Recent leaks reveal Xbox boss Phil Spencer describing his 2022 game lineup be a “disaster situation.”
The recent major leak of Microsoft documents and emails revealed an email chain that Spencer sent to senior Xbox staff, which included Microsoft Studios’ Matt Booty, Sarah Bond, and Xbox CFO Tim Stuart. He pointed to the high-profile delay of Bethesda’s Starfield from 2022 to 2023, the unclear release schedule of Arkane’s Redfall, and the numerous Stalker 2 delays.
“I feel like we’re in a big hole with our game lineup,” Spencer said. “This is truly a disastrous situation for us given everything we have invested in content across all the studios in our GP content pool. “We need to learn from this and build a plan for the future.”
Spencer then put out a call to arms for his Xbox team to sign third-party games to fill the void. “Let’s roll up our sleeves and plan for the next two years of games.”
Stuart responded to Spencer with a roadmap of third-party releases that included titles that would be released over four quarters of fiscal 2023. It included titles like Resident Evil Revelations (possibly the codename for Resident Evil 4 Remake at the time) scheduled for the second quarter, Dragon Age 4 and Skull and Bones.
Another answer reveals a discussion about the difficulty of getting day-and-date releases for Xbox Game Pass. This is Microsoft’s attempt, and still ongoing, to get new game releases from third-party companies coming out on Game Pass.
To finance these titles, Microsoft had to push “hard” other parts of its business. It was revealed that they had to push existing live service games like The Elder Scrolls Online, Sea of Thieves, Minecraft and others.
Also worth noting is Microsoft’s comment on Baldur’s Gate 3. It described it as a “second-run PC Stadia RPG.” Unfortunately, this was a bad decision for Microsoft as the game was a huge hit when it came out.