The recent huge leak of documents and emails from Microsoft revealed an email chain that Spencer sent to Senior Xbox Staff which included Microsoft Studios Matt Booty, Sarah Bond, and Xbox Chief Financial Officer Tim Stuart. He pointed out that the high-profile delay of Bethesda’s Starfield from 2022 to 2023, the unclear schedule of Arkane’s Redfall launch, and the numerous delays of Stalker 2.
“I feel we are in a huge hole with our games lineup,” Spencer said. “This is really a disaster situation for us given all we’ve invested in content across studios at our GP content fund. We need to learn from this and build a plan forward.”
Spencer then issued a call to arms for his Xbox Team to sign third-party games to fill the hole. “Let’s roll up the sleeves and get planning on the next two years of games.”
Stuart replied to Spencer with a roadmap of third-party releases that included titles that were going to launch across four quarters of the 2023 financial year. It included titles like Resident Evil Revelations (possibly codename for Resident Evil 4 Remake at that time) set for Q2, Dragon Age 4, and Skull and Bones.
Another reply reveals a discussion of the difficulty of getting day-and-date releases for Xbox Game Pass. This is Microsoft’s attempt and still ongoing attempt to gain new game launches from third-party companies that come out on Game Pass.
In order to fund these titles, Microsoft had to drive other parts of its business “hard”. It was revealed that they had to push existing live service games like The Elder Scrolls Online, Sea of Thieves, Minecraft, and others.
Also worth noting is Microsoft’s comment on Baldur’s Gate 3. It described it as a “second run Stadia PC RPG.” Unfortunately, this was a bad call for Microsoft since the game was a huge success when it came out.