew. He is doing a good job. I guess he was once a developer.
SpideySpeakz   222d ago | Personal attack | show
TheKayle1  +   223d ago
id@xbox is where every indie need to be..
#3 (Edited 223d ago ) | Agree(11) | Disagree(102) | Report | Reply
Ol_G  +   223d ago
oh hell no !!
Kayant  +   223d ago
Looool sure it is which is why they are all flocking there /s

If MS's BS policy continues then they will continue to mostly been on PC, coming to PS4 and Wii U or launch first on XB1 under a false timed exclusive thanks to this clause if they dont have the man power for a simultaneous launch.
#3.2 (Edited 223d ago ) | Agree(28) | Disagree(3) | Report | Reply
TheKayle1  +   223d ago
?...really something is wrong with u guys

coz if they first launch on wii u or ps4 is ok right?

parity is the thing man..parity...isnt a bs

read the article pls
#3.3 (Edited 223d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(71) | Report | Reply
thekhurg  +   223d ago
Says someone who wants parity on a console that is riddled with tons of paid-for timed exclusive DLC?
Kryptix  +   223d ago
@TheKayle1
lol

You do realize how selfish and hypocritical your statement was, right? An indie developer should have the right to choose what platform they want to release their game on without having any strings attached.

Indie = Independent; not subject to another's authority or jurisdiction

What Microsoft is doing is once again creating another cold business move that proves that they could care less about you or the people making the games. To them it's more like "let's have it our way and only our way" and not giving anyone freedom to decide.

I just realize something, everything Microsoft creates has to have a string attached, no matter how good the idea is. And people ask me why I decided not to get an Xbox this new generation, too many strings.
#3.3.2 (Edited 223d ago ) | Agree(43) | Disagree(6) | Report
ziggurcat  +   222d ago
no, there's something wrong with you.

it's not parity... because MS is perfectly fine with having a multiplat launch on xbox first, yet they will not allow devs to release a multiplat on another system first if it's ready to be released.
ShinMaster  +   222d ago
Bu-but IndieBox?
cell989  +   222d ago
this whole "parity" bs was Microsofts idea from the beginning, its that insecurity in their games division that makes them do this. Like if they can set the rules for everyone to follow right, just like DRM? setting BS trends and trying to change the game industry in their favor, thats parity for you.
It infuriates me everytime I read MS doing BS anti consumerism moves and sugar coat them as "whats fair"
its_JEFF  +   223d ago
No... Every platform possible is where indies need to be! It would've great if they could launch on every platform at the same time, but that's just not possible for small studio: Not enough money or not enough man power.
President  +   223d ago
Shut the hell up. This parity is the worst thing that can happen to indies. If a indie decides to port his game to the xBone later on then he will be denied just because their console didnt get the game at the same time as the others. *MS cry in a corner like a baby wuaaaa wuaaa...* What kind of fucked up rule is that? Not surprised the banned xBone warrior will defend any Microsoft policy, how bad they may be.
christocolus  +   223d ago
@Thekayle1

With or without the policy, i think the xbx one will get its fare share of indie games. Some may have moved over exclusively to sony i.e J.blow but many of them will still move over to xbx one from 360 especially with the free dev kits and unity engine tools ms is offering them and with Chris Charla handling things it will only get better and dont forget when ms finally opens up the xbx one as a dev kit i think there will be many more game submissions from gamer devs.

Personally i dont think its something any xbx one fan should be worried about. Phil stated in an interview that the response from indie devs have already been so overwhelming..

"Harrison said Microsoft received “hundreds” of applications for ID@Xbox within just a few hours of the program’s unveiling and estimates the number of interested indie developers is now “in the thousands.”

http://www.examiner.com/art...

The xbx one will definitly be getting its fare share of great indie games(i know a few programmer friends who cant wait to try out the xbx one as a dev kit) so no need to worry about that. The xbx one will do just fine..... no need to bother about that.
#3.6 (Edited 223d ago ) | Agree(4) | Disagree(30) | Report | Reply
Kayant  +   223d ago
Great job on entirely missing/ignoring and side-tracking on the issue at hand that has being highlighted multiple times here.
DigitalRaptor  +   222d ago
No need to bother changing f*cked up policies because you'd rather be an apologist and agree with the policies that affect an indie developer through bad circumstance? It's a terrible, backwards and absolutely unnecessary policy.

Am I surprised someone like you is apologising for such terrible policy on Microsoft's part? No, of course i'm not.

Just like you defend their other bad policies that have no reason to exist but for self-serving and reasons of greed. As long as Microsoft are not getting "too many" complaints, they will continue to enforce strict and stupid clauses that they know are wrong and anti-developer.

And get your facts straight. Most of these indies who you have "moved over exclusively" would have their games on the Xbone if not for such disarmament on Microsoft's part. Their games are also on PC, so they haven't "moved over to Sony exclusively". Microsoft's denial clause is the culprit of that, but you will see things how you want to see them.
----

"Personally i dont think its something any xbx one fan should be worried about."

Only thinking about yourself.... of course. Not the developers who this affects, but Xbone fans.
#3.6.2 (Edited 222d ago ) | Agree(10) | Disagree(4) | Report
christocolus  +   222d ago
@Raptor

You must be really really hurt..i do not even know how to reply you.

If you dont like the policy then dont buy the console and stop with your insults directed at all those who dont agree with you ok cos it kind of tells alot about you dude. You sound very hurt,shallow and too quick to spill your guts and make random generalisations.

"Just like you defend their other bad policies that have no reason to exist but for self-serving and reasons of greed"...........

Lmao...I wont dwell on that comment but ill say your pain is eating you up and quickly turning you into a liar my friend.

Honestly i dont think any xbx fan cares about the loss of J.blow that much. He left others will replace him. There are tons of indies who dont find the policy that bad and they still see the great potential in ms indie programme(policy or not) and i know there will be more than enough indie games to satisfy every xbx one owner.

Chris Charla is a great guy and im happy he is running things now and things may still change but you on the other hand should take your case up with charla instead of running around the site attacking and insulting everyone.

I made a simple reply to kayle and you show up with pitchforks and knives.calling me names?..lmao Raptor, raptor,raptor...... its just games bro.stop making mountains out of portholes and about this

"Only thinking about yourself.... of course. Not the developers who this affects, but Xbone fans"

Xbone fans? Really? ...lmao. ok Mr Messiah come to save the poor indie dev.

Are you honsestly worried about this guy? Or you just pretending to care?cos in reality all you doing is actually trolling every xbx article and downplaying and insulting anything xbx related even its fans?that in my opinion seems really biased.
johndoe11211  +   223d ago
There is a point where fanboyism needs to stop and common sense needs to prevail, you obviously can never reach that point.

How is a small studio that does not have the finance or staff to create a game on all systems simultaneously supposed to keep parity?

Why should xbox owners be denied a game just because the studio had the time and money to only create it for the ps4 first?

And if parity is such a good thing, why did microsoft moneyhat EA at the last minute to make titanfall an exclusive? A game that the creators themselves were planning on bringing to the ps4 at a later date. Did you complain when microsoft did that?

Your level of fanboyism is disgusting and a disgrace to gaming and gamers everywhere. This industry is going to crash because of people like you.
#3.7 (Edited 223d ago ) | Agree(25) | Disagree(4) | Report | Reply
Blaze929  +   222d ago
You mad bro? It's just video games...
Consoldtobots  +   222d ago
lol @ blaze

he's the first one to act indignant about how xbone fanboys get treated here, yet we see posts like this one.

at least be honest and stop pretending to be a gamer.
Nail13  +   222d ago
@Blaze929 You use the meme "you mad bro" clearly you can't think for yourself or understand what’s being talked about.

@johndoe11211 Titanfall will be out for PC still. Also the gameplay from PC is being used to sell it "gameplay footage" (yep, on PC). M$ loopholes.
ziggurcat  +   222d ago
"id@xbox is where every indie need to be.."

which is why indies prefer sony...
fOrlOnhOpe57  +   223d ago
A very good read. It seems that if MS is to keep taking positive steps, Chris Charla needs to wake up the higher-ups before Microsoft 'push' the majority of indie devs into the arms of Sony.
stuna1  +   223d ago
Not even realizing it Microsoft is without a shadow of a doubt barring themselves from potentially having the definative version of these same games that they want to tie down with this parity clause! More time on a product for the most insures a better product in the long run.
rainslacker  +   222d ago
This is one of the best articles I've read on MS indie policy to date in how it pertains to actual devs. The guy is very open. Never puts down MS, and talks them up where it's appropriate. I feel his criticisms are constructive, and not spiteful.

I feel this article should be required reading for anyone who feels like discussing the topic at hand.

I like the way the guy talks. It's respectful, down to earth, and just puts out the truth of how indie game development works without any hyperbole, all while remaining optimistic that MS will get it right over time.

I'm really hopping Charla can bring ID@Xbox around to be extremely competitive on the indie scene. While the allure is there for indie devs, that allure doesn't necessarily translate into a must focus on them(Xbox) mentality.
mhunterjr  +   223d ago
As much as the parity clause sucks, it would really only affect games that are already far along in development on other platforms...

Subsequent games from affected developers would be more likely to be developed in parallel or ms first, so that developers could maximize potential profits.

I'd like to see ms nix their parity clause and adopt the one Sony is using (games coming later to their platform need additional content), but I don't think it will have a major impact on the long run.
rainslacker  +   222d ago
Or the devs making those games could do what this guy did and just sign an exclusivity agreement with another console maker, since that exempts them from the parity clause. I assume this means a timed exclusive of course.

In this way the parity clause is actually hurting MS, because instead of getting the game 1-2 months later when it's ready, they'll likely have to wait 6 or more months until the exclusivity agreement run out.

This clause is indirectly helping the other console manufacturers in some ways, which I find rather ironic.

Edit @Below
Oh. I must have missed that. Thanks for pointing it out. A lot of info in this article. I will have to go back and re-read it. I might be looking into ID@Xbox early next year though with a new project I might be working on. That's probably important info to know.:)
#5.1 (Edited 222d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
mhunterjr  +   222d ago
It is rather ironic, but that loophole only works for titles that have signed exclusivity deals prior to a certain date. The next wave of games won't be able to use this work around.

Then, Developers will have to decide between 1) releasing on xb1 first, all else later 2) simultaneous releases or 3) skipping xb1 altogether.

The most profitable way for them to proceed, would be options 1 or 2.

Many of the devs who are complaining about the clause, are skipping xb1 for their current games, because they are too far along with development on ps4/PC and it's too late for them to use the loophole.
snp  +   222d ago
Subsequent games from affected developers would be more likely to be developed in parallel or ms first, so that developers could maximize potential profits.
---------

I hope they fall on their faces. If they don't, as the article says, Sony will then have to match the bullying.. and then you've got one or the other getting the game. Not both. Quite literally never both.

It's a disgraceful, paranoid, and profoundly arrogant clause.
#5.2 (Edited 222d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
SilentNegotiator  +   222d ago
"it would really only affect games that are already far along in development on other platforms"

And small indie developers that can't afford simultaneous launches and want to start with PS.
DVAcme  +   223d ago
The parity clause is, I believe, patently ridiculous since, for the most part, PC gamers and console gamers are too separate groups. Sure, there's overlap, but this is for the most part a minority. Even if an indie game came out for PC before console, it can still do good business on the console side. Coming out on PC beforehand did not hurt the console sales of games like, say, Minecraft, Terraria, Cave Story, La-Mulana or Hotline Miami. If anything, the great word-of-mouth from PC gamers on those games made the console gamers more excited to get them once they were made available on XBox Live, Nintendo Network or PSN.

Microsoft is completely missing the point of indie developers: INDEPENDENCE. It's right on the friggin' name, for crying out loud. Trying to assert any kind of control over them beyond wanting the games to be of high quality will only alienate them and make them more willing to go with Sony or Nintendo instead.
#6 (Edited 223d ago ) | Agree(7) | Disagree(4) | Report | Reply
KingDadXVI  +   223d ago
I can see why they would want the parity clause from a pure business/financial standpoint. They simply don't want to miss the boat by having a game launch earlier on another console. Unfortunately this is usually the logic of lawyers and accountants who generally are very short sighted.

The flaw in the logic is that it assumes that all indie developers are either on you console or want to be on it. Forcing parity would be a non issue in that case.

Unfortunately for MS and the ID@Xbox program that is not the case. The best way for them to treat indies would be to welcome all (provide their game is not a complete pile of shit) and provide extra incentives for parity or exclusivity. They could provide say free advertising for a game that provides parity or MS takes a smaller cut of the sales for the first 3 months after a game launches for those that give exclusivity.

This is what happens when you get a bunch of accountants and lawyers involved. They never like to sacrifice in the short term for long term games.

MS has made a giant stride here with the ID@Xbox program and their plans to open every console as a Development Kit. If they fix this one stupid issue they could have a real winner on their hands.

Seeing how MS is really sensitive to their public image with the Xbox One right now I would suspect that this clause will go in the near future. Most likely there are just some office politics to play here or it would be gone already.
TheKingslayer  +   222d ago
In all actuality Microsoft is right to insist on parity. What everyone, including indie developers are not paying attention to is the level of competition that they face from each other.

Everyone who has their pitchforks out, and wants Microsoft's blood smacked across their lips. Stop for one moment and put your thinking caps on. If in one year 22,000 indie games are released, along with triple A titles, and exclusives come out. Will any of us be able to play all those games? This is not some figment of imagination.

As people are praising PS4 for it's indie stance. Many don't realize how invaluable the Xbox 360 indie program was/is in growing indie developers. More than half the people who are commenting here can't name a majority of the really stellar indie game titles that came for the Xbox 360 indie community. How many of you even participated in the voting process to get games on the channel? The idea that Microsoft has not been indie focused is a lie. What Microsoft has seen first hand that many on the Playstation side have not seen. Is how hard it is going to be to promote, market, and get enough good games exposure. So sure it sounds nice, and fancy to proclaim indie independence, but in execution it is going to be one of the most excruciating topics of the new generation. Which indies are going to survive, and how?

This glut of gaming "noise" is exactly what is happening in the mobile space. Where because of a lack of parity, many great indie games are being passed over, and we are seeing nothing but regugitated game content. In fact it's in an indie developers best interest to offer parity to give their game a fresh appeal on respective platforms so that they stay competitive from a marketing stand point.

You don't hear me though. We'll have an article on this on Thekingslayer.com, because it seems for whatever reason gamer's have become very short sighted in terms of the eco-systems that are emerging. Many indie developers are losing, and will lose without a competitive advantage across platforms. Watch...
#8 (Edited 222d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(3) | Report | Reply
rainslacker  +   222d ago
It isn't just the gamer saying this, it's the devs themselves.

I understand where you're coming from, believe me I've faced some of what you talk about myself, but parity really has nothing to do with discovery. I find the biggest advantage to parity is the fact that you can work on one marketing campaign, as opposed to several. However, if one has the means, having several marketing campaigns over several platforms over an extended period of time means more chance of retro-discovery.

When you talk of marking(discovery), I assume you mean from the console maker/store front itself. If this is the case, then that kind of thing is exactly the kind of thing MS should offer to force parity, or better yet, first release status.

Truth be told, you'd be hard pressed to find anybody that could name numerous indie titles that didn't have a big to-do about them when they released(such as Braid). This isn't just on the 360, but all consoles, and even the PC.

Currently it's a pretty transitional time for indie devs. They've changed a lot in the past few years, and the outlets in which people can not only produce their games(available game engines), but also sell them has risen dramatically in the past 5 years. Most success in indie studios comes from shear user base, and not any real modicum of must have games from trusted developers. Very few indie devs gain the kind of notariaty that the big AAA devs can, which most gamers could probably name 5-6 whose games they enjoy.

In all this, nothing is black and white. And I see way too many people(gamers and websites) trying to make it into a yes or no scenario. There is so much that goes on in the indie scene, and so many options, along with countless pros and cons to every scenario.

What it all boils down to though is that options are better than none. And that's where MS parity clause is causing problems. It takes away an option.
Kayant  +   222d ago
What gives them the right to?? The point of ID@Xbox is to give developers access to the Xbox platform not to force decisions on them. Am pretty sure indie devs know the potential competitor they face when they make/promote their game.

Very true expect if gaming was just what we did even then it will be difficult :p

While I can't comment on MS's indie stance will X360 as I only got my X360 about 4 yrs ago. I have heard great things from it. Could you tell me some titles I could try I would like to play some :). Now looking from an outside perspective the XBLIG is quite limiting in what you can do with it compared to a XBLA title which isn't a true indie in the sense that you need a publisher but is more flexible in the resources available to you. This is based on what I have read online.

So far from what we have seen from Sony is that they are very seriously on this front. You only have to look at all their events, youtube channel, various dev comments E.g Wareframe (Digital Extremes & this event --> http://www.polygon.com/2013... Now I look and see what MS have done on this front and it's no where near the same level of exposure/dedication I get from them. The wide exposure we have seen has only been from below & D4 (Not too sure if D4 is indie). Now does this show me that they are in anyway as serious as Sony or as serious has they say they are. No.

This is true but this is the decision of the dev not MS's to make for them. They are indie for a reason. Making decisions such as release dates & release platforms should be up to them not MS. Ok in the event where it's a very small dev time or a single person with little resources what happens? They have two options I see - One is give XB1 a timed exclusive launch in order for them to be on the Xbox platform ( Well console wise because apparently this cause only affects console releases and not PC). The other is to not launch on XB1 at all because by default they are locked out of the program see android cactus assault situation. MS however may work or may not work with them on getting them on XB1 there after.

Now the thing about MS's clause that is weird or let me say telling is that this clause doesn't affect PC indie titles *AT ALL*. Why is that? It's a competitive platform to it like the PS4 & Wii U are yet the clause doesn't affect it in any way. It's no secret PS4 is easier to code for according to devs then the XB1 & Sony's indie program has been available seen their event in February (in some cases before Blacklight, Warframe) or that PC is a easy platform for them to get to or that Sony have been loaning devkits for free --> http://www.polygon.com/2013...

Now all seeing all of this the only real reason for this clause I can see is that MS is trying to shut down any advantage any other platform is offering in particularly Sony. One for claiming their program was not a reaction to what their competitors have been offering for a while now and was in planning for years it's quite weird that the program was only announced at Gamescom before then it was the smae policy as X360 meaning you needed a publisher and the first indie games are coming out Q1 2014.(March estimate).

If an indie dev feels parity is what they need in order to recuperate their development quickly in order to support their product or for them to better promote their product that's their decision to make not MS's to influence or dicate to them.

Also thekhurg & johndoe make good points.
#8.2 (Edited 222d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
thecowsaysmoo   222d ago | Off topic | show | Replies(1)
FrigidDARKNESS  +   222d ago
Awesome news.
JohnnyTower  +   222d ago
Well that was the most biased anti-Microsoft article yet. Ever.
snp  +   222d ago
How so? It's actually quite complementary towards many aspects of MS's approach to indies - and there are a few criticisms of Sony's prior attitude towards Indies. The only area it really pokes a big stick at MS is in their 'parity clause' thuggery, and frankly they well and truly deserve to cop a whack for that (it's arrogance personified). The article broadly, though, distinctly goes out of it's way to be level headed and fair.
#11.1 (Edited 222d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(2) | Report | Reply
JohnnyTower  +   222d ago
Backhanded compliments you mean? He refers numerous times to Xbox 180. It was a slanderous article before he even starts talking about the developer. You can tell the author went into this interview with a hate on for Xbox.
snp  +   222d ago
'Numerous times'? He mentions 'xbox 180' precisely once, and refers to it as a 'churlish' gibe - did you read any further than the opening paragraph or two? It's actually contextualization foregrounding MS' various change of policies from XboxOne since announcement (across the board, but on the indies front movement from seemingly ignoring indies to actively courting them). And this is referring to the change, throughout the article from start to end, as a 'positive' thing, besides - with the exception of the parity clause.

The only 'dig' i see from the author regarding what the Xbox1 is now is in his dislike for the XBox1's UI, but that amounts to a throw away comment occupying all of half a dozen words in a thousand plus word article.
#11.1.2 (Edited 222d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(1) | Report
SonyAddict  +   222d ago
So what this means is more indies for ps4 and less for xbone?!,that's all good isn't it!eh?.

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