Social media is abuzz with the claim that Xbox CFO Tim Stuart has said that Xbox is seeking to go third party. Spoiler, they are not. Tim Stuart actually said two things. We will look at them one at a time. We will also add some context. Remember, this is an investor meeting, not a meet and greet with us gamers.
Let’s sort through what Xbox CFO, Tim Stuart, actually said.
The first is:
“When I think at the sort of holistic lens is the — how do I make sure that we’re on Xboxes and I’ll say PlayStations and Nintendo Switches, in a mobile landscape, how are we on mobile? We can talk about cloud as well.”
He mentions virtually every way to game except PC, which he mentions right after.
This is from an investor meeting with Wells Fargo. Tim is doing a question-and-answer session about Xbox strategy for growing monetarily. In this impromptu response, he points out how Games as a service changed the industry, and AI (Artificial Intelligence) is poised to do the same. In this market, reaching as many players as possible, whatever screen they play on, like with Minecraft, is an important part of increasing market capitalization. A later quote has also been taken out of context. Here it is:
“And again, not announcing anything broadly here, but our mission is to bring our first-party experiences, our subscription services to every screen that can take a — they can play a game. That means smart TVs, that means mobile devices. That means what we would have thought as competitors in the past like PlayStation and Nintendo. We’re going to NVIDIA, GeForce NOW, they’re gaming subscription service.”
Phil Spencer Clarifies Further
This overarching strategy is something that is already being utilized. You can find Minecraft everywhere. They have committed to getting Call of Duty on as many screens as possible. Phil Spencer, Xbox CEO, clarified further,
“We have no plans to bring Game Pass to PlayStation or Nintendo. It’s not in our plans.”
This was from an interview with Jez Corden published yesterday. So, Microsoft is not going third party. Game Pass is not even going to show up on PlayStation and Nintendo Switch. We likely will see multiplayer focused games showing up on multiple consoles, because that makes more money for the publishing side of Microsoft, and generally improves the user experience by having more players to play with (see Fortnite).