Stealth Inc Dev: Xbox One Parity Clause A "Shame"


stealth-inc-mainStealth Inc.: A Clone in the Dark was a fun highly acclaimed indie title on the Playstation 3 and Vita. That a sequel is coming isn’t much of a surprise. What is a surprise is that it was announced as an exclusive sequel to Wii U.

Developer Curve Studios had several reasons for bringing Stealth Inc. 2 exclusively to the Wii U, among them the Big N’s welcoming attitude towards indies according to managing director Jason Perkins and design director Jonathan Biddle:

We love Nintendo and we want to give Iwata a hug.

Also, the smaller fanbase of the Wii U actually appealed to Curve Studios.

“Whenever a Wii U game gets announced, people clamber all over it,” Perkins admits. “We really feel being a bigger part of that smaller selection of titles could be good for us. We will be doing other Wii U games as well. To really, properly give Iwata a hug. We’re not nervous. It’s a good decision for us.”

Stealth Inc. 2 could eventually come to other platforms, but one platform it’s likely not going to appear on is the Xbox One due to Microsoft’s controversial parity clause.

“For us, it’s an annoyance,” he said. “It’s preventing us from bringing some of the older stuff through and doing what we want. There’s 40 of us, and we’re still saying we should be able to work around it, so you can imagine how hard it is for smaller developers in one and two man teams who are faced with having to release on PlayStation and Xbox simultaneously. We’ll hopefully be on Xbox One at some stage.

“We’ve been with ID@Xbox since launch. We weren’t in the initial announcement only because it conflicted with something going on with Sony at the time. We’ve had the kits for a long time and we’ve been talking to them for a long time about Xbox One. Almost six months. Hopefully we’ll get there soon, but then that’s because we’re big enough to handle the launch parity thing.

“Hopefully Microsoft will drop it. They’ve been told by a lot of the industry it’d be better if they did, but they haven’t yet. It’s a shame. The frustrating thing for a lot of developers is they have dropped it for a lot of people, but it’s not very clear why. Is it a case of size? Is it a case of how well you know people at the company? It’s not a great way to treat indies because they see it as being unbalanced. I went to a UKIE talk about how to get your game on Microsoft systems, and a lot of the reaction seemed to be the demand was there among the developers, but it just isn’t clear.”

It’s becoming pretty clear that gaps between big AAA releases might be fairly common for the foreseeable future (and actually might be the norm for this generation). Indie game support might not move those consoles off the shelves, but it’ll keep the base happy with great fun games to play. Microsoft’s controversial nonsensical policies are shooting themselves in the foot in terms of giving a regular slate of great indie games to their customers.

What do you think, GameSided readers? Are Microsoft’s arbitrary indie policies hurting them? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Tags: Curve Studios Indie News Parity Stealth Inc Video Games Wii U Xbox One