Xbox will support developers who want to release next-gen exclusives, says Spencer
Microsoft games will be cross-gen for the foreseeable future
Head of Xbox Phil Spencer has said the platform holder will support developers who want to release next-gen exclusives for Xbox Series X, in opposition to its own release strategy.
Microsoft has heavily promoted a cross-generational release strategy for its games branch, with all first-party Xbox titles set to release across its next-gen Series X console, current-gen hardware and PC.
Earlier this month, Xbox boss Spencer suggested the strategy would continue for a number of years, which would mean it’s next-gen platform would not see full console exclusives for the foreseeable future.
The approach is unique in the console space and in great contrast to the strategy of rival PlayStation, which has committed to releasing games that are only possible on its more advanced PlayStation 5.
Asked to elaborate on the exclusivity situation in a new Jeux Video interview, the executive clarified that Xbox was “completely open” to working with developers on next-gen exclusives, such as already-announced horror games Scorn and The Medium, if that’s what they want to do.
Spencer suggested that exclusive next-gen games could be shown at this week’s Xbox Games Showcase.
“The thing you’ll see on the 23rd is we’re giving our studios real creative freedom to build the games that they envision,” he said. “Our game creators want to build great titles that can reach a large audience of players [so] people can experience what they’ve created.
“I think what you hear [Xbox Game Studios head] Matt [Booty] talking about and our creators will say is, we have a vision for every game that we’re building and the vision starts with the player, not the device.
“And if a creator comes to us, and you mentioned a couple of games that were in the May showcase, and says, ‘no, I really want to focus on the next-generation” with their games, we’re completely open to that, we’re very supportive of that.
“If a creator comes to us and says, ‘I have this vision for reaching these customers, across different platforms and different generations’, we’re completely supportive of that.”
The exec added: “It’s really about our creators having choice and allowing them to build the games they want to build, to reach the audience they’re looking for, and not things that we’re mandating to our creators in terms of what they have to go build.
“It’s not our roles for our platform, it’s more about creators building the games that they want to go build.”
On Xbox’s first-party release strategy, Spencer held a frank discussion with GamesIndustry.biz earlier this month in which he said he believed that generational exclusives were “completely counter to what gaming is about.”
“Gaming is about entertainment and community and diversion and learning new stories and new perspectives, and I find it completely counter to what gaming is about to say that part of that is to lock people away from being able to experience those games.”