Spencer admits Microsoft’s gaming output for 2022 was too light

Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming, has been known to speak candidly. It’s far from surprising, then, to hear him admit in an interview with IGN that Microsoft’s gaming output for 2022 was too light than either he or the company would have liked. He also considers himself personally responsible for the shortcoming.

[…] Our commitment to our fans is that we need a steady release of great games for people to play on our platform, and in 2022, we have undoubtedly not done enough of that. And fundamentally, that’s up to me. I am the head of the company.

The commitment we have to our customers to continue delivering great games is something that I take seriously, the teams take seriously, and 2022 was too light for games. And I consider things like Pentiment, which came out in November, to be a really high quality game, but there’s got to be more.

So we’re excited to roll into 2023, with the Developer Direct. I felt really good about the games we showed. And then also knowing that Starfield is a game that we could highlight on its own show and then just start 2023 with good momentum, and like you said, I think we needed that.

Indeed, as Spencer said, Microsoft released some very well-received games in 2022: two games from Obsidian (Pentiment and Grounded) and one game from the outside team Interior Night (As Dusk Falls). However, they were all low-budget releases rather than triple-A blockbusters.

That’s partly due to delays incurred by games like Arkane’s Redfall and Bethesda’s Starfield. Another game released in 2022 by a studio now under the Microsoft umbrella, Tango’s Ghostwire: Tokyo was and is (until March) a console exclusive to PlayStation.

However, none of these issues should apply to 2023 anymore, which explains Spencer’s enthusiasm for the new year. Tango’s other project Hi-Fi Rush Shadow slumped to healthy sales and critical acclaim last week; Redfall launches on May 2; Forza has been confirmed to launch in 2023; and Starfield is getting its own special show soon, where Bethesda Game Studios fans will presumably learn the final release date.

Will 2023 be the year of Microsoft and Xbox? It certainly looks like that could be the case.

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