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Cloud-Based MMO from Mainframe Reportedly No Longer Xbox Exclusive

Cloud-Based MMO from Mainframe Reportedly No Longer Xbox Exclusive - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 05 December 2021 / 1,444 Views

VentureBeat reporter Jeff Grubb speaking on the GamesBeat Decides podcast said the cloud-based MMO from inland-based developer Mainframe will no longer be an Xbox exclusive. 

"[The developer] raised $23 million, not from Microsoft. And as part of that deal, from my understanding, they backed off of that agreement or any potential agreements with Microsoft, and this game will probably come out as a multi-platform game."

He added, "It sounds to me like one was played off the other to try to increase the amount of money they might get here, and Microsoft was part of that."

"Mainframe is an independent, venture-backed game developer," reads the Mainframe website. "Our team is bringing together veterans from places like CCP, Next Games, Blizzard Entertainment, Ubisoft, and Remedy. We’re set on creating a cloud-native MMO: a social sandbox, accessible on any screen and offering new ways of playing with our friends."

The studio has over 10 job openings. You can apply here.

A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at or on Twitter @TrunksWD.

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VAMatt (on 05 December 2021)

I don't really see how it's possible for this kind of game to be exclusive to Xbox anyway. The whole idea is that you can play it without a console.

  • +3
zero129 VAMatt (on 05 December 2021)

hmm gamepass?

  • -8
VAMatt zero129 (on 05 December 2021)

Sure. I guess it could be exclusive to Gamepass. It could be streamed via XCloud to phones, PCs, and Xboxes.

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zero129 VAMatt (on 05 December 2021)

Indeed, but imo MS dodged a bullet here with this game.
Funding a game that can only be played in the cloud anyways just like with gamepass. from a new studio not even tested with an MMO and with how hard it can be to break into the mmo market even if you already come from a successful studio with a good IP many have failed and MS are still going to be getting this game anyways so yeah they defo dodged a bullet here.

  • -3
scrapking zero129 (on 05 December 2021)

Yeah, you make a strong point. This could be something huge that Microsoft missed out on having the exclusive for, but it's more likely to be an also-ran that Microsoft dodged the bullet on having to solely finance.

  • +2
twintail zero129 (on 05 December 2021)

MS would've known about the company profile and goals of the game as an MMO before attempting to fund the title. They knew what they were putting money into.

The only way they dodged a bullet is if the game ends up being a massive failure critically and/ or commercially.

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zero129 twintail (on 05 December 2021)

somehow i think it will now. how many people are going to buy or play a game they can only play i the cloud?.

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scrapking VAMatt (on 05 December 2021)

Game Pass Ultimate has three distribution components: download to Xbox, download to PC, and stream to whatever device. They have Xbox-only games, and PC-only games, on the service. They have yet to do it, but I foresee a day where they have streaming-only games on the service too. Probably won't happen until streaming exits beta, however.

I suspect the same will happen with their pricing. They have an Xbox-only price tier, a PC-only tier, and Game Pass Ultimate which is Xbox, PC, and streaming. So the tier they're missing is a streaming-only price tier. They're talking about wanting hundreds of millions of subscribers, perhaps a billion+ some day, and they're only going to get there through lots of people subscribing to mobile streaming who don't even own an Xbox or a gaming PC. So I do expect a streaming-only pricing tier to come to the service but, again, probably sometime after it leaves beta.

As an aside, there's no technical reason an Xbox Series game couldn't be sold streaming-only to Xbox Ones, now that xCloud is fully implemented for all Xbox One consoles. I don't mean that Xbox One owner signing up for Game Pass Ultimate, I mean them paying a one-time fee to "buy" the rights to stream just that one game. Something similar is done on the Switch, with people buying games that are then streamed to the Switch in whole or in part.

  • +4
VAMatt scrapking (on 05 December 2021)

I wouldn't expect MS to offer one-off streaming rights purchases of first-party games, because they appear to be all-in on their subscription service. But, I can see some smaller third-party pubs doing something like that. They won't have a big enough catalog to offer a compelling subscription, but they'll still want to have a way to publish without joining with one of the big guys. So, selling the rights to stream the game seems like a reasonable option to me.

  • +4
scrapking VAMatt (on 05 December 2021)

Yes, I was definitely thinking of one-off streaming games for Xbox One as exclusively a thing third-parties might do. And not necessarily smaller publishers. Someone like EA or Activision or Ubisoft might decide that it's preferable to save the development cost of the Xbox One version, yet still be able to get some revenue from Xbox One owners through selling them a streaming-only copy of the game (that streams the Series X version of the game, at 1080@60, to their console). The technology is already in place, and Microsoft seems super open to innovative business models, especially ones that use their cloud infrastructure!

  • +1