Microsoft’s Xbox Game Studios, under the leadership of Matt Booty, have declared their focus to be shifting away from the previous generation of Xbox consoles. In a bold move towards the future, the company has announced it will cease the development of new titles for the Xbox One.
This decision was revealed in the recent Xbox showcases, where the absence of new game announcements for the Xbox One from first-party developers caught the community’s attention. Booty’s statement has disappointed many Xbox One gamers hoping for continued support for their consoles.
Booty attributes this move to the extended development cycles for AAA games, which now last “four, five, and six years.” He argues that the drive for superior experiences and pushing the boundary of possibilities necessitates moving past the Xbox One’s outdated hardware. Therefore, upcoming games, such as Avowed, Fable, and Hellblade II, will be absent from the Xbox One, which was evident at the Xbox Games Showcase.
However, it’s not all bad news for Xbox One users. Microsoft plans to continue catering to this demographic via Xbox Cloud Gaming, where players can access the latest first-party titles that would otherwise be exclusive to the Series X|S consoles. Also, popular games like Minecraft, which still has a presence on Xbox One, will continue to receive updates and support.
According to an AXIOS report, the move away from the Xbox One is part of a larger strategy to enhance the gaming output of Microsoft, hoping to match or surpass the often superior offerings of competitors Sony and Nintendo.
Microsoft manages 23 game studios, including eight acquired in the $7.5 billion purchase of ZeniMax Media in 2021. Many of these studios have yet to release a game for Microsoft’s current line of consoles, the Xbox Series S and X, which launched in late 2020. However, significant progress was displayed at a showcase last weekend, with the reintroduction of Fable by Playground Games and Avowed by Obsidian Entertainment, among other announcements.
While some external developers expressed concerns about the development of the less powerful Xbox Series S, Booty confirmed that the company’s internal teams would continue to develop for this console, acknowledging the added work and citing increasing performance capabilities.