Microsoft Should Reconsider Their Indie Policy: Broforce Not Coming To Xbox One Due To Parity Clause

“Sony reached out to us with a deal we couldn’t reasonably refuse”.

Posted By | On 16th, Jan. 2015 Under News | Follow This Author @GamingBoltTweet


Update: Microsoft’s ID@Xbox Director Chris Charla has revealed that the developers of Broforce did not approached them for a potential Xbox One version. He also stated that he would like to see Broforce on the Xbox One. As mentioned in the original article below, Microsoft can allow certain games to launch on their platform even though they are already available on other consoles. So it will be interesting to see if Broforce lands on the Xbox One sometime in the future. However we have made no changes to the original article and the headline since ID@Xbox’s parity clause and the deal with Sony are the reasons why the game won’t be launching on the Xbox One.

Original Article:

Free Lives Games’ Broforce is a side scrolling indie game that features hypermasculine hero that fights against the bad guys and helps rescue his teammates and other prisoners of war. The game will be releasing on the PlayStation 4 and PC platform but not on Microsoft’s current gen console, the Xbox One.

They revealed that they have a deal from Sony that they were not able to refuse. “Mostly because Sony reached out to us with a deal we couldn’t reasonably refuse,” Creative Director Evan Greenwood said to GamingBolt. But even if they want to launch on the Xbox One, they can’t due to the parity clause. “As far as I know Microsoft has a clause in their contract where they won’t accept an indie game if it launches on Xbox after Playstation.”

Microsoft’s parity clause is a controversial topic amongst indie developers which has resulted into a number of developers launching their games on the PlayStation 4 and not on the Xbox One. However at times there have been exceptions to this clause. Outlast is one such example that launched on the Xbox One after it was already available on the PlayStation 4. But the lack of Broforce on the Xbox One is baffling. The game seems to be pretty popular if views on Youtube are anything to go by and I think it’s a game that may be a perfect fit for the Xbox One’s audience.

We are not sure whether Broforce will eventually hit the Xbox One in the future but for now it seems that it will remain a PS4 console exclusive. Microsoft needs to reconsider their parity clause and perhaps make it more open so that more games can launch on the its platform. Independent developers work with limited resources and budgets, so ideally they would want to launch their games on as many platforms they can but the parity clause is apparently making harder for some developers.

What are your thoughts on Microsoft’s parity clause for indies? Does Microsoft need to get rid of it? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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  • Starman

    Broforce , really …keep that BS… LOL

    • BradyAlucard[sillibk]

      That’s fine, we’ll keep Rime, Killing Floor 2, and The Forest.

    • DarthDiggler


      Don’t forget all the PixelJunk and ThatGameCompany games MS missed the boat on.

      If anyone wants to make fun of either one of those developers I highly suggest you actually play some of the games first, they are both very talented teams.

    • Michael Norris

      You are a moron,this is MS basically telling you to buy a Pc/Ps4.

    • Guest

      Correct, this is Quality Control, nothing more. The PS4 becomes a giant indie garbagedump in the near future and MS will receive the ones that are good on their platform.

    • DarthDiggler


      Could you be any more uninformed and biased?

      It’s like Sony has no history of great indie titles on the PlayStation platform.

      If you want to have an intelligent discussion, talk intelligently. 🙂

    • GotNews4Ya

      Except Microsoft has come out and said “Hey, we want you, you just haven’t asked” Or atleast that’s what they are telling the fans now.. so.. Obviously not “Quality Control” especially since most people think this will be a “Quality Title”. -_- Fun isn’t about Graphics… sorry

    • HalfBlackCanuck

      Disagree. The more the merrier. Let gamers decide what they want to play. Terrible games will make it on regardless, so just allow any and everything on. Store just needs a price-point sub-category (like games under $15) so you can browse easier.

    • Guest

      It truly depends now doesn’t it? Of the 70 games announced for the PS4, there are maybe 10 actually wothwile IMO and I’m not the only one expressing that. Consoles shouldn’t end up like Steam.

    • HalfBlackCanuck

      The key word in your comment is “IMO.” Your 10 are not the same as my 10, and neither of ours are likely shared with anyone else who posts here. So there is a necessity for the 70 because, at some level, each game will be in someone’s 10.

    • DarthDiggler


      Your attitude demonstrates to me that you aren’t much of a PlayStation fan at all, so why does it matter to you?

  • John Mumpitz

    This is factually wrong.He has a deal with Sony, and if he has a deal with sony, is allowed to launch the game on XBOX ONE after the PS4 version.


    “The loophole is that the parity clause applies unless you already have an exclusivity deal in place.”

    So, yeah. I call bull***t on that. He is just a Sony-Fanboy and is paid buy Sony to spread BS-lies about XBOX ONE.

  • brotherlymoses

    I never understood why some indie devs limit themselves to one platform, I mean wouldn’t they want to be everywhere? These indies games(whether good or bad) should be everywhere, on ps4, PC, Xbox one,WiiU, etc. plus, they aren’t even console sellers.

    • DarthDiggler


      Well if you only have to target 1 (maybe 2) platforms both in the same ecosystem, there is a lot less of an investment you have to make. Many of these indie devs are very small teams and they do not have the resources to work on 5 platforms at one time.

      Indie games aren’t console sellers, but they are great additions to the online stores and provide a great deal of diversity since AAA games have become so cookie cutter.

    • Knowles2

      Resources, if you spend time making your game run on very system that less time creating the actual game.

    • bardock5151

      Deal with the platform holder (usually Sony), along with smaller teams, the thing would be a nightmare for those just starting out to have 4 or 5 platforms to concurrently develop for. The self publishing costs, are still prohibitive to the smaller teams, and it would be easier, cheaper, less risky to deal with one or two at a time.

      For instance the Contrast developers said that when they came to Xbox one with ID@Xbox, they weren’t really prepared for all the extra work that publisher’s handled for them on other platforms. All the sticky legal bits to worry about, plus certification etc.

    • Cinnamon267

      Because they are small teams with limited resources.

  • Jason Mounce

    Most of the hysterical and the loudest of the Xbox fanboys are generally the ones who’re first to scream and laugh at PS4 having indie titles, so by all means, the crybaby-type of fanboy on the xbox camp don’t seem to care and don’t want indie games, they clearly aren’t missing out or losing anything.

    Reality is, the deluded xbox fanboys are missing out on a lot of things and the only way they can keep going with their agendas of thinking they’re hardcore trolls are to tell themselves they’re missing nothing every night before bed, alongside their warm glass of milk 😛

  • HalfBlackCanuck

    Sounds like less parity clause, more deal Sony cut to be on the platform first (which is fine, just not the same thing). There’s literally no reason this can’t appear on Xbox One after (it’s happened a bunch already). Sound like they never had the discussion with MS at all (“As far as I know…”.) Porting couldn’t be that difficult to do (similar architectures).
    I think MS should drop the clause if only to see what the new excuse will be when Indies choose to ignore it.

    • DarthDiggler


      Sorry try again you don’t know what you are talking about. MS has a parity clause if you release a game on PlayStation first MS will take it’s toys and go home.

      Sony likely offers support not just a check. They have been very good at nurturing talent which is why Sony still has so many first party studios.

    • HalfBlackCanuck

      Contrast, Guacamele, Oddworld, Outlast, Rogue Legacy, and I’m sure some I missed would say otherwise.
      Multiple occasions Xbox heads have made it VERY clear that every devs can approach them and ask. If there are other deals in place (this game) or resource issues there can be considerations taken.

    • DarthDiggler


      Yes that consideration is if you on PlayStation first, MS walks away.

      It’s pretty simple dude, keep up.

    • HalfBlackCanuck

      But… you’re actually factually incorrect

      Edit: The only time I’ve heard anything other than this is large teams that can’t justify why they can’t co-develop (as in, they have resources for PS3, PSVita and PS4 -despite three different architectures/coding needed – but for some reason can’t develop for a different kind of RAM)

    • Guest

      Did you expect anything else from a blind and stupid Sony zealot with a DS icon?

    • HalfBlackCanuck

      Honestly? No.

    • DarthDiggler


      Given your unintelligable and hateful comments you aren’t exactly winning any friends or persauding people. Why don’t you crawl back into mommy’s basement and think about setting some goals in your life?

    • DarthDiggler


      Wrong again man — check your facts. MS has a parity policy. If you release on PS first it is very difficult to get your indie game on XBL. I hear what you are saying about what MS is saying, but developers have a different story. Sony doesn’t pay them to make stuff up about XBL policy. 🙂

      The “parity” clause is completely 1 way too.

    • Anders

      Those games are different, ‘first on PlayStation’ games announced before id@xbox began (I think it was august 2013) were never included in the parity clause.

    • jb227

      I don’t think it should be on the devs to “ask” MS. Sony has been actively searching these games out, and that is exactly what a gaming division should do. Sitting on their hands and trading on their clout serves no one, especially gamers. It would be one thing if it was a small & unproven developer, but something like Broforce should be something that MS is actively seeking if they are serious about their continued involvement in the indie scene.

    • HalfBlackCanuck

      Yes, agreed, Microsoft should be actively seeking. I also assume they are and don’t get to every devs before Sony. My issue is that the quote suggests that they are certain their game is no longer eligible for Xbox One in the future which is not the case. If they wanted to be on all available platforms (which as an indie who wants money and a fantasy, they should) then they would make the minimal effort to inquire about an Xbox release after the PS4 version is complete.

    • jb227

      I do agree there, I think the guy was just speaking from his frame of reference pertaining to their current situation. It doesn’t exclude them from going to MS in the future, but if the game is a big success, I’d think MS should be reaching out to these devs an a regular basis to stay in touch. MS are the ones that brought the indies to the console space, they should own that, doubly so considering the majority of these games are releasing on their os on pc. I’d personally just like to see MS work on continuing that tradition while growing their AAA space. One doesn’t harm the other really, it’s all about getting the right people in the right positions to create conversations w/ the developers they have a love for. No money needed, just good will, true interest & a strong love of gaming.

    • xbox1rules23

      so is it really so horrible for a dev to go “ask” or talk to MS. wow. indie devs must be royalty

    • jb227

      Not saying its horrible, just that it shouldn’t be expected from some of the more respected indie devs. Those guys should be headhunted, there are only a handful that really fit those criteria anyway. For any unproven devs, sure it would behoove them to communicate w/ all platforms & publishers in the early days.

    • xbox1rules23

      didnt know the bro force devs were proven amazing devs

    • GotNews4Ya

      When you can name off the Indies that made it on to the Xbox.. That is a problem.. because I can’t name off all the Indies that made it on the PS4.. That is where the real issue lies.. Not that those games got through.. Statistically they are Outliers.. Yes their are exceptions to every rule. If it was only a few Indies left out.. then you would have an argument.. but It is the other way around.. Only a few who launch on the PS4 first.. ever make it to the Xbox..

      Beyond that.. The Developer clearly stated that the Parity Clause is hindering them from coming to the Xbox One.. EVEN IF IT ISN’T.. It is still doing harm by existing.. because while Microsoft might be open to entertaining these Indies.. their Policy clearly advertises the opposite, and As you have stated.. It even seems that they aren’t even trying because of it.. and that is the true problem. When you are open to allowing games on your system, but state you aren’t.. and then keep that statement out in the fore front.. you are going to turn off the guys who already made their choice to go to PS4. My guess is that Xbox seen how big of a Hit those Indies were on PS4.. and decided to go to them to get them to come to the Xbox. I don’t think it was the other way.. An overwhelming majority of developers simply seem to think that Microsoft would stick to their policy..

    • HalfBlackCanuck

      There are Indies exclusive to Xbox as well, they just don’t get as much news (seemingly)
      Sony and MS clearly have differing philosophies on this. MS is operating more like Steam (w/o the clout) in that they are simply open to anyone approaching them and releasing games on their platform. Their one thing is they want to be considered n equal footing with PlayStation for release parity. Sony actively seeks and offers Pub Fund incentives to put indie games on their machine (offers that can’t be refused). This, IMO, is one of the only reasons I can see a developer saying they don’t have resources for PS4, Xbox One and PC -despite having very similar coding- yet can manage PS3, PS4 and Vita. If MS funded indies to be timed exclusive the internet would explode with money-hat articles. Slightly off topic but supporting to my point is that everyone -some devs included- laud Sony as a “company for gamers” yet I never hear a Sony exec admitting to playing games from the competitors or publicly congratulating the competition. Yet MS is the arrogant ones…
      Back to point, too many people are making their own story about MS (been happening since the start) and have decided to not actually research actual policy or fact. If Sony approached this company for BroForce, good one them. If they are using Pub Fund to go around and incentivize developers to go Sony exclusive (even just for a timing) then good for them. MS is choosing -right or wrong- to simply be open and supportive to developers that apply to receive development kits (and I think they’re still free). I honestly don’t get why a team would choose to ignore 10million users out of their own free will (and I’m strictly speaking to cases where devs are just merely choosing to not release on both, not specifically this case)

  • Illusive Man

    GamingBolt should consider better writers, not using click bait headlines, not asking developers the same stupid questions about ESRAM and resolution, and eliminating bias among other things.

    The developer said they made a deal with Sony. This has nothing to do with MS parity policy, a policy that honestly isn’t strict enforced.

    • Knowles2

      Just because they made a deal with Sony doesn’t mean they aren’t able to put it on Xbox One, they could have just agree a window of exclusivity with Sony of say 6 months. Parity rule would mean that even if they wanted to release on the Xbox one after that 6 months they couldn’t because it against Microsoft rules at least on paper and a developers can only go with what written on paper not the whims of Microsoft Execs. They like most indies couldn’t afford to spend 3 months working on Xbox one version and then be told by Microsoft they won’t allow it on the platform, that 3 months and possible tens of thousands of dollars down the drain.

    • jayflow

      My thing is, if you’re not going to strictly enforce the clause, why have it any way? This is a perfect example of how this is turning some developers away from even contacting MS to see if they can bring their games over to the Xbox one. It’s time to revise the clause or get rid of it.

    • GotNews4Ya

      How do you know it isn’t strictly enforced? This is the problem.. you are taking the “Unknown” and using it as the “Known” because their are no factual statistics that would explain it either way. The reason their could be no data on them turning games down, is because Developers and especially EARLY Devs need to have a good standing with all platforms, or if they ran one of them into the mud for not allowing their game on the platform, they might completely ruin the chances of ever getting on that platform with THAT or ANY GAME in the future.

      You don’t bite the hand that feeds you..

      So.. you can’t really say “It isn’t strictly enforced” because we will NEVER know when a developer is turned down.. It won’t happen. they will just announce exclusivity with the other platform and move along, hoping that one day it could be rectified..

      The real issue is that the Developers of these Indie Studios seem to think the Parity Clause still pertains to them if they launch on the Playstation first.. and if they think that.. they just might not try to get it on Xbox, or maybe they are being turned down? Who knows.. Either way.. These devs made it a point to point to the parity clause even if they were wanting to port to the Xbox One.. So.. if they see it as a hinderance, I am willing to bet it is a general concensus around other Small Developers too.. and that isn’t good for consumers.. That’s why they need to change it.

      My one last point.. Is that even “IF” you were correct when you stated it isn’t strictly enforced.. Why even stand by it at all? Why not just say.. “You know what.. Forget it.. bad move.. its gone, come share your games with our loyal fans!” but they don’t.. So it has to be doing something.. and My guess is what I previously said.. They are denying plenty of Indies.. who have chosen to come to the PS4 first.. Except for the one’s who start off doing extraordinarily well.. and then they go get them.

  • Tokes Alotta

    If Microsoft does have this clause they should add a stipulation that they can launch on PlayStation first as long as the Xbox version has exclusive content. I think they should be giving incentives to those who launch on Xbox first though.

    • kma99

      Dont think they need a clause. They give indie developers free dev kits and help with software tools. All they ask in return is to treat their customers right. These indie developers are acting like spoiled brats. If im a developer im knocking on doors trying to market my product. They are complaining about what company didn’t come beat down their doors. These guys made an exclusive deal with someone without even talking to Microsoft to see if they would sweeten to pot so it obviously that they didn’t care in the first place.

    • HalfBlackCanuck


    • HalfBlackCanuck

      This is what Sony did last gen.

  • GotNews4Ya

    Yes, they need to get rid of it. Flat out. Whether it is the reason they aren’t launching on the Xbox or not.. It is still perceived by them as a hinderance and might prevent them from even trying. Which in and of itself is reason enough to do away with the clause.. It was a silly and quite evil business tactic that Microsoft Deployed last generation, to assure that their system would always receive games first on their platform, or at the same time.. IT has hurt the Xbox Greatly.. because so many Indies come out, that statistically some of them have to be really good.. I would rather play something new each week, even if it is an indie, than sit around playing the same old game for the last 4 weeks..

    I have found plenty of Indies which have more than made me happy.. and a lot of the one’s that are coming to consoles are the really.. REALLY successful ones off PC, and they all seem to be translating well to consoles.. I don’t even understand why anyone would avoid them.

    Microsoft needs to get rid of the policy so that gamers as a whole are benefited.. There is no reason that people on Xbox shouldn’t enjoy these great games, simply because they came out on the Playstation before the Xbox. Sometimes these small indies just need the extra cash flow to boost their games production.. and It never hurts to invest in talent on either end..

  • red2k

    The term party clause is too confusing. Microsoft need modificate the language and change the name to someting like “launch clause”. Be cause in the gaming word “party clause” can have other meanings. I am happy with this clause i think the devs need decide if they want a multiconsole indies since day 1 (of development) to guarantee the quality of the product. If they can’t make a multiconsole well…. decide for Sony, Microsoft or PC make your indies with your company capabilities.

  • Daisy Christie

    Devs need to have a good standing with all platforms, or Just Bring On The Game


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