Phil Spencer addresses ID@Xbox parity clause controversy

GDC talk also reveals possibility of Early Access service on Xbox One

Xbox Corporate Vice President Phil Spencer has further addressed the ID@Xbox parity clause during a talk at GDC.

The controversial clause requires independent studios releasing games on Xbox One to publish their games on the Microsoft platform on the same day as competing platforms, if not sooner.


Following widespread criticism for the clause from the independent community, Spencer said Microsoft is working closely with studios to address the concerns.

"I think there are a few policies out there between the different platforms that create some difficulties for independent developers and parity is a real concern that I hear about from people," he said at a conference attended by Edge.

"As the platform holder we want to make sure that the best games come to our platform and make sure we're supporting the developers creating the best games for the platform."

While Spencer did not offer any solutions, he did reference previous policy changes concerning the Xbox One.

"We've taken feedback and changed course before and today I'd say this is an ongoing discussion with the independent developers and I've had discussions here at GDC," he said.

"So really I want to hear from them [the studios] on what policy they want. They're going to have to understand that as a platform holder we have certain things that hold true to what we want to be as a platform, and they have some business needs and bandwidth needs that they need to deal with in order to survive. We want to meet them."

A Microsoft spokesperson mirrored these sentiments in a comment provided to Edge earlier this month.

"Our goal is not to limit developers who are interested in Xbox One. In instances where games have signed a timed exclusive with another platform, we'll work with them on a case by case basis. We encourage them to get in touch at," the spokesperson said.

During the GDC panel Spencer also flagged the possibility of hosting full price alpha access to the Xbox One, similar to Steam's Early Access.

"We don't really have that in place on console today but we have that in other places. I think in order for great, diverse content to exist it's going to be important that we as platform holders think about how gamers can invest in things they want to see built, so developers have the funds to bring their games to market."