In its 111-page long response to the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority, Microsoft revealed some details that were initially missed by everyone until the @KoreaXboxNews Twitter account highlighted them. According to Microsoft, due to the exclusivity deals signed by Sony with Japanese publishers Square Enix and Konami, Final Fantasy XVI, Final Fantasy VII Remake, and the Silent Hill 2 Remake will never be released on Xbox platforms.
Exclusivity strategies are not uncommon in the games industry and other market participants have access to their own content. Both Sony’s and Nintendo’s exclusive first-party games rank among the best-selling in Europe and worldwide. Current Sony exclusive content includes prominent first-party titles such as The Last of Us, Ghosts of Tsushima, God of War, and Spiderman.
In addition to having outright exclusive content, Sony has also entered into arrangements with third-party publishers which require the “exclusion” of Xbox from the set of platforms these publishers can distribute their games on. Some prominent examples of these agreements include Final Fantasy VII Remake (Square Enix), Bloodborne (From Software), the upcoming Final Fantasy XVI (Square Enix), and the recently announced Silent Hill 2 remastered (Bloober team).
Nintendo’s exclusive content includes well-established globally famous and iconic franchises such as Super Mario, Zelda, Xenoblade, Pokémon, and Animal Crossing.
We already had a taste of this with the Final Fantasy VII Remake. It’s been two years and a half since the game was released on PlayStation platforms and one year since it came out on PC without any hint of an Xbox port. The speculation was that Sony managed to get a one-off deal to exclude Microsoft’s Xbox on the FFVII Remake trilogy, but it seems like the same will apply to Final Fantasy XVI (due to release on June 24th, 2023 exclusively on PlayStation 5 ) even though Final Fantasy XV launched day and date on Xbox One.
Likewise, the Silent Hill 2 Remake was announced two months ago by Konami for PlayStation and PC. However, Xbox fans certainly hadn’t lost hope that it could one day be available on Microsoft’s console. The original game did, after all, launch on the original Xbox just three months after the PlayStation 2 version (in North America). There’s no release date yet for the Silent Hill 2 Remake, while Final Fantasy VII Rebirth (the second chapter of the FFVII Remake) is scheduled for late 2023 as yet another PlayStation 5 exclusive.
In other Microsoft news, the company also responded to the US Federal Trade Commission’s attempt to block the purchase of Activision Blizzard.