Halo: The Master Chief Collection for PC probably won't support Xbox Play Anywhere

Since it was confirmed for PC last week, many have wondered whether Halo: The Master Chief Collection will support Xbox Play Anywhere, which effectively grants owners of a Microsoft-published Xbox One game a free copy on PC. That initiative was first announced in 2016, and the company has supported all first-party Microsoft games since. But unfortunately, it doesn't look like the forthcoming Halo port won't be among them.

The news comes via 343 Industries studio boss Bonnie Ross, speaking at the Halo Championship Series Invitational at SXSW (via Windows Central). "I think one of the questions we've gotten is will MCC PC support Xbox Play Anywhere. And first off I wanted to say, we so appreciate all the support we've had from Xbox One community with MCC, and we're obviously bringing Reach to MCC. And while MCC shipped before the XPA Play Anywhere [program], we are exploring ways to make sure 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 once we get closer to launch."

It's a fairly diplomatic way of saying Play Anywhere won't be supported at launch, at least. And I imagine it'd be pretty complex to pull off: not only is the collection coming to both Steam and Windows Store, but it's rolling out differently to the Xbox One edition, which boasted most of the collection at launch. On PC, the games will roll out over time and will be sold separately. 

Meanwhile, at the same event, Community Director for 343 Industries Brian Jarrard indicated that crossplay with Xbox One won't necessarily be a launch feature.  "The real question on people's mind is can I play Xbox against PC? And truth be told right now, we are really focused on making sure that we can bring these games to PC in the right way. But the team would love to hear feedback on this and as we get further down the road, it's something I think we're going to have to evaluate, and if it's something that the community wants and makes sense, I think the team wants to make it happen. But right now, we really need to focus on getting these PC products out the right way."

Sign ups for Halo Insider, which grants early access to MCC, are open now.

Shaun Prescott

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.