Microsoft originally had a stacked lineup of Xbox exclusives planned for next year

Contrary to popular belief, Xbox had originally planned for a packed lineup for next year, regardless of the delays.

We know full well that next year is going to be huge for the Xbox Series S/X. After two years of nearly zero exclusives, Microsoft is finally putting its wad of cash to good use. In addition to the next installment in their longtime flagship racing sim series, Forza Motorsport 8, the Xbox Series S/X will finally welcome the launch of Bethesda Softworks' Starfield and Redfall.

Skyrim fans would love to play Avowed as soon as possible.

But, while the arrival of Redfall and Starfield comes late due to unforeseen circumstances, it appears that Microsoft had lofty plans for next year anyway.

According to VentureBeat reporter, Jeff Grubb, Microsoft's upcoming slate of exclusive titles next year was always going to be heavy based on an internal 2021-2022 schedule that he managed to get his hands on.

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Here's the original 2023 lineup for the Xbox Series S/X, as per Grubb:

Senua's Saga: Hellblade II has been in development for several years already.

According to Grubb, a lot has changed since. The insider explains that there's little chance of Everwild coming out next year, nor Fable, Perfect Dark, and even Avowed.

But, Grubb did say that he expects at least two more games from the list to come out before next year ends, specifically Hellblade 2 and maybe even Contraband.

Ultimately, we're most curious about the mysterious projects by InXile Entertainment and The Coalition. We're aware that the latter will use Unreal Engine 5 and that it's slated for a 2024 launch. But, this isn't much to go on.

Meanwhile, the former hasn't made any announcement at all. It's possible that Microsoft has since canceled InXile's unannounced game. Then again, the studio could just be waiting for a chance to announce the project.

In any case, the early half of 2023 looks like a great opportunity for Microsoft to capitalize on a relatively barren slate for Sony. After God of War: Ragnarok and the remake of Crisis Core come out later this year, Sony only has a single big exclusive coming out in the first half of next year is Like a Dragon: Ishin!. The rest, such as Final Fantasy 16, Marvel's Spider-Man 2, and FF7 Rebirth, aren't expected until the latter half.

Ray Ampoloquio
Ray is a lifelong gamer with a nose for keeping up with the latest news in and out of the gaming industry. When he's not reading, writing, editing, and playing video games, he builds and repairs computers in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter.
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