It is increasingly common for certain game content to be temporarily exclusive on certain platforms. Of course, this is a strategy that companies use to attract more players in multi-platform titles. During the Brazil Game Show, Phil Spencer, chief of Xbox, spoke on this topic and gave his point of view on this recurring practice.
For starters, it is very important to clarify something. The manager knows that he is not the most appropriate to talk about the issue because Microsoft had an exclusivity agreement with Activision for Call of Duty. Making this clear, Spencer commented that his opinion is somewhat ironic.
“People always knock me on this; I’ve been on record… I don’t love the idea or practice of us paying so other platforms can’t play or use a certain gun in a game or do a certain level,” the manager said.
“I know I say that and, Xbox history–DLC exclusivity windows with Call of Duty–I understand the fingers are pointing right back to Xbox. I can only be who I am. It’s not the best PR answer. But I don’t like that [exclusive DLCs],” Spencer said.
On the other hand, the Xbox boss also mentioned that PC has great potential as a gaming platform. This is due to its openness and the possibility of having cross-play with some consoles. Also, this allows forming a community that exceeds any limits set by the market and, sometimes, by the players themselves.
Thus, it is important for Spencer that the audience exceeds the basic definition of exclusive gameplay and specific devices to play.
As an example, he put his collaboration with Bluehole and the joint work to make of PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS a great title. “I’ve got a deal, working with [Bluehole] to build the very best version of PUBG. That’s where I am focused. Right now, we’re helping that game come to console. Our focus is on making the best games possible,” Spencer said.
Regarding the Cuphead case, the manager affirmed that it is exclusive, but that this was possible thanks to the support that StudioMDHR received from Microsoft: “Together with them we wanted to invest more. We saw more opportunity. And what that turned into was us having an exclusive game on our platform. That’s a game that probably wouldn’t have happened the way it did if we didn’t invest the way we did,” Spencer finished.
The Xbox boss also recently commented that the cross-play between PS4 and Xbox One may never happen, but that backward compatibility with Xbox Original will come this year.
What do you think of Spencer’s comments? What is your opinion about exclusive DLC?