When the ID@Xbox independent publishing program for Xbox One was announced at Gamescom 2013, it signaled a change in Microsoft’s approach. Since then, one issue continues to give some small developers pause.

Microsoft’s ID@Xbox guidelines require “launch parity,” meaning that titles must be released simultaneously across platforms or be a timed exclusive launch on the Xbox One. In a comment to Edge, Microsoft has softened a bit on this policy, suggesting that it will evaluate timed exclusives for other platforms on a “case by case” basis. This could pave the way for titles like Outlast, Don't Starve, and Contrast to make their way from PlayStation 4 to Xbox One. 

Microsoft is anticipating its first wave of ID@Xbox titles soon, possibly as early as this month. We also know that the program will have a presence at GDC 2013, taking place next week in San Francisco.

[Source: Edge]


Our Take
If at all possible for developers, launch parity makes sense because it centralizes one marketing and awareness push. However, for small development teams, it might not be possible to simultaneously work on multiple platforms and navigate the certification processes. Evaluating circumstances on a case by case basis makes sense, because a late game on the Xbox One is better than it not appearing on the platform at all.