Game Pass has been an unequivocal success for Microsoft, and over the last couple of years, the service has seen a number of third party titles releasing for it day and date. The first party side of things has been a little lackluster in comparison though, with 2022 having been a very lightly packed year on that front. 2023 is shaping up to be a much better year for first party Xbox releases, and Xbox boss Phil Spencer says Bethesda titles in particular – including the likes of Redfall and Starfield – are going to be “really important” for Game Pass.
“Redfall and Starfield are really important games, every first-party game that we’re building is,” Spencer said in a recent interview with IGN. “In terms of the growth of Game Pass, it’s been steady. And as we’re adding new games and sequels to games, we see the continued growth. Sometimes, the growth is in games that we expected, and then every so often a Vampire Survivors or now a Hi-Fi Rush comes along and creates its own excitement. So sometimes you can predict the games that are going to drive excitement, and sometimes you get surprised. And I like that about our industry — that great games can come from many different places.
“For us, we obviously closed the ZeniMax acquisition a couple years ago, seeing that Bethesda, ZeniMax being the parent company, is shipping a Hi-Fi Rush, shipping Redfall, has the Elder Scrolls Online update, shipping Starfield… that these games are coming this year. And we’ve started the year off with our first launch into Xbox and PC, Game Pass. I’m just really encouraged by the strength that Bethesda’s going to show in our portfolio, and we’re starting to see it already in 2023, and that’s exciting.”
Arkane Studios showed off an extensive new gameplay deep dive for Redfall last week, while also confirming a May release for the open world co-op first person shooter. Meanwhile, Starfield also has a standalone showcase currently in the works, which is potentially where Microsoft and Bethesda will announce a specific release date.
Officially, Bethesda’s space-faring RPG has an H1 2023 release window, though recent leaks have claimed that the game has been slightly delayed and is targeting a Summer launch.
Microsoft has several other first party releases in the pipeline for 2023 as well, including Forza Motorsport and Minecraft Legends. Last week, Tango Gameworks’ Hi-Fi Rush was unveiled and shadow-dropped.
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