Xbox exec says Starfield kicks off a ‘multi-year relay race of first-party titles’

An Xbox executive has said Starfield’s release is like a “starting gun” for a steady stream of first-party titles.

With the likes of Redfall and Starfield delayed to 2023, last year was a quite year for Xbox releases, and the launch of Arkane’s vampire shooter in May was ultimately “disappointing”, according to Microsoft’s head of gaming Phil Spencer.

But Xbox chief marketing officer Jerret West told that he’s “super excited” about the regular releases the company has planned following Starfield’s arrival on September 6.

“This is, in my mind, the doorway, almost like a starting gun, to what I think is going to be a multi-year relay race of first-party titles,” he said.

“I was sitting there watching the same [Starfield presentation] you were this morning and I was like… this is really the start of something that’s going to then lead to Forza, then in 2024 as we go to Hellblade, and we think about Towerborne which is on the show floor, we think about Avowed, and we’ve got stories we haven’t told yet as well, that are going to unfurl in 2024 and 2025.”

West added: “And then if you layer in also, Game Pass and the third-party relationships that we have… I think we are entering a period where this is the beginning of something that’s going to be really special over the course of the next several years.”

West’s comments echo those of Xbox Games Studio boss Matt Booty, who said in June that the publisher had “turned the corner” in its efforts to deliver at least four first-party games every year.

“I am feeling very good about launching Hi-Fi Rush, we have Minecraft Legends out there that’s doing well,” he said. “We’ve had Age of Empires continuing to come to console. As we saw today, we are very excited for this fall with Forza Motorsport and Starfield.

Xbox exec says Starfield kicks off a ‘multi-year relay race of first-party titles’
Forza Motorsport will be released on October 10, 2023

“But when we get into 2024, it really kicks into gear. We have got Towerborne, we have Hellblade 2, Avowed, Flight Simulator 2024, and some things we haven’t talked about so far.”

Xbox has aggressively grown its portfolio of first-party studios over the past five years. As well as setting up The Initiative (Perfect Dark) and a new Age of Empires studio, Xbox has acquired the likes of Ninja Theory (Hellblade), Playground Games (Forza Horizon), Obsidian (Fallout: New Vegas), InXile (Wasteland 3), Double Fine (Psychonauts), Undead Labs (State of Decay), Compulsion Games (We Happy Few) and Bethesda.

June’s Xbox Games Showcase featured reveals for InXile’s Clockwork Revolution and Compulsion’s South of Midnight, plus a fresh look at Obsidian’s Avowed.

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