Ryan McCaffrey is the host of IGN’s weekly Xbox show, Podcast Unlocked, and he’s covered Xbox for 20 years. He was frustrated by Xbox’s no-show at this year’s Game Awards – one of the biggest events of the entire gaming year – and he’d like to tell you why.
Everyone's here look even animal is here Guys Sign when there were more Muppets at the Game awards than Xbox World premieres as Someone who's been playing and covering Xbox for 20 years I'm not sure I've ever Been more baffled by the console Maker's Decision making I tweeted my frustration As soon as the industry's glitziest Event of the Year came to its awkward End and if the hundreds of responses to That tweet told me anything it's that This was no hot take how could it be Microsoft literally showed us nothing For the year to come despite promising Us a huge 2023 at last year's summer Showcase in June last year I foolishly Declared the years-long exclusives Drought over ahead of Microsoft's Fantastic fall 2021 in hindsight that Period has been an exception rather than The new rule Xbox fans suffered through An exceptionally dry year shout out to Obsidian's Fantastic if Niche pentiment Though and also had to watch PlayStation Exclusives Delight PS5 owners at the Game awards all night long from Forespoken to Final Fantasy 16 to death Stranding 2. Then to add one more kick in the groin Xbox players watched Sony back Developers wear out a path to the game Award stage to accept award after award For the Fantastic exclusive games they
Shipped throughout 2022. now I see why I Couldn't get more than a plus one Even Xbox super fans like cobrill Expressed their disappointment there was Simply no defending Microsoft and I'm Left scratching my head Clearly the company has a strategy the Xbox leadership team didn't wake up the Day of the show in a cold sweat Exclaiming oh no we forgot about the Game awards like they were Kevin McAllister's mom in Home Alone The single predominant theory bandied About online in the wake of Microsoft's Presence at the show was that it was Intentionally laying low under the Watchful eye of the FTC who sued Microsoft the day of the game awards in Order to try and block the attempted 69 Billion dollar acquisition of Activision Blizzard King I don't buy it the FTC Wouldn't care if Microsoft showed off Release date trailers with firm ship Dates for big games being something that They desperately need right now for Redfall Starfield and Forza Motorsport These games are all from Studios they've Owned or acquired without so much as a Twitch of concern from any country's Regulatory body or you know announce the New project from the Coalition in Software or compulsion games a first Trailer from Todd Howard and machine Games is Indiana Jones project would
Have been delightful but let's say Microsoft strategy really was to try Ryan look as feeble as possible in the Face of its competition as it seeks to Appease the FTC and the CMA in that case Mission accomplished congratulations I Guess Team Green looked every bit the Third place console maker it is despite Having acquired literally dozens of new Studios to produce exclusive games for Them over the past five years where the Hell are the games if they're being Saved for Microsoft's own events how is That bringing new people into the tent That's just preaching to the choir the Game awards allows you to reach an Audience who isn't already listening to You and that's precisely who Microsoft Needs to get the attention of if we take A look back at the Phil Spencer era of Xbox which is finishing up its ninth Year at this point I honestly think he Deserves an A plus almost across the Board The Xbox One S and X were fantastic the Series X is as powerful as it is silent And reliable and the series s has proven To be a master stroke in a chip shorted Supply chain the backwards compatibility Initiative has been a resounding success As has the industry changing Xbox game Pass Program which has been great for Gamers Microsoft has also made Significant positive changes to its
Culture under Spencer's watch too as Microsoft recently recognized the Largest game developers Union yet But from the perspective of the major Exclusives Xbox has shipped in those Nine years Spencer gets a d at best and He's dangerously close to flunking at This point failure is not an option as 2022 draws to a close allow me to draw You a meme with words Xbox players are Charlie Brown Microsoft is Lucy and the Promise of big exclusives is the Football Yes the pandemic affected timelines yes Russia's invasion of Ukraine has Directly impacted multiple Xbox Exclusives and yes shipping games too Early would be the wrong move Okay I get that but the fact remains that Xbox now proudly counts 23 studios in Its first party portfolio that this year Is ending with exactly zero AAA efforts Coming out of Xbox game studios was Tough enough to stomach for Xbox players But for Xbox to show up to the game Awards empty-handed as millions of Gamers looked on is simply unforgivable Microsoft is close to being out of Goodwill with its audience Any hope the company has of winning back The Mind share it lost amidst the rash Of mistakes made during the Xbox One era Is rapidly slipping through its fingers
With no one to blame but itself