With this mornings rumor that Quantum Break will also be releasing on the PC alongside the Xbox One version I, like usual, saw folk online lamenting the loss of an exclusive game for their console or saying that MS was now down another exclusive. Same goes for when ReCore was announced for PC or Sea of Thieves - seems like this always happens with a PC announcement.
I dont understand why some folk only see this movement as a negative thing. Sure, if you just shelled out money for a console to specifically play a game, to be released in the future, and have just found out that game will be playable on your platform of choice I can sympathise, but if you're just an Xbox One owner there are so many positives that can be taken from MS launching games on PC.
It should go without saying that games are a risky venture. Its not as often as many would like that a creative, unique or just plain old great game is met with financial success. Just look at what Shuhei Yoshida said last year about the profitability of games.
Its a hit-driven business. We look at our financial results of the titles, and probably three or four out of ten make money, and maybe one or two make all the money to cover the cost of the others titles. So we have to be able to maintain that hit ratio at a certain level to be able to continue in the business, so we always try to find out and support and help grow the talent. Thats the most important work that I believe myself and some of my management team at worldwide studios are doing.
Alan Wake was a game that eventually sold (admittedly a large amount via bundles) around 1.5 million on Xbox 360 but did not sell enough early on to justify the development of a sequel. With Remedy unable to secure funding for Alan Wake 2 they moved onto Quantum Break, once again partnering with Microsoft.
I'm not saying that Id rather not have Quantum Break (terribly excited for it) but would the above situation have been the case if the PC version of the Alan Wake launched day and date with the 360 release? Games often need to have success early on in order to get justify a sequel. With the PC port of Alan Wake eventually selling more than console I dont think it is too much of a leap of logic to think that things may have turned out differently for Alan Wake if there had been a couple hundred thousand PC copies sold in the game's launch window.
Having an influx of PC players also expands game populations for both parties. Of course a Windows Store exclusive fighting game wont have the active population of something like SF:V on Steam but, thanks to cross-play, both platforms will have the advantage of another player pool to match against. Same goes with multiplayer focused games like Sea of Thieves - increase the amount of friends who you can go swashbuckling with. And with Microsoft making a point about being able to match players depending on controller type you should still be able to play against players using your prefered input device if you so choose it.
Opening up Xbox will help Microsoft games become more successful which will allow for projects like Alan Wake 2 or even more risky new IP to happen and even allow for a bigger community for games you care about. Is "losing" justification for owning your console not worth having more successful games? Wouldn't you rather have Alan Wake 2 right now than have had that launch exclusively on the first game? What matters more 5 years down the road?