Microsoft Reveals Games that PlayStation Has Blocked From Xbox

Xbox owners may have to say goodbye to some franchises and titles that fans thought might eventually come to Microsoft's console.

Last year, Microsoft announced its plan to acquire Activision Blizzard. This proposal reignited a war between Microsoft and Sony that has since resulted in the airing of quite a bit of dirty laundry. Most recently, it was revealed that PlayStation’s massive war chest of exclusive titles may be bolstered by behind-the-scenes agreements with third-party studios.

According to one of Microsoft’s many documents on the situation (initially spotted by KoreaXboxnews) Sony has struck a deal with several third-party companies to prevent some of their games from being released on Xbox. One of the most notable of those games has to be Bloodborne, which has remained a PlayStation exclusive ever since 2015 despite the fact that other FromSoftware games (minus Demon’s Souls) have launched on PC and Xbox. More concerningly, Microsoft claims that Sony has struck similar deals that will prevent Final Fantasy VII Remake, Final Fantasy XVI, and the Silent Hill 2 remake from appearing on Xbox.

When Sony initially announced Final Fantasy VII Remake, the trailer finished with the words “Play it first on PlayStation 4,” which implied the game would only be a timed exclusive and eventually release on PC and Xbox One. After all, both platforms house a sizable chunk of the Final Fantasy library, including the original Final Fantasy VII. Heck, the recent Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion released on every modern gaming platform, including Xbox One/Series X. But while Final Fantasy VII Remake eventually launched on PC, Xbox owners are still waiting.

Likewise, recent Final Fantasy XVI trailers state the game will initially launch on PlayStation 5 and will be available on other platforms starting in 2024. If we take Microsoft’s claims at face value, then PC gamers can play the game after the timed exclusivity expires, but Xbox owners will be left out entirely. And what of Silent Hill 2? The announcement trailer seemingly contradicts Microsoft’s claims because the video’s fine print states the game will also launch on PC alongside the PS5, and then the game will come to “other formats” one year later. Unless Konami and Bloober Team plan on cramming that game onto the Nintendo Switch, that trailer led some to believe the game will eventually be released on Xbox. Now, though, it seems that wording may only refer to a possible PC port. Then again, if the PC is being treated as a separate platform from Xbox consoles, does that mean we can still hope that the long-awaited Bloodborne PC port will eventually happen? It’s becoming increasingly difficult to say.

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Depending on the veracity of Microsoft’s statements, these recent allegations throw the future of several more games into question. If Final Fantasy VII Remake is truly going to end up a PS5/PC exclusive, then will Final Fantasy VII Rebirth end up one as well? After all, that game is going to tell the second chapter of a story that Final Fantasy VII Remake started. If Sony is striking long-term agreements with publishers, what will happen to the other upcoming Silent Hill games? Konami is also bankrolling Silent Hill Townfall, Silent Hill: Ascension, and Silent Hill f, and it’s not clear what arrangement (if any) those titles may be subject to. Is Konami reserving the Silent Hill 2 remake for PS5 but letting everyone else, including Xbox owners, experience those other titles?

While exclusives with third-party companies are hardly uncommon, it’s the ambiguity of the situation that is so interesting. Most companies can’t wait to talk about their exclusive game lineups, but in this instance, it seems possible that the language of exclusives might be changing a bit. We’ll have to wait and see what happens to these (and other) games in order to get a better idea of how we should interpret future game platform announcements.