Rise of the Tomb Raider‘s temporary exclusivity deal has been discussed very actively lately, causing pride and anger from opposite sides, but third party exclusives aren’t the most important part of Phil Spencer’s long-term plan, as he explained in an interview on the Chinese website Gamecore.
My Strategy is more around our own first party franchises, and investing in franchises that we own, and probably fewer exclusive deals for third party content. I want to have strong third party relations, but paying for many third party exclusives isn’t our long term strategy.
This year, the fact that we’re shipping Halo 5, Gears of War, Forza 6, Fable, we can only do that and build that best line-up we’ve ever seen really on the back of franchises that we own. It’s great to have Tomb Raider as part of our line-up, but investing in first party, you’ll see more of that at gamescom next week, is really core to our strategy.
Personally, I can definitely agree with the plan. Even from a purely business standpoint, money seems better spent in developing and promoting Microsoft’s own franchises than in pushing games that will become multiplatform anyway after a few months or a year.
We don’t know how much Microsoft is spending for deals like Tomb Raider, but ultimately Square Enix is the one that gets to add value and visibility to its own franchise. Microsoft probably stands to benefit more in investing those resources in developing more wholly owned IP.
Besides, first party games often tend to have a quality edge over the rest, so the more of them we get, the better.