Xbox has told developers that they cannot charge for game upgrades from Xbox One to Xbox Series X, according to a report from VideoGamesChronicle.
According to the report, any upgrades provided as DLC must be free of charge, via schemes such as Xbox’s Smart Delivery, or EA’s Dual Entitlement. There is a loophole, however. Developers who do not support Smart Delivery have the option to provide current-gen game owners a discount on a second, next-gen version of their game on the Microsoft store.
Additionally, third party publishers could also charge for physical upgrades to their games via their own schemes.
At the time of writing, all of the games that have announced next-gen upgrades, such as FIFA 21, Cyberpunk 2077, Destiny 2 and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, are all doing so free of charge.
As an alternative to Smart Delivery, developers have the option to sell cross-gen bundles (either physical or digital), which will include two copies of a game, one for each generation.
This is the option that 2K have chosen with NBA 2k1, which will not offer an upgrade scheme but instead will feature a bundle that includes both versions of the game for £84.99.
However, games that do not support Smart Delivery will not be able to offer cross save between generations.
Speaking to VGC, a Microsoft spokesman said “developers and publishers ultimately decide how they deliver their games, and we work with them to provide the best possible experience based on their needs.”