It’s a bad sign when there’s more Muppets At The Game Awards than at the Xbox World Premiere. As someone who’s been playing and reporting on Xbox for 20 years, I’ve never been more puzzled by his console maker’s decisions.Me murmured As the industry’s most glamorous event of the year came to an awkward end, my frustration was that the hundreds of responses to that tweet told me something. Microsoft showed literally nothing next year, even though at the Xbox Showcase last summer he promised a huge year in 2023.
Last June, I foolishly declared years of exclusive drought ahead of Microsoft’s fantastic Fall 2021. In hindsight, that period was the exception rather than the new rule. Xbox fans have suffered a very dry year (shout out to Pentiment for Obsidian’s awesome, if niche!) and PlayStation exclusives, from Forspoken to Final Fantasy XVI to Death, hit the PS5 at The Game Awards. Had to watch all night to please the owner. Stranded 2.
Then, to further spice up the crotch, Xbox players will see Sony-backed developers scuff their way to the Game Awards stage, winning award after award for the amazing exclusive games they ship throughout 2022. I saw.
Even Xbox die-hards Kobril expressed disappointment. No one defended Microsoft, so I was left scratching my head. Clearly, the company has a strategy. The Xbox leadership team woke up in a cold sweat on the day of the show. They’re like Kevin McCallister’s mom on Home Alone, and in the wake of his Microsoft “presence” on the show, the only prevailing theory circulating online is that he deliberately hid himself under FTC surveillance. It was said that it was His $69 billion acquisition attempt of Activision-Blizzard-King. i won’t buy it The FTC doesn’t care if Microsoft shows Redfall, Starfield, or Forza Motorsport release date trailers (which have confirmed ship dates for the big games Xbox desperately needs right now). All of these games are from owned or acquired studios and have no concerns from regulatory bodies in any country. The first trailer from Todd Howard and MachineGames’ Indiana Jones project would have been fun.
But let’s say Microsoft’s strategy was to appear as weak as possible in the face of competitors trying to appease the FTC and CMA. So… mission complete. Congratulations. Team Green appeared to be the number three console maker, despite literally dozens of new studio acquisitions to produce exclusive games over the past five years. where the hell is the game? If they’re being saved for his Microsoft’s own event, how does it bring new people into the tent?It just preaches to the choir. With Game Awards, you can reach audiences who haven’t heard from you yet. It is precisely these people that Microsoft needs to turn its attention to.
Looking back at Phil Spencer’s time at Xbox, who’s coming to the end of his ninth year at this point, I honestly think he deserves an A+ almost across the board. The Xbox One S and X are great, the Series X is as quiet and reliable as it is powerful, and the Series S has proven to be a masterstroke in his chain of chip-short supply. The backwards compatibility initiative has been a huge success, and the industry-changing Xbox Game Pass program is great for gamers. Microsoft has also made significant positive changes to its culture under Spencer’s oversight.Microsoft recently recognized the largest game developer union ever. In terms of major exclusives played, Spencer gets a D at best, and at this point he’s dangerously close to failing.
2022 is coming to an end. Let’s draw a meme with words. The Xbox player is Charlie Brown, Microsoft is Lucy, and the big exclusive promise is football. Yes, the pandemic has impacted timelines. Yes, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine directly impacted multiple Xbox exclusives. And yes, shipping the game too early is the wrong move. But that doesn’t change the fact that Xbox can now be counted proudly. 23 studio in a first-party portfolio. Ending this year with absolutely zero AAA efforts coming out of Xbox Game Studios was tough enough to piss off Xbox players, but Xbox showed up at The Game Awards empty-handed. teeth, millions of gamers Being watched is simply unacceptable. Microsoft is losing its friendship with its audience. The company’s hopes of regaining the mindshare it lost in the missteps of the Xbox One era quickly slipped through its fingers, no one’s fault but its own.
Ryan McCaffrey is IGN’s Executive Editor of Previews and host of IGN’s weekly Xbox show. podcast unlockeda monthly (like) interview program, IGN UnfilteredHe’s from Northern Jersey, so it’s a “Taylor ham” rather than a “pork roll.” Discuss with him on Twitter @DMC_Ryan.