Vlambeer developer Rami Ismail has shared his concerns over the parity clause in Microsoft's new ID@Xbox scheme for indie developers in an interview with VG247. Speaking to the publication, Ismail described the parity clause, which requires participants to launch any title releasing on other platforms to launch on Xbox One simultaneously, as "problematic for the indie scene at large."
"Having this tilted contract where Sony allows you to launch wherever, and Microsoft only allows you to launch at the same time is problematic for indies who say, 'well Sony has the better deal but I want to launch on both platforms, so we're going to go with the Microsoft deal.' That's problematic because it will essentially force Sony to do the same in return. Well, as indies we should be fighting to get everybody the best deal," Ismail said.
Ismail says that – besides the parity clause – he has been rather impressed with Microsoft's program for indie self-publishing. He also expressed respect for the program's lead, Chris Charla.
"Chris has been super-helpful, he's been proactive, he's been calling us every now and then. That's been wonderful, it's just that launch parity thing is problematic enough that we should probably speak up against it. I think technically we've broken some NDAs, but you know, things happen."
Ismail also admitted that Vlambeer managed to deftly dodge the parity clause using a loophole that gave developers a pass who had an exclusivity deal in place prior to ID@Xbox being announced. On hearing early rumors about the parity clause, Ismail said that he emailed Sony to secure a month of exclusivity with PlayStation.
"With Nuclear Throne, we're launching on PC first, then focusing on other computer, platforms, then focusing on PS4 and Vita. Then after that, Xbox One after we dodged the parity clause by being jerks [laughs]. That was funny by the way, I had so much fun doing that. When I figured out I could play around with the contract that way, I had a good time."