Hype is pretty high for The Outer Worlds, which releases on Oct. 25th for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC, while a Nintendo Switch version is set to be released at a later date. But while the initial game is being released on various different platforms, you may not be able to play the sequel on anything other than Xbox. At least, that’s the statement from Xbox Studios Head Matt Booty.
He revealed during an interview with Game Informer that Microsoft thinks The Outer Worlds could be “an enduring franchise.” Microsoft bought Obsidian, the studio that developed the game, back in 2018, adding the developer to the 15 or so that Microsoft now has within the ranks of its Xbox Game Studios companies, which includes popular developers like Double Fine, Playground Games, and Ninja Theory.
The Outer Worlds as it is now is being published by Private Division, which is the publishing arm of Take-Two. However, it is extremely likely that Microsoft itself will take the publishing of any sequels onto itself, which means there is potential for the franchise to become an Xbox exclusive down the line.
Of course, this isn’t something that happens to all first-party projects under Microsoft’s wing. Games like Minecraft, for example, benefit greatly from being as open and multi-platform as they can, and Microsoft knows this. However, other games, such as The Outer Worlds, will gain more if they receive the full measure of the resources Microsoft can commit to them. Obviously, the company isn’t going to pour everything it has into a game that would benefit rivals like Sony. Booty has expressed that Microsoft has high hopes for the future of The Outer Worlds franchise, but it’s pretty clear that they would prefer for its potential to benefit them first and foremost.
“I think that it’s a great universe they’ve created,” he says. “And I think about what are the things that you need for a franchise to kind of bear weight? Like what can it withstand? Is it a narrative, is it a set of characters, is it a universe that’s big enough that you could start to add onto it?”
Ultimately, while players may be able to experience The Outer Worlds on PlayStation or Switch when it first comes out this year, it is looking more and more likely that an investment in an Xbox or PC will be needed to continue the story of the first game in the even of a theoretical sequel. However, it might be better to see if the first game is successful enough to even warrant a sequel before putting any stock into this early speculation.