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There have been speculations that Xbox is planning to bring its exclusives to rival platforms. Over the weekend it was also claimed that Microsoft wants to end console production. Both rumors sparked a backlash from the Xbox gaming community. Company executives will address the elephant in the room on Thursday, February 15, 2024.

Fans Will Know The Fate Of Xbox On Thursday, February 15

“Please join us for a special edition of the Official Xbox Podcast,” the company tweeted through its official account on X. “Hear from Phil Spencer, Sarah Bond, and Matt Booty as they share updates on the Xbox business.”

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The comment that followed the announcement clearly showed that the majority of Xbox fans think that bringing the company’s exclusives to rival platforms was a terrible idea. Xcension, a channel dedicated to news about Xbox gaming responded with ideas on what the company should do—and their thoughts will resonate with most Xbox fans.

“Keep all existing exclusives, exclusive. Keep all future big (new and existing) IPs exclusive. Keep Bethesda and Activision single-player games exclusive. Bring Activision games to Game Pass. BELIEVE IN THE CONSOLE/BRAND YOU HAVE BUILT!”

The silence of the executives since the rumors started making rounds suggests that there may be some element of truth to it. Usually, a company would put out a message to address any rumor that threatens its reputation. Well, Thursday is not so far away, and we just have to wait to find out.

“Ready for lots of “we hear you,” “we’re listening,” “we value your feedback,” “when everyone plays, we all win,” “we have a passionate community,” and in the end disappointment,” replied David Burant, a freelance writer and chef.

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One of the major concerns of gamers is how the closure of the Xbox brand may affect the gaming landscape. In the absence of a strong competitor, there is no telling how Sony Corporation will exploit the monopoly.

It’s claimed that Xbox will bring Hi-Fi Rush to rival platforms first

Fans Will Know The Fate Of Xbox On Thursday, February 15

Xbox consoles are not selling as much as their rivals. Also, Spencer previously admitted that Xbox Game Pass subscriptions were slowing down. Therefore, it is understandable that the company wants to do something different, tagged business update.

According to senior editor of The Verge Tom Warren, a combination of Game Pass slowdown and poor console sales may be the reason why several Xbox exclusives are heading to rival platforms—precisely PS5 and Nintendo Switch.

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Warren claimed that the first two games that will appear on rival consoles are Hi-Fi Rush and Pentiment, citing unnamed sources. It’s also claimed that Microsoft is planning to launch Sea of Thieves on rival platforms later this year. Other first-party titles are also under consideration.

If that happens, it will be a remarkable shift in business strategy that will have a huge impact on the gaming industry. While this will help Microsoft to earn from rival platforms and make up for the dwindling revenue from console sales and Game Pass subscriptions, it will also further push Xbox consoles to the brink of extinction—since there will be no more incentives to purchase them.

Fans Will Know The Fate Of Xbox On Thursday, February 15

Microsoft head of gaming Phil Spenser on Xbox Podcast

Back in May 2022, Microsoft executives set the ambitious goal of having 100 million Xbox Game Pass subscribers by 2030. At that time, the company’s subscription number was around 25 million, a significant bump from the 18 million it had the previous year.

Perhaps, it would have continued to grow. However, the unfortunate delay of Starfield and Redfall led to a significant drop in the subscriber numbers. While the company hasn’t provided an update on the subscriber numbers, analysts estimate that the Game Pass subscriber number is around 33 million.

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“It feels like we are likely to go through a gap of almost 16 months between big exclusive launches on our platform,” said Spencer in an internal email to Xbox leaders in May 2022, as revealed in the FTC v. Microsoft case. “This is really a disaster situation for us given all we’ve invested in content across studios at our [Game Pass] content fund.”

One thing is clear, Microsoft needs to revamp its business model to make its gaming division more profitable, especially after pumping in billions of dollars into acquisitions. Therefore, the Thursday announcement is a must-watch—particularly for Xbox fans.