The big thing that really sank the Xbox One in this generation was the lack of exclusive first-party software. Beyond the somewhat botched announcement which marketed the machine as being more focused on multimedia entertainment over a traditional gaming console, Sony dominated the current generation with it’s stellar line-up of exclusives such as God of War, Spider-Man, The Last of Us Part II and Bloodborne. Yet when Microsoft revealed their acquisition of several acclaimed and well-known studios back in 2018, including massive names like Obsidian, Double Fine and Ninja Theory, it was clear that dedicated first-party exclusives were at the forefront of Phil Spencer’s brain.
It’s important to our hardware platforms, it’s important to things like Game Pass and our overall gaming strategy at Microsoft. As we got in place the new leadership team a few years ago, we started building our strategy and articulating our strategy internally to the company, it was really encouraging to see the support that we were getting from the board and the senior leadership team at the company to go and grow our first-party.
Spencer also made it clear that their exclusive line-up will in no way mimic that of Sony’s, instead focusing on unique concepts rather than copying or repeating what PlayStation has done and will be doing:
I will also say we are going to create our first-party around the things that we feel like we need to do in order to stand up for Xbox. Sometimes we get suggestions of, ‘Where’s your X game?’ or, ‘Where’s your Y game?’ when people look at the other hardware platforms. But I don’t think our goal is to replicate what other people have done. It doesn’t help the industry to have people that are trying to do exactly the same thing with their platforms, services, or content.
Which is actually a pretty decent point. Last thing we need is Microsoft getting out there and trying to market their own kind of Uncharted game or Dark Souls spinoff. Halo Infinite might be the first big exclusive that gets the Xbox Series X off to the start it needs but whether or not Microsoft although the future of first-party exclusives on Xbox is still largely unknown.
Last Updated: July 2, 2020