All I can say is, it’s about damn time.
The Xbox has had a historically weak lineup of first party games, franchises, and studios, but the problem has never been as stark and acute as it is right now. Microsoft’s current struggles in the console market can be attributed almost exclusively to them lacking any compelling games that may convince would-be buyers to pick up an Xbox One over a PS4 or Switch; with third parties looking to minimize risk by putting their games on as many systems as possible, the onus would fall on their first parties, which, as discussed, are weak.
However, speaking to Bloomberg, Xbox head Phil Spencer discussed the prospect of opening and acquiring new first party studios in the coming years. “We need to grow, and I look forward to doing that,” Spencer said. “Our ability to go create content has to be one of our strengths. We haven’t always invested at the same level. We’ve gone through ups and downs in the investment.”
This is something Microsoft has said numerous times before, including as recently as 2013 and 2014- which was then followed up by multiple high profile game cancellations, studio closures, and long time partners leaving their fold. I want to believe and trust Microsoft when they say this, because I want to see what kind of compelling first party lineup they could marshal with their resources- but I’ve been bitten too many times now to be anything more than cautiously optimistic.