Microsoft releases a new statement to apologize to the community and explain what happened following a retraction made to the company's upcoming Xbox Play Anywhere feature.
Earlier this week, Microsoft confirmed that its Play Anywhere feature for Xbox One and Windows 10, first revealed during the company's presentation at E3 2016, would go live this September. As stated on the official Windows blog after E3, Play Anywhere was supposed to let gamers who purchased any future Microsoft Studios game on either Xbox One or Windows 10 get the game for free on the other platform.
But yesterday, Microsoft made a change to the wording of that blog post, stating that Play Anywhere only applies to Microsoft Studios games that the company showed on stage at this year's E3. In other words, Play Anywhere will not necessarily support every Microsoft Studios game that is released in the future.
The sudden change to the scope of what had been a pretty popular program with Xbox fans coming out of E3 has not gone over well with the community. Now, Microsoft has officially apologized for the confusion and attempted to explain what went wrong in a statement to PCGamesN.
“When we unveiled Xbox Play Anywhere, we said that every new Microsoft Studios title shown at the Xbox E3 2016 Briefing will support Xbox Play Anywhere. We understand that a recent blog post didn’t specify that the only Microsoft Studios titles we’ve confirmed to date as Xbox Play Anywhere were shown at the E3 2016 Xbox briefing.
Gamers should probably give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt here because, as PCGamesN notes, this might just be the company covering itself from a legal standpoint. Stating that every single Microsoft Studios release will support Play Anywhere could box the company into a corner. For example, if Microsoft were to release another Halo game, it might want the title to be exclusive to Xbox One for a specific period of time.
It's also worth noting that Microsoft did not actually remove any of the announced titles from the program. The official Xbox Play Anywhere page still lists 12 upcoming titles that will support the program. ReCore will be the first game to feature the Play Anywhere designation when it releases on September 13.
All of that won't stop some gamers from getting angry, of course, because that's just what some gamers do. But it's pretty clear that while Microsoft admittedly made a mistake with communication here, there was clearly no intent to pull off any kind of bait and switch between the E3 announcement and this week's retraction.