Let The Delays Continue
At this point its hard to even feel surprised by this, but the team at Bethesda confirmed this morning that their two upcoming titles previously set to release in 2022, Redfall from Arkane Austin and Starfield from Bethesda Game Studios, will both be moving back to the first half of 2023.
Redfall, a horror themed co-op shooter, was originally announced last year as coming this summer, though we haven’t heard much about it lately. Starfield meanwhile, an RPG in the style of Fallout but set among the stars, was revealed last year to be releasing November 11th and was one of this year’s most anticipated titles.
COVID has made game delays more common than they’ve felt in decades, but if delivering a polished experience is the goal, this certainly makes sense. The lack of these two major titles though leaves Microsoft’s first party offerings for this year feeling awfully sparse, almost giving flashbacks to the end of the 360/early Xbox One era when it felt like their first party offerings had pretty much boiled down to Halo, Forza, and Gears of War.
In response to concerns about their product diversity, Microsoft have been buying studios left and right over the last couple years, including the high profile purchase of Bethesda themselves, and their upcoming planned acquisition of Activision. It’s payed dividends last year when Microsoft managed to release 3 of our 12 favorite games of the year, but even then two of those games were Halo and Forza. This is the period when those purchases are supposed to start paying off, but COVID seems to be pushing that back.
What can we expect to see from Microsoft Game Studios in 2022? Probably not much. They have a ton of announced games, including Contraband, Perfect Dark, State of Decay 3, Everwild, Avowed, Cobalt, Fable, and far more, but few of them have any real hope of coming out in 2022. We haven’t even seen gameplay of most of them. The two most likely games to still make it out this year are the next game in the Forza Motorsport series, and Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II. Maybe The Outer Worlds 2 is closer than we think and makes it out this fall if its using the same engine as the first game, but that seems like a reach. Outside of those three games though nothing seems likely, and none of them feel like a sure thing. This may be yet another year where Microsoft has to rely on their ongoing live service games, and third party support to drum up excitement. Hopefully it will be the last.