The last console generation Xbox was criticized for not having games or enough first party content on their console. This eventually led to the management changes including Phil Spencer and Matt Booty taking rthe reins for Xbox and Xbox Games Studios. They quickly worked to identify the issues in their market position in terms of the content, ecosystem and fan support and worked to make changes quickly.
A number of changes occurred in the direction Xbox was heading to support those areas and to set a new direction for the brand. Phil Spencer convinced Satya Nadella of his vision for gaming, bringing high quality Xbox gaming to 3 billion gamers worldwide. Not just that but he wanted Xbox at the forefront, breaking down barriers for gaming like mobile gaming limitations, making gaming more accessible, developing consumer friendly services like existed in movie/TV streaming, and doing all that while generating a reliable revenue stream.
Once the vision was set, Xbox began making major moves in the gaming industry, acquiring 15 studios over a 4 year span and included in the sales were many beloved IP. While the payoff has not been immediate, these studios have wrapped up their pre-existing projects and will be releasing new, highly funded games for the Xbox ecosystem over the next few years. Once the Bethesda/Zenimax acquisition, Xbox will have somewhere between 32 and 38 teams developing and working on games.
Let’s take a look at the games that are confirmed or likely in development by their first party.
- Action Adeventure: Hellblade 2, Everwild
- FPS: Halo Infinite, Perfect Dark, Wolfenstein 3
- Racing: Forza Horizon, Forza Motorsport
- RPGS: Avowed, Elder Scrolls VI, Fable, Starfield, The Outer Worlds 2
- Strategy: Age of Empire IV
- Misc: Flight Simulator, Project Mara, Psychonauts 2, State of Decay 3
- GaaS: Minecraft, Sea of Thieves, Elder Scrolls Online, Fallout 76, Grounded
- Action Adventure: Dishonored 3 or Prey 2, Compulsion Games unannounced title
- FPS: Doom 3
- TPS: Gears 6
- RPG: Fallout, inXiles unannounced title
- GaaS: Zenimax Online unannounced title
- Wildcard Unannounced titles: Roundhouse Studios, Alpha Dog Studios, Tango Games, Obsidian small pet project, Double Fine next title
As impressive as that is, things are unlikely to slow down on the Xbox Games Studio build out. Satya Nadella has been priming investors for more acquisitions on the Xbox front. A repeated point of conversation has been the importance of content and that you can’t just build that overnight, and that acquisitions will be a key to their future as a result. Generally a CEO of a company like Microsoft will not prime investors for small acquisitions, so I’d expect some exciting additions to Xbox Games Studios in the near future.
While the first party is being built out, it’s been equally as exciting to see the constant additions of third party content to Xbox Games Studios. There has also been a pickup in activity for second party and ID@Xbox content. Next year there’s dozens of new titles joining Xbox gamepass.
There’s so much going on at Xbox, I couldn’t possibly cover it in one blog post, but hopefully I hit on the brightest spots. Enjoy gamers!