Despite Microsoft’s recent acquisitions, it seems the Windows giant is adamant to prove that it won’t hog all the fun to itself. Previously Xbox CFO Tim Stuart assured the public the buy-out wouldn’t mean Bethesda will get the Xbox exclusivity treatment. And now Microsoft’s cloud gaming boss has expressed the same idea.
Speaking with Game Rant, General Manager of Microsoft Cloud Gaming venture James Gwertzman said that Xbox right now is trying its hardest to be more about “services than silicon.” Even if he and his team isn’t part of the Xbox division, they’ve provided many tools for game developers, including Azure, PlayFab, and even GitHub (which the tech giant acquired back in 2018). From his experiences, Gwertzman said that most developers wanted their games to reach as many audiences as they can. And his company has been “pretty open” on supporting that goal.
“The average game developer doesn’t want exclusivity. The average game developer wants to be on every device that players are on. They want a mobile version, a console version. Console makers sometimes want exclusivity because they want their console to be special or better or whatever, but no, we don’t think it’s the answer. We’ve been pretty open about trying to support cross-platform experiences.”
For example, he noted that he and his team provide the PlayFab party, a back-end voice chat system for game developers that supports many platforms, including Switch, PlayStation, and Stadia. Therefore although Microsoft is competing with Sony in terms of console sales, Gwertzman is sure that all of his company’s services should help developers reach gamers “wherever they are.”
“Our Xbox team will compete with PlayStation to try and get more gamers to buy our device, but at the same time, when it comes to helping game developers, the goal is to help them reach gamers wherever they are.”
Personally, I do think the same way. Xbox exclusivity means people have to get into Microsoft’s platform to play the games, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be selling more games. It’ll be more profitable to let people from outside the platform to be able to buy them too. Then again, Xbox head Phil Spencer was also caught saying that the company “doesn’t have to” release Bethesda titles for other platforms. We’ll have to wait and see how this merger-and-acquisition game plays out in the future.