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Multi-platform games from Xbox-owned studios must 'make sense for the franchise'

Xbox Game Studios head Matt Booty won't rule out multi-platform first-party launches, but says the decision needs to make sense for that specific franchise.

“The question is less binary about should it be on Switch, should it be on PlayStation, and more does it make sense for the franchise.”

- Xbox Game Studios' Matt Booty won't rule out multi-platform first-party launches, but says there are caveats. 

Thanks to a bit of an acquisition spree, Xbox Game Studios is now composed of a number of different studios, many of which had experience launching multi-platform games before being picked up by Microsoft for its Xbox group.

But while this makes up a strong catalog of first-party developers at Xbox’s disposal, Xbox Game Studios head Matt Booty says signing on with the company doesn’t necessarily mean those developers will be limited to launching games only on Xbox and PC, though it seems like that will be the case for many of the games those studios announce in the future.

Ultimately, as Booty explains during a chat with Game Informer, the decision boils down to if a multi-platform launch makes sense for the game or franchise itself.

“The question is less binary about should it be on Switch, should it be on PlayStation, and more does it make sense for the franchise,” explains Booty. “In other words, is it a kind of game where it would benefit from the network effect of being on a bunch of different platforms or is it a game where we can best support it by putting resources and making sure that our platforms, things like xCloud and Game Pass and Xbox Live, are really leaning in to support the game.”

He points out that Mojang brought Minecraft to several new platforms following Xbox’s acquisition of the company. But while multi-platform launches aren’t out of the question, his comments suggest that any game looking to launch outside of Microsoft platforms will need a strong case for doing so.

By the sounds of it, Booty is of the mind that big releases like a hypothetical follow-up to Obsidian’s upcoming game Outer Worlds would live entirely on Microsoft-owned platforms, along with other games like Forza, Halo, and Sea of Thieves titles that “are designed from the outset to really exist on Xbox.”

More on those recent acquisitions, along with some light chatter about Booty’s own development activities, can be found in the rest of the chat on the Game Informer Show.

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