While Xbox would like for developers and publishers to take advantage of Smart Delivery, it is ultimately up to them if they will.
Microsoft has been advertising the Smart Delivery system for the Xbox Series X since its first reveal. For those who are unfamiliar, Smart Delivery is where select games that have been purchased on current platforms, the Xbox One, will then be offered for free on the Series X when they are enhanced for next-gen. It sounds like Xbox is encouraging developers to try to take advantage of this system or to use their own schemes.
Per Video Games Chronicle, sources have informed them that Xbox has been encouraging developers to offer next-gen titles that have been previously purchased for free. They also informed Video Games Chronicle that they have been telling developers that they cannot charge players to upgrade games to Xbox Series X versions as DLC.
Though, publishers and developers will be able to choose if they would like to provide that option. They will still be able to offer a discount on buying a second next-gen copy.
It is still up to the developer and publisher how they would like to handle the process. A Microsoft spokesperson told VGC: “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.”
We have already seen NBA 2K21 offering its own system. If players would like to upgrade for “no additional cost,” they will need to purchase the $99.99 version of the game. If not, they will need to purchase the game once again when it comes to next-gen consoles.
Hopefully, we will see more games taking advantage of this system or use their own similar system. I do not want it to be like where I purchased A Link to the Past across 6 different systems.