With the 20th anniversary of Xbox hardware being celebrated, a large number of Xbox titles were made available in a large update, which would end up being their FINAL additions. The 70 new games added includes F.E.A.R. and F.E.A.R. 3, , the Dead Or Alive Ultimate NIER, and the entire Max Payne series. The Game Fix podcast went over some of the notable titles, but the full list is available on Xbox's website, along with the software boosts that original Xbox games will receive.
What's tucked away in the language of this announcement is details about why the backwards compatibility program is ending. It's why this feels like it flew under the radar:
"This latest and final addition of 70+ titles to the backwards compatibility program was only possible through the passion and feedback from the community. Your constant requests for specific titles and enhancements encouraged the Backwards Compatibility team to partner with the original creators to preserve thousands of games from over four generations of Xbox.
While we continue to stay focused on preserving and enhancing the art form of games, we have reached the limit of our ability to bring new games to the catalog from the past due to licensing, legal and technical constraints. Thank you for being part of this journey with us."
There's no doubt there was probably a lot of bidding to acquire the rights for redistribution of the hundreds of titles (over 500) on Xbox's BC program, there's a chance this was inevitable, as Microsoft would likely place greater emphasis in supporting exclusive works for their new studio acquisitions like Bethesda and Ninja Theory. Backwards compatibility was always a great luxury for Xbox, it now looks like for some of the other titles, it will require owning the original hardware.