With the likes of Redfall and Starfield delayed to 2023, last year was a quite year for Xbox releases, and the launch of Arkane’s vampire shooter in May was ultimately “disappointing”, according to Microsoft’s head of gaming Phil Spencer.
But Xbox chief marketing officer Jerret West told GamesIndustry.biz that he’s “super excited” about the regular releases the company has planned following Starfield’s arrival on September 6.
“This is, in my mind, the doorway, almost like a starting gun, to what I think is going to be a multi-year relay race of first-party titles,” he said.
“I was sitting there watching the same [Starfield presentation] you were this morning and I was like… this is really the start of something that’s going to then lead to Forza, then in 2024 as we go to Hellblade, and we think about Towerborne which is on the show floor, we think about Avowed, and we’ve got stories we haven’t told yet as well, that are going to unfurl in 2024 and 2025.”
West added: “And then if you layer in also, Game Pass and the third-party relationships that we have… I think we are entering a period where this is the beginning of something that’s going to be really special over the course of the next several years.”
“I am feeling very good about launching Hi-Fi Rush, we have Minecraft Legends out there that’s doing well,” he said. “We’ve had Age of Empires continuing to come to console. As we saw today, we are very excited for this fall with Forza Motorsport and Starfield.
Xbox has aggressively grown its portfolio of first-party studios over the past five years. As well as setting up The Initiative (Perfect Dark) and a new Age of Empires studio, Xbox has acquired the likes of Ninja Theory (Hellblade), Playground Games (Forza Horizon), Obsidian (Fallout: New Vegas), InXile (Wasteland 3), Double Fine (Psychonauts), Undead Labs (State of Decay), Compulsion Games (We Happy Few) and Bethesda.