During these days, Phil Spencer left some interesting concepts about the present and future of the video game industry. In the new part of his extensive interview with PolygonCEO of Microsoft Gaming opened the door for third-party digital stores like the Epic Games Store to access Xbox and even considered them decisive for the growth of console sales in the future.

Forcing users to only buy games from the console’s official store is an old strategy that manufacturers should abandon, according to an Xbox leader. He even stated that the only way to increase sales of these devices in the future is to offer them features similar to those of PCs. That is, allowing players to purchase their titles where it is most convenient for them.

When asked if this would mean allowing platforms like the Epic Games Store or Itch.io to have their own stores on Xbox, Phil Spencer was adamant. “Yes. Think about our history as the company behind Windows. It won’t surprise anyone if I say, “Hey, when you use a PC, you can decide what kind of experience you want by choosing where to buy your games.” There’s real value in that,” he said.

Making the Xbox experience more similar to the PC experience, at least in terms of game distribution, is a very interesting proposition. Saying it and making it concrete are not logically the same thing.. But the scenario that Phil Spencer presents is not crazy and even makes sense from the hardware side.

Xbox, Epic Games Store and a new strategy for the future

The head of Microsoft Gaming explained that closed ecosystems exist because manufacturers They should subsidize part of the cost of their consoles offer a retail price that is attractive to buyers. This way, companies like Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft absorb some of the costs of producing their devices themselves, rather than passing it on to the final price. To recoup this money, they open their own digital stores with exclusive rights to distribute games.

Spencer says that subsidizing the production of consoles is becoming increasingly difficult, since components are no longer falling in price as quickly as before. Therefore, he believes that a change in strategy is critical to the future of Xbox. This is where services like the Epic Games Store and the like will play a vital role.

If Microsoft Gaming continues with the strategy proposed by its CEO, we could see more expensive Xboxes in the future (since the hardware will no longer be subsidized) but with few available ways to distribute games. As we’ve already said, what Phil Spencer is proposing isn’t unreasonable, although we’ll have to look at the fine print.

It is also true that for some time the console is no longer the center of the Xbox ecosystem. Bringing its games to mobile phones, tablets and TVs through Game Pass and Xbox Cloud Gaming has become a top priority for the company.

At the same time, the head claims that the exclusivity of games will gradually disappear. In fact, Xbox is already experimenting with this. Some games that were previously only available on this platform have begun to appear on PS5 and Nintendo Switch. Such cases HiFi Rush, Pentiment And Sea of ​​Thieves, among the others. There have been rumors that historical franchises such as Halo And gears of war They will also appear in competing devices, but there has been no official news about this yet.

The end of exclusivity?

Phil Spencer’s stance on an industry without exclusive games is not new. In 2022, the leader of Xbox has already stated that this type of proposal has no future:

“Maybe your family buys an Xbox and I buy a PlayStation, and our kids want to play together but can’t because we bought the wrong piece of plastic to connect to our TVs. [El fin de la exclusividad] I think this will benefit this industry in the long run. And maybe in the short term some people at some companies won’t like it. But I think once we get past the challenges and see where this industry can continue to grow, it will be confirmed.”

Phil Spencer.

Recently, the CEO of Microsoft Gaming explained that the costs of creating exclusive AAA games have skyrocketed. The budgets of some of them even exceeded $300 million. This was the case, for example, with Spider-Man 2, which is only available on PS5. The game was a best-seller, but cost around $315 million, and Sony has so far only returned 35% of its development investment.

The Xbox manager claims that they need to change their strategy and target specific audiences in order to grow again. Near Generation Zwhich is more identified with games from your mobile phone or other portable devices. Thus, the firm will already be considering the possibility of entering this segment.

Although, of course, Not everyone is positive about Microsoft’s plans. The paradigm shift proposed by Phil Spencer, coupled with poor sales of the Xbox Series X|S in Europe, will raise doubts among some major video game publishers. To the point where they would wonder whether it is worth continuing to release games for the Redmond console.

Source: Hiper Textual

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I am Bret Jackson, a professional journalist and author for Gadget Onus, where I specialize in writing about the gaming industry. With over 6 years of experience in my field, I have built up an extensive portfolio that ranges from reviews to interviews with top figures within the industry. My work has been featured on various news sites, providing readers with insightful analysis regarding the current state of gaming culture.


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