“I grew up in a company that always believed that software should run in as many platforms as possible, and that’s just the Microsoft I grew up in,” says CEO Satya Nadella.
For as long as gaming consoles have existed in competition with each other, their library of exclusive games that cannot be played elsewhere has been a metric that many have often judged them by. As the industry have expanded, not only have console manufacturers continued to put an increasing emphasis on building up their first party portfolio, they’ve also frequently struck deals for third party exclusives.
Microsoft has grown immensely active on both those fronts in recent years, and the Xbox ecosystem is promising a greater amount of exclusive games going forward that cannot be played on other consoles- though the concept of console exclusives isn’t something that the head of the company is all too fond of.
Speaking during a recent testimony as part of the ongoing Microsoft vs FTC trial, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that outside of gaming, Microsoft as a company has always been driven by ensuring that all software runs on as many platforms as possible, and that if it were up to him, he would prefer to see the games industry follow a similar model. The concept of console exclusives, Nadella says, is something he has “no love for.”
“I grew up in a company that always believed that software should run in as many platforms as possible, and that’s just the Microsoft I grew up in, I believe in that,” he said. (via VGC). “If it was up to me, I would love to get rid of the entire, sort of, exclusives on consoles, but that’s not for me to define, especially as a low share player in the console market that the dominant player there has defined market competition using exclusives and so, that’s the world we live in.”
Of course, Microsoft has taken a relatively more fluid approach to its first party titles where exclusivity is concerned, with titles like Minecraft and smaller releases like Quake Remastered and Skyrim: Anniversary Edition in recent years having also been released for PlayStation and Switch. Meanwhile, though titles like Redfall and Starfield have been made exclusive in the wake of Bethesda being acquired by Xbox, the company has said that if it Activision Blizzard acquisition goes through, it will continue to release Call of Duty for all available platforms.
During the trial, it also emerged that after Bethesda was acquired by Microsoft, it amended its agreement with Disney to turn MachineGames’ upcoming Indiana Jones title into an Xbox console exclusive.