Phil Spencer Knows That It's Been "Too Long" Since The Last Big Xbox Exclusive

2022 may have been a quiet year for Xbox, but 2023 is shaping up to be a big year according to Microsoft's head of gaming.

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Microsoft hasn't had a very busy year when it comes to first-party releases, but Xbox users can expect 2023 to be a big year for the console and the brand, according to Phil Spencer. In an interview on the Same Brain videocast, Microsoft's head of gaming admitted that while 2022 had been a mostly quiet year, 2023 is shaping up to be a blockbuster season for Xbox.

"One thing we've definitely heard loud and clear is it's been too long since we've shipped what people would say is a big first-party game," Spencer said (via VGC). "We can have our excuses with Covid and other things, but in the end I know people invest in our platform and they want to have great games. And as an industry, we have fewer games this holiday than we've had in a while when you just think about the launches. Call of Duty is coming, God of War is coming--which is great--Nintendo's had a good year. But in general, I would say we've been a little light."

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The Covid pandemic that began in 2020 had a big impact on the development of games as studios had to deal with new challenges, but Spencer explained that its developers had gotten these games on track and ready for 2023. "We're excited about 2023 and we've talked about games that are coming,” Spencer said. “Those games are tracking well [and] we're out of what Covid did to the production schedule."

2022 will end with five games published by Xbox Game Studios, with Obsidian Entertainment's Pentiment being the only new game this year that was developed internally. For 2023 though, Microsoft's heavy hitters include Arkane's vampire-slaying co-op game Redfall and Bethesda's highly anticipated space odyssey Starfield.

In other Xbox news, it was confirmed last week that Game Pass subscriptions on Xbox consoles had begun slowing down and a new user interface in development looks like a big billboard for the subscription service. Microsoft's planned acquisition of Activision Blizzard is also being analyzed by various regulatory bodies is more focused on mobile aspects and is not about making Call of Duty an Xbox exclusive.

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