Just a few short days after Nintendo’s announcement that the once exclusive Xbox Game Studios-published hit Ori and the Blind Forest would be coming the Nintendo Switch, Microsoft has informed the world that the company no longer has plans to port any of their first-party games to competing platforms.
In a statement made to Gamesindustry.biz, Microsoft indicated that although Xbox Game Studios has recently experienced substantial growth in the sheer number of teams that make up Microsoft’s gaming division, from here on out, the company will be focused on funneling their newfound assets and manpower into creating first-party games that’ll only be released on Microsoft’s platforms (Xbox and PC), and, presumably, its upcoming Google Stadia-like video gaming streaming service xCloud. Interestingly enough, players could, potentially, use xCloud as a platform to play the company’s first-party releases on non-Microsoft devices.
Microsoft went on to reassure that it will, however, follow through on all its current commitments, such as that of the port of Ori and the Blind Forest to the Switch and towards IPs that have already been released on other platforms. To shut the window on any external presumptions on its stance with cross-play, Microsoft stated that it will, “continue to believe deeply in cross-play,” and it’ll play its part in helping developers in their endeavors to, “ensure a fair and fun [cross-play] experience.”
Microsoft has only recently begun to lay low after its developer studios acquisition spree; some of these studios include big names like Playground Games (Forza Horizon series), Mojang (Minecraft), and Ninja Theory (DmC: Devil May Cry). Industry experts and enthusiasts have speculated that Microsoft will probably use these studios to develop first-party titles for its platforms, mainly for Xbox One’s successor, currently dubbed, Project Scarlett. Microsoft is said to be employing this supposed strategy as a means to rectify one of Xbox One’s era-defining shortcomings – its lack of great first-party games.
If Microsoft’s plans pan out, Xbox One owners and other Microsoft platform players will have tons of great games and content to tap their controllers to in not too long.