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It's almost like Microsoft just isn't good at managing studios or juggling projects.

The numbers just can't add up. None of the cherry-picking or selective biases matter. They've been collecting studios like kids collect pokemon cards and despite having as much as they do we're not seeing releases with any form of consistency.

It doesn't matter if 'the initiative' hasn't released a game or 'the coalition' always intended to do cooperative development. 23 studios and counting. (And counting!) There's no justification for this lack of output other than just not being good at it. You can try to justify each missing game and delay, you can try your best to make up excuses, but none of them account for how they manage to own this many studios and not get anything out. Even if every argument about dev time or circumstances is true, the purpose of having 23 studios and counting is to ensure that if a game gets delayed or circumstances arise, there's some wiggle room. there's insurance.

Starfield and Redfall being delayed until next year is a good thing. It really is. I'd rather wait for better games than force broken ones. But why weren't there at least 5-8 other games there to fill the void? Why did they have nothing? Why can't they attract third parties to make games for their console like Sony and Nintendo can? They have the money, clearly, so why can't they form those bonds and maintain partnerships?

The only move they have is to just buy companies and even then it's not enough.

I'm sorry, but they're just not good at this. Sony and Nintendo have ups and downs and learn from it. Microsoft has been failing and continuing to fail to deliver since before the Xbox One launched. I want them to get better, I truly do, but they're just not good at it. They have a lot of money and can take risks on stuff like GamePass. That's their strength. It's just that simple. Their console has no unique features, it's just a powerful box. they have framerates and resolutions and load times that are so indecipherable to the human eye you need machines to tell the difference. No cool controller functions or VR or portability. Just a powerful box with gamepass on it and so few exclusive games it's honestly kind of sad.

23 studios and counting. They've been struggling, falling behind, and failing to deliver to some degree or another since 2011/2012. That's not a dry spell, that's a pattern. In those years there hasn't been a single time they 'won' in the game department compared to Sony or Nintendo.

Buying activision/blizzard is their only move because any other move they make they disappoint. They NEED Activision-Blizzard to compete. they are absolutely right about that and they admit it. Sony being pissed off about that is fair because Microsoft shouldn't just be buying studios to compete, they should learn how to develop games first, THEN you make acquisitions. They're making all the investments and spending all the money without the fundamental skill and knowledge to do the job. They have always been a brute force style. Just toss money at the problem. Buy all the competition, do nothing with them. Put out more powerful consoles despite power never being the deciding factor in what console consumers prefer. Bleed money on Gamepass because even if it fails it'll barely touch their Scrooge-McDuck levels of wealth.

and yeah I know this will NOT be a popular post (Especially not in a forum that has way too many apologists for Microsoft/Xbox), but you know I'm right. Collectively you can argue all you want, but it's been too long, with too poor of a result, and too many unfulfilled promises. They have a pattern, and it's not good. Could they turn it around? Yeah, 2023 genuinely does look good but it's coming after a consistent decade of disappointment. "Oh but Forza" yeah, that's one franchise. "But Flight simulator!" That's one game. what about all the outstanding games the competition has gotten in that same time period. Mario Kart, Zelda, Mario Odyssey, Splatoon, Horizon, God of War, Spider-Man, The Last of Us, Ghost of Tsushima, Bloodborne, ARMS, Xenoblade Chronicles, Smash Bros, and so, SO many others.

They just can't compete without buying all the biggest and most influential third party developers and publishers. If they could, they would have by now. I hope the activision deal goes through because Microsoft NEEDS it and they're absolutely right when they say that even with Acti-Blizz they still won;'t be able to compete with the universal love Nintendo gets or the global market Sony has on lockdown. at best they're fighting for the US with their heavily Western-styled games and even then they're losing to both Sony and Nintendo.

My Console Library:

PS5, Switch, XSX

PS4, PS3, PS2, PS1, WiiU, Wii, GCN, N64 SNES, XBO, 360

3DS, DS, GBA, Vita, PSP, Android