Xbox Series X U-turn sees Fable, Forza Motorsport and Everwild become exclusives

Microsoft seems to have changed its mind about Xbox Series X exclusives, with multiple major games now not coming to Xbox One.

One of the most controversial aspects of the Xbox Series X so far has been that it will have no first party exclusives for roughly the first two years, i.e. every new game made by Microsoft will also be released for Xbox One.

This was something that was first announced back in January, but which was reiterated as recently as last week by none other than Xbox boss Phil Spencer.

But the whole policy has now been thrown into doubt, given that almost half of the Microsoft games shown during the Xbox Games Showcase don’t seem to be coming to Xbox One.

We noticed last night that the Fable title card at the end of its trailer didn’t include any mention of the Xbox One, something which The Verge also picked up on and is true of a number of other games if you go back through the presentation.

Microsoft didn’t make any reference to this but the following games, most of which are published by Microsoft themselves, are not listed for Xbox One and do not use Smart Delivery. (The Medium is listed for Xbox One on the Microsoft Store, but not anywhere else.)

  • State Of Decay 3 (Xbox Games Studio)
  • Forza Motorsport (Xbox Games Studio)
  • Fable (Xbox Games Studio)
  • Avowed (Xbox Games Studio)
  • As Dusk Falls (Xbox Games Studio)
  • Everwild (Xbox Games Studio)
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 (GSC Game World)
  • Warhammer 40,000 Darktide (Fatshark)
  • The Medium (Bloober Team)

There are three obvious explanations for what’s going on here: a) Microsoft has dropped its non-exclusivity policy just days after confirming it’s still in place, b) none of these games are coming out for two years or more, or c) it’s all a big mistake/Microsoft are hedging their bets.

It’s impossible to say which is more likely, although the fact that The Medium is listed for Xbox One on the Microsoft Store suggests that Microsoft isn’t being as careful with this information as they should be.

We’ve asked Microsoft for comment, and will update this story if they provide one, although their reply to The Verge doesn’t really explain anything:

‘Our future Xbox Game Studios titles are being developed natively for Xbox Series X. We will continue to invest in tools for devs to scale across consoles. Which consoles each Studio/game can support will be based on what’s best for their game and their community at launch’.

Things get even more confusing when you consider that the website for the newly announced Avowed, as well as Rare’s Everwild, did have Xbox One listed last night but now doesn’t.

Marketing exec Aaron Greenberg indicated on Twitter that that was a mistake and now magically the websites no longer mention the Xbox One.

At the moment the only first party games that are definitely cross-gen are Halo Infinite, Hellblade 2, Grounded (which is out next week), and Dontnod’s Tell Me Why. Which is such a small list it’s baffling as to why Microsoft made such a big fuss of their no exclusives policy in the first place.

But only Microsoft knows what’s going on for sure and at the moment they’re not making themselves clear.

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