E3 2017: Phil Spencer addresses lack of newly announced AAA Xbox exclusives
They got burnt by a little game called Scalebound.
Microsoft had a really solid conference at E3 this year. They announced the Xbox One X, showed some great third-party games like Metro: Exodus and Anthem, and gave some updates on first-party games like Crackdown 3, Sea of Thieves, and State of Decay 2. This is great and all but some were disappointed in the lack of triple-A first-party titles from Microsoft.
Yeah, we'll be getting the annualized Forza game but other than that, there wasn't any major new Xbox exclusive announced. No Halo, Gears of War, or a new IP to blow us away. Fans will be able to enjoy two new triple-A Xbox One exclusives when Xbox One X launches in November: Forza Motorsport 7 and Crackdown 3. Is it enough to tide fans over until 2018 when games like Sea of Thieves and State of Decay 2 will be released? Hard to say but you can't blame someone for being skeptical.
Speaking with Eurogamer, Phil Spencer addressed why we didn't see any brand new triple-A Xbox exclusives at E3 this year.
"The focus I had on this show was games you're going to get to play in the next year. We're focusing on Xbox One S and Xbox One X and the games you're going to play. We showed Crackdown, which looks fantastic. It's going to be there at launch day for Xbox One X, which will be a great showcase for the box. Obviously Sea of Thieves. I thought State of Decay showed up really well. Some people played State of Decay 1, but a lot of people missed it. Now we're giving that game time to really hit what we want State of Decay to do, because that will be an important franchise for us. We showed Forza."
Frankly, I loved the fact I didn't have to bring out Gears and Halo just to say, hey. People know we have Gears and Halo in our portfolio, and we're working on other things that aren't on this list..."
From the sounds of it, he just doesn't want to make the mistake of announcing games too soon and making people wait years and years leading to a situation where it may even get canceled *cough* Scalebound *cough*.
He went on to talk about learning from the mistakes of not only Xbox but other companies as well (presumably Nintendo with Breath of the Wild and Sony with games like The Last Guardian).
"We're not alone in putting games on-stage early that then have a second E3, a third E3 before they actually come out. That's an industry thing. And I'll tell you, as a platform holder there's tension because, if I had shown Master Chief running around in 4K on the screen, the place would have gone crazy. You know that. I know that. Just to pick on Halo because people know there's Halo. But I also know, as we're working through the creative process of giving the team the time to go deliver the great game we want them to deliver, whether it's Halo or something brand new, the time it takes to just get ready for the screen is real time away from production on the game. And then you set some kind of bar from gameplay, because people will take expectation that probably has very little to do, or might not have anything to do with what you actually land."
So, I love the lineup of games we had on-stage. I thought we had a great lineup of games. We have more things to come. People will hear about that from us. And I'm going to be conscious of putting things on-stage when I know I can make a commitment to my fans and customers that they're going to get to play those games."
Good guy Phil is just trying to make sure we see games that will actually release and release in a timely manner. We've all been burnt by games that get announced too soon and either never come out or when they do come out, you wish they would've been canceled instead.
Do you think this is a smart move for Microsoft or do they need to make the public aware that they have good, new games coming down the pipeline? Let us know in the comments below.