Has Microsoft forgotten what gaming and Xbox is all about?


Great piece.

And now I’m sad again!

This uncertainty absolutely fucking sucks.


Unfortunately the problem is that the money people understand that the Xbox loyalist aren’t enough to keep the business successful and constantly growing.

But the issue is they don’t understand that the creatives that work on games are the most important part bringing in more people to their ecosystem. Because without the people that make a game like CoD, it would be where it is.

I would wager Microsoft heads, think that if they could get away with hiring nothing but contractors to do all the work on a game they would.


It would not be the first time.

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The suits at Microsoft never gave a crap, they simply got impatient after noticing their massive investments still not paying off.

This is why I think they need to embrace a full third party strategy, have everything on PS the same day as Xbox, guaranteed to make more money and hopefully saves some jobs.


Great video. Thanks.


Good, well-reasoned article.

It sums up some of my frustrations - I’m mostly staying positive except for the poor devs affected, but there is a frustration where I feel like Obi Wan screaming at Anakin about being the chosen one.

There’s always been so much potential at Xbox - coming off the heady 360 years, the One launch line up (even if the unveiling sucked), Game Pass, Microsoft’s deep pockets maybe allowing Xbox to get back in the race - and the publishers acquired that seemed to be the answer to the much-needed games.

But after the 360, it’s always felt like it’s “next year” that’ll be Xbox’s year to shine - but while we’ve had some highlights and good times, they often don’t last long enough.

They release two big games close together too often then have big periods with no major first party games (2022 and last 6 months), they step on an unnecessary rake often, and fail to communicate their strategy clearly for us to buy into.

Then just as it seems the games are finally coming, the multi-platform news and now studio closures - each one not managed particularly well and potentially damaging despite how hard I’m looking for positives.

It does feel like they’ve had development hell in a few too many studios now, and Xbox seem too bloody nice to kick some ass and get stuff into shape - sometimes a team needs an outsider to have a look over and get them to rein in scope or to figure out what their end goal really is.

That “nice” Xbox is why these closures and all the sudden moves have felt so bad - we expect it of other companies, but the “nice guy” image Xbox cultivates with their supposed openness makes us feel blindsided by stuff like this.

And it really reminds us that nice doesn’t equal profits, which is clearly what Microsoft want lots of now, and so Xbox may have stopped playing so nice which may be both a blessing and a curse…


Great video from Jon like always, I completely agree on everything that being said on the video…continue being awesome and true guys.


Game development is hard and so I guess they can’t really always have games done at the exact time they’d like it to, which is why they might sometimes have several games ready at the same time. Guess there’s nothing stopping them for keeping it in the oven ready to serve, but maybe they’d rather not do that.

The multiplatform strategy is either a way to get more money to warrant studios existence if their games didn’t make enough or just a matter of recession and Xbox hitting a wall and being asked to make more money, and that’s the best solution the leadership could come up with to give investors some growth. If they kept telling them to wait and that it’d yield results but games keep getting pushed back and console sales go down and so revenues then maybe they were impatient and so Phil and co had to come up with something and quick. Really hard to read the room without all of the info, and I even doubt all the leaks actually paint the whole story and I fear we actually miss a lot of details which we unfortunately will never know.

I really feel like Phil wanted to let devs be devs and do what they want and make sure it came out good on the other side, but that the higher ups are tired of waiting and that nothing gets delivered fast enough, so they’ll now run this like a business (aka Activision) in a way that’s super efficient and ruthless in order to get results and quick. I wouldn’t even be surprised if there was more to Kotick than just integration of ABK and if he actually gave his insights into how they should run Xbox to make it all as successful as ABK and that Satya and co listened.

While I hate seeing people lose their jobs, at the same time I’m almost happy there are shakeups happening as maybe some of that fear is what will make the studios shift into gear and really deliver on Xbox’s initial vision in the end.

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Constant grat games is the answer. I remember xbox had a lot of promise but redfall killed any momentum they had and after if fell out the gate it was just bad articles all the way till starfield. I feel if redfall had been good we would of had constand good 1st party games 2022 pentiment and grounded 2023 hi fi redfall forza and starfield but man that redfall it was a breaking point for a lot fans. The games will speak for them selves and im gonna be honest if the games dont stay exclusive xbox hardware days are numbered. I can see a few here and there and I dont like it but i see the point. but if they start putting hellblade on ps5 or if ps gets a port of halo or starfield its gonna be a mass exodus in my opinion


Brilliant piece Jon, it really reflects how I feel right now.

I feel Phil needs to come out and give the community some clarification, Sarah coming out to talk about a new online mobile store that nobody will use just made things worse IMO.

Two of my favourite ‘Xbox’ IP’s Dishonored and Hi-Fi Rush are now essentially gone as are the talented teams behind them. We still haven’t heard if Harvey Smith was one of the employees made redundant.

There seems to be less certainty about Xbox’s strategy now then in the Xbox One generation and that’s saying something!


Sony is not protected from this either, I’m positive Sony is gonna drop a bomb in the coming months about needing to downsize and close some smaller studios like Media Molecule, Team Asobi, Sony Bend etc . if a trillion dollar company did this - then I don’t wanna know what the billion dollar company will do.

I’m getting vibes from this… only one month apart

Microsoft lays off 1,900 Activision Blizzard and Xbox employees on Jan 25, 2024

Sony to lay off 900 workers from PlayStation division on Feb 27, 2024

Sony operates at a much larger cost, their PS financial reports make even less revenue than freakin Xbox lol. their studios have been nonexistent all gen and the 12 game GaaS push only reaffirms my future argument. the whole gaming landscape is fucked, not just Xbox.

like dude! Embracer is nothing but a folklore now lmao. lets see the media spin the headlines when Sony eventually does the same and cuts are painfully made.

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Nothing else to add really. Money men are now in charge and I don’t like the future they want for Xbox at all.


Yep I do wonder if they’ll do a big showcase in May and get good press compared to Xbox, then use the good mood from that and the Xbox June showcase press coverage (which will still be tainted by this on some sites) blanketing everything else out to drop more news.

I doubt they’d get the same “after good news, always bad, never let us enjoy it” and bad press that Xbox have…

Alternatively if they think it might affect the mood, you might see them doing the same as Xbox if they’ve got cuts coming - drop the bad news in May then do a showcase early June before the others to try and change the mood music and steal a march on them…


Great professional video as always John. I totally agree with everything you said . It’s always two steps forward and one step back with this company. A industry wide issue for sure but it just seems to happen so often with this brand .


Exactly, there is no need to compare with Sony.

Sony benefits from a decade of goodwill and consumer satisfaction, they can afford a few missteps in terms of communication. For MS, it it the opposite, they start low and the path to success relied to an accumulation of positive things. You always need to do more when you are the contender, especially if the contender is in a bad position by himself and its past actions.


These layoffs are to be expected.

The whole IT industry and stock markets in general arw bracing for a correction.

MS dropped lots of good games last year, and we will get some stuff this year also.

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Corpo I worked for is shutting down factory in my country, about 400 jobs gone, moved to China. Probably more jobs lost than in latest Zenimax closures. No real outrage because it wasn’t consumer facing business. Just like that.


Yep. I feel for the Devs, but the issue is that games developement costs are out of control, and the consumer is not willing to pay more than what they do. AI will bring costs down at the expense of many people in the industry.

I am in the Automation field and what is happening in software has already happened in machine building for manufacturing.


Great video as always @Sikamikanico! I feel that once Xbox got bumped up the totem pole, it was only a matter of time. I hope that Xbox can keep what makes them great, in this new world.