Xbox Project Manager Reveals Backwards Compatibility Process, Talks About Black Ops 2 Requests

Xbox One

Backwards Compatibility has been a massive success for the Xbox Console as a whole, with a plethora of titles from the Xbox 360 era being made available to play on Xbox One .

With the program’s burgeoning popularity fans have understandably at times requested that one of the more popular titles from the bygone area be made available on Xbox One via Backwards Compatibility.

One game which has been understandably requested more times than I can count is developer Treyarch’s 2012 title  Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2 . Which was well received both critically and commercially.

However most fan’s don’t realize that these things take time , and their is a certain process that goes into ushering a game into the Backwards Compatibility program.

In a recent Twitter post Bill Stillwell fro the Xbox Platform shared some insights into the process that is undertaken to ensure that a game is made Backwards Compatible, and also talked about the numerous Black Ops 2 requests that the team gets.

Twitter is a great medium, but often hard to use to properly answer a complex topic. Lately, there has been another surge in the “We want BOII!!!” tweets. With lots of continued angst and concern over why there is no answer. Combined with the lull in releases for BC overall, I wanted to give more context directly, hence this “wordy” reply.

First, it is important to remember that BC releases have always ebbed and flowed. Just like the industry, some months are loaded, and others are pretty light. We are still 100% committed to the program. I expect big releases in the near future. But unlike the holiday season, big bi-weekly releases of titles are unlikely to happen each and every month.

Yes, I know the upcoming titles, what issues we have with each one (technical or not), and the runway before they launch. I’m still very confident in this year’s plan, and that we’ll see happy customers in the future. Beyond that, it is not my place to communicate those plans. Especially when it involves someone else’s IP.

Releasing a big/popular game, even as a rerelease into the BC program, is a heavily orchestrated event. Publishers often have target dates that coincide With other initiatives, such as sales, or related titles, and they want to maximize the release. We also have long term business relationships, and want them to continue to deliver great news games to the console for many years. It makes no sense to jeopardize that business relationship for a short-term boost.

Additionally, I can’t understate the complexity Of the non-technical part Of this. We are in some cases reviewing licensing agreements that are a decade old, evaluating the impact of new technology on those agreements, and then negotiating with a host of Other parties for terms to get renewed/changed. This is not a quick process most times.

Finally, I do appreciate the well-wishers. I also have no problem with the continued asks. We’ve been doing this for over a year and half, and it’s been a constant stream of “Where’s RDR…Black Ops…Skate 3…BOII…and so on.” And if and when Black Ops II ships, I’m sure there will be another title to take that crown. We even have a pool internally! This is all goodness. I have said many times that I’d much rather work on a project with passionate fans, even if it trends to the annoying at times, than work on something no one cares about. The day no one is clamoring for a game is the day this program is no longer of value!

I’m not going to tell you when BOII is coming. Or Fable, or Halo, or any other game not yet released. I’m not going to tell you that a title is in or out, as those are confidential publisher decisions I am not authorized to reveal. I will just say that we in the program want these games out as much as you do, and are working hard to make them happen. I’d prefer that the entire 360 catalog was already running on the Xbox One With no exceptions. And this team Will continue to move towards making that a reality as long as we can.”

So there you have it folks , it seems like we might just have to wait a while till Black Ops 2 is made Backwards Compatible.