Halo: The Master Chief Collection Won’t Be Part Of Xbox Play Anywhere

Halo: The Master Chief Collection Won’t Be Part Of Xbox Play Anywhere

343 Industries studio head Bonnie Ross confirmed yesterday during the Halo Championship Series Invitational at South By Southwest that Halo: The Master Chief Collection will not be part of the Xbox Play Anywhere program which makes Xbox One games cross-buy and cross-play on PC. Those who already own it on console will have to buy it again if they want to access the PC version.

“One of the questions we’ve gotten is will MCC PC support Xbox Play Anywhere, and first off I want to say we so appreciate all of the support we’ve had from the Xbox One community with MCC and we’re obviously bringing Reach to MCC,” Ross said during a quick panel discussion before the tournament’s grand finals.

“While MCC shipped before the XPA Play Anywhere, we are exploring ways to make sure that we show our appreciation and recognition for the support we’ve had from the amazing fans on MCC and we’ll have more to announce as we get closer to launch.”

Microsoft originally announced the Play Anywhere program back at E3 2016. It would give specific Xbox One games cross-buy and cross-play capabilities on PC, making the transition between the two platforms more seamless.

In an older blog post detailing the program, Microsoft said every new game it published would be part of Play Anywhere, but that blog post was subsequently changed to specify “every new title published from Microsoft Studios that we showed onstage at E3 this year.”


The program currently includes 73 games. Many are from third-party publishers, but the library also includes every Xbox One game released by Xbox Game Studios’ since the program was announced, the most recent of which is Crackdown 3. In practice, the only games which have been left out are ones that were already released prior to program’s existence, like Forza Motorsport 6 and Minecraft.

Microsoft originally tried to push cross-buy on Xbox One by giving players who bought Quantum Break at launch a free code for the PC version of the game, but they haven’t done anything similar for older games.

If ever there was a previously released game ripe for getting the Play Anywhere treatment, though, it would be MCC. The game’s original release was a bust, with bugs, lag, and matchmaking issues that persisted for months.

Giving the existing player base the option to play on PC with new players would be a nice reward, especially since there won’t be cross-play, at least for now.

Later on in the panel, 343 Industries community director Brian Jarrard said that while cross-play is a possibility in the future, right now the team working on the port is just focused on getting the game up and running on par with the current console version.

As MCC consists of six different games and eight different engines, porting it will likely be a unique challenge, which is one possible reason that features like cross-buy and cross-play aren’t currently in the cards.

MCC on PC is planned as a staggered release with Halo: Reach being the first available game in the collection. Jarrard announced a new beta initiative called Halo Insider that players can sign up for in order to get early access and start testing the game out in the near future. “That’s going to be happening I think sooner than people realise,” Jarrard said. 


  • There it is… So now what? i can see this being a full priced AAA release.

    So yay… $90 on Steam.

  • Money grubbing a-holes.
    I’ve bought all of the Halo titles available on the original Xbox, on Windows, on the Mac, on the 360, and with my brief foray into the XB1 on that as well.
    Removing split screen play and LAN play was a clear money grab to force people onto XBL, now this?
    I really wanted to play this on the PC, but I’ll wait another year until it is in the bargain bin.

    • Each port, and edition requires dev time.

      All your old copies are still there, and working. If you want the new editions, pay for the labour they put in. Your attitude is why Premium is losing ground to fremium.

      Want halo 6 to be like Apex\Fortnite?

  • I’m surprised, as this would have sent more people into using the Windows store and associated infrastructure than Steam.

    This begs the question, is Steam now the lead platform for this?

    • i think it might be as mircosoft would have the metrics to see how many people are actually buying games from their store like halo wars and then comparing to how many are buying through steam

  • So I can kind of see why they can’t offer the whole “Play Anywhere” service up front: the whole concept is that it is the same game on both platforms. In addition to being a single purchase, it covers platform independent cloud saves and the different platforms offering feature parity so that switching mid game actually makes sense.

    If they’re going to release the parts of the collection piecemeal starting with a game not currently in the Xbox version, then that doesn’t really fit the bill. Perhaps the game will meet those “Play Anywhere” criteria at some indeterminate point in the future but it certainly won’t on release.

    With that said, they certainly have the info to unlock the PC version for existing customers. I guess they aren’t doing so because (a) it would weaken the “Play Anywhere” brand, and (b) the extra sales will be useful in covering the porting costs.

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