How Microsoft first party developers will make or break Xbox Series X
The narrative regarding Microsoft and their exclusive games this generation has been very negative, and rightly so. But going into next gen I'm really interested for the first time in years as to what Microsoft have got cooking up. I want to break down all their studios:
343 Industries -
Halo Infinite, I'm hopeful this is a true return to form for the
franchise and boy does it need it. The game looks stunning, I think Halo
4 and 5 had the ingredients to be great games, so I have faith they can
The Coalition - An unannounced Gears 6 is obviously in the making, but once this trilogy is complete will they be making another Gears or will they be allowed to spread their wings? I hope they get to do something other than Gears next gen.
Playground Games -
Forza Horizon 5, we know this is going to be good and with it being a
next gen title I hope they can really push the boundaries of what an
open world racing game can achieve. Their other team is rumoured to be
making a new Fable game, which is so exciting! The Fable world is so
compelling and exclusive role-playing games are incredibly rare these
days, I have faith their open world expertise will carry over into
Rare - Teased at the end of last year was Everwild, no idea what the
game's about but the artwork was beautiful. I just hope it's not another
Sea Of Thieves type game, as I think Sea Of Thieves can live on as is
but Rare really could do with a more widely enjoyed experience.
Ninja Theory - After Bleeding Edge releases we've got Senua's Saga:
Hellblade 2, this trailer was nothing short of brilliant and it excites
me to think what Ninja Theory can do without the confines of the
budgetary restraints of the first game.
Obsidian Entertainment - Grounded is first, but after that you have to
wonder what Obsidian will cook up. The Outer Worlds was an appetiser to
what this talented studio can do and, like Ninja Theory, with larger
budget could create something special.
The Initiative - New studio, talented team. It's a mystery what this
studio is doing but that's exciting, isn't it? All we know is it's got a
big budget and they have talent from studios who made Red Dead
Redemption, Uncharted, Tomb Raider, and more. My hope is for some sort
of unique action adventure game akin to Horizon Zero Dawn.
Compulsion Games - This I think is the most exciting studio. We Happy
Few was massively flawed and a bit of a slog to get through, but the
game was completely saved by a compelling narrative, plus it was a
well-crafted world. It was just let down by its gameplay, I'm really
looking forward to what this studio could do with guidance and a clearer
InXile Entertainment - Another role-playing game studio, will they
create something on a bigger scale in the future?
Mojang - Probably more Minecraft.
Turn 10 Studios - Probably more Forza Motorsport.
Undead Labs - Hopefully a State Of Decay game that can fully live up to
the potential of the first game, a powerful narrative, and additions to
the formula that were sorely lacking in State Of Decay 2, which at times
felt like a reskin of the first game.
Double Fine - Not really sure what Double Fine might do, but Microsoft
obviously liked what they saw.
These are really varied studios and it's exciting to think what they might come up with for Xbox and PC. I think we should be looking at the future of Xbox exclusives with a bit more excitement at what these studios could produce, one thing each studio has is potential and that should be encouraged!