Microsoft is starting with 15 studios for Xbox Series X, while we are excited about the increase of developers working on Xbox games it is important to know how Xbox One started, to have a perspective. In the below table you can clearly see how much bigger Xbox Game Studios has become, especially because all still existing studios from the Xbox One column have had an increase in developers too.
|Xbox One||Xbox Series X|
|343 Industries||343 Industries|
|Turn 10||Turn 10|
|Xbox Game Studios Publishing||Inxile|
|Xbox Game Studios Publishing|
Will we see more acquisitions?
Absolutely! While Phil Spencer has confirmed multiple times that he would really like a Japanese studio, I don’t think this is something that will happen in the coming years. More than likely we will see one or two new acquisitions before 2022. More important now is handling the 350% increase in Xbox Game Studios developers, cost effectiveness and making sure that enough content releases every month. For example, here is where Double Fine comes in as they release multiple games each year.
What will we see from the 15 studios?
Xbox game publishing: This is the hardest one to predict and at the same time the most interesting. They received a HUGE increase of funds and are actively looking to publish exclusive Xbox games. I regularly read that Battletoads is one the game titles but it is actually Rare that managed all of that from their budget. Good current examples are Tell Me Why from Dontnod and Flight Simulator from Asobo Studios. On Xbox One they published Ryse: Son of Rome – Sunset Overdrive – Zoo Tycoon – the two Ori games from Moon Studios and more, throughout the Xbox One’s generation they received less and less funds but that all changed last year.
Xbox Game Studios: Almost all of the Xbox Game Studios are working on multiple games, Microsoft is aiming to release a game each month and they are perfectly capable of doing that. We will see an increase of games as a service (like Sea of Thieves or Gears 5) and single player games. Xbox Game Pass is keeping online game active so experimental games like Grounded or Bleeding Edge isn’t going to be a rare thing. Microsoft bought studios as Obsidian and Ninja Theory for their single player expertise, so expect a lot more RPG’s and action adventure games.
Time frame of Xbox Series X releases 2020-2023 (our prediction)
Each year: Double Fine game(s)
2020: Halo Infinite – Tell Me Why (Xbox publishing) – Battletoads (Rare) – Crossfire X – Scorn (Xbox Publishing) – The Ascend (Xbox Publishing) – Gears Tactics – Flight simulator
2021: Forza Motorsport 8 – Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 – Grounded – Obsidian RPG game – Age of Empires 4
2022: Fable reboot (Playground) – Project: MARA – Everwild – Forza Horizon 5 – Gears 6 – Halo spinoff – The Outer Worlds 2 (Obsidian) – the Initiative first game
2023: The Initiative game 2 – Compulsion game 1 – Forza spinoff – State of Decay 3 – inxile new RPG / Unreal5 game