Microsoft must fix the issue of exclusives before Project Scorpio’s arrival

With the recent cancellation of Scalebound, it’s clear that there could be an issue at Microsoft when it comes down to delivering quality exclusive titles to its fans. The Xbox One and Windows 10 are Microsoft’s main foothold in the entertainment market, and as such, the company must be able to elevate itself with Project Scorpio.

Project Scorpio

To do this, the games needs to be there, and we’re talking about video games that cannot be found on a PlayStation or a Nintendo platform. Yes, Microsoft has managed to release several new intellectual properties since the Xbox One came on the scene back in late 2013. However, Sony has been doing a better job, while the software giant can only rely heavily on older franchises such as Halo. Gears of War, and Forza.

Microsoft Needs Attractive New IPs

The last time Microsoft released a new IP on Xbox that caught the attention of gamers around the world, was in 2013 in the form of State of Decay. It was a surprise hit, and now the developer, Undead Labs, is working on a sequel known as State of Decay 2.

Now, if we look back at other new IPs exclusive to Microsoft platforms that were released after State of Decay, we see some troubling signs. For example, Ryse: Son of Rome was one the most prominent titles when the Xbox One launched, yet it turned out to be more of a technical showcase of the console rather than a memorable experience. It had the potential to be the God of War for Xbox, but the developers were unable to realize the importance of gameplay.

Then again, Ryse: Son of Rome began its life as a Kinect game before it was transformed to what we see now.

Another title we can’t help but mention is no other than Quantum Break. Let’s face it, most were excited about the game and what it could bring to the table. The videos of the game in action looked great, previewers had great things to say. However, then the title launched and the reviews began to trickle out, everything began to go downhill. Another new Microsoft exclusive that probably won’t ever have a sequel in the near or distant future.

Project Spark

Project Spark is also one of those exclusives that failed to live up to the hype created by Microsoft. Such a shame because it had potential. The ability to create several games by using the tools Project Spark made available to players was enticing. The whole idea just failed to grab the masses, both on Xbox and Windows 10.

Last year, another new IP was launched for the Xbox One and Windows 10. It’s known as ReCore, and as you expect, it didn’t turn out to much in terms of ratings from reviewers and the general public.

With Project Scorpio less than a year away, Microsoft will need to work on its exclusives and first party problems or else the console will face serious challenges going forward after launch. The focus on 6 teraflops of GPU power and 4K alone won’t be enough to propel Project Scorpio to greatness.

With E3 2017 just a few months away, the company will have no choice but to impress in order to keep gamers interested. Furthermore, Microsoft will need to make sure another Scalebound debacle doesn’t happen again, at least, not for a long time to come.

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Vamien McKalin possesses the awesome power of walking on water like a boss. He's also a person who enjoys writing about technology, comics, video games, and anything related to the geek world.


  1. Let’s wait and see what they announce and launch alongside the Scorpio at E3. We already know about Phantom Dust, Crackdown 3, Halo Wars 2, State of Decay 2, Forza 7 semi-announced and that Voodoo Vince thing nobody cares about. Microsoft should announce atleast 1 or 2 extra platform exclusives for this year on top of the ones I already mentioned.

    Remember Microsoft isn’t in the business of announcing games in 2017 that will launch in 2020. You’ll get to see those in 2019 or 2020. 🙂

  2. Hans Olo

    I agree with this article but my question is…could Scorpio release with exclusives?

  3. Ronny B

    Ever since Digital Foundry (DF) dropped the data on the insane technical prowess of the soon to come Project Scorpio, I’ve seen and heard all sorts of conversation on how this new console “will not do well”, it “will fail”, it “has failed already”, and the much discussed “it doesn’t matter, because XBOX has a lack of games issue”. Most all of these conversations discuss a “lack of exclusives”.

    However, according to Sony’s own “Top 20 Best-Selling PS4 Games on PSN for March 2017” (Official Sony Playstation Blog) the arguments/discussions above are bull$hit. Here’s why – there are only 4 games on this chart that are exclusives – and let’s be clear, THREE of those games are over a year old, with two of them being “nearly” two years old. And to be EXTRA clear TWO of the four games are rehashed/the same game. Only ONE, of these, is actually a new release – the insanely good Horizon Zero Dawn. The chart is listed as follows:

    1. Horizon Zero Dawn (New – PS4)
    2. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands (NEW – XB1/PS4)
    3. Rocket League (Feb 2016 – XB1/July 2015 on PS4)
    4. FIFA 17 (September 2016 – XB1/PS4)
    5. Mass Effect Andromeda (New – XB1/PS4)
    6. Pro Evolution Soccer 17 (September 2016 – XB1/PS4)
    7. The Last of Us Remastered (PS4 – July 2014)
    8. Unchartered 4: A Thief’s End (PS4 – May 2016)
    9. ARK: Survival Evolved (Spring ’17 XB1/PS4 – PS Blog has it listed as 9 top 20)
    10. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (May 2015 – XB1/PS4)
    11. Battlefield 1 (October 2016 – XB1/PS4)
    12. DOOM (May 2016 – XB1/PS4)
    13. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege (December 2015 – XB1/PS4)
    14. Minecraft (November 2011 – XB1/PS4)
    15. Unchartered: The Nathan Drake Collection (PS4 – October 2015)
    16. Borderlands: The Handsome Collection (March 2015 – XB1/PS4)
    17. LEGO Worlds (March 2017 – XB1/PS4)
    18. EA Sports UFC 2 (March 2016 – XB1/PS4)
    19. Diablo III: Reaper of Souls (March 2014 – XB1/PS4)
    20. Star Wars Battlefront (November 2015 – XB1/PS4)

    The other 16 games??? Yup, they are all available on XBOX One right now. And just for “current” top exclusivity comparison, XBOX One owners are still have the following exclusive games…
    Halo 5
    Forza Horizon 3
    Forza 6
    Dead Rising 4
    Quantum Break
    Sunset Overdrive

    Yeah, I know, I know, 4 of those games are over a year old, right? Those 4 are the same ole’ thing we’ve played before, but there were 3 new IP’s and we can argue about the depth of those games, but, they were exclusives and they did have ‘some’ value, I mean, I enjoyed playing them – even if I won’t play them again anytime soon. So yeah, you can argue about the replay value, the games sucked, etc., but CURRENTLY, out of the top 20 selling PS4 games for March 2017, only ONE of them is really something new. Can we talk about what’s going to come out in the future? Why? You’re not playing it yet – it might be crappy, buggy, etc…

    The point being, the conversation is cycling about how “Project Scorpio is in desperate need of exclusives”, but truth be told, the PS4 Pro has been out for 5 months now and it’s owners are playing exclusives that are already over a year old. There were no new exclusives to take advantage of the bump in power of the PS4 Pro and as far as I could see, the improvements were only mildly noticeable from the PS4 to the PS4 Pro. That is to say, I don’t recall any stories of people wanting to replay something older just to see the improvements in the new PS4 Pro.

    What Project Scorpio promises to bring to the table is something infinitely better than the XBOX One S. It will be noticeable.

    I’m merely suggesting that we have a hell of a lot to look forward to. Really, if by way of exclusives, all I’m playing on Project Scorpio in November is a 4K/60fps version of Forza, a 4K/60fps version of Crackdown 2, Halo 6, Forza Horizon 3, Dead Rising 2 and Sunset Overdrive upon – and a bunch of cross platform games… how is that ANY different than what is happening with a PS4 Pro owner right now??? I’m going on record to say that I think I will have a far more enjoyable experience THEN, than your current PS4 Pro owner is having NOW.

    So unless someone can tell me what is it that PS4 Pro owners are playing RIGHT NOW, that is NOT REHASHED, NOT A 2 or 3 or 4th iteration of a series, and NOT something that you can also find on XBOX One S… then I’m forced to say that this whole “no games, no exclusive games” is just a conversation being had in an attempt to deflate what “looks to be” a console that will dominate… graphically – and that can be an uncomfortable feeling for a group of people who were going on about the graphical prowess of the PS4 and PS4 Pro in comparison to anything Microsoft had to offer.

    Does Microsoft need to increase their exclusive portfolio AND the quality (visual and replay) of those exclusives… yes, but as long as they’ve been in the console business, they’ve known that, and they do what they can – come E3, I can assure you, they are going to dominate the conversation.

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