Barring a few exceptions, Microsoft first-party games are typically only released on Xbox and PC.
However, the Redmond, Washington-based tech giant has indicated that some of its future titles could make their way to Sony and Nintendo platforms as well.
Speaking to Game Informer, Xbox Game Studios chief Matt Booty noted that Microsoft is open to publishing its titles on competitors’ devices, provided that it makes sense to do so.
“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.
For instance, he noted that it was a “no-brainer” to continue to bring the massively popular Minecraft to as many platforms as possible following Microsoft’s 2014 acquisition of developer Mojang.
On the other hand, Booty said certain marquee Xbox franchises should remain on Microsoft-owned platforms. “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,” said Booty.
Booty’s comments are notable because they open the door for games that were built from the ground up within Xbox Game Studios to make their way to other platforms.
Until now, Microsoft has typically only brought its games beyond the Xbox and PC ecosystem after it bought a studio that was already developing games for other platforms.
For example, Montreal-based Compulsion Games had already been toiling away at its action-adventure game We Happy Few for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One when Microsoft acquired it last year. Likewise, Irvine, Microsoft’s November 2018 acquisition of Obsidian Entertainment came when the Irvine, California-based developer was well into its The Outer Worlds open-world RPG on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Altogether, Xbox Game Studios is comprised of more than a dozen studios around the world, including the aforementioned Compulsion Games, Mojang and Obsidian Entertainment, as well as Vancouver-based The Coalition (Gears of War), Twycross, England-based Rare (Sea of Thieves) and Cambridge, England-based Ninja Theory (Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice).
Based on what Booty has said, there’s now a possibility that most of these studios — excluding, presumably, those focused on core Xbox franchises like The Coalition on Gears or 343 Industries on Halo — may release games on other platforms in the future.
In the meantime, though, Microsoft is preparing for the imminent release of one of its biggest Xbox One and PC exclusives, Gears 5. The Coalition-developed game will launch on September 10th.
MobileSyrup will have more on Gears 5 in the coming weeks.
Source: Game Informer