Microsoft and the Exclusivity Issue

Microsoft's Xbox logo.
Microsoft has trouble competing when it comes to exclusive games.


One of Microsoft’s highly anticipated games, Scalebound, was canceled. News that shocked many fans eagerly anticipating this Platinum Games Xbox One exclusive. Honestly, this is worse news for Platinum than Microsoft. However, it is important to note that Microsoft has a problem. Where Sony champions their exclusive games, Microsoft still struggles to move past franchises like Halo and Gears of Wars.

Microsoft’s Failed Attempts

Scalebound isn’t the first attempt to bring originality to the Xbox platform. Remember Project Spark? A game that championed creating your own games and worlds for others to play in? That never passed beta and withered into dust. It seemed to be the Xbox One’s answer to Sony’s play-create-share initiative, which started with Little Big Planet. And for a game that had DLC in development feature everyone’s favorite foul-mouthed squirrel, Conker, it’s cancellation was surprising.

Another original game that disappeared into the ether is Phantom Dust. Yes, the game has a remaster of the original coming out this year, but that was never the plan. Microsoft announced a full remake of the game back in 2014. This brand new take on the cult franchise would’ve featured updated gameplay and original ideas. However, a little more than a year and a half later, the troubled company decided to pull the plug.

Where Does the Trouble Lie?

Unfortunately, it is hard to say why Microsoft is having so much trouble. Nobody really knows what goes on behind the scenes. However, I can take a couple of stabs in the dark.

The first reason is their reliance on the Halo and the Gears of War franchises. They make enough money for Microsoft to feel comfortable. Fans flock to these games every year. So they’ll always make money.

The second would be their experience with creating a releasing new IP’s. Games like Sunset Overdrive were decent efforts but didn’t do anything spectacular. So far, their biggest success has been Quantum Break. I would imagine that Microsoft pours a lot of money these new IP’s and unless they can recoup the money back, they jump ship.

The company still has a long way to go when it come to exclusive games. I firmly believe that a console’s success is tied to these type of games. They are not competing with Sony’s massive lineup anytime soon. For now, all we have to look forward to is Sea of Thevies, Halo Wars 2, and Crackdown 3. Hopefully, the troubled company will surprise us at E3 this year.

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