Xbox reputation suffers after Starfield and Redfall Delays

An astronaut stares into the distance at Starfield, one of the big Xbox games planned for 2022 that has been pushed back to 2023.

picture: Bethesda

Riding a video game bus must come with a seat belt warning. To the wit: In the past month, everyone seemed to be losing their minds due to Microsoft taking over half the industry. Now, following some big delays, it’s all “dead console!!!” This and “Xbox has no exclusive rights!!!” which – which. I hope you made a mistake!

To be fair, there are some precedents that watchers are concerned about the upcoming Xbox slate. Throughout the Xbox One lifecycle, gamers have (rightly) criticized the platform for having so few exclusives, especially during the initial launch period. But over the past few years, Microsoft has been in somewhat of an acquisition rush, as the ranks of first-party studios have grown as one generation of consoles dwindles and another begins.

With the Xbox Series X/S launching in November 2020, Nearly twenty studios They were under the Xbox One’s First Party umbrella. last March, Organizers approved Microsoft’s acquisition of ZeniMax, the parent company of Bethesda and the major (yes, that’s a technical term; no, don’t verify that) of a number of other prestigious studios, including Arkane, the manufacturers of insulting. Then the big event: in January, Microsoft has stated its intention To buy Activision Blizzard, Despite her problems, she received good media coverageprice The defense budget of a European country.

Immediately following the transaction – which was approved by Activision shareholders, who will receive a MuchBut Still need the green light from the regulators—A lot of attention has been paid to the number of studios that Microsoft has acquired. Influencers are relentlessly involved in gaming sprinkler graphs About how many old franchises were now technically first-party Xbox games, implying that Xbox has the strongest lineup of exclusives. outlets like the edge And Watchman He ran articles on the trend wondering whether or not Microsoft had a monopoly on the gaming industry.

Read more: Buying Microsoft Activision Blizzard isn’t cool, but it’s not an illegal monopoly either

But the winds have shifted. Last week, Bethesda announced It would delay starfieldthe massive space-faring RPG that was scheduled to be released on November 11, 2022. At the same time, the company also said that it was holding back from shooting the vampire Arkane, redvale, which was initially planned for a summer release. Both are now indefinitely scheduled for the “first half” of 2023, leaving Microsoft’s fall slate – historically the busiest time of the year – devoid of any hot-ticketed exclusives.

“Damn it,” Twitch streamer KidSmoovewhose biography states that “Xbox is the best box,” He said on Twitter. some people pointed fingers In the head of Xbox Phil Spencer. Aharon called her “Bad look”, “PR nightmare”, and used The word “disgusting” a lot. Even social media users with accounts named after Xbox – gamers who became known as “Xbots” –Express his disappointment.

Observers noted this sudden change at sea through the preferred method of communication on the Internet: Memes.

A Twitter user meme captures fans' changing feelings toward Xbox.

Since the days of the Xbox One, public opinion around Microsoft has swung like a pendulum. So far this generation, the company has gained goodwill well. The Xbox Series X/S was a head and shoulders improvement over the Xbox One, and it’s only gotten better since its launch, thanks to a constant wave of updates and quality of life improvements. Last fall, the console version calendar was installed by infinite aura And Forza Horizon 5, two of the highly anticipated new entries in the Xbox Marquee series. (Both shattered series records.) And that’s to say nothing of Microsoft’s hugely popular on-demand gaming service, Xbox Game Pass, which regularly adds some of the best games out there to its periodic library. redvale And starfield They were highly anticipated additions to the Microsoft ecosystem, so the joint delay has dampened this goodwill a bit as a result.

However, some fans have had great success. you know a lot That a delayed game is better than “another game Cyberpunk‘ to use the phrase It is said to be attributed For some Bethesda developers. (However, there is Some feelings there It can be basically summarized as follows, “starfield You better be amazing, or otherwise. One common joke: Bethesda, instead of having an entirely new game for fall, could simply launch Skyrim Again for the 71st time. (Due). However, the “Best Bit” award goes to this video from Twitch Streamer TheGladihater:

Jokes aside, it’s not as if the Xbox lineup is completely dry this fall. It’s not just stacked As it was last week. Several “console exclusives” are planned on Xbox this year, including cyberpunk platform has been replacedhorror game mockeryand post-apocalyptic shooter stalker 2. These games’ release dates haven’t been set in ink yet — for a whole host of reasons, not the least of which can be attributed to game development in the middle of a damn pandemic — but nonetheless they’re still slated for 2022. (Of course, any of them could be delayed .)

Then there are the unknown variables. Microsoft’s June show, though Cancel E3, continues as planned. It’s unclear what will appear there or what other potential stressors Microsoft has planned for this year. Xbox representatives did not respond to a request for comment.

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