Spencer: Xbox Play Anywhere Is Doing Well, Adoption by Big Third Party Publishers Will Come in Time

Alessio Palumbo
Posted Oct 13, 2016
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In a lengthy chat with Australian site PC Authority, Head of Xbox division Phil Spencer talked about Xbox Play Anywhere’s current state. The new initiative by Microsoft aims to bridge the gap between PC and Xbox gamers, bringing together the communities.

Xbox Play Anywhere is a cross-buy program that allows you to play your games on both Xbox One and Windows 10 PC, as well as retaining any progress you made in those games when you switch platform. You can find a list of the supported titles here; as you can see, for the moment being only first party and indie developers have signed on. According to Spencer, adoption by big third party publishers (such as Ubisoft, Electronic Arts, Activision Blizzard etc.) will come in time.

It’s a little mixed. I’d say, going back to our earlier question about the ID community, I think the indies understand that selling their game and getting it out to as many people and getting as many people playing their game as possible is a real benefit. So we’re definitely seeing a really good update in Play Anywhere with the ID program. I’d say some of the bigger traditional third party publishers, they want to see how this works out for us. There’s always a fear that ‘are you giving away two games for the price of one?’ I’ll say I think there are very few people that actually buy a game twice, once on PC, once on console. So really what you’re doing is you’re just allowing the customer you already have to play your game more often.

In today’s world, engagement on games is more engagement on games is almost always a good thing, given multiplayer and the business models around those games. But the ID community has given us a good reception for Xbox Play Anywhere, and I think the third party big publisher adoption will happen in time. I think it’s really going to be up to gamers, do they find it a feature that they want, and how vocal are they about that? We’re seeing early word from ReCore and Forza Horizon 3 that people are using the feature and finding it useful, which is great.

Have you been using Xbox Play Anywhere with games like ReCore, Forza Horizon 3 and Gears of War 4? If so, what’s your opinion so far? Tell us in the comments.

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