Bethesda has revealed that they need more time to work on Starfield and Redfall. While not all that surprising for Redfall since it seemed like the time from reveal to release would have been rather short, Starfield is more shocking. Both games have been delayed until the first half of 2023.
Starfield has been in the works for some time. The initial logo reveal was way back in E3 2018. Of course, there have been a slew of life events that have occurred since. Delaying such an important title for Bethesda will definitely hinder Microsoft’s exclusive output for the year, but it’s hard to complain about a delay. Starfield is one of Bethesda’s most important games to kick off this generation.
Having said that, this does put Microsoft in an interesting spot for the rest of the year. With the delay of Starfield and Redfall to 2023, that means that Microsoft doesn’t have a confirmed 1st party exclusive for the rest of the year. Confirmed is an important note here since the holiday after Horizon comes out is about the timeframe for the next Forza Motorsport to release. Forza Horizon 5 came out Nov. 9, 2021, so the signs point to Motorsport coming out this holiday. I imagine we will find out more at the upcoming Xbox & Bethesda Game Showcase.
Is one exclusive enough to continue driving people to the Series consoles? In itself? No. However, this is where Game Pass can help mask the lack of exclusives. The service has been both a great value for consumers and for Microsoft’s subscription business. But if there was ever a time for another big 3rd party game to release on Game Pass, it’s this holiday season. I would expect to see some sizable additions announced in the coming months.