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IO Interactive's fantasy game may have Xbox exclusivity

This would be IO's first console-exclusive game.

Justin Carter

June 27, 2023

1 Min Read
Concept art for IO Interactive's unannounced Project Dragon.

Microsoft has potentially locked down IO Interactive's previously announced online fantasy game as an Xbox exclusive. Court documents relating to its trial with the FTC reveal the console maker was looking at potentially buying the Hitman studio. 

Those documents (dated back to spring 2021) list one of IO's upcoming works as Project Dragon for the PC and Xbox Series X|S. Its publisher is listed as "XGS [or Xbox Games Studios] Publishing."

Should the two projects be one and the same, it'd be IO's first time dabbling with console exclusivity for its games. With the exception of its debut game, 2000's PC-only Hitman: Codename 47, the Danish studio has made multiplatform titles. 

As such, having one of its future projects tied to a particular console changes its prospects somewhat. And for Microsoft, this would be one its first third-party partnerships in some time, since the early days of the Xbox One with Insomniac Games' Sunset Overdrive

IO's fantasy RPG (back then dubbed Project Fantasy by the studio) was announced back in February, and is part of the studio's efforts to grow beyond the Hitman series. Its other project is a game based on James Bond which, according to the court documents, currently has no set publisher or platforms.

If Project Dragon does wind up being exclusive to the Xbox ecosystem, it'd be another high-profile team-up between a third-party studio and Microsoft. Earlier in the month, it was revealed that People Can Fly is in a work-for-hire deal to make a project based on an unannounced Xbox franchise. 

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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