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Everything Announced In The Big Xbox Podcast

After weeks of reports, rumors, and speculation around Xbox first-party games coming to competing platforms and potentially even making an exit from the console market entirely, Xbox publicly addressed the elephant in the room in an episode of the Official Xbox Podcast. The show featured Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer, Xbox President Sarah Bond, and Head of Xbox Studios Matt Booty. If you haven’t listened to the special edition of the Official Xbox Podcast, you can do so through Xbox’s YouTube channel (linked below). Or, if you just want the bullet points, here’s everything of note:


Four Xbox games are coming to other platforms

As previously rumored and reported, four Xbox Studios games are coming to other platforms…and they won’t say which games they are. Spencer says he doesn’t “want to take anything away from those teams,” implying the announcements will be coming from the developers themselves. He did say they are not Starfield or Indiana Jones and the Great Circle, which feels like a response to reports that named those games, specifically.

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While the team opted not to name which games are coming to other platforms (much less which consoles they’ll be launching on), Spencer said the goal with porting these games outside of the Xbox and Windows ecosystem is the long-term health of the Xbox brand. He also said that he expects exclusivity across the video game industry to shrink further in the next five to 10 years.

As for why the four unnamed games make sense as multiplatform titles, Spencer says these games have been exclusive to Xbox and PC for over a year. Two of them are “community-driven” games, as well as first iterations of franchises that Microsoft wants to invest in further. The other two are what Spencer describes as “smaller” games that were “never really meant to be built as platform exclusives [with] all the fanfare” typically associated with marquee titles, but were passion projects for the teams behind them.

Phil ends this segment saying he believes bringing those games to other platforms will help bring in more players to the Xbox brand, but also says that these four games aren’t a promise of more games coming to other systems in the future.

Diablo IV is the first Activision Blizzard game coming to Game Pass

Now that the acquisition is done and Xbox has laid off chunks of the company’s teams, Activision Blizzard’s games are coming to Game Pass. The first of these will be Diablo IV, which will arrive on the subscription service on March 28.

The influx of layoffs in 2023 played into the decision to go multiplatform

Spencer says that despite a number of big games in 2023, the industry didn’t “grow,” which resulted in layoffs, including those at Microsoft. According to him, the company needs to expand beyond the Xbox’s player base in order to keep the company healthy enough to maintain jobs. He said:

Xbox is still investing in hardware, with news on that front this holiday

After news that Xbox games were coming to other platforms, some speculation arose that Microsoft might be looking to get out of the console business and go the way of Sega by pivoting to third-party. For now, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Bond mentions that the company still views Xbox consoles as “the most flagship, seminal experience” for the brand. The company also has plans to announce something new on the hardware front “this holiday.” Beyond that, it’s also working on the next-gen Xbox, which will be “the largest technical leap you’ve ever seen in a hardware generation,” according to Bond.

Xbox wants to “respect” the library players have built

With news and speculation surrounding the future of Xbox devices spreading over the past few weeks, there’s been a concern that anyone who’s been building a backwards-compatible game library across the brand’s many devices might become obsolete down the line. Spencer said that Xbox will “respect” that in “future hardware generations” and “try to keep the services up as long as [it] can.” He compared this to Windows’ library longevity, saying:

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