Microsoft has been spreading the Xbox brand a lot lately, mostly via getting Xbox Game Pass on platforms beyond just Xbox gaming consoles. It's also been porting some games to systems as well. For example, it brought Cuphead to Nintendo Switch and is bringing Ori and the Blind Forest to the console soon as well. That said, Microsoft has come out and said it has "no plans" to release more exclusive Xbox games on other consoles. This contradicts its recent actions, and how Phil Spencer has talked about the future of the Xbox brand, but, well, I don't make the news I just report on it.
"The past year has been an exciting time for us as we have more than doubled the internal creative teams making up Xbox Game Studios," said an official statement from the company provided to GamesIndustry. "As these new studios transitioned in, we were aware of some existing commitments to other platforms and will honor them. However, going forward these new studios will focus on making games for our platforms. We have no plans to further expand our exclusive first party games to other consoles. We continue to believe deeply in cross play and progression of games with the right flexibility for developers to insure a fair and fun experience."
Again, the messaging is a bit conflicting and confusing here. However, it sounds like going forward its new studios and first-party exclusives won't be shipping on other platforms. That said, it's unclear whether this simply includes first-party developed games from its own studios or all first-party published games. Because there's a difference, and it's the latter the company has been more willing to port to other consoles. In fact, the head of Xbox Game Studios recently suggested the big IP will stay on Xbox and PC, however, smaller games or titles that make sense to have on as many platforms as possible, could expand beyond the Windows 10 and Xbox ecosystem.
"I think that the question is less binary about, ‘should it be on Switch, should it be on PlayStation?’ and more, ‘does it make sense for the franchise,'" said Booty when asked about first-party Xbox games coming to Nintendo and PlayStation platforms by Game Informer. "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?"
"With something like Minecraft, I think it was a no-brainer that we were never going to try and take anything from players that existed on those platforms, and certainly we’ve added platforms since that acquisition. But then obviously we’re going to have our big franchises like Forza, Halo and Sea of Thieves, where those games are designed from the outset to really exist on Xbox, I think that will continue.”