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Xbox has responded to confusion around which games shown in Thursday’s Games Showcase are releasing across console generations.
Xbox appeared to announce four next-gen exclusive console games on Thursday and confirm a fifth and sixth, breaking from its recent promotion of a cross-gen release strategy.
Obsidian’s Avowed, Playground’s Fable, Turn 10’s Forza Motorsport, Undead Labs‘ State of Decay 3, Ninja Theory‘s Hellblade 2 and Rare’s Everwild were all listed in the Showcase and in an Xbox news post as Series X console exclusives.
Responding to the confusion on Twitter, Xbox marketing boss Aaron Greenberg claimed that all first-party games are being developed for Xbox Series X “first” and that it is up to studios to decide if they also release for Xbox One.
“Future [first-party] titles are developed for Xbox Series X first,” he wrote. “Not saying those games won’t ship on Xbox One, only that we are leading with Series X & each studio will decide what’s best for their game/community when they launch.”
In a follow-up message, Greenberg said the Everwild and Avowed website pages would be updated to be consistent with the Showcase messaging. Both pages have now had Xbox One removed.
Until Thursday Microsoft had heavily promoted a cross-generational release strategy for its games, with all first-party Xbox titles for the next couple of years said to be planned as Xbox One and Xbox Series X cross-gen releases.
The approach is unique in the console space and in stark contrast to the strategy of rival PlayStation, which has committed to releasing games that are only possible on its more advanced PlayStation 5.
Earlier this month, Xbox boss Spencer suggested the strategy would continue for a number of years. This may suggest that the games announced on Thursday – of all which appeared to be in early states of development – could be some time away from completion.
In a frank discussion with GamesIndustry.biz this month, Spencer went even further by stating that he believed generational exclusives were “completely counter to what gaming is about.”
He later suggested in a Jeux Video interview that the platform holder would support developers who wanted to release next-gen exclusives.