The Future of Xbox's dominant First Party and the GamePass revolution is already here

This may be a bit of a reactionary thread but after yesterday’s E3 showing I think this idea will hold up.

We have heard a lot about how Xbox has a ton of great studios, but they are either unproven (which is usually incorrect) or the games are very far away (in reality, not really). After yesterday’s showing, I feel extremely confident in saying that the “distant future” of Xbox having an avalanche of great games and a game changing service in Game Pass is finally here.

Just from this image alone we see the tip of the iceberg of what the Xbox ecosystem will look like. A strong mix of anticipated first party titles mixed with quality third party games, releasing in rapid fashion in consecutive months. This picture looks like insane value now, but I reckon in a few years this will look rather normal and might end up feeling “light” in retrospect.

This image here shows what we can expect soon and in the future, but doesn’t even begin to show the full picture of what we can expect from Xbox’s first party output and third party deals. Any publisher or platform would consider this image a triumph, an incredibly diverse set of games that will be coming to the platform in the coming years, but that is just a portion of what we can expect from Xbox.

Missing from the image is Hellblade, Fable, Indiana Jones, InXile’s next game, Everwild, Avowed, The Elder Scrolls 6, Project Dragon from IOI and much more. That doesn’t even include the games that are assuredly being discussed right now, including new partnerships, game ideas, and acquisitions.

Xbox is currently in a position where they will soon have the clear best games (personal opinion of course) and also clearly the most games by far (more of a fact) than basically any platform or major publisher. Satya Nadella has recommitted to Xbox saying that Microsoft is “all in on gaming”, and we are starting to see that become a reality. And this is only the beginning. Xbox will continue to grow and invest, making the currently loaded crop of exclusive games and gamepass deals seem miniscule. It’s truly an exciting time to be an Xbox fan where I belive the platform is about to take off into the stratosphere and become the clear leader in multiple areas. I hope you’re as excited as I am.


I couldn’t agree more. I’ve been playing games for 35 years and I’ve never felt this optimistic about a platform or it’s trajectory. Simply put, the future looks amazing for Xbox and Gamepass.



Not that anyone should want it to happen, but if Horizon Forbidden West is delayed to 2022 MS will have a real strong shot at inverting the narrative surrounding the new platforms. In that scenario, PS5 will have Kena in August…and then nothing all that notable afaik coming til 2022. box should be able to build up momentum starting literally today and building bit by bit through July and into August and the Fall if the games we all expect to do well are legitimate hits and stick their landing.


Same, but I’ve got you beat since I’ve been gaming for 44 years. :smile:



It’s kind of a controversial opinion, but I don’t care about first party at all.

I mean, I’m dying to play Flight Simulator and Forza Horizon 5. I got both preloaded on my Xbox even though they won’t be releasing for some time. But keep this in mind: I switched sides from PlayStation to Xbox in 2018. To put things into context: I switched sides when PlayStation was releasing God of War and Spider Man and Xbox was releasing (barebones at the time) Sea of Thieves and State of Decay 2.

I made the switch because of Backwards Compatibility and Game Pass. Basically, Xbox lured me by its developing ecossystem that keeps getting better (Smart Delivery, Play Anywhere, xCloud, etc.). The first-party games shown during the conference were great and everything, but what seals the deal for me is that damn Game Pass roadmap. The Ascent, Sable, Twelve Minutes, Shredders, Hades, Back 4 Blood, without any extra cost? Starting in July there will be basically one new great game PER WEEK on Game Pass.

Seriously. Cris Tales on July 20. Flight Simulator on July 27. The Ascent on July 29. Lemni Gates on August 3. Hades on August 13. Psychonauts on August 25. In September we have Sable, The Gunk and Aragami 2.

This is insane!


Which is ironically an Xbox game now :grin:.

But that Game Pass image of back to back day one games leading up to the end of this year is just the tip of the iceberg. That will be what it will look like for an entire year in the not so distant future.

Watching E3 knowing that I would play every single 2021 game that was shown was an absolute game changer. Normally I might have bought 1 at full price and played a couple more after they went on sale. I will play every single one of these games when the launch with Game Pass.

Also, preinstalls for many went live during the show which is just awesome. They are already there in My Games section on the XSX.

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I think with the console supply issues for 2021 whoever was going to get a PS5 will or has gotten one. I dont think they will be too affected by a delay in horizon. But if MS keep this cadence of releases and Game Pass updates going, once supply issues ease then it is going to have a massive impact in 2022.

Completely agree Proven. Gamepass is a system that works for Microsoft and consumers. And by happy chance makes all their exclusives absolute juggernauts…because they’re basically free.

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It’ll get Deathloop probably

Yeah, like we are not at the peak of where xbox is headed yet, however it’s already abundantly clear that the other platform holders simply can’t match the amount of content that is coming to xbox.

Ms was already announcing way more games and way more often than the others, and now it’s reaching the point where those games are starting to release.

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Let’s not get ahead of ourselves: if we strictly consider first party, this year line-up is:

  • Flight Sim, a console port of a 2020 pc game
  • Psychonauts 2, not exclusive
  • Age of Empires 4, a pc-only game
  • Forza Horizon 5, God bless Playground, this title single-handedly saved and elevated XGS 2021 line-up
  • Halo Infinite, a 2020 delayed game, my XSX box is here to prove it

Game Pass itself is the real protagonist, in 2022 I think we’ll see a much bigger XGS line-up, the year of the definitive consecration of XGS, unless FH5 does the impossible and win GOTY.

PS: in the list above I don’t make any quality judgement, I only state the facts, in order to avoid nasty quotes.

So because you can play a game on a PS4 it doesn’t count suddenly?

Or because a game hit PC first it doesn’t count?

I feel so very detached from these weird list war things. This is a great list of first party games that are unmatched in variety terms. Nobody else comes close. We could just enjoy them instead of finding new ways to try and strike their existence from lists.


I’m only stating the facts, it’s obvious that a late console port or a not exclusive game are not as impactful as full-exclusives and/or contemporary launches, as I said it WAS NOT a quality judgement. Repeating myself, Game Pass is the protagonist, not XGS 2021 line-up (or we’ve already forgotten that H1 was completely barren?). AoE 4 instead is the weak spot of MS marketing of “play wherever you want on the device you want”, also Jez words, not only mine.

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Which of those games aren’t great games made by first party studios? That’s the point being made by the OP. And we’re now into a solid slate of Xbox first party games after what has been a drought. How is the fact something came out on PC first in any way a counter to that? Given gamepass and first party are so interwoven the point made initially by the OP is spot on.

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I already said TWO times that I was not making a quality judgement, I won’t repeat it a fourth time. XD

And, for the third time again, IMO you cannot talk about dominant first party in 2021 from a quantity standpoint, expecially with a completely barren first half of the year and the second half composed by delayed games or late console ports, maybe it will be in 2022, this is my point.

Age of Empires IV being completely out of sync with the Xbox messaging about the ecosystem is the only thing that bothers me in that list.

I don’t think it’s impossible to port an RTS to console or at worst to give it a m+kb requirement. I don’t buy the arguments we’ve heard so far about why it’s PC only.


Because they are lame and I fear exist only to calm down PC elitists: Halo Wars was heavily criticised for its cross-platform nature, they feel if a RTS launch also on console is automatically inferior and unworthy. I don’t see the problem for a MK requirement, on Switch there are gimmicks only games.