Outlast Dev Comments On Bypassing Microsoft’s Xbox One Parity Clause

Outlast - Red Barrels

One of the big indie games that took the PC and PlayStation 4 by storm is a game from Red Barrel called Outlast. The game sports a horrific take on the traditional first-person, horror-exploration genre by putting in a lot of gory and gruesome moments to knock the pants off the average player.

Well, Outlast recently launched on the Xbox One but it did so after it had already become available on the PlayStation 4 and the PC. So what’s the deal? How is that possible? For those of you who remember, Microsoft’s new ID@Xbox program was designed so that anyone could become an independent contributor for Xbox One content, simply by having their home console turned into a development kit. However, the catch was that a clause was initiated that forced indie devs to launch their games in parity when it was time to release on the Xbox One.

In simple terms, if you were going to launch your indie title on the Xbox One, it had to launch before or at the same time on the PS4, PC or Wii U. This is called the “parity clause”.

Speaking with Gaming Bolt, Philippe Morin, the founder of Red Barrels, which is the studio that produced Outlast, explained their situation, given that a lot of gamers and members of the gaming community were befuddled at the fact that Outlast had previously launched on PC and PS4, but was arriving late for the Xbox One. Morin stated that…

“We didn’t do anything special. We applied to the ID@Xbox program and we got approved,” … “We’re very happy to be on the Xbox One. Our goal has always been to bring Outlast to a maximum [number] of gamers, but we didn’t have the resources to ship on all platforms at once.”

Microsoft had mentioned previously that certain games would be reviewed on a case-by-case basis where the parity clause might be breached. This was made somewhat evident after they announced the 25 games they had lined-up to release on the Xbox One over on the Newswire, and some of the titles had already previously released on other platforms.

Given the software drought that the Xbox One is suffering from, it’s not surprising that the Micro ‘S’ would make a few exceptions to get as many games on the platform as possible in order to flesh out the system’s software library.