Xbox product manager explains backwards compatibility challenges

It’s been a while since we’ve talked about backwards compatibility on Xbox, as the last batch of games added to the program’s lineup was in November; Xbox added more than 70 titles then. However, some folks clearly still want more old games to be playable on newer consoles.

One twitter user going by the handle of @Dude_Largepants tweeted at Xbox asking them to go back to making games backwards compatible because there are still quite the number of JRPG games from the Xbox 360 they want to see make the jump. The tweet was accompanied by box art of games from Xbox360; Magna Carta 2, Eternal Sonata, Record of Agarest War and Resonance of Fate.

The tweet cited existing backwards compatibility partnerships between Xbox and the publishers of these games, as a reason why there shouldn’t be much trouble working on making those games compatible.

Jason Ronald, director of program management at Xbox and effectively the chief of the platform’s backwards compatibility program responded to the tweet with some insight on the hurdles they go through just to get one game added to the backwards compatibility catalog.

Xbox backwards compatibility

Ronald wrote, “Every title is a unique challenge. Licensing is more complicated than just at the publisher level. Depending on the title it may involve composers, licensed soundtracks, voice actors, writers, etc. Definitely not due to a lack of desire by the team or interest from the community.”

“Unfortunately, I can’t talk about specifics on any one title, but I will share that some of the titles in the last batch took years of work including some I never thought we would be able to bring back. Community feedback drove our priorities & the team did everything they could”

While the backwards compatibility program has been a huge success for Xbox, we might not get any updates to the lineup anytime soon because of how much work goes into just getting one game over to the list. However, interest in bringing these titles back isn’t lacking from both fans and publishers so while we have no news regarding a new drop of games being added to the backwards compatibility list, we can be assured that people at Xbox are listening.