In brief: Microsoft has announced that it has “no plans” to release any more first-party Xbox games to PlayStation 4 or Nintendo Switch. The news comes on the heels of a reveal earlier this week that the software giant is bringing Ori and the Blind Forest Definitive Edition to the hybrid console.
Nintendo and Microsoft have shown some collaboration of late. It started with the two companies enabling cross-platform play in Fortnite, and then successfully applying pressure to Sony to do the same. The two also collaborated to bring Microsoft’s Banjo-Kazooie to Super Smash Bros.
When Cuphead released on Switch earlier this year, many were surprised Microsoft was giving its competitor an Xbox exclusive. It seemed to mark a new level of cooperation between the two companies. It was further reinforced earlier this week when Microsoft announced Ori and the Blind Forest Definitive Edition is coming to Nintendo’s hybrid console.
However, Microsoft pointed out to GamesIndustry that while Cuphead was an Xbox exclusive, it was not a first-party title. The IP is owned by Studio MDHR, which maintains its publishing rights for the game.
"As these new studios transitioned in, we were aware of some existing commitments to other platforms and will honor them."
Microsoft also said that several studios that it has acquired, including Obsidian, Double Fine, and Ninja Theory, have prior commitments to other consoles. These commitments will be honored, but going forward the studios will focus solely on Xbox releases.
“The past year has been an exciting time for us as we have more than doubled the internal creative teams making up Xbox Game Studios,” a spokesperson told GamesIndustry in a statement. “As these new studios transitioned in, we were aware of some existing commitments to other platforms and will honor them. However, going forward these new studios will focus on making games for our platforms. We have no plans to further expand our exclusive first-party games to other consoles. We continue to believe deeply in cross-play and progression of games with the right flexibility for developers to insure [sic] a fair and fun experience.”
The company does plan to make exclusives available on xCloud, its upcoming game-streaming service. This could potentially bring titles to any platform willing and able to run xCloud, including the Switch.