Microsoft has been on a spending spree lately, expanding its Xbox Game Studios stable with talented development houses like Ninja Theory, Playground Games, Obsidian Entertainment, Double Fine, and more. While it’s exciting to think about what these studios might do with Microsoft’s financial backing, some folks are understandably a touch irritated that so many previously-multiplatform studios are now locked into making Xbox exclusives. Or are they? During a recent appearance on the Game Informer Show, Xbox Game Studios boss Matt Booty revealed Microsoft’s newly-acquired studios may still be allowed to do multiplatform games…
Yeah, I think we would [allow multiplatform games]. 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?’
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?
Microsoft seems to be intent on breaking down the usual platform barriers this coming generation, what with their xCloud streaming platform, plans to bring Xbox Live to multiple platforms, and that Sony cloud deal. It will be interesting to see which games go multiplatform, and which stay Xbox exclusive – I don’t expect Halo and Forza to go anywhere, but what about something like Ninja Theory’s multiplayer brawler Bleeding Edge? That game would certainly benefit from a larger potential player base.
What do you think? Is it a good idea for Microsoft to not force Xbox exclusivity on its studios? What kind of multiplatform projects would you like to see from the company’s collection of developers?