2023 marked a new era for Xbox. Last year, Microsoft’s gaming brand was more confident, offered a larger variety of first-party titles, and grew its internal development teams to record numbers in the industry.
With games like Hi-Fi Rush, Starfield, and Forza Motorsport, Xbox turned millions of heads in 2023. Following this lineup, Microsoft has no plans to slow down, with 2024 shaping up to be another exciting period to be a fan of Microsoft’s gaming brand.
Why it matters: Until now, Xbox was on the back foot, catching up after a poor run during the last generation. However, 2023 was a turning point that showed just a glimpse of everything Microsoft has planned for the future.
Variety Of Exclusive Titles
Xbox has a promising slate of first-party and third-party exclusives in 2024, with many games possibly becoming GOTY contenders this year.
In Q1, the gaming giant will come out swinging with Stalker 2 Heart of Chornobyl. This series has returned after a long hiatus, and its unique approach of combining horror, survival, and first-person shooter elements makes it appealing to a wide range of audiences.
GSC Game World has been quite determined to get the game out this year despite setbacks like delays and massive hacks. The studio is using cutting-edge tools like Unreal Engine 5 to bring the latest iteration of the IP to life, offering a 60FPS mode for smooth gameplay along the way.
Next is Hellblade 2. Ninja Theory’s history suggests this game will be something special, possibly the major AAA release Xbox has been craving for its first-party lineup for so long.
Stunning visuals, immersive story-telling, and top-notch production values are just a few of the elements expected from this title. The game has even earned Phil Spencer’s attention, with the Xbox boss dubbing it his most anticipated release of the year.
In addition to these two, Obsidian Entertainment is set to release Avowed in 2024. This release should have fans of the RPG genre covered, offering hundreds of hours of content and expansive worlds to explore.
Elsewhere, Asobo Studio is gearing up to release Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024 for fanatics of aircraft, and Studio Wildcard is finally ready to release Ark 2 after experimenting with Unreal Engine 5 last year.
All of these titles will come together to create an explosive first-party lineup for the console manufacturer.
Day One Releases On Game Pass
Last year, Microsoft proved its commitment to the subscription model through 50-day-one releases on Xbox Game Pass. This included the likes of Lies of P, Starfield, and Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty.
Moving into 2024, 40 day-one games are already confirmed for the service. There is little doubt that this list will grow and expand as more titles are revealed, though the current slate already looks promising.
Apart from the aforementioned exclusives, games like Persona 3 Reload and Cities Skyline 2 will be immediately available on the service upon release. As always, a slew of indie titles will also join the subscription in 2024.
Additionally, games like Hollow Knight Silksong were previously confirmed for Xbox Game Pass. While Team Cherry has yet to announce a release date for the title, many expect it to finally arrive this year.
Therefore, the Xbox Game Pass offerings will certainly be worth keeping an eye out for. With games becoming more expensive, Microsoft’s subscription service is quite an asset for millions of gamers worldwide.
The Impact of Activision Blizzard
Xbox has acquired Activision Blizzard recently, and while nothing major has come out of this merger yet, 2024 will show the initial impacts of this business decision. Many iconic Activision games will likely join Xbox Game Pass this year.
Call of Duty alone should drive engagement and subscription numbers to new levels, setting a new precedent for Xbox Game Pass. Popular Activision IPs could also be brought back after executives like Sarah Bond showed an interest in reviving the likes of StarCraft.
Overall, 2024 should be a fun year full of surprises, great games, and several reasons to buy an Xbox.
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Abiyan is on track to complete his Computer Science bachelor’s degree. His enthusiasm for writing and gaming motivates him to keep readers and gamers updated with the latest information from the industry. In his free time, Abiyan enjoys playing Dota 2 and Rocket League. Abiyan has also been cited in reputed websites such as Kitguru, Comicbook, GamingBible, Eurogamer and Gamingbolt.