At this point, it’s fair to assume that any proclamations of “console exclusivity” should be taken with an entire deer lick of salt. The PlayStation 5 launch title Bugsnax comes out on Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S on April 28, as part of the Game Pass library, developer Young Horses announced. It’s also getting a release on Nintendo Switch. Oh, and it’s getting a free expansion.
Bugsnax, an adventure game about exploring an island of anthropomorphic snacks, first made waves at E3 2020 due to that contagiously catchy tune from Kero Kero Bonito in its trailer. Folks may have initially written it off as a meme, but it also proved to be an offbeat puzzler with a shockingly dark undercurrent, and a truly all-time fucked-up ending. The Isle of Bigsnax, which is a free expansion available to all players on April 28, adds a new explorable area with supersized bugs(nax).
When it came out, Bugsnax was a core part of the PS5’s initial launch lineup, alongside such first-party Sony PS5 games as Astro’s Playroom and the Demon’s Souls remake. (Bugsnax was also released simultaneously on PlayStation 4 and PC.) Sure, an errant third-party indie game coming out on a competing platform a year-and-a-half after release doesn’t seem like the biggest dent to Sony’s ego, but Bugsnax isn’t even the only PS5 launch title to come to Xbox this week.
Remember Godfall? The entertaining if unmemorable action looter was released on PS5, a decision the developer attributed to technical restraints that prevented it from coming out on PS4. (Godfall was released simultaneously on PC.) Last summer, Gearbox backward-ported it to PS4. And five days ago, it saw a full release on Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.
The leap between major platforms cuts both ways. The Ascent, an isometric cooperative shooter, initially planned as a launch title for the Xbox Series X/S but delayed into summer 2021, landed on PS4 and PS5 a few weeks ago. And Bloober Team’s formerly Microsoft-only nightmare factory The Medium, whose dual-perspective puzzles required next-gen horsepower, came to PS5 last fall.
We’re likely in store for more. Deathloop, made by Arkane, and Ghostwire: Tokyo, made by Tango, were touted as PS5 “console exclusives.” (They’re also available on PC.) Last year, Microsoft famously bought the parent company of the parent company of both studios for a Monopoly money sum. At the time, Microsoft said it’d honor any exclusivity agreements in place, and so far it hasn’t announced an Xbox release date for either game, but c’mon. Anything to feed the Game Pass beast, right?