For the last year or so, Microsoft has been trying to hash out the legalities of purchasing Activision|Blizzard, home of some of the largest IP in the industry, and the move has been remarkably revealing of the mindsets and business practices on both sides of the Xbox vs PlayStation debate. If you’ve been paying attention, it could be argued that the entire affair has been quite funny to play out, as both consoles play equal amounts of “woe is me” cards trying to make themselves look more pathetic than the other (like an instance where Microsoft admitted that PlayStation has better exclusives). Microsoft released its response to the FTC’s lawsuit attempting to block their acquisition, where they of course denied all of the FTC’s allegations, but the important part (to us Silent Hill fans at least) is a short passage that eagle-eyed fans scoped out yesterday:
“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).”
Ignoring the incorrect verbiage of ‘Silent Hill 2 remastered‘ (it’s a remake, not a remaster), Microsoft appears to be stating outright that these titles will never come to Xbox, remaining locked into Sony exclusivity on consoles. This is despite Final Fantasy VII Remake and Silent Hill 2 Remake both being marketed as being part of timed exclusivity. Final Fantasy VII Remake‘s original 2014 announcement trailer ended with “play it first on PlayStation 4”, and Silent Hill 2 Remake‘s trailer has a big asterisk on “PlayStation Console Exclusive” stating that it won’t be available on “other formats for 12 months after release”. There are other instances of exclusivity deals “technically” ending, but remaining exclusive to Sony anyway, such as Resident Evil 7: Biohazard‘s exclusive VR mode on PS4, which has never come to PC, and it seems very likely that Resident Evil Village‘s new VR DLC (and REmake 4‘s for that matter) will also remain locked to PlayStation. Of course, Xbox would probably rather everyone not pay quite so much attention to the High On Life behind the curtain or the strings on Scorn, but that’s different I guess(???).
Regardless, it’s sad to know that Xbox fans appear to be getting the short straw on Silent Hill 2 Remake. It remains to be seen what the future of Silent Hill looks like on Xbox in general, as the other titles announced during Konami’s Silent Hill Transmission a few months ago (Silent Hill f and Silent Hill: Townfall) haven’t revealed their platforms just yet. Hopefully at least one of these things hits Xbox so everyone can enjoy the series again in some way.