We’ve been discussing a lot about the value of exclusive games coming to PlayStation 4 or Xbox One – a value none of us has in mind to put into question, here; it is something absolute and without any doubt those, together with the shipping price, are what determine the success of a platform -, but the picture is really changing lately because of Microsoft’s moves in the effort to make Windows PC gaming meaningful again. Quantum Break losing the status of Xbox One exclusive games is something Xbox fanboys have been worrying about for a while and now seeing Microsoft was lying to them when saying that the game would have never shipped on PC is not so easy to digest. Apart from the meaning of losing an exclusive game to PC, this is something that really mines the relationship between Microsoft and his most loyal fanbase.
I’ve been talking with Xbox supporters in the weekend and seen how this is important to them. It’s not just a matter of new player coming in and enjoying a game which was supposed to be made only for them; what is put into question here is the trust people have conferred to the platform holder when it said “no way, Quantum Break is not releasing on PC never and ever”. It is now happening something really close to what happened with Ubisoft after the launch of Watch Dogs and Assassin’s Creed Unity – no one trusts them anymore.
No matter what’s the thing releasing or the video showcasing, people will always think there’s going to be some sort of downgrade or whatever, they will simply forgot about what they actually showed the world and launch with products which are completely different. Honestly I thought Microsoft didn’t need to get back to that position, where they found themselves after the infamous introduction of Xbox One, but Phil Spencer wasn’t enough, it seems, to change what’s the position of the entire company behind this project.
So, looking at the recent past and at the future as well, let’s see which games have been involved into this process of making all the Xbox One exclusive games just former exclusive games by launching them, or announcing their launch, on Windows 10 PC. We’ll wait for your opinion about how much important this is in the economy of Xbox One surviving the console war in the comments below.
Well, we’re all here because of this. Quantum Break, it has been announced last week, is coming to Windows 10 PC from its very day one – so it’s not just a matter of launching it a few months or years later, like it is happening with Gears of War Ultimate Edition… it is shipping on April 5 exactly like the Xbox One version. It is something pretty new in the relationship between Xbox One and the Windows PC platform, and as we said earlier it is something which is risking to change deeply the relationship between Xbox and its supporters as well.
Is this anything negative for the players, by the way? Of course not: this is a step Microsoft had to take in order to make Quantum Break successful, at least more than the (at the times, in terms of sales) disappointing Alan Wake. Why should Xbox supporters be disappointed about the games they love being successful? The issue, if any, is not there.
The first disappointing things in Fable Legends are the game being free-to-play (precisely, not being a sequel or reboot to the original trilogy) and constantly delayed – at this point we have no idea about when the next Lionhead title is launching for both Xbox One and Windows 10 PC, it’s been in closed beta for an eternity. It will ship when it is already old and people will be bored about it.
Sorry about the rant, by the way… Fable Legends was maybe the first step Microsoft took into this process of carrying Xbox intellectual properties to PC, since all the other Fable games have launched on PC (even via Steam), and it was something very low-profile (“just a spin-off”, “just a free-to-play game”, etc.) in the effort to prepare the user base to what was hideously next.
Aaaand here’s the third, a game we’ve only seen through a CGI trailer at E3 2015 and Microsoft wants us to believe it will ship in 2016. Actually, E3 2015 was the occasion to meet the game and understand Metroid Prime creators were working on an Xbox One exclusive game; the second circumstance to see Microsoft discussing it in public was when they announced ReCore was also releasing on Windows 10 PC.
Well, what should we say about this? We don’t really know if Xbox One fans should be disappointed with ReCore not launching exclusively on their favorite platform, as we don’t even know if Keiji Inafune and Armature Studio’s work is worth it. We hope so, of course, but we would like to see something concrete in order to understand what’s going on here.
HALO WARS 2
One of the things that made Halo Wars unique was the fact it was a real time strategy game releasing exclusively on a console platform. Now that Halo Wars 2 has been announced for Windows 10 PC as well, we feel like a huge part of that uniqueness has been lost. Is this a bad thing?
Well, there are worse things in the world today but honestly this is something we think Microsoft has decided to do in order to make the game more successful, just like it happened with Quantum Break. They gave their property to Total War creators, The Creative Assembly, and asked them to ship the game on PC too, where the RTS genre was born at first. It will feel like home, and will possibly make the Xbox One version a little less meaningful in comparison with Halo Wars on Xbox 360.
SEA OF THIEVES
Hearing what Microsoft has had to say about Sea of Thieves so far – another E3 2015 game we have never seen in action so far – it really seems to be something like Destiny, which is pretty good nowadays. Not a proper massive online multiplayer game, but a title where cooperation builds the biggest part of the gameplay itself up.
So, carrying it, a title where loot and proper, satisfying remuneration means so much, onto the PC platform is really anything Rare can manage to handle on the long run? Even Bungie gave upon the idea of doing it, at least with the original Destiny. Consoles and PC are two completely different universe, and when it comes to online gaming you have to be very careful about differences. Surprisingly, this is the PC and Xbox One game I fear most about, now.