Microsoft has often been criticized for its lacking first party lineup- never more so than now, with some high profile cancellations leaving them with what looks to be a rather dire lineup of games, in number and variety. The old refrain of Halo/Gears/Forza has often been used to describe the Microsoft first party- and there is starting to be an element of truth to it these days.
Speaking on IGN’s podcast Unlocked, however, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said that Microsoft has some great things in the works, stating that the proof will ultimately be in the pudding, and that hopefully the lineup speaks for itself.
‘I’m incredibly proud of our lineup this year,’ he said. ‘I’ve said it before, but this will be an interesting year for us. We don’t have Gears, we don’t have a Halo first person shooter, and I get two sides on this. Some people say “every year it’s Halo/Gears/Forza,” and then we have a year that’s not those things, and people are like, “oh, now you’re in trouble!” But I look at Crackdown, I look at State of Decay 2, I look at Sea of Thieves, I’m having a great time with Halo Wars 2, and maybe there’s some things we haven’t talked about yet. But in the long run, I know having an incredibly strong first party lineup is incredibly important to this [business]. There’s a journey I needed to go through as a leader so I could be in a position where I could do more. And I think the proof will be in what we end up doing, and that’s how it will be judged.’
What could Spencer be referring to? Are there some major unannounced Xbox One exclusives that could hopefully exhibit the kind of whimsy and ambition that Microsoft used to in the early Xbox and Xbox 360 days. E3 can’t come soon enough.