Microsoft promises that it will shift focus towards first-party games as the Xbox One tries to play catch up to its competitors: PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.
While consoles can make money sharing big titles like Fallout, Grand Theft Auto, and Tomb Raider, the lifeblood of any gaming company relies heavily on its first-party titles. Sadly, while the Xbox brand certainly has Forza, Halo, and State of Decay in its catalog, the lack of substantial releases as well as content in recent games such as Sea of Thieves still places them behind Sony and Nintendo winners like The Last of Us and Zelda. Thankfully, it sounds like the tide may finally be turning.
Xbox boss Phil Spencer responded to an IGN editor's query on Twitter regarding Microsoft's first-party titles - specifically games that can rival Sony releases such as the upcoming God of War - by saying that it took time for them to build the proper hardware (e.g. Xbox One X) and it's going to take time for them to deliver top-quality first-party titles, but they are working towards doing just that. Take a look:
Our hardware took time, our service/platform/BC took time and continuing to grow our 1P will take time. A high quality and diverse 1P (yes, with SP) built the right way is our goal and what our customers deserve. We can have similar results to what we've seen in hw and platform.— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) April 13, 2018
Sunset Overdrive, Super Lucky's Tale, and Cuphead represent some of the companies newer first-party entries, but there's no denying that Xbox offerings are trailing behind the rest. With a reliance on multiplayer mayhem thanks to Sea of Thieves and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, at least Spencer's words promise that the renewed focus on first-party games will also include a bigger emphasis on single player.
The issue of first-party gaming has once again reared its head with God of War. Sony has managed to reboot the ailing franchise and send the gaming world into overdrive with the latest adventure. Looking ahead, Insomniac's Spider-Man and The Last of Us Part 2 round out two more major releases, meaning that Sony will most likely take the crown this year. Elsewhere, Nintendo still has some major unannounced games arriving in 2018, thus leaving Microsoft out in the cold with its upcoming releases - at least based on what's been revealed.
It obviously takes time to bring these games together, but some fans are seeing Spencer's words as a case of too little, too late. It has been a rocky road for Microsoft since the Xbox One's lackluster reveal back in 2013; however, the gaming giant has managed to claw its way back thanks in large part to Spencer's leadership. They've once again gained credibility with the release of the Xbox One X, establishment of Xbox Play Anywhere, and the recently launched Xbox Backwards Compatibility program (which extends to the original Xbox).
It all sounds very promising and might enough to get players behind Microsoft's promised future. Spencer has been promising big, new things for this year's E3 after all. So, hopefully, they can bring a lineup of exclusive games to the table that will pique players' interest.
Source: Phil Spencer