Is Microsoft Dropping the Ball with the Xbox One?

Written By: Jarrett Crepeau

Since the 2013 release of the Xbox One it seems as though the console has been selling fine. As of January 2018, the Xbox has sold over 36 million units (about a third of the PS4’s 76 million lifetime sales, and the Nintendo Switch is skyrocketing at about 14 million). It’s a powerful console, especially the 2017 Xbox One X, yet fans are still unhappy. Since 2013, the console has sported few successful exclusive games. The past few years have been relatively rocky because the disappointment around Halo 5, the closing of Lionhead Studios and the cancellation of their upcoming Fable:Legends, and the cancellation of Platinum Games’ Scalebound. The exclusive console release of Cuphead was the only thing Microsoft had going for it in the tail end of 2017. Their deal with PUBG Corp. resulted in a mediocre console port of the battle royale game. And on top of that, they have pretty much been sitting on their acquisition of Minecraft, which has only expanded the platforms the game is on since Microsoft bought Mojang.

Microsoft

The most recent blunder by Microsoft that has fans up in arms is Sea of Thieves, the first big title Rare has released since being aquired by Microsoft back in 2002. This ambitious pirate MMORPG has let down fans by its lack of content, with some saying they showed all they had to offer in the multiple betas leading up to the release. Others criticize its 60 dollar price tag, citing how it’s just a ploy to get more people to buy into their Game Pass program, a monthly subscription which gives players access to Xbox exclusives and other games for free. Either way, the criticism has seemingly turned off fans, and more and more are hammering Microsoft for their lack of games.

This is a problem Xbox president, Phil Spencer, acknowledged at 2017’s E3 Conference, saying that they have not always capitalized on the ability to bring first party titles to the console, and said that Sony has been aggressive in this generation, which it has. The past couple years have shown us a giant pile of PS4 Exclusives between Horizon Zero Dawn, The Last of Us, and Ni No Kuni and its recently released sequel. Sony as also succeeded at locking down third party deals with companies like EA, Activision, and various indie developers. Looking ahead, as of now the only two Xbox Exclusives are The State Of Decay 2 and Crackdown 3. The Playstation is expecting a majority of big titles like God of War 4, Detroit: Become Human, Spiderman and of course the highly anticipated zombie games Days Gone and The Last of Us Part II. Nintendo is also doing well in the exclusive market with the success of the Switch’s respective Mario and Zelda games, along with announcing the development of a new Pokemon and Smash Bros games for later this year. June is fast approaching and we will see if Microsoft can make it out of this rough patch this year at E3, something I plan on covering, so stay tuned!

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