As with most things, the truth is somewhere in the middle.
It’s no secret that Sony and Square Enix have a close relationship, and it’s often been speculated that this has been the main reason why Square Enix games tend to skip Xbox. However, a new report from Windows Central suggests that something has gone “functionally wrong” between Microsoft and Square Enix.
The report comes on the heels of Square Enix announcing Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster Collection for all platforms except Xbox, and the sequel to Octopath Traveller also seeming to be skipping Microsoft’s platforms. Although the exact details of what has gone wrong between the two companies is unknown, Jez Corden, the author of the report, suggests that the issue lies with Microsoft rather than Square Enix.
It’s worth noting that Microsoft and Square Enix have had a good working relationship in the past. Rise of the Tomb Raider was released on Xbox with a one-year timed exclusivity deal, and Outriders recently landed on Xbox Game Pass. It’s unclear what has caused the rift between the two companies, but it’s clear that Sony’s exclusivity deals are not the only factor at play.
Ultimately, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Sony’s exclusivity deals have certainly been a factor in Square Enix games skipping Xbox, but the recent report from Windows Central suggests that there may be more to the story. Whatever the issue is, hopefully it can be resolved soon so Xbox players can enjoy Square Enix games.