Indie Developer Breaks NDA To Speak Against ID@Xbox Parity Clause

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Vlambeer Studio's Rami Ismail believes that Xbox One's indie support program, ID@Xbox, is great in all aspects except its parity clause which forces participants to launch their titles on Xbox One with other platforms.

"It's problematic for the indie scene at large," he explained."Having this tilted contract where Sony allows you to launch wherever, and Microsoft only allows you to launch at the same time is problematic for indies who say, 'well Sony has the better deal but I want to launch on both platforms. So we're going to go with the Microsoft deal.' That's problematic because it will essentially force Sony to do the same in return. Well, as indies we should be fighting to get everybody the best deal."

The problem is that small studios usually don't have the money and time to support launch on several platforms at once. So far, Ismail is more than pleased with his ID@Xbox experience, but "it's just that launch parity thing is problematic enough that we should probably speak up against it. I think technically we've broken some NDAs, but you know, things happen."

Thanks to a contract loophole, Vlambeer Studio has managed to avoid the parity clause for its upcoming ID@Xbox title, Nuclear Throne. When Ismail heard rumors the parity clause in ID@Xbox's contract, he contacted Sony immediately to secure 1 month of PlayStation exclusivity. As this exclusivity deal was signed before ID@Xbox launched, the game was exempted from the parity clause.

"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 [laughs]," Ismail gloated. "That was funny by the way, I had so much fun doing that. When I figured out I could play around with the contract that way, I had a good time."

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