Phil Spencer apologizes as Bethesda delays raise questions about the Xbox pipeline

Phil Spencer apologizes as Bethesda delays raise questions about the Xbox pipeline ...

Delays to two Bethesda titles and Xbox console exclusives Starfield, from Bethesda Game Studios, and Redfall, from Arkane, have been particularly serious.

The two games were given 2022 during the summer Xbox showcase, and they represent the first real fruit of Microsoft''s $7.5 billion acquisition of Bethesda. They will be the first Bethesda games to be released on PlayStation, and will be added on day one to the Xbox Game Pass library. Starfield, in particular, was famously anticipated, becoming the first major RPG from The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim and Fallout 4 in seven years.

Both have been extended to the first half of 2023. Crucially, this leaves Xbox without any significant releases from its internal studios scheduled for 2022. Despite the fact that last year, Microsoft promised to include at least one first-party game every quarter to Game Pass.

Phil Spencer, the head of Xbox, took to Twitter to discuss the delay as well as providing support for contrition. These decisions are extremely difficult for teams to produce the games and their supporters. Although I fully support giving teams time to release these great games when they are ready, he wrote. While delivering quality and consistency are expected, we will continue to work to meet these expectations.

These decisions are difficult on teams putting the games ahead of them and our supporters. While I fully support giving teams the time to deliver these fantastic games when they are ready, we receive the feedback. We will continue to work to meet those expectations.

What are those expectations, and why is the conversation around them so wreaky? Starfield and Redfall are usually delayed because of a relatively significant amount of resignation. However, a bad game may be avoided if the title is delayed, and the rest is likely to be true.

The fact that the Xbox''s empty 2022 schedule is indicative of Microsoft''s lengthy journey in transforming Spencers'' extensive studio acquisition spree this year, leading in a $68.7 billion purchase of Activision Blizzard into actual software. In the past four years, Microsoft''s gaming arm has expanded into a broad spectrum of studios with unprecedented scope and scope. There are some serious concerns about the Xbox''s ability to manage this huge development pipeline.

Playground Games Fableand Ninja Theorys Hellblade 2, both of which were later announced.Undead Labs State of Decay 3, The Coalitions Perfect Dark, and Rares Everwild are all reportedly floundering in development hell or extensive reboots. Acquisitions inXile, Tango Gameworks, and Double Fine have yet to move beyond the still contractually required games to launch on PlayStation phase.

Turn 10 Studios, which would previously be relied on to produce a new Forza Motorsport every two years, has not released a game since 2017 (Its reboot of the series is the one possibility for a late-2022 release for Xbox, but it is by no means a given.)

Despite widespread pandemic-related delays in development schedules, the project''s ambition, and Bethesda Game Studios, none of these incidents is surprising or even necessarily worrying in isolation. Together, they do not provide a solid picture of project management within Xbox Game Studios. This might explain why Xbox took the with hindsight, foolish decision to place a firm date on Starfield last year. Despite the fact that the game was pushed down in November, it became somewhat concerned about the developer''s development schedule,

Jason Schreier, a Bloomberg analyst, said that he had heard that this release date had made some Starfield developers very concerned that the game might turn into the next Cyberpunk, referring to the unfinished release of the CD Projekt game.

Last spring, before E3, I spoke to some people on Starfield who were somewhat worried about committing to a 11-11-22 date based on the progress they had so far. (Next Cyberpunk was the term floated.) Good luck Bethesda for getting delayed even after announcing that specific date.

That eventuality has hopefully been avoided, and pressure on Bethesda staff has been reduced, because to the delay in writing, which can only be a good thing. In the end, Microsoft has acquired so many talents and so many enviable properties, so that it will inevitably be able to present Xbox owners and Game Pass subscribers with a slew of games in the long run.

The delays to Starfield and Redfall have put a damper on Xboxs'' ability to manage its sprawling development empire, regardless whether or not they are symptomatic of it. It is no wonder that Spencer believes his teams still have something to prove when it comes to quality and consistency.