In a surprising announcement, Bethesda revealed today that Starfield and Redfall have been delayed from 2022 to 2023. Starfield, in particular, was about to become a major seller and a major driver for Xbox Game Pass. With both Starfield and Redfall out of the picture until the first half of 2023, Xbox fans may be wondering what to look forward to for 2022.
In short, not much – at least not much that we know so far. As for confirmed first-party new releases for the remainder of 2022, Xbox has none.
The next Forza Motorsport game is expected to be released this year, but that has not been confirmed. The series has been on a release schedule every two years since the franchise debuted in 2005. Microsoft gave Turn 10 more time with the next game, but it’s been five years since Forza Motorsport 7, so it’s about time for the next brand new game. entry, we would imagine.
Looking at other first-party studios, Obsidian is working on a few new RPGs, including The Outer Worlds 2 and Avoved, but neither has an official release date yet. Obsidian’s Honey, I Shrunk the Kids-meets Rust game, Grounded, could leave beta and officially launch in 2022.
Then there’s Gears of War studio The Coalition, which is expected to be working on Gears of War 6, but whether it’s real and ready for a 2022 launch is unknown. The Coalition is also developing a second project, but all we know is that it’s not a Star Wars game.
One of Microsoft’s newest studios, The Initiative, is making another Perfect Dark reboot using Crystal Dynamics. However, the development was reportedly “heavily influenced” by recent sales, and the title is not expected to hit the market this year.
Looking at the UK, developer Rare is creating a new IP called Everwild (on top of continued support for Sea of Thieves), but this project has reportedly undergone significant upheaval and is therefore not expected to be released any time soon. Microsoft’s Playground Games, meanwhile, is making a new Fable game, but it doesn’t have a confirmed release date yet. All we’ve seen so far is a short CG teaser trailer and no real gameplay or concrete details. Playground is also probably making the next Forza Horizon game now, but we don’t expect it until 2023 or 2024.
Then there’s Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 by Ninja Theory, another high-profile first-party Xbox game that also doesn’t have a release date or release window. Some behind the scenes footage has been released and it looks impressive though.
Another first-party studio, Wolfenstein developer Machine Games, is making an Indiana Jones game with Bethesda’s Todd Howard production, but it’s not expected to launch anytime soon.
Looking to third-party studios, Microsoft has partnered with Just Cause studio Avalanche for its new game, Contraband, but that title doesn’t have a release date yet. Then there’s Ark: Survival Evolved 2, starring Vin Diesel, coming exclusively to Xbox as a console launch — and it’s actually in the books for 2022.
In June 2021, Microsoft promised to release a new first-party Xbox game every three months. Whether that was more of a soft ambition than a concrete commitment is unknown, though, and as always any plan drawn up one day can change the next for whatever reason. Finally, Todd Howard said he was sure Starfield would launch in November 2022, and now it isn’t. So far, Microsoft has not released a new first-party game in 2022.
Microsoft is expected to provide clarity on the upcoming release schedule during the Xbox and Bethesda game showcase on June 12. For its part, Bethesda said it’s preparing “deep dive” gameplay showcases for Starfield and Redfall “soon”, but whether or not that’s on the storefront or sometime sooner (or later) remains to be seen. The Xbox and Bethesda showcase could also deliver surprises, including potentially new 2022 releases (like Halo Infinite’s rumored new mode), so Microsoft’s 2022 lineup as it stands may not tell the whole story. .
Looking at the competition, there are a number of Switch exclusives coming up this year, including Bayonetta 3, Mario Strikers: Battle League, Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, Splatoon 3, Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes, and Xenoblade Chronicles 3. PlayStation, meanwhile, has God of War: Ragnarok on tap for 2022, as well as Forspoken and possibly the long-rumored Last of Us remake for PS5.
Another factor at play here is Xbox Game Pass. The service currently has 25 million subscribers, ensuring a continued revenue stream for Xbox regardless of when Starfield and Redfall are released. The service is not expected to slow down in 2022, even without those games. Some speculate that Microsoft could make new deals with third-party publishers to offset the potential fallout from Starfield and Redfall’s slippage, but that’s just a conjecture for now.
That said, we launched some big third-party games for Game Pass on day one, including Outriders, MLB The Show 22 and 21, and more. So it’s not inconceivable to think that Microsoft could try targeting some of the 2022 releases to fill in the Game Pass gaps left by Redfall and Starfield.
In any case, Microsoft plans to expand Game Pass with a streaming stick option and by partnering with TV manufacturers to put an Xbox app directly into connected TVs. According to a VentureBeat story, Microsoft could roll out this offering in the coming year, and those steps could be a big deal to grow the Xbox Game Pass and further increase its subscriber base.