Microsoft Remains Committed to Releasing First-Party Xbox Titles on Steam

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Back in 2019, Microsoft proved that it was serious about improving its reputation among PC gamers by ditching Windows 10 Store exclusivity and releasing its biggest first-party titles on Steam.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection was the first Xbox title to spark that transition, and now, nearly a year later, Steam users have had the opportunity to play over 40 titles from Xbox Game Studios, which include top sellers such as Gears 5, Sea of Thieves, and Microsoft Flight Simulator.

That level of choice isn’t ending any time soon. In a recent interview with Denmark’s Gamereactor, head of Xbox Phil Spencer confirmed that all future first-party Xbox titles would be released on both Steam and the Microsoft Store.

“…there might be some timing things, on when certain things happen – but if we are shipping a first-party game it’s coming to PC,” Spencer said. “If we are shipping a first-party game on PC it’s coming to Steam and our own store. Like we built an expectation from our customers.”

While Microsoft has been making steady improvements with its Xbox app (Windows 10’s game launcher), this is great news for Steam users who want to keep their games within a single library and enjoy the platform’s exclusive perks, such as achievements and trading cards.

“PC customers may or may not love what we do, but they know that when we are shipping things, we’re gonna do our best effort on PC as well as on Xbox,” he added.

Spencer also commented on the popular theory that Microsoft is shooting itself in the foot by releasing its games on PC, which arguably neuters the point of getting an Xbox console. That’s not how the executive sees things at all.

“Our high-level goal inside of our team, of how we measure ourselves, is how many people are playing on Xbox,” Spencer explained. “And when we say ‘playing on Xbox’ it doesn’t mean an Xbox console. It means somebody who is logging in and playing a part of our ecosystem, whether first-party or third-party. And it could be on an Android phone. It could be on a Switch. It could be on a PC. That’s how we think about it.”

The Xbox ecosystem is set to get much bigger next month with the launch of Microsoft’s next-gen consoles, the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. Both will be released on November 10.

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