Is Microsoft getting out of the video game console business? That could be the case following a slew of insider reports and rampaging rumors that Microsoft is bringing Xbox exclusives to other platforms. From Hi-Fi Rush to the upcoming Indiana Jones and the Great Circle, it seems like no Microsoft title is off-limits.
That includes Bethesda’s recent Sci-Fi RPG, Starfield, and perhaps the most amazing of them all, the Gears of War franchise might appear on PlayStation 5. Jeff Grubb, a respected journalist working for Giant Bomb, reiterated these rumors, adding that the video game publisher was planning to make an announcement at the end of the month.
Those plans have gone out the window amid the fury of the rumors running rampant on the internet. As of February 5th, Phil Spencer announced that Microsoft’s “vision for the future of Xbox” would be revealed next week.
It would make sense for Microsoft, unable to put a dent in the market dominance of Sony and Nintendo, to refocus on software and expand the reach of GamePass. Starfield, while it sold well upon release this past September, was nonetheless a disappointment and quickly bombarded by negative reviews. Similarly, Sea of Thieves has been out for years on the Xbox and would greatly benefit from access to a larger user base.
Gears of War might be the most interesting, as next to Halo, it was one of Microsoft’s few exclusive franchises. With a new partnership announced with Netflix, including a film and animated series, it also would make sense to significantly increase the player base at this time.
10 years ago, Microsoft purchased Gears of War from Epic and, at the time, said the franchise had made over $1 billion in sales. Two disappointing games later, released by the Microsoft-owned studio Coalition, the once-blockbuster franchise is in danger of being forgotten.
The creator of Gears of War, Cliff Bleszinski said that Microsoft would be “smart” to hire him as a consultant for the franchise.
Microsoft’s next move, if it is releasing first-party games on other platforms, could reshape the entire video game industry.