Microsoft provided a 111-page answer to the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority, which included some information that nobody noticed at first until the @KoreaXboxNews Twitter account brought it to everyone’s attention. Final Fantasy XVI, Final Fantasy VII Remake, and the Silent Hill 2 Remake will never be released on Xbox platforms, claims Microsoft, because of Sony’s exclusive agreements with Japanese producers Square Enix and Konami.
Exclusivity strategies are not uncommon in the games industry and other market participants have access to their own content. Both Sony’s and Nintendo’s exclusive first-party games rank among the best-selling in Europe and worldwide.
In addition to having outright exclusive content, Sony has also entered into arrangements with third-party publishers which require the “exclusion” of Xbox from the set of platforms these publishers can distribute their games on. Some prominent examples of these agreements include Final Fantasy VII Remake (Square Enix), Bloodborne (From Software), the upcoming Final Fantasy XVI (Square Enix), and the recently announced Silent Hill 2 remastered (Bloober team).”
The Final Fantasy VII Remake provided us with a preview of this. The game has been available for two and a half years on PlayStation platforms and for one year on PC without any mention of an Xbox port. Though Final Fantasy XV launched on Xbox One and PlayStation 5 on the same day as Final Fantasy XV, it appears that Sony will treat Final Fantasy XVI the same way. It was previously believed that Sony was able to secure a special agreement to exclude Microsoft’s Xbox from the FFVII Remake trilogy.
Similar to that, Konami revealed the Silent Hill 2 Remake for PlayStation and PC two months ago. Fans of the Xbox, though, were still holding out hope that it will eventually be made accessible on Microsoft’s gaming system. After all, the PlayStation 2 version of the game was released just three months after the original game’s release on the original Xbox. The Silent Hill 2 Remake has not yet been given a release date, however Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, the second instalment of the FFVII Remake, is planned for release in late 2023 as another PlayStation 5 exclusive.