Breaking
March 4, 2024

Xbox Exclusives Like Sea of Thieves Could Be Opening Up to More Platforms

AiBot
Written by AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

Jan 9, 2024

Microsoft appears to be reconsidering the exclusivity of some of its biggest Xbox game franchises. Sources suggest acclaimed titles like Sea of Thieves and Hi-Fi Rush may soon expand beyond Xbox consoles and PC.

Sea of Thieves and Hi-Fi Rush Rumored for PS5 and Switch Ports

According to a report from Eurogamer, Microsoft is planning to bring an unspecified “acclaimed first-party Xbox game” to a rival platform later this year.

Additional rumors point to Rare’s pirate adventure Sea of Thieves as a prime candidate. Windows Central and other outlets claim sources suggest Sea of Thieves could come to PlayStation 5 and Nintendo Switch.

The surprise indie hit Hi-Fi Rush is also rumored for Switch and potentially PS5. Hi-Fi Rush launched same-day on Xbox and PC to critical acclaim just last week.

A Notable Strategy Shift

Releasing Xbox console exclusives on competing platforms would be a major change of course for Microsoft. The company has touted developing and acquiring studios to create platform-exclusive content as a key pillar of its gaming strategy in recent years.

Bringing Xbox titles to PlayStation and Nintendo systems could broaden their audience substantially. It may also undermine Microsoft’s appeals to gamers consider its consoles and services over rivals. How Microsoft balances those factors will shape the gaming landscape for years to come.

What’s Behind the Rumored Strategy Change?

If Microsoft is genuinely planning cross-platform releases for Sea of Thieves, Hi-Fi Rush, or other Xbox exclusives, what’s driving this strategy shift?

Seeking Broader Audiences

Microsoft does not disclose player figures for most Xbox titles. Independent estimates suggest Sea of Thieves has attracted over 25 million players to date.

Bringing such games to PlayStation and Switch could grow their audiences even further. Some analysts believe Microsoft is focused on maximizing engagement with its game services rather than driving Xbox hardware sales.

Emphasizing Xbox Game Pass

Xbox Game Pass has topped 25 million subscribers. Expanding that further is likely Microsoft’s primary gaming priority right now.

Releasing titles like Sea of Thieves on rival consoles could make Xbox Game Pass more appealing for mainstream gamers there. Even without console exclusivity, Microsoft can promote its games and services together.

Responding to Regulation Concerns

Some analysts speculate expanding platform availability for Activision Blizzard games could be a concession to regulators reviewing Microsoft’s pending $68.7 billion acquisition deal.

Microsoft President Brad Smith recently told Bloomberg the company is open to providing Activision titles like Call of Duty on PlayStation beyond existing agreements. Sea of Thieves going cross-platform may set a precedent for selective exclusivity relaxation.

What Xbox Games Could Go Cross-Platform Next?

The full scope of Xbox games potentially going cross-platform remains ambiguous. But Sea of Thieves and Hi-Fi Rush are not likely to be the last if these rumors bear out.

Halo and Forza Horizon

Microsoft’s biggest Xbox franchises seem unlikely candidates for rival platforms. Series like Halo, Forza Motorsport, and Flight Simulator represent major system sellers.

Spinoff titles are more plausible though. A streamlined version of Forza Horizon tailored for Switch could attract Nintendo racers.

More Recent Hits

Expanding the platforms for recent hits could enable faster growth. Multiplayer shooters like Gears 5 and cross-platform indies like Grounded and Pentiment offer potential.

Age of Empires IV going to PlayStation could also tap into console demand for real-time strategy. And Xbox cloud streaming tech may help with converting certain games.

Franchise Cross-Platform Potential
Halo Unlikely (Core games) Low (Spinoffs)
Forza Motorsport Unlikely (Core games) Moderate (Horizon)
Sea of Thieves High
Gears of War Moderate
Age of Empires Moderate

This table shows franchises with varying potential for going cross-platform, with less likelihood for Xbox’s biggest system seller series.

What Comes Next?

More concrete details on Xbox games coming to rival platforms may emerge in the coming weeks and months. Several events and showcases offer windows for potential announcements.

More Rumors and Reports

Insider sources suggest more rumors and reports of additional Xbox titles going cross-platform are likely to published soon.

These may provide clearer indications on which games are involved, their scope, and Microsoft’s overall strategic thinking.

Reactions from Sony and Nintendo

Executives from Sony and Nintendo have not commented publicly on rumors of Sea of Thieves and other Xbox games coming to PlayStation and Switch.

Their reactions, positive or negative, could confirm how advanced Microsoft’s porting plans are. Sony in particular has a major interest given PlayStation’s market lead.

Showcase and Events Appearances

Microsoft may formally announce cross-platform Xbox releases at one of its upcoming showcases. The company has streams planned for January 25th and early March.

Alternatively, ports could appear with little fanfare via Nintendo Directs or third-party events like Summer Game Fest.

Balancing Exclusivity and Availability

If Microsoft starts rolling out Xbox console exclusives more widely, it faces challenges balancing competing factors:

  • Maximizing broader profitable engagement with Xbox games and services

  • Retaining differentiated appeal for its Xbox consoles and PC ecosystem

Sony and Nintendo also have to decide how to respond strategically. More Xbox releases on their platforms benefits users there near-term. Longer-term, it could disrupt their own content strategies and hardware appeal.

Observers will be watching closely in the weeks ahead to see how far Microsoft takes this potential strategic shift regarding Xbox exclusivity. Where it lands could reshape industry dynamics for this generation and beyond.

AiBot

AiBot

Author

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

Related Post