Xbox’s Exclusive Drought Is Finally Coming To An End

Microsoft has a strong slate of releases planned for 2023 and beyond.

For years, Xbox has been talking up its upcoming library of exclusives. Microsofts many acquisitions have put them in a place where they can churn out multiple games a year, but so far Xbox has not had as many blockbuster AAA exclusives as rivals Sony and Nintendo have. This may end by next year, as a large slate of releases is planned for 2023.

Xbox started off the new console generation with few exclusives. Halo Infinite was meant to launch with the Series X but was delayed a year. Xbox’s first next-gen exclusive was The Medium, which launched months after the Series X. Xbox has had many high-quality, but smaller titles as exclusives, Including games such as Scorn, Psychonauts 2, and others. 

While Xbox has had a large slate of exclusive releases, they are often not the blockbuster releases that Sony has. God of War, The Last of Us, and Horizon Forbidden West are all AAA high-budget titles with millions of units sold each. So far, Microsoft has not been able to match the scale of their exclusives 

Even 2022 was a weak year for Xbox exclusives, 2 years after the launch of the Series. X. The delays of Starfield and Redfall meant that Xbox was without a large blockbuster title for the holiday season. Comparatively, Sony has released God of War Ragnarok, which has been nominated for Game of The Year.

Xbox is most focused on one thing: Its content library. It wants people to subscribe to Xbox Game Pass over everything. They do not mind taking a $100+ loss on each console sale. However, without a slew of new original games, people may not want to subscribe to Game Pass.

Recent Game Pass growth numbers have not hit Microsoft’s projections This year it projected game pass to grow 73%, but it only grew 28%. Without big exclusive first-party titles, not as many people may be inclined to subscribe to Game Pass.

Games take a long time to make. Due to the pandemic, many titles were delayed. But as the pandemic ends and studios get back on their feet, work is full speed ahead on the newest games. In 2023 alone, the following are only some of the exclusive titles that will be released on Xbox platforms:

  • Starfield
  • Redfall
  • Forza Motorsport
  • Warhammer 40k Darktide 
  • Ark II

Some titles that do not have an exact release date but could potentially release in 2023 include:

  • Avowed 
  • Hellblade II
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2
  • Perfect Dark 
  • Unannounced Compulsion Games title 
  • Unnancouned Coalition title
  • Unannounced InXile title

Microsoft’s vision is to release a AAA exclusive title every 3 months. This goal was set back in 2019, when the company was in the midst of countless acquisitions, including its multi-billion dollar acquisition of Bethesda.

Microsoft owns over 23 studios, and they certainly have the talent to push out AAA blockbusters. But Microsoft has been talking up its future library for years, and we have yet to see what it can do with its full potential.

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Matthew Toledo

Matt is a student from the US. He is an avid gamer and is interested in the intersection of the gaming industry and finance. He is a fan of Halo, Mass Effect, and Star Wars and anything Sci-fi.

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