Phil Spencer, the head of the Xbox division within Microsoft, is used to seeing a game delay or two at this point. While Microsoft has been buying up as many studios as it can, it unfortunately hasn’t been putting out quite as many games as they’d like. Obviously game development takes a long time and by giving their development studios the time to work on these projects without crunch they’re getting some major hits such as Psychonauts 2 and the revival of Halo. It feels like Microsoft is taking the standpoint of letting their studios take as long as they need to make a game as long as it’s polished and meets quality standards.
While this is a great methodology for developers and studios because it can help prevent crunch settings and result in better games, it does have the adverse effect of creating a lot of delays. Psychonauts 2 had an extremely lengthy development cycle, Halo Infinite was delayed over a year, and now Bethesda’s Starfield is being delayed alongside Redfall. Fans were really not happy about these delays, especially Starfield since that was first announce back in 2018, and fans of the Xbox are growing frustrated with its games constantly being delayed. Enough people showed frustration about it that Spencer chose to make a statement about Xbox’s most recent major delay, on Twitter.
These decisions are hard on teams making the games & our fans. While I fully support giving teams time to release these great games when they are ready, we hear the feedback. Delivering quality & consistency is expected, we will continue to work to better meet those expectations. https://t.co/mIfXGd3rui
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) May 12, 2022
While nobody wants to see bad games on the Xbox, they would like to see a more consistent release schedule for its games. Xbox owners are in a really good place with the huge library of games currently available on Game Pass, but a lot of the games on that service right now are third-party developed, which means both PS5 owners and PC owners can also get those games. If someone bought an Xbox Series X at launch, they don’t really have a whole lot of games to justify that purchase at the moment. So seeing games like Starfield get delayed that was supposed to be a major part of the gaming calendar is really frustrating for someone who owns an Xbox. It makes sense why there’s been enough frustration that Spencer would have to respond to it.