January 16, 2021
Games Innovation Technology

Will The New ‘Indiana Jones’ Game Be An Xbox Exclusive Or Come To PlayStation?

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Indiana Jones

Indiana Jones

Credit: Lucasfilm Games

A big announcement from the recently-formed Lucasfilm Games the other day: Indiana Jones is getting a video game from the Nazi-killing experts over at Machine Games. We don’t know basically anything aside from the fact that it’s Indiana Jones and it’s from Machine Games, but already we’re set to speculate on the most important question about it, at least for PlayStation users: will this game be exclusive to Xbox?

Microsoft announced its intention to buy Bethesda Softworks parent company Zenimax Media back in the fall, and Machine Games falls under that family. The deal is not set to be finalized until the second of fiscal year 2021(as per NPR), which is likely why you didn’t see any Xbox branding in the announcement. Still, given the fact that it’s still undated, it will almost definitely come out after the ink dries on this deal.

If this were a regular game, a Wolfenstein or what have you, I would say: absolutely this will be exclusive. Microsoft isn’t going to spend $7.5 billion on a company just to release games on PlayStation, and this isn’t even a marquee title on the lines of an Elder Scrolls, even if it is an obviously well-known IP.

But this isn’t a regular game, because of that IP. Indiana Jones means that Disney is involved, and that skews the picture a little bit. This is the best argument I could come up with for why the game wouldn’t be exclusive: that Disney isn’t interested in licensing a game like this just to wind up missing the PlayStation family entirely. This is a deal that could have been the works before the Microsoft acquisition was put into motion, and may have had its own terms at the time.

I should note that Spider-Man was clearly a big licensed IP that was exclusive to PlayStation, but Sony’s involvement with that license makes it sort of unique situation.

Again, this is all speculation. Microsoft said in the past that it would handle exclusivity on a “case by case basis”, which it does with all its games: Halo is strictly a PC and Xbox affair, whereas Minecraft is on basically everything. I tend to feel like its going to lean on exclusivity more often than not, but that won’t be the case in every situation.

I would be remiss not to write this post without taking a genuine guess, so here goes: I do not expect this to be exclusive. I think that Disney’s involvement will point to a multiplatform release. Just a hunch.