Xbox has concentrated all efforts on improving its first-party and exclusive offerings recently. The gaming giant struggled for several years to break away from established IPs like Halo and Gears, but 2023 marks a major shift.
Following several acquisitions, Xbox Game Studios is home to over 20 major developers. This means that Microsoft can now produce several original IPs, and the gaming giant is also working with external partners for new games.
In addition to the several games in development at first-party studios, Microsoft’s Director of Live Game Operations confirms a dozen games are in the works with external partners.
Why it matters: Partnerships with third-party studios are common in the gaming industry and have often been utilized by industry leaders like PlayStation. Xbox is also no stranger to third-party partnerships.
Recently, a GDC presentation from March was posted on the Microsoft Game Dev YouTube channel.
During the hour-long presentation, Crystin Cox from Xbox discussed the process of game production at Xbox. While addressing future Xbox Game Studios Publishing projects with external developers, Cox stated:
“We have over a dozen games that we are currently working on.”
She further added that these games provide unique experiences and stand apart from the traditional titles released each year.
Previously, Xbox announced collaborations with the likes of Hideo Kojima. The developer is currently working on a cloud-based project, using Microsoft’s unique cloud-based infrastructure to realize his latest vision.
Such collaborations highlight the ambitious nature of Xbox Game Studios Publishing. Other collaborations include partnerships with notable developers like Asobo Studios for the latest iteration of Microsoft Flight Simulator.
Apart from third-party games, Xbox Game Studios Publishing is leading work on several major first-party games for 2024 and beyond.
The likes of Hellblade 2 and Avowed are expected to be among the biggest offerings of the year, continuing the publisher’s work across both first and third-party game development.
2023 has been a great year for Microsoft in the gaming industry after a series of disappointments in recent years.
Xbox Game Studios Publishing has been vital to the gaming giant’s current success, and its continued efforts to pursue partnerships with key third-party developers will ensure that the gaming catalog of the Xbox Series S|X thrives for years to come.
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