StudioMDHR’s eccentric 1930s-styled run-‘n’-gun platformer is coming to Xbox One and PC in September, with subsequent launches “likely” on Mac and “possibly” on Linux. But not PS4, the indie developer has now confirmed. Not ever. Nuh-uh. Except maybe a sequel.
Responding on NeoGAF to a recent feature on GamesRadar about the game’s complicated development, a team rep – probably Chad Moldenhauer or his brother Jared Moldenhauer, the game’s artist and designer, respectively – clarified the ambiguous exclusivity situation.
“Yes, this Cuphead game is exclusive to Xbox and PC (with Steam and Win10 versions at launch and a GoG release likely shortly after),” they explained. “There will likely be a Mac version down the road and possibly a Linux version beyond that (unless we lose our houses or whatever).”
Emphasis is mine, but that “this” seems significant. Intriguingly, they also added that “We own the IP”, suggesting that a hypothetical Cuphead 2 might not be restricted by a similar exclusivity deal.
As part of the ID@Xbox program, Cuphead is subject to Microsoft’s somewhat controversial “parity” clause, which stipulates that games must be exclusive (even if only temporarily) on Xbox One or include Xbox One exclusive content, or launch simultaneously with versions for other platforms – which simply isn’t feasible for a lot of indie developers with limited resources.