European Xbox boss Chris Lewis has said it is extremely important for Microsoft to nab exclusive Xbox 360 games and DLC, and because of its importance to the firm, this is one of the reasons why formerly PSN-exclusive titles rarely if ever land on Xbox Live.
Speaking with Eurogamer during gamescom, Lewis said DLC windows of exclusivity such as the Black Ops content, are not only critical for differentiation, but because the firm feels the “cross-platform experience is better on Xbox.”
“We enjoy great success with Call of Duty,” he explained. “Live is the oxygen that runs through our business. The experience users have through Xbox Live is a fundamental differentiator for us versus other platforms. Our ongoing commitment to experiencing better and playing better on Xbox is partly a function of what we do with Xbox Live. So, exclusive IP is critical, of course. You’ll see more of that over time. You’ll also see us, though, committed to working with people like EA and Activision on their cross-platform consoles to make sure they play better, and they integrate better across PC, phone and the console in a way other people’s just simply can’t.
“We’re a little biased, so obviously we’re going to look to protect our own space as best we can and get exclusivity. Whilst I can’t be specific about the terms and conditions, you can be very confident we seek to maximise our own advantage to ensure the playing field is even, and certainly plays to our advantage wherever possible.
“As you can also imagine, our partners have to be mindful of the relationship they have with all platform holders, and they need to be equitable. But there are contractual situations where we get agreement with different people to do different things, and through what we have available on Xbox Live, we are able to offer things other people can’t offer, that allows that exclusivity and unique elements to it that might not otherwise be available elsewhere.”
Lewis said this is one of the reasons why a downloadable usually doesn’t receive a launch on Xbox Live Arcade it happened to be released via PlayStation Network first.
“We’re not keen to do it, I wouldn’t say never,” he said. “We wouldn’t be specific about that. But I’d be surprised if we saw that as something we’d encourage. But, honestly, and this is going to sound a bit contrived, we just want what our consumers want from us.
“We want to be where they want us to be. We want the quality bar of what they experience from us to continue to go up. I think it has to happen. Everybody’s got to do that. If we want to continue to command healthy average selling prices, which we all do, that which we offer our consumers has got to keep getting better. Despite the fact it can be irksome to have such strong competition all the time, it actually does keep us on our toes. It’s great for everyone, and it makes for a very healthy race to higher and higher levels of quality of game experiences.”