How could Xbox turn things around in Europe?

How could Xbox turn things around in Europe?

An interesting question I keep seeing pop up is what do Xbox need to do in order to turn things around in Europe and I thought it may make an interesting forum topic.

Xbox has been on a steep decline in Europe for quite some time now. A recent IGN article outlined how dire the situation is with another 52% drop in sales while PlayStation was up 143%.

Here are the most sold games in Europe:

One thing that is clear from the European GSD charts is that FIFA/FC, GTA and COD consistently dominate the charts. After those it appears to mostly be a mix of Nintendo, Ubisoft and Sony titles.

EDIT: Former topic from @ThePastyBandit around this topic here:

I’ll add my own thoughts in a separate post below :point_down:t2:.


I’m going to break my thoughts into 3 parts:

1. Sports

For me personally I think the biggest move they could make is to tackle sports, especially football (soccer for the Americans here).

This would either be by teaming up with EA to get exclusive marketing rights to EA FC or… the new rumoured FIFA game by 2K Sports.

Another interesting idea which was recently discussed on XB2 was for Xbox to make their own sports games. For football :soccer: they could get a headstart by acquiring SEGA’s Sports Interactive (Football Manager) and funding them to make a new team to develop a rival to EA’s FC (as they will already have licensing arrangements in place). As discussed on XB2, Xbox are in a very unique position to do this as with GamePass the game has a very good opportunity to amass millions of players very quickly.

Once they’ve established football they could then move on to other sports.

2. Popular IP’s in Europe

IF they can get their hands on GTA marketing or agree exclusive in-game content than I also think this would help them turn the tide.

In terms of other acquisitions I think Ubisoft would be a good play (due to their popularity in Europe), however this would likely have to be after the ABK deal expires.

3. How to tackle Nintendo’s dominance .

As Nintendo control a large proportion of the top sold games in Europe, especially with Pokémon I think Xbox should also consider acquiring Game Freak and Creatures for their shares/control in the Pokémon company. Imagine a partnership with Nintendo where the Pokémon games come to Nintendo & Xbox.

After letting T4B go independent I don’t think we will see an increase in 1st party family friendly games (like Mario Kart, Animal Crossings, Zelda & Kirby etc) but Pokémon prints money!!


Partner with one big club like Real Madrid or Manchester United like Spotify does with Fc Barcelona. Spotify put albums/artist names or logos in the Barca t-shirt in The Clasico matchs.

barca stones


PlayStation® extends UEFA Champions League Partnership

PlayStation® to continue its longstanding partnership with the UEFA Champions League for another three-year cycle.

continuing a long-standing relationship which began in 1997. The agreement also covers the rights for the UEFA Super Cup, UEFA Youth League and UEFA Futsal Champions League.


Continue to deliver excellent hardware (seriously, just check reviews on sites like Amazon & you’ll see people are happy with their Xbox purchase). That’s 10% of the conundrum.

The remaining 90% depends on Sony & Nintendo. If Sony get greedy & release expensive underpowered hardware (not unimaginable IMO), then there could be an opening on the console side of the business.


Marketing. It’s non-existant.


Changing current management for starters (at least someone new), it’s clear only US exists for them (it wasn’t always like this, I remember clearly). Then, marketing, localisation, actually delivering a constant stream of games and deals for games mainstream people really want. I mean, how many of these points MS is doing? Maybe 1 and half? It’s no wonder the product is not so desiderable for average customer.

Making a good box and call it a day (MS strategy this gen) is not enough.


I can’t say I agree this is the point to focus on. Doing the same thing and hoping for a different result is the definition of insanity, etc. That’s not to say I disagree that hardware is good - Series X is the best hardware on the market, imo, but people haven’t bought into that in the numbers Microsoft will have hoped for.

As for trying to win based on price/performance - I can’t see Sony letting anyone dramatically undercut them (with a system that’s roughly as powerful as theirs). Sony are the market leader, but the business model isn’t about making lots of money on the console itself and if they price it too high, people won’t buy it. You can see how neither Microsoft nor Sony would announce the price of their consoles until the other did, neither wants to give price advantage to their competitors.

You can also see that via multiple teardown articles that get written when new consoles are made, that consoles are sold at a loss (at least at the outset). It’s why you don’t see licensed 3rd party consoles - there’s no money there. The money is in the software and services.

I agree. But I’ll double down and say what marketing there is, is awful at times. Worse than no marketing.

Remember when PS5 and Series launched? What did you hear about ? I heard a Lot about how PS5 would have these games that would have no loading and because of the power of the SSD the games would be impossible on other hardware. “We believe in generations.”

I also heard that the new Halo game would be on PC and on Xbox One.

The messaging there is night and day. Play the same stuff as you could be playing on your 8 year old console, and buy a PS5 for the new, exciting stuff.

Also, here’s a screenshot made by someone whose job it is to promote a game that cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Think about that. You’re about to show off the fruits of time, money and investment. Hundreds of people worked on this. And then someone makes a screenshot to illustrate that game. It’ll be sent to the press and will appear online in articles, on social media, magazines, possibly tv. It’s a big deal.

If I wanted to make Halo Infinite look terrible, I don’t know if I would be able to find a better shot to do that with. And that’s the shot that Microsoft sent out.

How does that happen? You get the impression that would never, ever happen with Sony or Nintendo’s products. Any of them. Let alone what many say is the biggest title in their portfolio, the game Phil Spencer says is the reason Xbox exists.

Honestly, I still can’t believe it years later.


Thanks all for your thoughts - rather than do multiple replies I’ll respond to the points here :wink:.

Marketing: This seems to be a re-occruring theme in the replies and I agree. I’m In the UK and often see massive billboards for Playstation games but never Xbox (technically I do see COD now). I was recently surprised to see the Halo TV show pop up in YouTube ads but have never seen games. Playstation again often appears in the YouTube ads all the time.

I think partnering with the Football clubs is a great idea, they have already partnered with the England’s Woman’s team.

Messaging & Localisation: I think we can all agree that Xbox’s messaging is often poor, whether that relates to strategy or games, I do think it’s improving greatly especially by undertaking more regular events/shows. However I see this more of a global issue rather than just Europe.

I think where it would apply more is localisation. Within Europe we have many different languages and cultures and it feels these are often ignored. Not only in events but the games themselves. I am aware this topic is often discussed but it is time that they took this more seriously.

Hardware: I think it’s important they stay relative both in terms of both performance and price with Playstation and Nintendo, however I think that overall value will likely win out. Going back to marketing they need to be clear that GPU will have COD and EA games like FC. If they do go for a hybrid Switch style design I think it will be interesting if things do start to change.

Management: We have seen many changes recently so I think we will have to wait and see on this one.


Agree on marketing - also on marketing All Access, I got my Series X on it at launch but apart from the few retailers advertising it themselves I’ve not seen it advertised at all.

If they do a new console in 2026 and do another All Access bundle with Game Pass Ultimate I’d hope to see some massive marketing moves - push “brand new console for X a month with 200 games including Call of Duty” etc. and pushing Game Pass alongside the standalone console price too (maybe bundle 6 months free?) and again push CoD etc.

Given yet another lull in games (I really can’t wait till they hit a regular cadence of releases, it always feels like “next year we’ll be there!”) they’re not really having to blow any marketing budget on first party at the moment - so hoping they’re keeping their powder dry then going to go big with CoD and Xbox later this year…


They need to do something drastic, like buy the largest publisher in the world.

It wouldn’t take affect straight away, as most people wouldn’t know who owns who.

On all seriousness though just tying IP brands to yours, or offsetting hw sales in other lucrative endevours


Really good topic. I like your ideas however I would say the first thing Xbox needs to do is to stop competing with PlayStation. they need to make their lane like Nintendo did. People need to see Xbox as something totally different and then they will look more at it. people talk about brand but what exactly is the Xbox brand. You can tell an Apple product even a Samsung one now, how do you tell an Xbox?

Game Pass is a good start, but they need to build something better out of it. If it is going to be their platform then they need to find a way for it to accomodate all games both new and old not just some. That would mean they would need a new way to monetize it for developers to find success. In a way it needs to become a platform like YouTube and not Netflix where Devs are rushing to put their games. I do have a few ideas for them to monetize it but I think they can figure that out.

Another way is to do something like Steam build it down from the PC. Either get the Xbox OS for PC or have all Xbox games Play Any where and work on the PC store that way the console becomes just an extension and not the main part, also taking games to other platform no longer matters as the main body is the PC. This also allows the console to be more of a premium on enthusiast thing.

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I like this however I don’t see Xbox competing with their partners, it’s just something Microsoft has a company likes to avoid. They had XSN back in the past and shut it down for business reasons. I think rather they can tackle the big sports in the way they have done with Forza Horizon series. Make really good Arcady sports games. Forza Horizon for example has blown out the Forza moto sport series. Maybe a FIFA Horizon.

I don’t think they have to tackle Nintendo has it is they barely compete. I however think if they can get Sega and work with their old franchises that could spark the resurgence of the past Sega vs Nintendo competition, may be even make a Sega handheld. Other than that, they can have Blinx be the new mascot by rebooting the franchise. Toys4Bob being independent frees them from the CMA streaming regulation imposed on ABK.


What changes? They put someone to oversee ABK instead of Bobby and Ybarra, but Xbox people are the same who thought their master plan for this gen was great (guess what: it wasn’t). I don’t think changing the name of the positions of the same people = changing management.

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I think they are talking about the Sony hires in certain regions plus new vps and GM promotion at ABK. But I just did a simple search using my head instead of bullshit.


Corporate defence force detected, please don’t cancel me because I dared to criticize the strategy of millionaire c-suites.

Constant big successful game releases, marketing and some third party exclusive deals during years basically.

I don’t think the actual MS leadership could manage to comeback the situation tho, i actually think things will keep getting worse in Europe at least, with Sony being so strong and trying hard lately, Nintendo releasing a new console soon, and PC becoming a more and more mainstream platform.


I think the problem is much bigger than Europe. Xbox Series sales are really bad and it will get worse with the release of Xbox games on other consoles. The next generation is probably going to be catastrophic for Microsoft.

Marketing has always been a problem, but at this point more marketing won’t change anything and acquiring marketing rights for FC or GTA would be a waste of money. Playstation owns the global market. Most gamers don’t care about Xbox and you’ll never be able to bring them to the platform. On the contrary, I think that more and more players will leave the platform. I don’t want to be dramatic, but I think Xbox consoles are destined to disappear. The next generation will probably be the last, unless Microsoft develops a truly unique console like Nintendo did with the Switch, but I doubt it.

I’ve said it before, but for me the best solution is clearly to stop Xbox consoles, buy Steam to own the PC market, and release the games on Steam, Playstation and Nintendo. Microsoft could continue hardware with Steam Deck and would see profits increase significantly with Steam’s huge user base. Xbox will be fine and I think it can clearly become the biggest publisher in the world, but I don’t see any future where Microsoft is relevant in the console market.


The issue is a mix between marketing, lacking in must have next gen (Series S/X) titles, coupled with many of the top games like COD, Fortnite, GTA, FC/FIFA, etc. still releasing on last gen hardware.

1. Marketing

Failure to tie some of the biggest IPs to their box has been a failure. PlayStation aligning themselves with titles like Hogwarts Legacy and Call of Duty likely sold millions of PS5s. Hopefully Microsoft will now take full advantage of the Call of Duty marketing.

2. Lack of Series S/X only titles

Honestly, apart from Starfield, what has Microsoft since 2020 that would make a PS4 user invest in a Series S/X, instead of a PS5?

3. The unwillingness of third party to cut off last gen has destroyed Microsoft’s one real advantage.

With the exception of a few titles, the majority of titles released today are still available on last gen consoles.

Microsoft does have the cheapest entry point into the current gen. However, for the casual/mainstream who only plays COD, Fortnite or FC/FIFA, what real incentive does a current PS4/XBO user have to buy a Series S/X? Until third party cuts off last gen, that advantage is irrelevant.


Good points. Which would mean cadence and next gen titles will be the remedy. I do think this year could be their turning point assuming they don’t step on a rake. After Hell Blade2 hits they need to have a good cadence and flow.