So What’s Up With That Awful Backwards Compatibility List?

Microsoft is rolling out Backwards Compatibility for the XBOX One today, and the list of games is rather underwhelming. It is also a rather confusing list, considering for the past six months Microsoft has been running a poll figuring out which games the playerbase actually is interested in playing.

At the top of that list is Call Of Duty: Black Ops II with 113,455 votes as of today. That game is nowhere to be found on the current list of titles available today. In fact, of the top 20 games voted on, only three of them made the cut. Gears Of War 2 and 3, and Fallout 3 are all available starting today. A handful of other titles are confirmed as being “in process”, but the bulk are being ignored.

The backwards compatibility list is so bizarrely chosen, that it begs the question of how the games were even chosen in the first place. Here’s how the titles rank based on their standings in the polls:

#7- Fallout 3

#9- Gears Of War 3

#19- Gears Of War 2

#23- Assassins Creed II

#34- South Park: Stick of Truth

#35- Borderlands

#36- Gears Of War

#42- Gears Of War: Judgment

#52- Mass Effect

#56- Fable 2

#60- Just Cause 2

#65- Mirrors Edge

#84- Castle Crashers

#98- LEGO Star Wars

#104- Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas 2

#116- Doom

#132- Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas

#152- Plants Vs Zombies

#160- Shadow Complex

#192- Beyond Good and Evil HD

#217- Doom 2

#226- Sonic The Hedgehog

#227- Condemned

#241- Prince Of Persia

#249- Dirt 3

#250- Halo Spartan Assault

#251- LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean

#263- Sonic The Hedgehog 2

#284- Sonic The Hedgehog 3

#289- Sonic CD

That means there are only 30 titles of the 104 titles released that were in the Top 300 most voted on games. That’s actually insulting. Why even bother with a poll if you’re just going to pick the games you feel like releasing?

Mutant Blobs Attack made the list with only 123 votes. It’s on page 76 of 78 pages of XBOX titles. Somehow, those 123 votes were enough to get someone to spend the time to make the game backwards compatible, despite the fact that it had 113,332 less votes than Call Of Duty: Black Ops II.

This update isn’t about fans at all, or gamers. What once had fans excited has turned into a very underwhelming event. Gamers have waited months for backwards compatibility, campaigning for their favorite titles, only to be told that their votes don’t matter. That their campaigns don’t matter. That no matter what you do, a game with over 100K votes is going to lose its spot to a game with 123 votes.

In fact, Backwards Compatibility is really just a way to try and turn poor selling garbage games into gold. With a limited list to choose from, it’s possible someone might actually drift over to Mutant Blobs Attack and purchase it, a feat that would have seemed impossible months ago. And it’s not just Mutant Blobs Attack…

Putty Squad has 121 votes. Bellator: MMA Onslaught has 139 votes. Ugly Americans has 161 votes. Blood Of the Werewolf has 156 votes.

Microsoft and these publishers are hoping you’ll give their failed titles a second glance. Microsoft doesn’t care if their gamers are happy. They care if the publishers are happy.

So to all the Gears Of War fans out there, congratulations on being the lucky group that got what they wanted today. To all the Call Of Duty, Battlefield, Red Dead, Skyrim, Left For Dead, and Halo fans. It sucks to be you.