Microsoft and Undead Labs' Xbox exclusive game State of Decay 2 is confirmed to release on PC, but it may not be a Microsoft exclusive after all, at least not in the traditional sense.
As a sequel to 2013's survival horror, State of Decay 2 promises to be one of Microsoft's big titles this year and one of their only major exclusives. State of Decay 2 was already confirmed to release on the Microsoft Store, but new reports suggest that the game could also find a home on Steam, thus tying into the original's release on Xbox 360 and Steam's Early Access.
The rumor started because an error message popped up during a developer livestream at PAX East which said to make sure that Steam is running (via IGN). The video has since been removed but not before the error message circulated online, thereby sparking rumors of the game's potential release on Valve's Steam launcher. The game's FAQ already lists Steam support as a topic, but only showed, "Stay tuned – we’ll have more to share in the future" until now. Considering that the footage from PAX East has since been removed from Undead's Twitch archive, this may be more than just a rumor.
With State of Decay 2 listed as one of Microsoft’s Xbox One Play Anywhere titles, fans already knew it was coming to PC. Effectively being able to swap between the console and PC without having to start over again, Play Anywhere does exactly what it says on the tin. Giving away one of their few exclusive titles, though, may seem like a strange move for the Xbox to make, but putting the title on Steam would be an easy solution to selling a lot more PC copies, which will be needed to make the game a success in the wake of Rare's issues with Microsoft's most recent exclusive: Sea of Thieves.
The debate surrounding the console's first-party games is a hot topic right now thanks to the likes of Sony's God of War grabbing the headlines alongside upcoming releases like The Last of Us Part 2 and Insomniac's Spider-Man. Although Xbox boss Phil Spencer promises more first-party games, it looks like a slow and steady process. Flirting with the idea of using Steam instead of the Microsoft Store could be a great way to test the waters.
There's no denying that the Microsoft Store could be more popular than it currently is, but releasing State of Decay 2 on Steam is hardly going to help that predicament. That being said, with the Valve-owned platform having a much bigger storefront and gaming base, Microsoft would be foolish to ignore such a big sale opportunity. With the game heading for Xbox One and Windows 10 (for now) on March 22, fans don't have to wait too long until they can see where State of Decay 2 will be available.