Microsoft has revealed that they have three exclusives for the Xbox coming this 2023, in their filing to the FTC.
Microsoft said this in their filing:
“The Complaint’s reference to Microsoft’s recent acquisition of ZeniMax—a set of gaming studios acquired in 2020—has no relevance to the current transaction. After that transaction closed, ZeniMax’s first two new games were made exclusive to PlayStation for one year post- launch. Xbox anticipates that three future titles— all of which are designed to be played primarily alone or in small groups—will be exclusive to Xbox and PCs.”
Microsoft did name the titles in this document to the FTC but they have been redacted. But it’s not like we don’t know what these games could be.
Just last month, Team Xbox head honcho Phil Spencer spoke about his decision to delay both Starfield and Redfall, two Zenimax projects we already knew were being planned to release only for the Xbox and PCs.
Starfield is the bigger project among the two, a space exploration game akin to No Man’s Sky and Elite. While Todd Howard has tried to share some tangible details about the game, we have often been left with lofty ideas of what Starfield will be able to accomplish. Composer Inon Zur refers to it as tackling universal questions. Todd himself has implanted this idea that it will be possible in this world to recreate the loneliness of space.
Redfall may not be as highly anticipated, but its appeal is easy to understand. It’s a Left4Dead style co-op shooter, with an original story scenario, replacing the staple zombies of copycat Left4Dead games with vampires. Microsoft has dropped hints that it will release before Starfield, and in fact there has been some anticipation that Arkane Studios would be releasing an open beta for some time now.
Now, many fans speculate that the third game is the Indiana Jones game being developed by MachineGames, executive produced by Todd Howard himself, and in collaboration with Disney-owned LucasFilm games. This was announced all the way back in January of 2021, but none of the parties involved have revealed any platforms or release dates.
In regards to exclusivity, we have only rumors to swing this either way, and funnily enough, both come from Xbox podcasts. The Xbox Era podcast covered a rumor in September 2021 that the game would become an Xbox exclusive. On May 2022, the Xbox Two podcast shared a rumor that it would not be an Xbox exclusive at all. So, the verdict is still out on this one, especially since it’s very early to get any details for the project.
It’s of course possible that Microsoft has another Zenimax project waiting in the wings, that they aren’t unveiling until next year. That would certainly be an exciting prospect for Xbox owners in 2023.