Spencer: There’s No Mandate For Studios to Release on XB1&PC; UWP Games Not Limited To Windows Store

Alessio Palumbo
Posted Mar 31, 2016
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Phil Spencer was a part of yesterday’s Microsoft Build keynote. We reported on the highlights earlier today, such as the upcoming UWP VSYNC fix and the fact that overlay and mods will be allowed eventually.

However, Spencer also talked to the press in a Q&A afterwards and expanded on some of the hottest topics. For instance, while it was reiterated that after Forza 6 Apex all games in the racing franchise will be released on both Windows 10 and Xbox One, the Head of Xbox Division confirmed that there is no actual mandate for internal studios to release on both Windows 10 PC and Xbox One.

Our intent is for when the genres and creative makes sense in both spaces that we’ll put our games in both spaces.

I don’t want to make it some kind of artificial mandate, because then I think we end up with ‘Frankengames’, games that really weren’t meant for a certain platform. And because some suit said, ‘Hey, everything’s gotta run on both platforms’, you end up with something people don’t want.
You should expect it when franchises look like they belong on both platforms, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s a mandate for the studios because it’s not.

It might not be a mandate, but most titles published by Microsoft Game Studios can certainly fit both platforms well, so it’s reasonable to expect the current trend to continue with just a few exceptions to the rule.

Spencer then confirmed that support for keyboard & mouse will eventually be available on Xbox One as previously announced. At the same time, he doesn’t want to force users who are accustomed to either keyboard & mouse or controller to play against another control method.

Windows 10 Insider Preview 14361 for Desktop and Mobile is Already Out!

Furthermore, addressing Tim Sweeney’s concerns regarding Microsoft’s purported plan of locking down the Windows ecosystem, he explained that UWP applications don’t have to be sold through Microsoft’s Store (which will be unified shortly).

You have to submit to our store if you’re going to sell through our store, but you don’t have to sell through our store. What Tim wanted us to say is ‘We’re not locking down the app framework to lock down people’s ability to distribute games and applications on the platform’. That’s right, that’s not what we’re doing.

Finally, he addressed in the elephant in the room: Halo 5 Guardians. According to Spencer, the game was conceived for console (Xbox One) and he doesn’t want to look back. Rather, if they’re going to bring Halo (in its FPS incarnation – Halo Wars 2 has already been announced for Windows 10) to PC, it will be because they have planned for a release on both platforms from the beginning.

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