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Quantum Break cross-buy offer angers Xbox One owners

By Matthew Handrahan

Quantum Break cross-buy offer angers Xbox One owners

Fri 12 Feb 2016 1:54pm GMT / 8:54am EST / 5:54am PST
HardwarePublishing

Phil Spencer faced tough questions over giving free Windows version of Remedy's latest to Xbox customers

Remedy Entertainment's Quantum Break will be one of the first games to support Microsoft's "cross-buy" initiative, but Xbox boss Phil Spencer was surprised to discover that not everybody is happy about the news.

On the face of it, cross-buy would seem to be a win-win for all concerned, but Xbox consumers most of all. Anyone who orders Quantum Break for Xbox One before April 4 will receive a download code for the Windows 10 version at no extra charge. Players will then be able to seamlessly pick up and play the game on either platform, with their save information stored in the cloud.

Sony has offered a similar deal to those who own its console and handheld devices for many years, though there were greater restrictions on where it could be applied due to the differences between the hardware. Microsoft has been talking about introducing cross-buy for Xbox One and Windows 10 for at least a year, and Quantum Break will be among the very first titles to use the concept.

Responding to consumer questions on Twitter yesterday, Phil Spencer was enthusiastic about cross-buy between Windows 10 and Xbox One becoming a "platform feature" for Microsoft. "More players, more games, better ecosystem," he said.

However, Spencer also encountered resistance to the concept, which, given the tone of his responses, seems to have come as a surprise. As highlighted by Eurogamer, some Xbox One owners seem affronted by the fact that Microsoft didn't make it clear from the start that Quantum Break would also be released for PC, while others were angry that a game touted as an "exclusive" would be released for any other platform - even one like Windows 10, which is owned by the same company.

This is the ambiguous nature of Twitter in full effect. Not every complaint or question will be reasonable - and it's difficult to avoid the fact that this is people complaining about Microsoft giving away a game it would once have charged an extra $60 to access - but they can't necessarily be ignored either. Microsoft learned hard lessons about the value of listening to its community, and there is certainly some discontent to manage.

Crucially, this exposes some of the difficulties in Microsoft claiming an open platform like the PC as its own, simply due to the ubiquity of Windows. Sony, which only offered cross-buy for closed platforms like the Vita and the PlayStation 3, will not have to contend with the same problems.

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17 Comments

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

2,013 2,346 1.2
Popular Comment
Microsoft learned hard lessons about the value of listening to its community, and there is certainly some discontent to manage.
Discontent from those who were essentially "promised" a console exclusive... Which is I think a lesson that needs to be learned, at this point in time. Using "exclusives" either creates anger amongst a community when it turns out it's a false promise, or it hinders sales of a game by restricting the number of devices it's released on. And neither of those outcomes is something that should be actively sought by a company/industry, in my opinion (no paying for exclusives by console manufacturers to gain an upper-hand).

As a PC gamer, I couldn't be happier by QB's release on something other than the XBone, but I can understand the frustration of being told one-thing, only for it to be... not entirely true, shall we say? Which obviously doesn't excuse the rudeness (no need for that), but does give a reason for it. Shame that so much in gaming is framed as opposing sides of a war, since it creates this frame of mind that something objectively good (cross-buy) is actually a bad thing.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 12th February 2016 4:18pm

Posted:6 months ago

#1

Paul Jace Merchandiser

1,183 1,977 1.7
and it's difficult to avoid the fact that this is people complaining about Microsoft giving away a game it would once have charged an extra $60 to access
There in lies the problem I suppose. This is only viewed as "positive" if a person played PC games in addition to their Xbox One games. As I can't be counted among those(nor can many of the people I game with) this isn't any sort of win-win for me, but more of an unnecessary irrelevance.

I think what has most Xbox One owners upset isn't really the fact that this game is coming to PC but that it's coming day and date at the same time as the Xbox One version. I get it. After all, most of us like our exclusives to be.....well, exclusive. So I can certainly sympathize with the complaints. But being a big fan of Remedy and following their career this move was pretty much inevitable because almost all(or maybe all) of Remedy's console games end up on PC as well, even Alan Wake although that took a few years to get there. And again, that's probably the other main issue here. Had Quantum Break been released for PC 2-4 years after the Xbox One version than most XBO owners would have probably been too busy with other games to have noticed or cared.

But to be fair, Microsoft really needs to start classifying their titles as either full Xbox One exclusive or XBO And Window's 10 Device exclusive. In this situation I can let it slide because A) I buy almost everything Remedy puts out for consoles and B) this didn't come as a surprise to me. But there are obviously lots of people out there that this does and will continue to matter to in the future and Microsoft really needs to start taking them into account.

Posted:6 months ago

#2

Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game

1,289 450 0.3
The fact I can play the game on xbone, and if my laptop runs it take it elsewhere sounds pretty cool to me. Totally agree withe Spencer's comment about not playing something you want to just because someone else is allowed to enjoy it.

Posted:6 months ago

#3

Ben Link Video Game Enthusiast and Graphic Artist

20 43 2.2
Popular Comment
The people upset about this are straight up selfish. Good for Phil Spencer. Who cares if the game isn't exclusive to Xbox One. As long as it doesn't come to PlayStation or Nintendo, why would Xbox fans care? The more people that play the game, the better chance of Remedy and this game being a success. I wish this had happen to Alan Wake. Maybe we would have an Alan Wake 2 by now. Start being fanboys of gaming not one platform.

Posted:6 months ago

#4

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,588 1,635 0.6
What the hell is wrong with some gamers? I guess the Xbone-only users don't want to hear a peep from the PCMR crowd that always plays games a MAX SETTINGS across a dozen monitors bragging about how their version of the game is the BEST or something. *Yawn*. I bet if Phil had explained that "Um, we kind of make Windows on the side, so why the hell not?", it may have helped.

Or not. "Some people just like to watch the world burn," I guess. If the game sells well on both PC and Xbox One, isn't that good for everyone involved?

Posted:6 months ago

#5

Adam Campbell Product Executive, Hopster

1,440 1,501 1.0
Complainers or not, this is a win.

Posted:6 months ago

#6

Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing

1,473 1,851 1.3
Hey, at least now the promotion got noticed by more than people on Twitter. Question remains why anybody with a gaming PC would pay a premium to own the game on an inferior platform. Have you read the recommended specs? With that type of PC, you do not settle for XO visuals.

Posted:6 months ago

#7

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

2,013 2,346 1.2
Question remains why anybody with a gaming PC would pay a premium to own the game on an inferior platform. Have you read the recommended specs?
Depends how they're doing the code giveaway for "participating retailers" and physical copies. It's possible that you could pre-order, get the code to use on (urgh) Windows Store, and sell the actual physical XBone game to offset the cost.

It crossed my mind to do just that. but no-one's sure of how this works yet.

Posted:6 months ago

#8

Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game

1,289 450 0.3
If you're current PC won't play it, but you think you may upgrade later in the year, that works. If you don't hit recommended, but can hit minimum specs on a mid spec laptop, that gives some use out of home.

Posted:6 months ago

#9

Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany

1,151 1,272 1.1
Fanboys loose a exclusive and they complain on an initiative that is good for consumers as a whole.
Fanboys are the Rosetta stone of immaturity in gaming.

Posted:6 months ago

#10

Chris Payne Managing Director & Founder, Quantum Soup Studios

177 611 3.5
I can see a small group being exceptionally unhappy with this, TBH. The "platform exclusive" angle is intended to drive consumers to that platform. Any PC gamers who were persuaded to buy an XBone based on the exclusivity of Quantum Break have just received a kick in the teeth. But that's more a case of inconsistent messaging then anything wrong with cross-buy in principle.

Posted:6 months ago

#11

Richard Browne Partner & Head of Interactive, Many Rivers Productions

212 303 1.4
If you bought an XBox One because Quantum Break was an exclusive you should at least get a bonus "patience" achievement.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Richard Browne on 15th February 2016 4:10pm

Posted:6 months ago

#12

Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing

1,473 1,851 1.3
By being exclusive to the Windows store, the game already is face down dead in the water on the PC. As far as I know, there is no boxed retail copy for the PC either. It is surprising why Microsoft even bother at this point, if those are all their efforts. It must be disheartening for Remedy.

Posted:6 months ago

#13

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

2,013 2,346 1.2
It must be disheartening for Remedy.
Absolutely the words I was thinking... Not just from a financial point-of-view, but a creative one. Exclusivity on Win10 Store means 12 million+ pairs of eyes on Steam won't as a matter-of-course see the game they've toiled on for years. Sure, some PC gamers'll see the game on Win 10 Store, or maybe see adverts, but...

Must be gutwrenching for Remedy that their game is used as a corporate football.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 15th February 2016 7:42pm

Posted:6 months ago

#14

Kevin Patterson musician

199 111 0.6
As a Remedy fan, I'm happy to see the game come to the PC :) It's great to see MS supporting PC again.

Posted:6 months ago

#15

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

2,013 2,346 1.2
It's great to see MS supporting PC again.
Urgh. Have you read the current restrictions on Win 10 Store Apps/games? Entirely sandboxed, and not Win32 exes, so no modding, no injectors, no external overlays, no Steam Controller support, unless specifically coded in by the developers. Forced VSync on some apps means even GSync and FreeSync don't work.

It's not great to see this, especially coming from MS. To be sure, things may change in the future, but right now? When Durante vehemently argues against something, you know it's bad.

Posted:6 months ago

#16

Jordan Lund Columnist

114 249 2.2
So the system specs are here:

www.quantumbreak.com/windows10/

Minimum:
Intel Core i5-4460, 2.70GHz or AMD FX-6300
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 or AMD Radeon R7 260x

Reccomended:
Intel Core i5 4690, 3.9GHz or AMD equivalent
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 or AMD Radeon R9 390

Well, I'm out. Good thing it runs on the XBO.

Posted:6 months ago

#17

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