Video Games
EA FC24 Guides
Opinion > Video Games

Xbox, Here's What You Should Do After Your Redfall Disaster

After Redfall, Xbox has a long treacherous road ahead to redemption. Here's what it needs to do.
Xbox, Here's What You Should Do After Your Redfall Disaster

Xbox, the company that's home to some of the most prolific first-person shooters and Western RPGs, now finds itself in a bit of a predicament. For one, the UK government has seemingly blocked its $68.7 billion industry-shattering Activision Blizzard acquisition deal. If that wasn't enough, the company's latest AAA first-party game offering, Redfall, is a critical failure.

These are hard-hitting blows to Xbox in a console generation that has already been an underwhelming affair. False promises, delayed and unfinished game releases, lack of collaborations with major third-party publishers, and an inadequate number of first-party releases, in general, are just a few things that come to my mind when I think about the state of Xbox in the last two to three years. 

Fueling all these aforementioned issues is Xbox head Phil Spencer's new comment about not trying to "out-console" Sony and Nintendo and projecting the idea that making great games doesn't contribute to anything anymore because everyone already plays on their favorite platform where they have a built a huge digital library? In short, it's a messy and confusing and gloomy situation, and Xbox is in the most bizarre state ever, or at least it thinks it does. 

On the bright side, there's a huge Xbox Games showcase in June, which will focus on upcoming first-party and third-party Xbox games. It will be followed by a Starfield showcase, which will finally give us the much-requested gameplay deep-dive into Bethesda Game Studios' upcoming sci-fi RPG. But between now (when the community's morale is down) and Starfield's eventual release in September (when hopefully the Xbox community will breathe a sigh of relief), what should Xbox do to make things not worse than it clearly is right now?

Show Us the Big Guns - Hellblade, Avowed, Fable, and some More

hellblade 2
It's time for games like Hellblade 2, Avowed, and Fable to make a return with extensive gameplay trailers and release dates. (Picture: Ninja Theory)

Ever since the company acquired Bethesda, Obsidian Entertainment, and inXile Entertaiment, it's been a common saying that Xbox is now the home to Western RPGs. We have seen traces of it in releases like Pentiment, one of my favorite games of last year, though we have yet to see a full-scale AAA release that can be called a system seller. 

Starfield is coming, but it's time for Xbox to show the big guns that everyone's been talking about for months and years. Games like Avowed and Fable need to be a part of this year's Xbox Games Showcase. 

Contrary to what Phil Spencer believes, it's new high-quality game releases that would redeem Xbox from its current state. PlayStation did it in the PS4 generation with releases like God of War, and Uncharted 4, and Nintendo did in the ongoing Switch generation with titles like Breath of the Wild and Animal Crossing: New Horizons. 

The Xbox showcase needs to show off games like Hellblade 2: Senua's Saga, with its photo-realistic visuals and intense story-telling, and premium multiplayer experiences like State of Decay 3. These games have gone under the radar, and it's time to pull the curtains off and show fans why they need to stick with the Xbox brand. 

Xbox isn't in a position to say that great games don't sell consoles because so far, it hasn't produced a single critically acclaimed AAA release this generation that appeals to the masses. Games like Forza Horizon 5 and Hi-Fi Rush are great games, but they won't solely be the reason for someone to invest in a new console or an ecosystem.

It's finally time for Fable to show up at Xbox Games Showcase. (Picture: Playground Games)

The upcoming Xbox showcase will be a do-or-die for many fans, and the company needs to double down on making sure that the members of the Xbox community not just stay but stay with excitement gleaming through their eyes. I always like to think about Sony's E3 2016 showcase as an idea example, where the company dropped one big game reveal after another, and they were all fleshed-out gameplay trailers instead of CGI ones. 

In 2022, Xbox took a similar approach with fewer CGI reveals, but the showcase was quite lacking in first-party appearances. I wouldn't go out on a limb and say we need mind-boggling new game reveals, like Fallout New Vegas 2 or a new Halo. It should be alright as long as we get decent-length gameplay trailers for some of the already announced trailers and possible release dates. It's time for Xbox to be grounded. 

Be Transparent About Starfield

xbox starfield
Xbox has to set the right expectations for Starfield. (Picture: Bethesda)

It's no surprise that there's a lot riding on Starfield's shoulders. It's not just about being a good BGS title but also a great Xbox exclusive, possibly being the system-seller or game pass dominator, whatever floats its boat.

But starting from its upcoming showcase and leading up to its September 6 release date, Xbox has to be absolutely transparent about the game. Whether it runs at 30 FPS on consoles or has a 60 FPS mode isn't the question anymore, it's about giving players a product that doesn't make them feel misled.  

Starfield isn't the end of the world, but it's an important crossroad. (Picture: Bethesda)

A lot of negative reception for Redfall came from the lack of communication between the company and the community, leading many, including me very surprised and not in a good way after playing Redfall. That needs to stop. If Starfield can only run at 30 FPS on the most powerful video game console in the world, let that be very clear at the upcoming showcase. There will be a bit of noise, but if the game turns out to be good, much of the complaints should fade into the background.

Other aspects of the game, like the story, the branching dialogues, customization options, building, and the extent of procedurally generated content, should also be known to fans before its release. All these things aren't necessary for Starfield's success, but it's an important step towards rebuilding the faith in the green team that many people have started to lose. 

It's a long treacherous road ahead for Xbox, but the company has the resources, studios, and notable franchises in its ecosystem to make things better. As Nintendo proved with the Switch generation coming off from Wii U, good games are the only thing that drives players' decisions. And when all is said and done, that's what will decide Xbox's fate as well.