Six months into the year, Xbox’s release calendar is looking slim. Fresh off the heels of an absolutely banger 2021, Microsoft hasn’t released a single first-party tentpole in 2022. But that’s all set to change, Microsoft assured viewers today during its big splashy marketing showcase about big splashy games on the horizon.
Halfway through today’s show — which offered long-awaited gameplay reveals for feverishly anticipated games like Starfield and Redfall — Xbox boss Phil Spencer showed off a graphic indicating 50 new games would come to Xbox within the next year. Xbox’s official social media feed tweeted out a slightly altered version of the graphic after the showcase ended:
✨ VIDEO GAMES ✨ pic.twitter.com/r48l1xE9ln— Xbox (@Xbox) June 12, 2022
There are some minor discrepancies between the two. The graphic aired during the show mentions Hello Neighbour 2 and Lightyear Frontier as due out this year. The graphic published on social mentions neither, replacing those two games with Gotham Knights and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II.
The image isn’t misleading about Xbox’s lineup, per se, but it is padded out with methods that are certainly…curious. To be crystal clear, Xbox, which counts more than two dozen first-party studios in its portfolio, is not making 50 games over the next year.
For one thing, Microsoft has included expansions on here, counting the likes of Forza Horizon 5‘s Hot Wheels collaboration, The Elder Scrolls Online’s trip into the High Isle realm, and Fallout 76‘s foray into Pittsburgh alongside full releases. For another, the graphic also lists several third-party games — like Gotham Knights and The Callisto Protocol — that are being developed independently of Microsoft. Sure, they’re coming to Xbox. They’ll be available everywhere else, too.
Microsoft has also included a number of free-to-play games among the list, even counting Halo Infinite’s incoming third season. (Halo Infinite’s second season added some cosmetics, a handful of modes, and two maps to the shooter’s free-to-play multiplayer mode, which released last November.) The version of the graphic aired during the showcase also counted Sea of Thieves’ seventh season on the list.
The graphic also seems to indicate S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2, currently being developed in Ukraine, has been further delayed. (Developer GSC Game World previously delayed the game from an April 28, 2022, release.) Though S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 is listed under the 2023 column of today’s graphic, current store pages for the shooter say it’s due out December 8, 2022. Representatives for both Microsoft and for developer GSC Game World did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
One last observation: After Microsoft scooped up Zenimax, the parent company of Bethesda, for a gazillion bucks, a ton of ZeniMax’s portfolio became available on Game Pass. Activision Blizzard’s biggest games on the horizon — Diablo IV, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, and Overwatch 2 — aren’t listed as planned titles for Game Pass. (Overwatch 2 will be free-to-play.) In April, Activision Blizzard shareholders overwhelmingly voted to approve Microsoft’s small-European-country-GDP-sized acquisition of the troubled studio. But the deal still needs to pass regulatory approval.
Anyway, here’s the full list of games planned for an Xbox release in 2022, with games targeting Game Pass marked in parentheses:
- Naraka: Bladepoint (Game Pass)
- The Elder Scrolls Online: High Isle
- As Dusk Falls (Game Pass)
- Forza Horizon 5: Hot Wheels
- Somerville (Game Pass)
- A Plague Tale: Requiem (Game Pass)
- Valheim (Game Pass)
- Warhammer 40K Darktide (Game Pass)
- Grounded (Game Pass)
- Fallout 76: The Pitt (Game Pass)
- Overwatch 2
- High On Life (Game Pass)
- Scorn (Game Pass)
- Atomic Heart (Game Pass)
- Gotham Knights
- Gunfire Reborn (Game Pass)
- Persona 5 Royal (Game Pass)
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II
- Pentiment (Game Pass)
- Halo Infinite: Season 3 (Game Pass)
- Microsoft Flight Simulator: 40th Anniversary Edition (Game Pass)
- Hogwarts Legacy
- Party Animals (Game Pass)
- Slime Rancher 2 (Game Pass)
- The Callisto Protocol
- Hello Neighbour 2
- Lightyear Frontier
And here’s the list for 2023:
- Diablo IV
- Redfall (Game Pass)
- Starfield (Game Pass)
- Forza Motorsport (Game Pass)
- Minecraft Legends (Game Pass)
- Ara: History Untold (Game Pass)
- Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty (Game Pass)
- S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 (Game Pass)
- Flintlock (Game Pass)
- Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes (Game Pass)
- League of Legends (Game Pass)
- League of Legends: Wild Rift (Game Pass)
- Valorant (Game Pass)
- Teamfight Tactics (Game Pass)
- Legends of Runeterra (Game Pass)
- Ark 2 (Game Pass)
- Resident Evil 4
- Persona 3 Portable (Game Pass)
- Persona 4 Golden (Game Pass)
- Replaced (Game Pass)
- Ereban: Shadow Legacy (Game Pass)
- Ravenlok (Game Pass)
- Dead Space
- The Last Case of Benedict Fox (Game Pass)
- Cocoon (Game Pass)
We’ll check back in a year.