Windows 10-Xbox One cross-buy support is just for in-game purchases and DLC packs

Micosoft has offered more specific information on how some of its upcoming games for the Xbox One and Windows 10 platforms with "cross-buy" support will work. Unfortunately, it looks like it will be limited to just in-app purchases and DLC packs for those games, at least for now.

Kotaku previously posted, as we did, that "cross-buy" support meant that some Xbox One games would support a "buy once, play everywhere" scheme, where the owner could buy the game on the console and then also download and play the same game on a Windows 10 device without having to pay for it again. Sadly, Microsoft sent Kotaku a statement today that seems to refute that idea:

"Cross-buy for games like 'Fable Legends' and 'Gigantic' refers to in-game purchases and downloadable content that can be accessed whether you are playing on Xbox One or Windows 10. As we bring more titles to Windows 10 and Xbox One and enable rich cross-device scenarios, we will continue to listen to our fans and evaluate what's best for each individual game."

You can bet that gamers would definitely prefer to pay just once for a cross-platform game, so hopefully Microsoft will offer that kind of support for games made for both Windows 10 and Xbox One in the future.

Source: Kotaku

  • Sucks
  • Continue to listen to fans my ass... No fans are asking to pay for the same game twice to play on their Xbox and PC.
  • In the case of Fable Legends, it's free to play anyway, so it makes sense.
  • Same with Gigantic
  • They did it with Spartan assault on PC and windows phone though? And then at a discounted price for Xbox users, so we're getting there right??
  • I think that's the closest we'll get, a discount on one if you bought the other, and only if they're available through the Windows store. The danger is, if you give 2 copies for the price of one, people will gravitate towards thinking "Why should I pay for 2 copies when I only want 1." Because that's what people do. Plus it leaves open options to push out sales with things like "the Xbox one version, get the PC version half-price." You also need to remember that MS is the middle man between Publisher and Consumer. If they start to pull too much revenue from publishers with this cross buy, publishers are going to see a big shift in the balance of their books and either stop making PC or Xbox games, and just make console exclusives or PS4/PC exclusives. Because why develop for two platforms if they're only going to pull in a single revenue stream. MS need to show publishers that they're going to increase their revenue or at least guarantee it doesn't fall. They have to consider the economics of the industry as a whole, not save you a couple of quid because you want as much free stuff as you can get.
  • Of course cross-buy for those games is only in-game content because they are free to play games.
  • Bingo
  • Exactly... They already made it clear its all up to the developer. This refutes nothing... I'm surprised that this site didn't put more skepticism on what this means other than "may"
  • yeah the title (and content) of this article is SUPER misleading
  • Except for one thing..Microsoft sent Kotaku that statement after Kotaku originally posted this paragraph "As well as Cross-Play, Microsoft is introducing Cross-Buy. The way it works is that when you buy a Microsoft game on Xbox One, if there is also a PC version, then you will get a free copy for the PC. This extra copy will be free and Cross-Buy games won’t cost any more than normal games. The free copy will be linked to your account, though, so you won’t be able to share it out to friends. Also, Loftis did say that not every game released on both systems will come with Cross-Buy, it’s done on a case by case basis." So the statement from Microsoft is indeed clarifying that cross-buy is just for free-to-play games, and just for in-game purchases and DLC content
  • Yeah but the clarification statement still only addresses two Free to play games specifically, I don't see that it says anything about being for free to play games only... It says: "Cross-buy for games like 'Fable Legends' and 'Gigantic'..." not "Cross-buy is only for games like 'Fable Legends' and 'Gigantic'..."
  • once again, I think you have it's another post from Kotaku "Microsoft has clarified that cross-buy functionality for games on both Windows 10 and Xbox One only applies to limited DLC options and not full games. Go here to read the full statement."
  • That's just a statement from someone commenting about the statement that has already been mentioned and doesn't further clarify anything (ie, taking that exact statement to mean something that it doesn't say).  I'm not going to believe this until I hear it directly from Microsoft.
  • Kotaku basically went out and said that if a game is on both platforms it will be cross-buy. Like it involves every single game in the Store. Kotaku made promises on MSs behalf, and MS had to send out a "hold your horses" statement. That's all they did, basically.
  • Yeah definitely won't be for every game, it is up to the publisher (including Microsoft - KI vs Minecraft for example)
  • They could be clarifying that DLC is cross-buy in addition to the game. Their statement doesn't address anything you quoted at all
  • What would be the point of free retail cross buy on free to play games? So far the only cross buy content that has been confirmed is for Gigantic, Fable Legends, and Killer Instinct. All of those are free to play. You can't really infer from a quote using FTP games as an example that retail games will work the same way. Proper journalism would have been to request a comment with regard to AAA retail games to clear that up. Maybe even ask how cross buy might work with disc based games. Simply reposting a kotaku blog is bad form. Your credited as an "author" after all.
  • Click-bait
  • Exactly! Lol
  • I want cross-buy and I want it now!!
  • This
  • +1
  • I've already paid for Minecraft on the 360 and the One, I'm not pay for the W10 and WM10 versions too!
  • I did. Your missing out. Pc java has the most features.
  • You already have the Win10 version for free.  Log in at and they'll give u a store link to download the Win10 version free.  Its still beta for the moment (hopefully they've stripped out frigging java).  
  • Hehe, need to kill java and adobe flash as quick as possible.
  • I feel kind of misled then. Their big windows 10 Xbox event a while back definitely gave me the impression they were finally implementating buy once play everywhere.
  • this only says that content for free to play games like fable will include DLC in crossbuy, I wouldn't read too much into this until it has been clarified further.  I seriously doubt that cross play is for only DLC.
  • They at no point said everywhere, and although you got that impression I did not.
    They gave examples of where they are applying cross buy, so far it's with their free to play games, even though they missed off KI in this statement it also has cross buy.
    Gears ultimate as far as we know does not. It's also not free to play, so maybe their giving it some thought, but for now don't expect it to be.
  • Not sure why you think I got the impression it would be everywhere, I'm just saying it isn't going to be ONLY for dlc like the article states. It is most certainly not for every game available on both platforms, it is up to the publisher on a per game basis.
  • They also just said they will have cross plat cross buy games.   This is just a terrible article.
  • KI is cross buy.  If you own it on the Xbox One you'll own it on the PC and vice versa.
  • Killer Instinct is similar scenario as Gigantic or Fable Legends. All 3 games are free to play - you download those games for free, without any admission price - and then either unlock stuff via in-game purchases or download more content via DLC. Still, buying of full games once and playing them on anything is happening.
  • It has and always been up to the developer. We shall see with a game like Halo Wars, and Sea of Thieves.
  • I thought sea of these was free to play too?
  • What's best for each individual game? Who's not going to say true cross play? Buy once and play on PC or Xbox. Who wouldn't want that?
  • So long as both versions aren't being played simultaneously then what the harm to MS or their partners I wonder
  • Well I don't buy in game or dlc. So I guess PC only for me then. Oh well.
  • In that case you get cross play, as you don't intend to pay for anything anyway (as games are free)
  • If game streaming works seamlessly both ways, AND I can stream non Windows store games (i.e. Steam, Origin, non-DRM), then cross buy doesn't give me much advantage. I'll always buy the PC version and play on my One when I want, desktop most likely, or laptop when traveling.
  • That is exactly why Microsoft would be foolish to let PC-to-Xbox game streaming be for anything except Windows 10 Store games.
  • I was excited about streaming from my One to my PC, but the visual quality was so bad that its simpy not an option. And yes, it was a wired gigabit connection, I had streaming set to high/best, no other network trafic etc etc etc.
  • Doesn't bother me. I can budget my money to get the things I desiree.
  • Buy once play everywhere was EXTREMELY appealing to me. I can easily buy disc based Xbox games for cheaper than $60, then I can sell them when done. However, if I could buy digitally once and play either on Xbox or PC, then I'd start buying digital.
  • I know where you're coming from, but I just freaking hate disks and having to keep track and swap them, and having 2 xbox ones makes this even more frustrating for me.  Also, great and different/special indie games like Beyond Eyes and Submerged aren't ever going to be on disk.
  • Well that's short sighted and disappointing.
  • Isn't cross buy games up to the developer since it will cut into their money
  • Cross-buy would only make sense for games offered through the Windows store. Steam and Origin games wouldn't qualify for cross-buy, I think.
  • This article is incorrect and misleading. As others have said - it is for those 2 FREE TO PLAY games, Phil said on-stage that some games will be cross-buy.
  • This is retarded. Cross buy my nuts.
  • Perhaps later
  • Both Fable Legends and Gigantic are free-to-play games so it obiouvlsy applies to in-game stuff, because that's the only stuff you can "buy" in those games. Relax, I can assure you cross-buy for full titles (obviously up to publishers) is happening as well.
  • This article feels like everything Microsoft does... people missundestood and then people claim it is real and the sky is falling.   Really, how can Microsoft decide which developers/publishers Publish their game? Microsoft won't tell people "oh you can't have crossbuy games only content". that and everything depends on the user.
    It's like univeral apps or games, has Microsoft eliminated that? no! you can buy it once and use it everywhere.
    Microsoft is talking here about free games, and even if GoW wasn't crossbuy, it doesn't mean other games will not be like that.   We can read kotaku and all that, but Kotaku is not always right, and many sites with sources can make stuff up. like Windows Central making up 67million Windows 10 installations. so only becuase Microsoft didn't talk about games like GoW or any other paid game that is coming to PC. it doesn't mean they won't offer something like that.
    also people wanting everything for free is silly, Microsoft promised crossbuy, but not every publisher will want to lose money like that, and they will keep selling any version separated.  
  • The problem is that Microsoft NEVER says ANYTHING in plain understandable english. They always word things so that any statement they make can be easily misinterpreted. Its like some sort of culture they have there, in the same way that all apple employees sould like total douchebags, MS's statements are designed to give hope and then have it crushed on the rocks of reality only to have hope raise its head and be smacked to death with frozen tunafish.  They NEED to hire some media people who are capable of communicating, unlike the guys they have at the moment. 
  • this is why we can't have nice things.
  • How would they actually price cross buy games?
    In my country console games are on average 40-50% more expensive than PC games. Will PC games become more expensive? That would suck for those who only need the PC version.
  • I can imagine cross buy for things like threes and bejeweled, basically the more "appy" games. But not for things like Halo and Tomb Raider. Obviously the in-game purchases for free to play games makes sense for cross-buy so long as your stats and leveling also carry between the two. Hopefully though, in the next couple of years, we'll see digital bundles of both the Xbox and PC copies for something like 70-80% of the price of the two separately. You can't expect studios to develop for two platforms when they'll only receive revenue from like 1.5. I think with the multi-platform bundle model you'd at least see more people switching to digital, which would pull back a lot of revenue from the trade-in market. Anyway, time will tell how this all pans out. The big danger though for cross-buy would be that people with only one or the other will start to feel that they're paying twice. The general public won't think "I'm buying one copy and getting one free". Instead they'll start thinking "I'm being forced to pay double for two copies and I only want one!".
  • But Fable Legends and Gigantic are both free-to-play... Right? So technically you can't cross-buy the game since you can't "buy" it?
  • The decision to allow Games/Apps to be purchased and used on more than one device is UP TO THE DEVELOPER. Also there are often licensing and other restrictions that would prevent a 'free' copy being offered to PC or other device users - from licensed assets and IPs to even actor work has rules on these things, so games CANNOT be alway be a buy once use everywhere, as it would be expensive to pay the licensing for the 'free' copies on other devices, and may also create ground for litigation against the game developer.  (This isn't rocket science, these are very simple contract law issues.)   Even now, buying an App/Game on WP doesn't mean you also get it on Windows. There are some that do and some that don't and some that have separate purchases along with a Universal purchase price.     The crazy thing, is people are acting like there are other companies that offer the ability to buy a game once and play it on all their devices.  Microsoft is the only one that offers the 'option' for developers to do this, and people still act like MIcrosoft is cheating them.
        Let me know when Sony offers the ability to pay ONCE for a PS4 game and then download and play it a PC or a Phone or anything else. Even PS4 console exclusives like FFXIV require users to buy the PS3 and PS4 - in addition to buying the separate PC version.  
  • That's it I am tired of dealing with Microsoft. They did say you you would only have to purchase once.
  • I think that cross buy will only be for items bought from the new unified store, therfore for this to work developers will need to publish thier games on the store which is just a pipe dream at the moment.
  • Cross buy is IMHO a fundamental piece in Windows Continuum. Office 360 is already cross buy. I understand this should not be a thing imposed on developers and to be let to the market to come up with better solutions to the Continuum problem. Eventually this might be a distinctive advantage enough to make people opt for a game and not the other when it comes to buying by impulse. Yet it sads me that MS is not leading the pack with this approach with first party games. Why? Because I don't see many people buying the same game for both devices, so much that it will be a negletable profit venue that could otherwise be used to spure a better gaming experience and in turn more overall sales.
  • For instance, PC Gamers that don't have an XBOX One, might eventually buy one in a year ot two as soon as they find that they have after all a nice XBOX One collection of Games out of their purchases for the PC and vice versa.