We have been really pleased." Microsoft Gaming studios head Matt Booty talks shipping Sea of Thieves on PlayStation 5, Xbox exclusives, and more.

fatpunkslim

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“We continue to make these decisions on an individual, case-by-case basis. We are absolutely committed to having exclusive games on Xbox, it's part of our core promise. [… ] The console will always be fundamental to what we do.”

This is a very important and very clear statement from Matt Booty which confirms the old statements of Phil Spencer. This puts an end to what some call vagueness on the part of Xbox. There will always be Xbox exclusive games, the console remains a very important element, and then the choice to make certain games multiplatform on a case by case basis.

To be nitpicky, we could wonder what theses criteria are for making a game multiplatform or not, but we shouldn't ask too much either, we are entering into quite complex internal decisions where they must take into account profitability, brand image, the need to keep large exclusive franchises to maintain attractiveness towards the Xbox ecosystem, etc...

We easily understand that there is an interest in relaunching old service games like Sea of Thieves (a game that is almost 7 years old). For big Xbox franchises that are really part of the Xbox DNA like halo, starfield, fable, gears, etc.... they are necessarily part of the games that are supposed to remain exclusive as Matt Booty says
 
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fjtorres5591

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The criteria will be common sense:

- Franchise games that have been multiplat in the past will remain multiplat. (Doom, Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Wolfenstein, COD, etc.)

- Expensive games limited XBOX audiences or licensed properties will be timed limited exclusives at most. (Likely: Indiana Jones, Blade, maybe.)

- New IPs and signature XBOX franchises will remain locked exclusives. No matter what the fen dream, Halo and Gears, Starfield, WoW, Flight Sim, Forza, and any number of backlist properties on a case by case basis, will remain exclusives.

Modifiers: MS, like any well run company, is opportunistic and will adapt to the market on the fly. Like taking advantage of Sony's weak release schedule this year to harvest some added revenue from their base. Or Making a deal with Nintendo to get GOLDENEYE back out. Money talks.

The media and a lot of gamers think business is zero sum, that for one company to win, another must lose. That is a fallacy: there is such a thing as a win-win. And coopetition and milking other platforms instead of refusing to deal with their customers. It's business and business is about money.

And the one thing the media and a lot of gamers like to ignore: XBOX makes MS a lot of money in hardware, in subscriptions, and exclusives. And that is without ABK.
 
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VickX

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Can you explain the situation better to me? I read the entire article but the situation is still not entirely clear to me.
Regarding exclusivity Matt says that: When asked about what this means for future Xbox exclusives, Booty reiterates that the teams are evaluating games hitting other consoles on a "case-by-case basis," adding that Xbox players can absolutely continue to expect many games to launch as exclusives, and that the "Xbox promise" that all Xbox first-party games come to Xbox Game Pass will continue to be true."
Now from my point of view, but also from other people's point of view, I interpret this as "There will be games that will be launched multiplatform, which will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, but there will also be other games that will be launched as exclusives, this last part I interpret it as if in the future, these launch exclusives could become multiplatform. Am I wrong?
Personally, it doesn't bother me that Bethesda, Activision, etc. games are released on other platforms, but I still defend the identity of Xbox, reiterating that, in my opinion, games like Fable, Halo and Gears should remain exclusive.
 

fatpunkslim

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Can you explain the situation better to me? I read the entire article but the situation is still not entirely clear to me.
Regarding exclusivity Matt says that: When asked about what this means for future Xbox exclusives, Booty reiterates that the teams are evaluating games hitting other consoles on a "case-by-case basis," adding that Xbox players can absolutely continue to expect many games to launch as exclusives, and that the "Xbox promise" that all Xbox first-party games come to Xbox Game Pass will continue to be true."
Now from my point of view, but also from other people's point of view, I interpret this as "There will be games that will be launched multiplatform, which will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, but there will also be other games that will be launched as exclusives, this last part I interpret it as if in the future, these launch exclusives could become multiplatform. Am I wrong?
Personally, it doesn't bother me that Bethesda, Activision, etc. games are released on other platforms, but I still defend the identity of Xbox, reiterating that, in my opinion, games like Fable, Halo and Gears should remain exclusive.
Why make it simple when you can make it complicated. The slightest word is subject to interpretation, it's crazy! A game launched as exclusive, that means that it allows itself the right to make these games multiplatform but in all cases it will be on a case by case basis. This doesn't mean that these exclusive games will be released on other platforms or not, it depends, it will be case by case. What is certain is that Xbox exclusive games will not systematically be on other platforms, it will be on a case by case basis. The keyword is "case by case", the same keyword already used by Phil Spencer.

This is where a certain latitude project comes into play which, according to certain criteria, judges whether a game could be multiplatform or not. Fjtorres5591 and I gave some possible criteria.

What Matt Booty said is very simple, there will be Xbox exclusive games AND other games will also be multiplatform, they play on both sides, quite simply which is very intelligent and very logical from a business point of view.

And this is already what Phil Spencer said in other words, "the arrival of these 4 games does not mean that all the others will arrive". This too is clear, but I have the impression that some people pretend not to understand (I'm not talking about you) just to get people talking.

For me there is no debate, Xbox has been following this strategy for years now, they have always had certain multiplatform games and other exclusive games, end of debate, the rest is just quibbling to make clicks.

In the end when you look closely, it's not Xbox that isn't clear, it's certain media that pretend not to understand and overinterpret the slightest word that would potentially be subject to ambiguity. Whatever Xbox says, there will always be people trying to interpret things their way, that's how it is, you have to deal with it's the media world we live in
 
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VickX

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Why make it simple when you can make it complicated. The slightest word is subject to interpretation, it's crazy! A game launched as exclusive, that means that it allows itself the right to make these games multiplatform but in all cases it will be on a case by case basis. This doesn't mean that these exclusive games will be released on other platforms or not, it depends, it will be case by case. What is certain is that Xbox exclusive games will not systematically be on other platforms, it will be on a case by case basis. The keyword is "case by case", the same keyword already used by Phil Spencer.

This is where a certain latitude project comes into play which, according to certain criteria, judges whether a game could be multiplatform or not. Fjtorres5591 and I gave some possible criteria.

What Matt Booty said is very simple, there will be Xbox exclusive games AND other games will also be multiplatform, they play on both sides, quite simply which is very intelligent and very logical from a business point of view.

And this is already what Phil Spencer said in other words, "the arrival of these 4 games does not mean that all the others will arrive". This too is clear, but I have the impression that some people pretend not to understand (I'm not talking about you) just to get people talking.

For me there is no debate, Xbox has been following this strategy for years now, they have always had certain multiplatform games and other exclusive games, end of debate, the rest is just quibbling to make clicks.

In the end when you look closely, it's not Xbox that isn't clear, it's certain media that pretend not to understand and overinterpret the slightest word that would potentially be subject to ambiguity. Whatever Xbox says, there will always be people trying to interpret things their way, that's how it is, you have to deal with it's the media world we live in
Absolutely agree! But I still don't understand one thing...
If Matt declares that there will be launch exclusives, and that they will evaluate on a case-by-case basis, this means that not everything will be multiplatform, up to this point it is clear, but the final comment of the article, i.e. the analysis of the interesting ideas, is not clear to me. It reads " The next DOOM is going to be multiplatform at launch, and I certainly think that makes a lot of sense, as did Sea of Thieves. On the flip side, having games like Gears of War: E-Day and Perfect Dark being targeted to Xbox hardware and PC also makes a fair bit of sense." From here I understand if exclusives like Halo, Fable and Gears will not arrive on other platforms or if it is a simple "hope".
I also agree with what you say, many journalists have exaggerated the situation a lot, but in any case I want Xbox to maintain its "Identity".
Saying "Case by case" makes me think that even a Fable can be released on other platforms and that therefore anything can happen.
 

fatpunkslim

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Absolutely agree! But I still don't understand one thing...
If Matt declares that there will be launch exclusives, and that they will evaluate on a case-by-case basis, this means that not everything will be multiplatform, up to this point it is clear, but the final comment of the article, i.e. the analysis of the interesting ideas, is not clear to me. It reads " The next DOOM is going to be multiplatform at launch, and I certainly think that makes a lot of sense, as did Sea of Thieves. On the flip side, having games like Gears of War: E-Day and Perfect Dark being targeted to Xbox hardware and PC also makes a fair bit of sense." From here I understand if exclusives like Halo, Fable and Gears will not arrive on other platforms or if it is a simple "hope".
I also agree with what you say, many journalists have exaggerated the situation a lot, but in any case I want Xbox to maintain its "Identity".
Saying "Case by case" makes me think that even a Fable can be released on other platforms and that therefore anything can happen.
Doom was already cross-platform, that's surely part of the criteria for making a game cross-platform as fjtorres5591 said.

For games like fable, gears, halo, forza, state of decay, etc. historically exclusive games, there is no chance that they will be multiplatform, the same for new big licenses like starfield, because in this case that would mean that everything becomes multiplatform and case by case would no longer apply in this case. And it wouldn't make sense from a business point of view, because it's the kind of game that can attract players to the Xbox ecosystem (the consoles and the gamepass). I also think like you that it would be a mistake and I think that Phil Spencer, Sarah Bond, Matt Booty know this very well, that's why they weigh the pros and cons on the games that they want to make multiplatform .

In certain cases, there can be direct positive consequences (sell more games in the short term) and indirect negative consequences in the longer term (bad for xbox ecosystem, hardware, gamepass, brand), it is therefore a delicate choice each time, and based on this principle, large IPs must and will remain exclusive because it is better for their business in the long term.

Moreover, Phil Spencer has often declared that each decision was made based on long-term thinking in order to preserve Xbox in the future on the triptych: games, gamepass, hardware. You can see the direct business developer again, this triptych is often repeated.

It is therefore a question of making decisions that are good for the developers and the sale of games, good for the gamepass, and good for the hardware. Each of these pillars is important and one cannot take precedence over the other, it is a balance to find.

The balance is in the simple fact of keeping games exclusive and at the same time sending certain games cross-platform. If everything became multiplatform, you disrupt this balance and it becomes harmful for the business.

This strategy makes sense in a context where we are in an industry where manufacturers still maintain a certain level of exclusivity. The day Sony starts sending God of War or Last of Us games to Xbox, Xbox's strategy will adapt to this new paradigm.

Even if all manufacturers are opening more and more towards multiplatform, even Nintendo, they will come to it. They will still keep exclusive games, because it makes sense to sell consoles, sell gamepass and even get third-party publishers to make games for your platform.

I'm just transcribing what has already been said by Xbox, also based on my understanding of how the industry works and what seems logical to me, but Xbox knows all this very well, they have people much more knowledgeable than us to deal with these subjects.

So people who, with a very binary vision of things (O or 1), think they know better than everyone else by saying that Xbox is going to make all these games multiplatform, have understood absolutely nothing about the video game business. It is not so simple !

But most of the time these people are often bitter people who have something against Xbox or against Microsoft. Or as I said above, “influencers” who want to make clicks and/or with a closed vision that does not cover all the issues.
 
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VickX

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Doom was already cross-platform, that's surely part of the criteria for making a game cross-platform as fjtorres5591 said.

For games like fable, gears, halo, forza, state of decay, etc. historically exclusive games, there is no chance that they will be multiplatform, the same for new big licenses like starfield, because in this case that would mean that everything becomes multiplatform and case by case would no longer apply in this case. And it wouldn't make sense from a business point of view, because it's the kind of game that can attract players to the Xbox ecosystem (the consoles and the gamepass). I also think like you that it would be a mistake and I think that Phil Spencer, Sarah Bond, Matt Booty know this very well, that's why they weigh the pros and cons on the games that they want to make multiplatform .

In certain cases, there can be direct positive consequences (sell more games in the short term) and indirect negative consequences in the longer term (bad for xbox ecosystem, hardware, gamepass, brand), it is therefore a delicate choice each time, and based on this principle, large IPs must and will remain exclusive because it is better for their business in the long term.

Moreover, Phil Spencer has often declared that each decision was made based on long-term thinking in order to preserve Xbox in the future on the triptych: games, gamepass, hardware. You can see the direct business developer again, this triptych is often repeated.

It is therefore a question of making decisions that are good for the developers and the sale of games, good for the gamepass, and good for the hardware. Each of these pillars is important and one cannot take precedence over the other, it is a balance to find.

The balance is in the simple fact of keeping games exclusive and at the same time sending certain games cross-platform. If everything became multiplatform, you disrupt this balance and it becomes harmful for the business.

This strategy makes sense in a context where we are in an industry where manufacturers still maintain a certain level of exclusivity. The day Sony starts sending God of War or Last of Us games to Xbox, Xbox's strategy will adapt to this new paradigm.

Even if all manufacturers are opening more and more towards multiplatform, even Nintendo, they will come to it. They will still keep exclusive games, because it makes sense to sell consoles, sell gamepass and even get third-party publishers to make games for your platform.

I'm just transcribing what has already been said by Xbox, also based on my understanding of how the industry works and what seems logical to me, but Xbox knows all this very well, they have people much more knowledgeable than us to deal with these subjects.

So people who, with a very binary vision of things (O or 1), think they know better than everyone else by saying that Xbox is going to make all these games multiplatform, have understood absolutely nothing about the video game business. It is not so simple !

But most of the time these people are often bitter people who have something against Xbox or against Microsoft. Or as I said above, “influencers” who want to make clicks and/or with a closed vision that does not cover all the issues.
Totally agree, I liked how you explained the balance MS needs to maintain for Xbox and I hope games like Fable and Halo don't release beyond PC. Recently there have been several rumors about a possible H1 Remake for PS5 too, I obviously hope it's not true. I don't want to come across as a ****** but seeing a Fable or a Halo on PS5 would be like a stab for me (but I think for many other people too). I say this not because I prefer Xbox, but simply because, as previously mentioned, I still want to have a great reason to buy an Xbox, and that reason, for me, should be the exclusives, because they are the ones that keep the identity of the console intact .
I read about many people who say that GamePass is the true Xbox exclusive, believe me crazy but I would gladly trade this to keep the exclusives.
Panic happened when they announced Sea of Thieves, Grounded, Pentiment and Hi-fi Rush on PS5, I can't imagine what would happen for a Fable or a Halo. I've also read about people who wouldn't give a damn, as if we were the problem, but I can't understand how they can't understand this link between games and consoles. The situation, I admit, still scares me, Sea Of Thieves was a great Xbox exclusive, I was sad to see it on PS because it appealed to everyone, but I also understand that 6 years after its release, earning almost nothing from it, they decide to release it even on other platforms, this is the same fear I have for Halo and others because I think the same could happen. (they mention case by case, maybe Fable no longer sells after 5 years and they release it on other platforms). I would like them to remain "Total" exclusive (console, PC and cloud), that's why I agree with your "balance" argument, I find it sensible. Sometimes I also thought about the possibility that maybe Sony could release some of its exclusives on Xbox, the situation could balance out, but I just keep seeing Sony continue to limit Xbox, recently with these secret agreements made with Son Wukong's team. All of this pisses me off, because I think that while Sony continues to limit Xbox, MS willingly gives up its exclusivity to them.
Sometimes I even thought about a world where Xbox had not implemented this strategy and had kept Bethesda and Activision games totally exclusive, could the situation improve? Could the consoles have sold more?

In conclusion, the situation still scares me. I agree that games that have been multiplatform should continue to be so, but I'm scared for the Halo, Fable etc exclusives. After seeing Sea (which I think is a great game), on PS, I'm afraid that it could happen to others too (even after 4 years).
I have been Xbox for over 15 years, I have always preferred Xbox for its games, not for its gamepass, and I hope to continue to do so for this reason and that this balance is not broken.

(Sorry for the long text, but I wanted to express all my thoughts and concerns.)
 

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