Exclusive Xbox One games could be the future of the console.
At China Joy 2015, Xbox Head Phil Spencer did an interview with Gamecores, where he said that he wants to invest more in Xbox’s first-party games, rather than games made by other developers (third-party games). An example of a third-party game is something like the Call of Duty games, which also come to PlayStation and Xbox.
Rise of the Tomb Raider, the next game in the Tomb Raider series, is going to be a timed Xbox exclusive: meaning it will be available solely on Xbox for a period following its release, before coming out on PlayStation 4. “It’s great to have Tomb Raider as part of our lineup,” Spencer said. “But investing in first-party… is really core to our strategy.”
“My strategy is more around first-party franchises, and investing in franchises that we own, and probably fewer exclusive deals for third-party content. I want to have strong third party relations, but paying for many third-party exclusives isn’t our long-term strategy.”
Deals like the Tomb Raider one are expensive. Selling more top-tier first-party games will increase the value of the Xbox One, making it the go-to for people who want access to those franchises.
“This year the fact that we’re shipping Halo 5, Gears of War, Forza 6, Fable–we can only do that, and build the best line-up we’ve ever seen on the back of the franchises that we own,” said Spencer. Last year Xbox released Sunset Overdrive for the Xbox, and at this year’s E3 they announced Recore, an exclusive game about a girl and her robotic dog.
Spencer also touted the debut of Windows 10 for gamers, saying, “The fact that Microsoft is a strong console gaming company with Xbox, and we are Windows, allows us… to create a more consistent platform for the players, regardless of which device they’re playing on.”
The Xbox can stream games to Windows 10 devices with minimal lag, allowing players to be more flexible about where they play.
China Joy is a conference that takes place in Shanghai. It celebrates trends in digital entertainment, with a focus on games. Recently, a ban on console sales was lifted in China. Previously, consoles could only be sold in an 11-mile zone around Shanghai. However, PC and mobile gaming are explosively popular in China, so the market is familiar with Windows gaming already.
In light of this, Spencer also mentioned a need to improve language support for Simplified Chinese in Xbox games.