Xbox Exec Says Microsoft "Set Wrong Expectations" For Xbox Series X Event

The head of Xbox marketing has taken responsibility for the mixed fan response, saying the company set expectations high with promises of next-gen gameplay.


The recent Inside Xbox presentation promised the first look at gameplay for the upcoming Xbox Series X, with the big-budget Assassin's Creed Valhalla serving as the marquee item. And while it technically did show glimpses of gameplay, some fans felt disappointed at slick trailers that looked like cinematics. Xbox marketing head Aaron Greenberg is acknowledging the issue, chalking it up to poorly managing expectations.

In a tweet replying to a fan, Greenberg said that "clearly we set some wrong expectations." He suggested that if the Inside Xbox presentation had just been aired without the promises, the reaction might have been more positive.

This was also the conclusion of GameSpot's Chris Pereira, who wrote in an op-ed following the presentation that the central problem was how Microsoft managed expectations. "A sizzle reel is all well and good," he concluded, "but this first look from Microsoft has shown the critical importance of properly setting expectations."

Assassin's Creed Valhalla was especially criticized since its gameplay debut failed to show the new main character Eivor in action and instead mostly showed in-engine footage of environments. The creative director, Ashraf Ismail, issued a similar statement saying fans "rightfully expected to see more" and asking them to be patient and kind.

Despite the reaction, the presentation did make news with quite a few debuts and new announcements. That included the debuts of new games like Chorus, The Medium, and Scarlet Nexus, word that Madden NFL 21 will come to next-gen platforms, and lots of the new games shown compatible with Smart Delivery. Check out our Inside Xbox wrapup for more details.

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