The backward compatibility of the Xbox 360 on the Xbox One is currently in preview with a current public launch window of November. While only a few games are currently available to members of the Xbox Live Preview Program, one of the issues that has already popped up is that while the games are available, associated downloadable content is not. Xbox head Phil Spencer recently spoke on the topic on Twitter.
@BearClawGaming We are working on a clear description of how DLC will work. It should work as expected.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) August 10, 2015
In theory, there should not be any major hurdles to DLC working the same way an Xbox Live game does. All the current titles that are backward compatible which you’ve previously downloaded to your Xbox 360 already auto populate on your Xbox One, and the same should be true of DLC. We assume that’s what Spencer means by “as expected.”
While losing out on multiplayer maps would certainly be frustrating for anybody who put down good money for them, there are also larger implications to a lack of available DLC for otherwise compatible games. One of the titles currently available in the preview program is Mass Effect. If you purchased the Bring Down The Sky DLC pack, and you have a saved game file that includes that data, that save file can’t be loaded on the Xbox One currently because the DLC is missing.
Hopefully, for games where this will be an issue the DLC will be made backwards compatible alongside the game. While backwards compatibility is a gift that was never really expected, that good will could sour quickly if games that are listed as “compatible” don’t function properly because of missing DLC.
Xbox is putting the onus on the developers and publishers, that it’s up to them if a game is compatible or not, which likely means they will lay the blame there is if a game is made compatible but DLC is not. Hopefully, Xbox will make any associated DLC part of whatever deal they make when they decide to move forward with a game. Microsoft is almost certainly charging these guys money to make their games work on the Xbox One. If they’re treating DLC as separate and asking for more money…well that’s just crap. Which doesn’t mean it won’t happen, this business after all.