‘Diablo IV’ Heads to Game Pass as Microsoft Eyes 4 Games to Expand Beyond Xbox

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Microsoft is bringing its first Activision Blizzard title to Game Pass, following its successful multibillion-dollar acquisition of the company: The 2023 hit Diablo IV will be available on the subscription service starting March 28.

Microsoft announced the news today during an episode of the Official Xbox Podcast, which also served as an attempt to clear up recent rumors that the company had plans to take Xbox-exclusive games to other platforms. Fans weren’t too keen on the idea, posting messages on social media likening the move to a betrayal, saying it would “devalue” the brand and make owning the console pointless.

Spencer tackled those rumors head-on, saying that only four games would be losing their exclusive status. Despite speculation that the games going to other consoles might include Starfield or Indiana Jones and the Great Circle, Xbox is not considering either title, he said.

Spencer declined to name the four games, but said that two are “community-driven” titles the company wants to expand. The other two, he says, “were never really meant to be built as platform exclusives.” Spencer said the teams behind the games had plans to make announcements soon. According to Game File reporter Stephen Totilo, those four titles are Sea of Thieves, Hi-Fi Rush, Pentiment, and Grounded.

Xbox’s move to bring these titles elsewhere does not mean a “fundamental change in how we see exclusivity,” Spencer noted. He described Xbox as a platform for gamemakers who want to reach the most players. “It’s not about one device,” he said. “It’s not about games in service of a device, but rather the devices people want to play on should be in service of making the games as big and popular as they possibly could be.” The company’s hardware is still a “critical component” in the company’s strategy, but they believe they’ll have players across many platforms.

“I do have a fundamental belief that over the next five or 10 years, exclusive games, games that are exclusive to one piece of hardware, are going to be a smaller and smaller part of the game industry,” Spencer said. The industry, he noted, has been trending this way for nearly a decade, and having titles that are also available on consoles like the PlayStation 5 or Nintendo Switch will help Microsoft reach more players.

Xbox’s hardware remains a “critical component” of Microsoft’s goal to keep its business healthy, Spencer said, but the team knows players span many communities and platforms: “We fully accepted that we’re going to have Xbox players across all kinds of devices.”

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