In an interview conducted with Bloomberg, Spencer pointed out that having games accessible on multiple platforms would be better for the overall longevity of the business than being tied to one platform.
Console exclusives are “something we’re just going to see less and less of”, Microsoft’s gaming chief predicted.
“Maybe you happen in your household to buy an Xbox and I buy a PlayStation and our kids want to play together and they can’t because we bought the wrong piece of plastic to plug into our television,” Spencer said.
“We are extremely excited to be capable of bringing more players together while reducing friction and making players feel secure and safe when they’re playing, which allows players to connect with their friends, and play with their friends, no matter the device they use I believe it’s a long-term trend that will be beneficial for this sector.
“And perhaps in the near future, there are some working in certain organizations who do not like the idea. However, when we cross the line and discover how this business will continue to grow, it’s going to turn out to be the case.”
Spencer spoke in the context of Microsoft’s plan to make a $68.7 billion deal to acquire Call of Duty publisher Activision Blizzard the acquisition is being scrutinized by regulators worried about possible antitrust implications in the middle that is seeing a growing consolidation of the games industry.
In its initial reaction to Microsoft’s planned acquisition of Activision Blizzard, published in January, PlayStation maker Sony said it expects Call of Duty games to remain multiplatform because of “contractual contracts”.
Spencer subsequently confirmed his intention to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation platforms should Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard be completed.
But, it was later revealed the following day that Activision Blizzard is contractually committed to releasing only 3 more Call of Duty games for PlayStation consoles which include next year’s Modern Warfare 2.
Microsoft recently reiterated that it has no plans to create Call of Duty as an Xbox exclusive should it be able to acquire Activision Blizzard.
In a letter that Brazil’s Administrative Council for Economic Defense regarding the acquisition plan, the company claimed the fears regarding the possibility that Call of Duty would not continue to be on PlayStation post-acquisition are unfounded.
“Regardless of how unsurprising Sony’s criticism of content exclusivity is – given that PlayStation’s entire strategy has been centered on exclusivity over the years – the reality is that the strategy of retaining Activision Blizzard’s games by not distributing them in rival console shops would simply not be profitable for Microsoft,” the company stated.
But, with its not-too-common appeal in the world of Xbox as well as PlayStation consoles Call of Duty is an original game.
The year before, Microsoft bought Bethesda parent ZeniMax Media in a $7.5 billion deal. Following the takeover’s completion, Spencer said delivering exclusive games on platforms that support Xbox Game Pass was the main reason why it sought to acquire ZeniMax Media.
Bethesda titles Starfield, as well as Redfall, will be exclusively released to Xbox Series Series X/S and Windows during the first half of 2023. Elder Scrolls 6 won’t be available on PlayStation consoles until it is when it is available.