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Microsoft to make exclusive “cloud-native games” for its xCloud service.

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Google may have given up on its cloud gaming dream, with the Stadia no longer a big centre of attention for the company, but Microsoft, on the other hand, seems to be focusing more on it than ever. This includes a new app and streaming stick in the works to try and bring its xCloud service to more devices and get more people playing Xbox games than ever before.

Now it appears that Microsoft is not just ready to open up its incredible Xbox library of games to a wider audience, but also intends on making some exclusive content for its cloud gaming service. A new report from Polygon reveals that the company has hired former Google Stadia design director Kim Swift, best known for Valve’s hit game Portal, as the person tasked with making these “cloud-native games.”

There are no details on the type of games that Swift will be working on with different studios for Microsoft’s xCloud platform. But perhaps, more importantly, is the knowledge she brings with her from the Stadia ecosystem and knowing what worked – and especially what didn’t (read: a terrible pricing strategy and no games) – allowing Microsoft to learn from some of those lessons in making its platform a success.

Considering how Microsoft has been trying to make all of their games available across all platform, it’s perhaps surprising that they are going to try and make some games that will be exclusively available on its xCloud service. However, I do think it’s a good way of luring more people into using it, especially if these games end up being good. And we will probably see something more like a timed exclusivity with these games likely coming to the rest of the Xbox stores over time.

Microsoft is committed to their belief that cloud gaming is a big part of our gaming futures. At this point, they are well ahead of any of their competition in making it the most viable alternative to owning a big console and allowing people to game on just about any device.

Last Updated: June 22, 2021

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