Xbox striking balance between exclusive games and multi-platform communities

Will you be able to play your favorite Activision Blizzard game on any platform?

With the news that Microsoft and Xbox are trying to make yet another massive addition to its suite of studios and developers by purchasing Activision Blizzard, fans of the independent companys games were left with a major question: Is all this IP going to be exclusive to Xbox?

Not so, said head of Xbox game studios Matt Booty, according to IGN.

If we acquire a game that comes with a big community across a number of platforms, the last thing we want to do is take something away, Booty told members of the media in a briefing. “If anything, we feel that it’s our job to be caretakers, to be shepherds, to continue to build and nurture that community, not to cut it up into pieces and try to take some of it away.

The question of exclusivity has been a major one in the console community over the past year, with Xbox significantly shifting the landscape of games with the acquisition of ZeniMax, home to Bethesda and its affiliated studios. While potentially locking up the rights to many of the biggest game franchises of the past two decades, including The Elder Scrolls and Fallout, the still-to-be-completed purchase of Activision Blizzard is potentially even bigger. Everything from Call of Duty to World of Warcraft could potentially be influenced.

Bootys comments, however, seem to indicate that games with big followings on multiple platforms will continue to be available on those outside platforms, at least for the time being. New games from some of these iconic developers, on the other hand, will likely be Xbox exclusives, such as the forthcoming Starfield from Bethesda.

While those words should be somewhat reassuring for Activision Blizzard fans who are used to playing on PlayStation, they still leave plenty of wiggle room for Xbox. Does the company intend on making new games exclusive to the platform? Or new IP, and entirely new franchises? Its impossible to tell exactly where Microsoft and Xbox will draw that line, outside of the promise that games that already exist will remain playable across consoles.

One thing that is for certain, however, is that Activision Blizzard games will be coming to Game Pass. Xbox executives made that clear in no uncertain terms, and that the company wants as many titles as possible from Activision Blizzard on the consoles flagship subscription service.

However Xbox decides to deal with exclusivity, it seems it is taking the considerable fan bases many of these games already have into account. How Xbox actually strikes that balance, however, will most likely be more fully revealed in the next year or two.

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