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PS4's 'Better Terms' Make Xbox One Less Attractive

Paul Walker

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Gone Home developer Steve Gaynor explains why Microsoft's ID@Xbox programme could cause problems for smaller developers.

Published on Jan 20, 2014

Microsoft's attempts to coax indie developers to the Xbox One, ID@Xbox, has come in for a fair amount of criticism due to it's launch parity clause, which prevents developers from releasing their games on other platforms before the Xbox One.

Vlambeer's Rami Ismail has previously suggested that Microsoft would do well to remove the clause, citing the impracticalities of the clause for smaller developers.

In an interview with NowGamer, in which we talked about the receding gap between indie and AAA, we asked The Fullbright Company's Steve Gaynor, developer of Gone Home, whether having to ready a game for multiple systems would cause problems for a small development team such as theirs.   

"Oh yeah, that would be pretty crazy," Gaynor replied. "Especially if it’s a game like ours that is a full 3D game and you’re going to run into obscure rendering bugs and all this kind of stuff."

"It would be a huge undertaking."

Gaynor pointed out that Microsoft should be careful about making the PS4 a more attractive option to developers, simply by virtue of Sony being less restrictive about what indie developers can do.  

"If you’re talking to Sony and Microsoft, and Microsoft is like, 'well you can’t be on Xbox if you’re on PlayStation first', but it’s easier to be on PS4 because they have better terms, then you’ll be like, 'okay lets just be on PlayStation'. 

However, Gaynor also suggested that releasing on multiple platforms at once will work for some and, in any case, developers have plenty of choice when deciding how to distribute their game.  

"There are tons of different options and if you can wrangle it where the thing that makes sense for you is to launch simultaneously on PS4, Xbox One, Wii U and PS Vita – that sounds kind of crazy to me, but some people do it." 

"The great thing is that in this day and age, there’s no one path that you have to take," Gaynor continued, "which I think is a good thing for everybody."      

 

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