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Phil Spencer on indie parity clause "I want people to feel like they're first class"

VinFTW

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Jul 19, 2014
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If I'm a prospective console buyer who cares about indie games, why would I go for the Xbox One? With the PS4 I know that I'll get to play the indies that release first on PS4 and sometime down the road I'll be likely to play the indies that released first on the Xbox One. If I were to buy an Xbox One, I'd get the indies that release on it and then nothing else. Every trailer I saw for an indie releasing on PS4 would just make me regret my purchase because the parity clause prevents me from ever playing it.

Case by case basis. If it's a truly worth it game to play, most of the time it'll also come to Xbox One.

Of course, there are exceptions to both sides (Velocity 2x, Max:CoB, etc).
 

Valkyria

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Sep 9, 2012
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The best thing that could happen to the Xbox division is to spin it off from Microsoft and then get rid of all the clowns that have bring it to the ground.
 

Ricky_R

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Dec 28, 2010
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Kayant

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Feb 25, 2014
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Indie devs can't afford PS4 or Wii U devkits. How about Sony and Nintendo give them away for free to help those poor starving indies?

Well as far as Sony they give loaner kits, they now give Unity pro licences like Nintendo and MS and then they is the optional Pub Fund which comes with clause of exclusivity in terms of launch window. So all three each provide incentives/ways of easing development without such clauses with exception of Sony's Pub fund which is providing funding.

Ok what about devs that can afford it but don't have the manpower or expertise at the time to launch on multiple platforms and have to choose one platform to start with. Should they be locked out by default?
 

Amir0x

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Oct 27, 2004
103,709
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What's the argument here?

The policy is good because they are only selectively enforcing it when they deem a game good or strategically important because it went viral?

Take a chair, benny! You want a cola? Yeah, we got some great Hors d'oeuvre prepared for you. You comfortable? Great, great...

Now, are you gonna release on our system day and date with PS4? No? Well fuck you guys, and gimme them damn Hors d'oeuvre's!
 

Night Angel

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Aug 18, 2013
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The only recent article says this:



http://gamingbolt.com/among-the-sleep-ps4-interview-xbox-one-parity-clause-resolutionframe-rate-debate-and-more#IRHxxg8Tq0Eb2wK4.99

note that he says "if enforced"

there's clearly more going on behind the scenes

but ignore that if you want

#fanboys
Lol, sure, that one article from one person totally disproves everything. Sorry I'm such a damn fanboy.

Because those other devs were just whining about nothing and hate the xb1.

Amazing how quickly you run to the fanboy name calling. It's almost like you don't have an argument/evidence, or something.
 

Late Flag

Member
Jul 28, 2014
1,364
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355
Ironically, as long as the PS4 has a commanding lead over the Xbone the clause is going to make Xbone a third class citizen when it comes to indies.

Most likely, yes. This is all about network effects. When MS had a commanding market share in the PS360 era, they could throw their weight around a little and essentially force developers to prioritize Xbox development. That's going to backfire this gen now that MS no longer has the larger install base.
 

BuggeryBugz

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Sep 10, 2013
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All its doing is keeping some games away. What's utterly laugable is they'll gladly bend the rule for indie titles that are big enough.

It's bullying, plain and simple and I truly hole indie devs take the road of ignoring MS, at least until they drop this stupid clause.

The notion that it is bullying, is ridiculous. The devs have a choice, they can release on as many platforms as they can (if possible) or they just release on one platform and focus on that instead of wasting resources and time on the other version that will come out months after and most likely not sell that well.

I'm not a fan of the clause, because I think that the more games on your platform, the better. But people need to calm down with the hate and take a step back for a minute.
 

FlyingSaucer

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Apr 18, 2013
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www.mata-web.com
Perhaps the best way of dealing with this would have been for Microsoft to have made a "first class" console like they did in the previous two generations?

Why would you bother making a first-class hardware when PR can accomplish a better job at convincing the sheeps that they are buying a real first-class hardware ?
 

M.D

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Feb 12, 2010
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I just find too fucking shady that those co-marketing deals have clauses that clearly state 'don't make my game worse than the competition'.

I'm not sure I believe this is the reason behind this resolution parity, but I don't find the idea highly unlikely either.

I mean these companies fight over anything from having beta testing exclusively on their platforms to a piece of content coming first to their platform to make their version the best one, so I don't find the idea of Microsoft making sure their version of one of the biggest games of the year which they have a co-marketing deal with doesn't look worse than the competition so absurd.

They've clearly shown it matters to them with games like Destiny and Diablo 3.

Jeff Gerstmann doesn't really have a flawless insider record. He was also convinced PS4 would get the same DRM as Xbone and Sony changed the price of the device after hearing the E3 conference.

The conviction with which you say something isn't indicative of the accuracy of what you say.

Not saying he knows anything regarding this particular game, just saying the idea is not just the fantasy of some crazy PS4 fanboys
 

kpaadet

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Jun 22, 2013
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I have no issue with this approach. Plenty games came out on PS4 first are now on XB1 and I haven't heard of any devs saying the game isn't on XB1 because of the parity clause.

It's an internal thing that should only concern consumers if it actually affects games coming to XB1 and it isn't.

Working as intended Phil, this guy really feels like a first class citizen.
 

Final Verdict

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Mar 5, 2014
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I see his side of it, but why not give indy devs. incentives for launching at the same time rather than punish them for not?
 

uncledonnie

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Mar 25, 2009
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I see his side of it, but why not give indy devs. incentives for launching at the same time rather than punish them for not?

Yeah this is exactly how I feel. His point is definitely valid but keeping games off of the system is not the right way to go about it.
 

thewhitehawk

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Jun 17, 2013
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Demanding unreasonable clauses from small developers with very little resources is hardly a way to obtain parity, it's the alienation of an entire generation of increasingly more prominent game developers.

Indie devs have proven that they have no qualms about supporting dwindling platforms provided they feel it's beneficial to them and the platform is welcoming enough, look at the Vita as an example of this, but forcing devs into either releasing for all platforms at once or not at all is a shot in the foot and is a measure that is and will continue to work against them as long as they maintain the clause. They are punishing developers and in turn punishing Xbox One owners which is completely against their goals, therefore I disagree.
 

DSix

Banned
Nov 10, 2011
3,933
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I've been living under a rock. I don't really remember what that clause entails, can someone recall me?

Say as an Indie I release a game on PS4, does that exclude me from porting that game on Xbone forever?
 

Swass

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Jun 3, 2014
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How first class does an Xbox owner feel when they see a great game on the PS4 that won't ever come to the Xbox One because of this silly clause?
 

benny_a

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Apr 25, 2009
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I see his side of it, but why not give indy devs. incentives for launching at the same time rather than punish them for not?
And if Sony, with their current market position decide to also implement this policy that would mean that the developers that are interested in launching on the biggest install base as well are forced to wait to launch on Xbox.

I can understand the hypothetical perspective from Sony. They are already ahead in terms of quantity of games and have a bigger potential audience for every single game that is signed with ID@Xbox.
 

Xenon

Member
What exactly did you think he meant? Just an indie dev charity?

No, there is a subtle difference between the two words but one that's worth pointing out.


This policy is in place because MS got caught with their pants down regarding indie development. It's prudent move in the long haul because it will prevent devs from neglecting the platform and having the appearance of the XBO getting sloppy seconds. I guess they are hoping that this will guide devs to work towards release "parity" and are willing to lose a few games in the process. Phil probably thinks indies are not going to sell his system, but he doesn't want them to hurt it's image.
 

Dizzy

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Jun 21, 2006
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Comes across more as bullying to be honest and microsoft trying to abuse the position they had last gen.
 

BuggeryBugz

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Sep 10, 2013
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I see his side of it, but why not give indy devs. incentives for launching at the same time rather than punish them for not?

It's not about incentives for these developers, they just simply don't have the resources/manpower to release on multiple platforms at the same time.
 

chubigans

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Dec 7, 2006
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I have no issue with this approach. Plenty games came out on PS4 first are now on XB1 and I haven't heard of any devs saying the game isn't on XB1 because of the parity clause.

It's an internal thing that should only concern consumers if it actually affects games coming to XB1 and it isn't.

I know plenty of developers who will never be on board for XB1 because of the parity clause. Curve Studios and their lineup of games is one. Devolver Digital is another.

Saying this doesn't affect games coming to XB1 is completely untrue.
 

kpaadet

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Jun 22, 2013
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I've been living under a rock. I don't really remember what that clause entails, can someone recall me?

Say as an Indie I release a game on PS4, does that exclude me from porting that game on Xbone forever?

No you can't port the game over to Xbone if you want to go through the ID@XBOX program, there is a loop hole though, if there is enough hype sounding your game MS will change their policy. Games like No Man's Sky and The Witness will surely circumvent this parity clause, because reasons.
 

Crimson_Gold

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Feb 7, 2013
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That's a stupid reason to prevent a game on your console.

Not only will the console owners feel first class, but the indie devs that get to release their games on the X1 will feel first class as well. It's all about making someone feel valuable. Sometimes you have to do things that are impractical to make people special. X1 owners shouldn't have to wait to play indie games. Indie developers shouldn't have to release on the PS4 or Wii U 1st. No. Give the games to the 1st class gamers MS has and you too will be special.
 
Aren't they still being incredibly selective on who gets into ID@XBox. Are small devs just supposed to sit on there thumbs and only do a PC version while waiting to see if they are selected and then wait for the dev kits to be sent out. Also I am pretty sure Sony has been pretty good about giving people reduced price or free access to ps4 dev kits.

From my experience (I am a licensed PS4/WiiU developer) and having spoken to other indie devs, Sony and MS ideally want you to make the game first for PC, or at least an advanced prototype, before you approach them. It's possible to do it the other way around, like I did, but I don't recommend it.

As for Sony helping devs with devkit costs, I've spoken to some who have had lots of help, and others, not much at all. It really depends on the game you're making, hence the above advice.
 
Feb 22, 2011
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I'm not sure I believe this is the reason behind this resolution parity, but I don't find the idea highly unlikely either.

I mean these companies fight over anything from having beta testing exclusively on their platforms to a piece of content coming first to their platform to make their version the best one, so I don't find the idea of Microsoft making sure their version of one of the biggest games of the year which they have a co-marketing deal with doesn't look worse than the competition so absurd.

They've clearly shown it matters to them with games like Destiny and Diablo 3.

Destiny and D3 where upgraded to 1080p due to Kinect-less, IIRC.

I also know Microsoft forced Blizzard to go full 1080p, but I think that was because they found Blizzard's work just too lazy.
 

Ultimatum

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Dec 5, 2008
1,712
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What's the argument here?

The policy is good because they are only selectively enforcing it at their own behest?
If it's selectively enforced, what's the point in having it?

In a perfect world MS will only enforce the clause if they know the studio is capable, I obviously have no idea how its actually being handled though

the policy is obviously there to support microsoft's interests

Lol, sure, that one article from one person totally disproves everything. Sorry I'm such a damn fanboy.

Because those other devs were just whining about nothing and hate the xb1.

right

so those articles show that at the start of the year MS had a bad indie policy

by examining recent articles you gain an insight into what things could be like right now

since the old articles say different things to new articles it suggests things have changed
 

Amir0x

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Oct 27, 2004
103,709
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things have changed, which is why this thread confirms from Phil Spencer nothing has changed.

Hey guys maybe if we give MS the benefit of the doubt for the, what, 90,321st time, it'll work out this time?
 

OléGunner

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May 4, 2014
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Does the Xbone first release thing count for simultaneous PC release as well? Or is it just other consoles?

Cuz if it's PC as well that's pretty crazy
 

Maztorre

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Feb 12, 2006
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note that he says "if enforced"

there's clearly more going on behind the scenes

but ignore that if you want

#fanboys

Holy fuck. If this policy is so worth defending to you why are you so concerned that Microsoft may not be enforcing it in this one case? The fact that they will arbitrarily drop their system if they're threatened by losing a promising title is proof that the system sucks.

Meanwhile you seem fine with asking devs to put the development of their titles at risk over one distributors bullying behaviour, or conversely, asking them to go negotiate an exception with Microsoft in the middle of trying to make a game.

They do not have the market position to impose their will on indies in this manner, there are multiple alternative ecosystems with bigger customer bases that have no such requirements.
 

LukasTaves

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Dec 14, 2011
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So the parity clause is more like a encouragement since they are open to concessions when devs talks to them?

If they are really open and not actively blocking any games a developer might want to put on their platform late then yeah, it might be a good thing.
 

Dirtyshubb

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Aug 20, 2008
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If it's selectively enforced, what's the point in having it?

So you can hopefully bully a few devs who aren’t as confident into signing up, thus making your platform feel more first-class.

For the rest who stand their ground and say no, Microsoft would most likely back down and not enforce the rules I would assume since they need as much help catching up and getting that parity with Sony as possible.
 

Xando

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May 2, 2014
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In a perfect world MS will only enforce the clause if they know the studio is capable, I obviously have no idea how its actually being handled though

the policy is obviously there to support microsoft's interests



right

so those articles show that at the start of the year MS had a bad indie policy

by examining recent articles you gain an insight into what things could be like right now

since the old articles say different things to new articles it suggests things have changed

Did you read the OP? Spencer himself defends the clause in this article.
 

Amir0x

Banned
Oct 27, 2004
103,709
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So the parity clause is more like a encouragement since they are open to concessions when devs talks to them?

If they are really open and not actively blocking any games a developer might want to put on their platform late then yeah, it might be a good thing.

they have, many games are not and have not released on Xbox One due to it

i mean really guys. really. Exactly how much hard evidence are you going to require before we can stop making excuses for MS bullshit behavior?

Do you need a conference of indie devs to come to your house and have dinner with you and talk to you about it? Is that the only way?
 
Feb 22, 2011
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things have changed, which is why this thread confirms from Phil Spencer nothing has changed.

Hey guys maybe if we give MS the benefit of the doubt for the, what, 90,321st time, it'll work out this time?

That nothing has changed since Phil is on charge?

:lol
 

PhoenixFyre

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Sep 7, 2013
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A few of my friends and I have come together to try our hand at developing games. We're all really excited and every time we move closer to finishing the game, it's like we're kids at Christmas. It's such an amazing feeling, but when you're so wrapped up in it, it's easy to forget the kind of bullshit that goes on in the "big leagues."

That's why we've all agreed that we want no part of it, regardless of whatever financial hit we take. If there are inane politics like this parity clause (unless you're big enough or important enough) involved in getting on a platform, fuck it. We don't exist to serve them.

We're all definitely a lot happier since we stopped worrying about this stupid parity thing and decided not to release on Xbox.
 

Impeccable

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Feb 18, 2010
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things have changed, which is why this thread confirms from Phil Spencer nothing has changed.

Hey guys maybe if we give MS the benefit of the doubt for the, what, 90,321st time, it'll work out this time?

You have to understand that Phil takes credit for the good stuff and "just got the job, it will change" for the bad stuff.
 

Ricky_R

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Dec 28, 2010
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In a perfect world MS will only enforce the clause if they know the studio is capable, I obviously have no idea how its actually being handled though

the policy is obviously there to support microsoft's interests



right

so those articles show that at the start of the year MS had a bad indie policy

by examining recent articles you gain an insight into what things could be like right now

since the old articles say different things to new articles it suggests things have changed

The only significant "change" would be to remove the clause and let indies release on their own terms and at their convenience. The fact that there's still indie devs out there that are forced to release on the Xbone first is good indication that there hasn't really being much of a change.
 

Two Words

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May 8, 2014
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In a perfect world MS will only enforce the clause if they know the studio is capable, I obviously have no idea how its actually being handled though

the policy is obviously there to support microsoft's interests



right

so those articles show that at the start of the year MS had a bad indie policy

by examining recent articles you gain an insight into what things could be like right now

since the old articles say different things to new articles it suggests things have changed
Microsoft doesn't have insight to their finances. If a larger indie dev says they don't have the funds to release both at the same time, are they just going to call them liars?
 

Daviii

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Jun 9, 2014
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The problem of traveling first class only is most trains doesn't have one, and at the end of the day, you usually arrive later than the rest of the passengers