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Xbox's Phil Spencer thinks console exclusives will eventually go away

Console exclusives will be something we see less of, believes Spencer, and it would be to the industry's benefit if that were the case.

Justin Carter

August 24, 2022

2 Min Read
Xbox's Phil Spencer at E3 2019.

Xbox CEO Phil Spencer believes that console exclusive games will one day cease to exist. 

Speaking with Bloomberg about the still in-progress acquisition of Activision Blizzard, Spencer talked about how games made for one system will become a thing of the past, thereby "reducing friction" for players of different consoles. "Making people feel safe, secure when they're playing, allowing them to find their friends, play with their friends, regardless of what device," said Spencer. 

Since Microsoft will soon own Activision Blizzard, and more specifically, Call of Duty, Spencer has said that the big shooter franchise will remain multiplatform for the next several years. In fact, thus far, there isn't an incoming Activision Blizzard game coming out that isn't multi-platform. 

However, Microsoft will continue to keep some games and franchises in its own isolated family, such as Bethesda's Starfield. But even that technically supports Spencer's point, as it'll be releasing on PC and Xbox Series X|S

Spencer acknowledged that some companies wouldn't be into the idea of non-console exclusive titles, but is hopeful that most will come around. " I think in the long run that is good for this industry [...] I think as we get over the hump and see where this industry can continue to grow, it proves out to be true.”

If a future without console exclusives is coming, it'll be awhile. Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo all have big console exclusive titles releasing in 2023, including the aforementioned Starfield, Nintendo's Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel, and Final Fantasy XVI on the PlayStation 5. 

In 2017, former Sony executive Phil Harrison admitted that there's no much sense in making first-party titles these days. Because development costs have gone up, said Harrison at the time, releasing a game on multiple platforms have become the best way to make money. "I'm not saying they don't work but they don't work in as many cases as they used to."

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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