Bethesda has just announced the postponement to 2023 for the release of expected games: Starfield and Redfall. The calendar of releases planned by Xbox studios becomes almost empty for 2022.
Here is a decision that must have been particularly difficult for the Xbox teams to make. A few days after executives Phil Spencer and Matt Booty visited the Bethesda offices, the studio announced that neither Starfield nor Redfall would be released in 2022. Both games are now scheduled for the first half of 2023 without further details.
An update on Redfall and Starfield.
This is obviously very good news for the two games which will be entitled to additional development time to be fine-tuned. We also hope, without harboring too many illusions, that this will allow the teams to withdraw from the pressure faced with a release date deemed untenable.
For Microsoft, on the other hand, this is undoubtedly very bad news.
A calendar that becomes desert
So far, 2022 has clearly not been a show of force from Microsoft’s many internal studios. The Xbox division has seen a slew of buyouts over the past few years, and yet no in-house studio-developed game has been released so far in 2022. Fans could at least take some comfort in the planned release of the blockbuster Starfield at the end of the year. As a reminder, this is the new game from the developers ofElder Scrolls Skyrima particularly ambitious game for Bethesda and one of Microsoft’s biggest upcoming releases.
Without Starfield neither red fall for the year 2022, there is officially only the release of Groundedcurrently in early access on the brand calendar. Guessingly, we can also imagine the release of Deathloop in the Xbox ecosystem after a year of exclusivity for the PlayStation brand. But it’s still very thin.
Microsoft must bluff us in June
All eyes are once again on the Xbox & Bethesda Game Showcase scheduled for June 12. Starfield and red fall were to be the stars all found, and we will probably still have the right to a demonstration, but Microsoft must now give its audience something to play in 2022.
The firm has many projects in production in these studios: Avowed, Fable, Forza Motorsport, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2, Perfect Dark or State of Decay 3 to only cite a few. All this without counting the firm’s new publishing projects with external developers, such as contraband. It’s hard to imagine that any of these games were scheduled to release in a window close to Starfield as this game had to occupy the field.
If Microsoft is not able to adjust a release date for another project that is already almost completed, the firm can turn to a solution that it has already used in the past. It’s about pulling out the checkbook to sign great games from third-party publishers with day one release in Xbox Game Pass.
The problem with Xbox communication
This news underlines all the same all the problem of Microsoft to bet almost exclusively on its big conference of June. Between January and May, Xbox players were not entitled to any release from an internal studio, where Nintendo and Sony have already both released important games and communicated on the coming months. The pressure on the event is therefore immense.
Xbox players now have to wait for this conference to find out what they will be entitled to for the rest of the year. It would probably be better for Microsoft to change its methods and adopt a little more agile communication, with more regular announcements. Come on, let’s be crazy: offer two conferences a year.
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