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Image credit: Doc_Dark YouTube
Over the weekend, it was claimed that multiple major Xbox exclusives including Starfield, Hi-Fi Rush and Indiana Jones could be released on PS5, as part of a significant strategy shift from Microsoft‘s gaming division. On Monday, it was claimed that Microsoft is even considering bringing the Gears of War franchise to PlayStation.
Although not yet officially confirmed, the reports have led to a major backlash within the Xbox community, including from notable Xbox influencers with large followings, who are unhappy that games previously marketed as Xbox exclusives could be made available on other console platforms.
Notably, Xbox influencer Klobrille took to the ResetEra forum to confirm that they were taking steps to wind down their account, following the reports.
Klobrille is one of the most well-known personalities in the Xbox community, with over 158,000 followers on X, including Microsoft’s gaming boss Phil Spencer, Xbox president Sarah Bond, and virtually its entire marketing and PR leadership team.
The account is known for creating faux Xbox marketing images, which are regularly shared by Xbox’s bosses.
On Monday, Klobrille said the supposed change in strategy from Microsoft had made them reconsider their support for the Xbox brand.
“The baseline for being Klobrille always was the trust and credibility of the brand I support and my excitement for the path ahead,” they wrote. “All of these three are at an all-time low right now.
“I’ve made the decision, depending on what’s next or its scale, to take significant steps back and reduce the Klobrille persona, or eventually even retire it.”
‘Timdog’, another notable Xbox influencer with 82,000 followers – including Spencer, Xbox’s marketing leads and the official Xbox account – made a more dramatic declaration on Monday, streaming a 7-hour Spaces audio discussion on X under the headline “I’m not an Xbox fanboy anymore”.
“It’s so easy to see Xbox is killing its hardware and putting a stake in the heart of it by doing this,” he said. “And there’s no going back… it’s dead.”
He later tweeted: “Xbox could have killed Game Pass, say buy our exclusives and focus on our hardware and that’s 100 percent the better idea [than to] SAY LETS KILL EXCLUSIVES AND put Halo on PS5. The outrage would be half of this and guess what you might be back to having a healthy business.”
He added: “Nothing changes other than I don’t support them like I have in past. If you like being lied to that’s a you thing. I have a set of standards that’s all. Cross them and well I respond.”
YouTuber Doc_Dark, a self-proclaimed “console war content creator”, posted a video in which he sang for three minutes about the situation.
“I pray to god that you remember, the beginning of this generation when we had a chance,” starts Doc_Dark’s original song. “Everything was lined up, but now it looks like it’s over,” he continued, holding aloft an Xbox Series S console. “I shouldn’t be crying, but I just can’t let it go… I can’t stop thinking about all the games we should’ve played that we never played.”
Xbox influencer, KidSmoove, another X user followed by Xbox executives, changed his Twitter banner to a logo reading, “Fuck Xbox”.
“Xbox is doomed,” they wrote. “[If they’re] expecting PlayStation and Nintendo to buy Xbox games they are in for a rude awakening.”
Elsewhere, some social media users have posted tweets stating that they’re trading in their consoles, with one showing receipts proving they have already done it, despite the reports still being unconfirmed at the time of writing.
In a more disturbing turn unrelated to any of the influencers mentioned in this story, Xbox’s senior media manager shared an image showing a message in which an anonymous user wished him harm over the situation.
With speculation about a new strategy for the Xbox business mounting, Microsoft’s head of gaming Phil Spencer released a statement on Monday telling fans that more will become clear next week.
“We’re listening and we hear you,” Phil Spencer wrote on X. “We’ve been planning a business update event for next week, where we look forward to sharing more details with you about our vision for the future of Xbox. Stay tuned.”
Should recent reports prove to be accurate, on the surface the move would represent a significant change in Microsoft’s gaming strategy, which has previously seen it keep its biggest new first-party releases exclusive to its consoles.
However, Xbox already releases all of its first-party games on PC immediately, and with PS5 and Switch reportedly outselling the Xbox Series consoles significantly, it’s possible the company has decided the potential software sales can no longer be ignored.