The fallout from the Starfield delay continues in earnest, as criticism of Xbox’s strategy and efficacy continues to mount.
A few weeks ago, Microsoft and Bethesda announced that both Starfield and Redfall are being delayed into 2023, which has led to a wave of criticism from both fans and press alike. A lot of the criticism has fallen on Xbox Game Pass, which now has a fairly sizeable hole in its known roadmap for 2022, as exclusive sci-fi RPG Starfield and 4-player co-operative vampire slayer Redfall slip.
Across the weekend, a range of prominent industry commentators noted that they were canceling, or at least considering canceling Xbox Game Pass owing to the Starfield delay, at least in part. At least one outlet declared that Xbox Game Pass’ “hype” had burned out. Although, it’s undeniable to suggest that the Starfield delay has been anything other than problematic for Microsoft. While the firm enjoys some solid momentum taking sales charts across the world with its powerful Xbox Series X and more affordable Xbox Series S, some fans are starting to wonder why it’s taking so long to catch a glimpse of that mysterious video game roadmap.
In response to the criticisms over the weekend and today, some Xbox social media accounts issued some rare assertiveness to defend the company. InXile of Wasteland 3 fame responded to a troll, in praise of Xbox’s commitment to “creative freedom,” describing the partnership as a “dream.”
tell me you limit yourself to only AAA games without telling me you limit yourself to only AAA gamesMay 23, 2022
Xbox Game Pass’ official Twitter account also shot back at claims about the service’s quality, lauding the service’s variety of smaller games, delivering a brutal like ratio in the process. Xbox’s Major Nelson stacked on with a mic drop emoji. Even indie outlet Wired Productions spoke up, stating “Indie games (and yes indie Publishers + Developers) 💜 #XboxGamePass.”
InXile founder and lead Brian Fargo cut through the fun and memery with a glowing appraisal of the company’s partnership, following the studio’s acquisition back in 2018. Fargo emphasized that Xbox fans will see Microsoft’s “bets pay off” in the future, while praising the firm’s commitment to creative freedom.
Microsoft have been perfect partners for us and I’ve worked with a lot of people in my career. Nothing but encouragement, operational support, creative freedom and respect for game development. So yes, I’m most impressed with them and you will see their bets pay off.May 24, 2022
While prophecies of Xbox’s demise are nothing new, the industry-disrupting nature of Xbox Game Pass has the company under a bit of microscope as of late. Microsoft is attempting something that hasn’t been done before at this sort of scale, and uncertainty about what it may mean for the future of Xbox and gaming in general has been a common theme in industry commentary since the subscription service’s inception.
For fans and subscribers, all they want to know is when are the games coming? Hopefully, Microsoft will answer that question at their Xbox + Bethesda showcase on June 12, where it will demonstrate the best upcoming Xbox games it’ll have to offer for the near future.