Microsoft’s recent studio acquisitions have caused quite a stir within the gaming community. With Obsidian Entertainment and Double Fine Productions among the ever-expanding list of first-party game development studios, gamers fear that their future releases would be exclusive to the Xbox consoles and PC. Surprisingly, Xbox Games Studios (XGS) Head Matt Booty confirmed in a Game Informer interview that this would not be the case. Booty said Microsoft would permit future Xbox first-party games to release on PlayStation and Nintendo platforms. However, some conditions have to be considered, according to Booty.
The publisher is open to future XGS projects remaining multi-platform if said project is a sequel to a franchise available on various platforms. Booty uses Minecraft as an example as to why Microsoft would avoid platform exclusivity. “In other words, is it a kind of game where it would benefit from the network effect of being on a bunch of different platforms, or is it a game where we can best support it by putting resources and making sure that our platforms, things like xCloud and Game Pass and Xbox Live, are really leaning in to support the game?”, Booty explained. Microsoft-owned titles outside of the Minecraft IP have released on non-Xbox platforms before, such as Cuphead and the upcoming Psychonauts 2. Booty has also clarified that franchises that have birthed on Xbox will stay on Xbox.
The notion of making owned IP release on competing platforms sounds contradictory to the goal of said owner of the IP. Imagine if Disney still released a few of their own franchises on Netflix despite having their own streaming service. However, Microsoft is in a different position in which their platform has transcended the traditional console and can transform into a nearly universal entity in gaming. Therefore, it appears this leniency is just the beginning of Microsoft’s end goals. What do you think of future XGS titles launching on competing platforms like Nintendo and PlayStation? Does it harm the value proposition of Microsoft’s own platform or does it not matter as Microsoft still earns revenue from software sales? Let’s talk about it in the comments below!
News and feature writer for Sick Critic since 2017. Undergraduate studying English. Writes stories on: PlayStation news and analysis, general video game industry affairs, the film industry affairs, and the streaming wars.