After a lackluster 2022, a rumored Xbox showcase is set to take place later this month. It will feature content for upcoming games, including Redfall and Forza Motorsport, and be called a Developer_Direct.
Many Xbox fans expected to hear news about games such as Starfield, a key exclusive RPG from Bethesda. Instead, as end-of-the-year announcements took place, things were surprisingly quiet for the Xbox brand. Some expected some trailers during The Game Awards, but mostly, it was radio silence for upcoming Xbox Series X|S games.
It sounds like news is finally coming. According to Windows Central, the Developer_Direct Xbox showcase is scheduled for January 25th. It will be broadcast on Xbox’s official Twitch and YouTube channels at noon PT. Starfield is reportedly not appearing but is expected to have its own showcase in the future.
Based on the reporting, it sounds like these will feel like Nintendo Directs and not a large E3-style showcase event.
An Xbox Showcase Has Been Needed for Quite Some Time
Xbox’s biggest competitors, Sony and Nintendo, have been using these intimate-style events for quite some time. Nintendo’s Nintendo Direct and Sony’s State of Play events have highlighted their upcoming titles to great success. Xbox has been long overdue for these types of events.
Recently, after Xbox didn’t make any big announcements during The Game Awards, we looked into the reasoning behind this. One possible explanation was the lack of significant updates. While games like Avowed, Fable, Perfect Dark, Redfall, Starfield, and others are in the pipeline, we don’t know the current status of those games. It’s possible that they aren’t ready for primetime yet.
Still, it’s surprising not to hear Microsoft tout their recent deal to bring the Riot Games library to Game Pass. Valorant, League of Legends, Teamfight Tactics, and the rest of the Riot Games library are now on Xbox Game Pass for PC, but there’s a chance you missed that announcement.
An event like this can advertise key announcements, additions to GamePass, and updates to upcoming games. It sounds like these are expected to take place throughout the year. It’s a stark difference from only hosting showcasing during major industry events throughout the year.
Right now, the Xbox strategy seems to post news on social media and let word of mouth take over. While it’s a neat strategy, kew news tends to get lost in the shuffle, especially in the face of Nintendo Directs or Sony State of Plays.
First Party Titles Are Lacking According to Phil Spencer
We know that first-party games exclusive to Xbox aren’t where the company wants them to be.
“One thing we’ve definitely heard loud and clear is that it’s been too long since we’ve shipped what people would say is a big first party game,” Spencer said back in October. “We could have our excuses on Covid and other things, but in the end, I know people invest in our platform and want to have great games.”
An Xbox Showcase or Developer_Direct, whatever they’ll be called, can go a long way in hyping up their future releases.
One thing that will also help with upcoming releases would be the approval of Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard. While Phil Spencer has repeated that Call of Duty will remain multiplatform, the Activision library has a treasure trove of IPs waiting to be developed.
Despite concerns about the deal approving, Spencer is confident that the acquisition will go through. “We expect this will close in this fiscal year for Microsoft in June,” he said recently. “I’m pretty confident in the deal closing, I’m spending time with regulators, I think they’re doing a good job asking questions.”