Xbox Hints First-Party Games Will Now Be Treated As Timed Exclusives

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Expect "Launch Exclusivity" For First-Party Games!

Story Highlight
  • Xbox executive Matt Booty states third-party releases will continue to be a focus.
  • He states that Xbox users can still anticipate first-party games to ‘launch as Xbox exclusives.’
  • Matt Booty seems to suggest that timed exclusivity is the way forward for Microsoft.

Following its initial third-party releases, Microsoft has slowly begun to offer more clarity on its future. This also means the messaging has evolved, pointing to a clearer picture for fans hoping to understand Xbox’s approach.

Earlier this month, Phil Spencer confirmed that more first-party titles would be released on other platforms. Another statement from Xbox executive Matt Booty now suggests that first-party games will be treated as timed exclusives for the platform.

Why it matters: Microsoft initially promised that the third-party push would be limited in nature. While it hasn’t deviated from this promise so far, signs point to a gradual shift in strategy.

Hi-Fi Rush
Hi-Fi Rush and Sea of Thieves Led The Charge For This Third-Party Strategy

During an interview, Xbox Game Studios President Matt Booty discussed the third-party push again.

He stated that third-party releases would be decided on a case-by-case basis, but his next sentence was more interesting. He went on to say that fans can expect many games to “launch as Xbox exclusives.”

The words here suggest that nothing is being ruled out for the third-party push, with Xbox consoles receiving priority but not full exclusivity. This is similar to PlayStation’s approach with its PC ports, but Microsoft hopes to launch games everywhere.

What’s also interesting is that Microsoft used the same case-by-case term when describing which games would be exclusive to Xbox after it acquired Bethesda. Until recently, nearly every title that Bethesda launched skipped the PS5.

Even smaller titles like Hi-Fi Rush and weaker games like Redfall were given exclusivity status. If history repeats itself, Microsoft’s case-by-case approach will lead to third-party releases becoming the norm rather than the exception.

Sea of Thieves
Sea of Thieves Was One of The First Four Multiplatform Titles From Xbox

Matt Booty noted that Sea of Thieves has succeeded on other platforms. This was already evident from its position on PlayStation’s monthly downloads list, even though the game is now losing players.

Microsoft is now more determined to find similar levels of success across third-party platforms. Further evidence of this comes from Doom: The Dark Ages, a game that could have been a massive first-party Xbox exclusive.

The big question here is whether games like Gears of War and Halo will eventually head to other consoles. According to reports, Microsoft is looking at these possibilities, so this may very well become a reality at some point.

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