After a slow year for first-party Xbox releases in 2022, Microsoft is positioned to ramp up its output of exclusive games starting with the launch of Bethesda’s Starfield this September.
In an interview with GamesIndustry, Xbox chief marketing officer Jerret West said he is “super excited” about the first-party titles coming after Starfield‘s release on September 6. West called Starfield’s launch a “starting gun” to kick off a “multi-year relay race” of exclusives.
“I was sitting there watching the same [Starfield presentation] you were this morning and I was like… this is really the start of something that’s going to then lead to Forza, then in 2024 as we go to Hellblade.
We think about Towerborne which is on the show floor, we think about Avowed, and we’ve got stories we haven’t told yet as well, that are going to unfurl in 2024 and 2025.”
Upcoming titles mentioned by West include Forza Motorsport, launching October 10, 2023, Hellblade II and Avowed in 2024, and more unannounced games coming in 2024 and 2025.
The ramped-up release slate follows Microsoft’s aggressive acquisition of studios like Bethesda, Obsidian, and Ninja Theory over the past five years. Even with the quiet 2022, Microsoft delivered titles like Age of Empires coming to console, according to Xbox Games Studio head.
With the combination of first-party games and Game Pass relationships, West said, “we are entering a period where this is the beginning of something that’s going to be really special over the course of the next several years.”
This very much feels like the starting gun for this relay pass that’s going to take place over the next couple of years. So as a marketer, I’m super excited about that. And then if you layer in also, Game Pass and the third party relationships that we have.
In case you missed it, Starfield’s preload started on August 17 for Xbox Series X|S and PC players on the Microsoft Store. However, the Steam version’s preload will begin on August 30.