As Microsoft prepares itself for the launch of the Xbox Series X and S next-gen consoles, Phil Spencer, VP of Gaming at Microsoft and lead figure of the Xbox brand has confirmed that all “first-party” Xbox titles will soon be available for PC.
In an interview with Gamereactor, Spencer announced that coming first-party games or games that are under the Microsoft / Xbox Game Studios will be available to PC players through Steam and the Microsoft store. The addition of Steam and Microsoft Store aims to further widen the audience reached from their games.
Revered gaming studios which include 343 Studios, Bethesda Games, id Software and 20 other established studios will form part of this massive roster. Titles produced from this roster include Halo, Fallout, Skyrim, Doom, Forza and many other iconic titles.
When asked regarding this expansion to other platforms including Windows PC, Spencer responded that this move is set to become the norm of providing games to all their customers.
“If we are shipping a first-party game on PC it’s coming to Steam and our own store. Like we built an expectation from our customers. That’s my goal, and then there will be, as you said, maybe little anomalies every so often and because of relationships and certain developers that want to do certain things, but my goal is: make games as playable by as many people as possible so that this art form continues to grow” Spencer added.
Steam which is one of the premier gaming clients available on the PC market is one of the biggest in the gaming community with over 21 million concurrent users and sells over 8,290 titles including massive titles such as CS: GO, Dota 2, Among us, Rainbow Six: Siege and many other titles.
Spencer also emphasized during the interview that they want Xbox to not just be a console but to also be a thriving “ecosystem” that has games playable on different gaming platforms, be it on PC, Xbox consoles, Nintendo Switch and possibly even on Android.
“I don’t think it’s healthy where for every first-party game that comes out I have to get the question, is that coming to Switch or is that coming to Switch, and it not because, I love Nintendo and our relationship with what we are doing, that want us to be all in or not, and there is this expectation from customers like there is now on PC, where people don’t really question – there might be some timing things, on when certain things happen – but if we are shipping a first-party game it’s coming to PC.” Spencer added.
Looking long-term, Micrisoft aims to evolve Xbox beyond the box of consoles that they produce. Instead, they look to become something similar to the other digital ecosystems that are prevalent in today’s digital landscape (e.g. Google, Apple, etc.). This trend has become apparent even before this announcement was made, with them pushing the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and allowing cross-play over different gaming platforms.
Whether or not Microsoft’s strategy will succeed is another question altogether. While moving away from the traditional exclusive-driven model may seem like a smart move, a recent survey by GameInformer indicated that exclusive titles were still an important factor for gamers when making a decision to buy a console. This could be a deciding factor that sways buyers when both Xbox Series consoles and PlayStation 5 arrive next week.