We've said it multiple times over the past few weeks: Microsoft has clearly changed its strategy when it comes to releasing games on Xbox and Windows PC.
Whereas the latter platform only used to receive a few of the titles published by Microsoft Game Studios and usually with a delay, now pretty much all of the most important titles being produced by Microsoft's first party studios have been announced for PC as well.
That's with the exception of Gears of War 4, the new chapter in the popular third person shooter franchise in development at The Coalition and so far an Xbox One exclusive. However, Head of Xbox Marketing Aaron Greenberg may have just indirectly confirmed its release on Windows 10 PC.
French website Gameblog asked him about the new strategy of launching games on both platforms and this was his thorough answer (translated by us).
Our business is not to prevent players to play the games we create. What we really intend to do is to make sure that our games are utilized by the greatest possible number of gamers.
Doing so allows the games to enjoy a greater success and in turn, it allows us to reinvest this success into new titles. When you think of something like Quantum Break, being able to offer the game on both Xbox One and Windows 10 helps Remedy and that helps us. This is the vision.
That said, as first party we will continue to invest in the creation of great console exclusives like Gears of War 4, ReCore, Halo Wars 2 and similar titles. We believe in building one big ecosystem of games.
We know that many play on console and we will continue to offer them great games. And there are many games that can be played at the same time on the Xbox One console and PC. Take something like Quantum Break and say "if you pre-order the digital version on Xbox One, you get the Windows 10 version for free", gamers gain a lot with that.
The saves are shared, you can continue on PC exactly where you left on the console. There are several benefits at this level for players. And we know that there is a large ecosystem of players on PC that have not been able to play our games thus far. For us, the idea is to make a bigger ecosystem and allow gamers to play titles on the devices they already own.
The highlighted part is the focus here. Greenberg mentioned Gears of War 4 among the console exclusives, which is a very specific definition that couldn't possibly be an error from the Head of Xbox Marketing; moreover, it has been paired with ReCore and Halo Wars 2, both announced for Windows 10 PC and Xbox One. This is no coincidence.
On earlier occasions, both IGN and Gamespot have mentioned Gears of War 4 among the titles coming to PC. Those articles have been since rectified and labeled as mistakes, likely at Microsoft's request, but this hint dropped by Greenberg could hardly be more clear - Microsoft has opened the IP flood gates and that will most likely include Gears of War 4, too. Should that be the case, Crackdown 3 and Scalebound would be the only AAA Xbox One exclusives remaining.
After all, Microsoft has made it clear by now: it seeks to reach the biggest possible audience, and that means involving the PC via Windows 10 as much as possible.