While other companies have been bolstering their first-party line-up of games, Microsoft has looked elsewhere to strengthen the Xbox branding, such as its Play Anywhere scheme and cross-compatibility. This is a shortcoming that Xbox boss, Phil Spencer is hoping to address, by getting more studios under the company’s belt.
Housing titles such as Halo, Gears of War, Forza and one-off titles such as Sunset Overdrive or Cuphead already exclusive to the Xbox banner, it’s fair to say that the company houses quality. Where it is often criticised is its lack of output for such titles.
With the exception of two of Sony’s “platformer trio”; Naughty Dog (Jack & Daxter) and Sucker Punch (Sly Raccoon), studios housed by a major publisher tend to fizzle, as evident by Microsoft’s closure of Lionhead Studios, famous for the Fable series. The company still holds great relationships with Mojang, Turn 10 and 343, responsible for Minecraft, Forza and Halo respectively, however it is still drastically behind rivals Sony and Nintendo, with the latter almost entirely relying on its first-party line-up.
Spencer took to an interview with Bloomberg to address the issue, stating: “We need to grow, and I look forward to doing that,” Spencer said. “Our ability to go create content has to be one of our strengths. We haven’t always invested at the same level. We’ve gone through ups and downs in the investment.”
It’s possible that Xbox’s Play Anywhere scheme will clash with this new effort as most games are touted to end up on the PC platform anyway, however the company maintains its stance as an “ecosystem,” meaning that sales from the Microsoft Store on Windows 10 are unlikely to hinder the progress of Microsoft moving forward with the Xbox brand.
KitGuru Says: Many readers feel that exclusives are hurting the industry, so this is no doubt unwelcome news for many, but it would be interesting to see what types of games Microsoft will expand into other than the shooter and racing genres. What do you think about more Xbox exclusives?