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Opinion: Xbox’s Exclusive Game Drought Is Officially Over – E3 2021

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Shortly after the Xbox Series X launched last November, I wrote about how I thought the Xbox’s exclusive game drought was finally almost over. The Perfect Dark reboot had just been unveiled at The Game Awards, capping an impressive showing of Microsoft’s first-party hand leading up to launch. But the celebration was short-lived: fast-forward to the eve of E3 and, as had been the case for years up to that point, a tumbleweed blew across a quiet and dusty road. None of those games have been released yet, and few if any of them had a concrete release date. The dry spell continued.

Following what I’d argue was Microsoft’s best games showcase ever at E3 2021, however, it’s time to make it official: the Xbox’s exclusive game drought is now over.

Finally.

It wasn’t just the mere act of ending this paucity of exclusives that matters, but the definitive way in which Xbox has done it. By that I mean: a series of forward-thinking chess moves that are now paying off. Firstly, Microsoft answered the Bethesda exclusivity question once and for all: Starfield will be an Xbox exclusive, and it will be out on November 11, 2022 (curiously, 11 years to the day since Skyrim’s release from the same Todd Howard-led development team). So too will Arkane’s Redfall, due in Summer 2022. Microsoft cut a big check to buy Bethesda, and now we know, without a doubt: their games are coming to Xbox, PC, and no other console.

Starfield will be an Xbox exclusive.


Secondly, Xbox Game Pass continues to be the biggest bang for your buck around, bringing in big third-party games on day one following big-name gets like Outriders and MLB The Show 21 earlier this year. Turtle Rock’s highly anticipated Left 4 Dead spiritual sequel Back 4 Blood will cost $60 on PS5 or $0 on Xbox with your Game Pass subscription on October 12. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 is out April 28 as a timed third-party exclusive, and it too will head straight into the service. Same goes for Contraband, from the Just Cause developers at Avalanche. Twelve Minutes is out in two months as another Game Pass day-one exclusive. Somerville, the moody new puzzle-adventure from one of the co-creators of Limbo and Inside, also gets the Game Pass treatment. I’ll keep going: A Plague Tail Requiem, Atomic Heart, The Ascent, Scorn, and the show-stealing Replaced are all debuting on Microsoft’s game-subscription service. If you’re not impressed by that, I don’t know what to tell you.

Thirdly, Microsoft’s exclusive output is finally starting to gain steam. Take a look at what Microsoft has lined up just for the second half of 2021: Sea of Thieves: A Pirate’s Life on June 22, The Ascent on July 29, the console version of Microsoft Flight Simulator (which is also the first Xbox Game Studios game to leave the Xbox One behind and go full next-gen) also drops on July 29, Twelve Minutes will be out on August 19, Psychonauts 2 hits a week later on August 25, Sable on September 23, Forza Horizon 5 unexpectedly parachutes in on November 9, and Halo Infinite will drop sometime in the “holiday” window, though it doesn’t have a concrete release date as of yet.

Next year, meanwhile, will bring Starfield, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2, Somerville, Party Animals, Plague Tale, Replaced, and Redfall – and that’s without having a firm idea about any other first-party possibilities for 2022, such as the Forza Motorsport reboot, Hellblade 2, and more.

This Xbox-Bethesda showcase was, in my opinion, the company’s best ever. It helped that Microsoft finally jettisoned most of its human presenters – those developer roundtable “discussions” from years past where each person was merely pretending to talk to the other people but really just looking over their shoulder at a teleprompter were a particular pain point – with the other half of the improved equation being the excellent curation of games and the content within the trailers for those games. Halo Infinite rebounded from its disappointing 2020 gameplay debut with an intriguing new campaign story trailer and an uppercut punch of a multiplayer gameplay montage, Forza Horizon 5 surprised with existing this soon but not with its obvious quality, and The Outer Worlds 2 is going fully Xbox exclusive with a hilarious anti-trailer trailer.

Take a look at what Microsoft has lined up just for the second half of 2021.


And it’s worth pointing out that Xbox still had a great conference without showing Perfect Dark, Avowed, Fable, State of Decay 3, or Hellblade 2. And we still don’t know what Compulsion (developer of We Happy Few) is up to. Or id Software. Etc.

But the point is: by filling up the remainder of 2021 and already planting a number of flags in 2022’s soil, Xbox has finally done what gamers have been waiting years for: it’s ended its long exclusive game drought. Here’s to a more bountiful era of Xbox gaming.

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Hi guys, this is Kimmy, I started LicensetoBlog to help you with the latest updated news about the world with daily updates from all leading news sources. Beside, I love to write about several niches like health, business, finance, travel, automation, parenting and about other useful topics to keep you find the the original information on any particular topic. Hope you will find LicensetoBlog helpful in various ways. Keep blogging and help us grow as a community for internet lovers.