So, in case you might have missed the news, Microsoft has just delayed Crackdown 3 into 2018, citing that the game needed a little more time in development before releasing.
This comes as a mighty blow to the publisher, as the long-awaited sequel was supposed to serve as the big launch title alongside the Xbox One X, since it was slated to arrive on the same date – November 7th. Now, we won’t be able to see what the game is made of for several more months.
The situation also puts Microsoft in a tricky situation, as Crackdown 3 was supposed to serve as its big holiday-selling title. That’s not to say the Xbox One X won’t succeed without it, but the company definitely needs a back-up plan.
Fortunately, we have a few suggestions in regards to the route Microsoft can take to win the holiday season. It’ll still have some fierce competition between Sony and Nintendo, as their line-ups appear to still be intact, but if the company can push the following assets the right way, it can still get through the holiday season smelling like a rose…or, at the very least, prepping for a better 2018.
Cuphead And Pushing Indies
Okay, so maybe Cuphead isn’t the AAA title that Microsoft hoped it would be, since it seems to be more like a niche title that will appeal to a certain kind of audience. But why not push to expand that kind of audience? The company could easily launch a campaign that shows what Cuphead is all about in terms of old-school shooting thrills, and, for that matter, it could use the title to promote its ID@Xbox line-up of excellent indie games, so that users wouldn’t feel like the “major” titles would be the only way to go this holiday season. With its exquisite “old-timey” art and challenging gameplay, Cuphead could easily become a sleeper hit – and Microsoft needs to use those vibes to their advantage.
And I guess we can include Super Lucky's Tale. Why not?prevnext
Sea Of Thieves Beta
Nope, Sea of Thieves won't be out this year. We know that already. But Microsoft needs something to fill in the blanks, and we can't help but wonder if maybe a beta is in order to pass the time. While that certainly doesn't help matters in terms of providing a full game, it's something -- and based on what we've seen thus far, Sea of Thieves is a lot of fun. An open beta of some kind would be a great -- not to mention free -- way for the time to pass while we wait for Crackdown 3 to eventually release. Or at the very least, give us something to do in-between sessions of Forza.prevnext
Teaming Up With a Third Party
Now that Microsoft is down one major first-party release, now would be a good time to lend some support to an ideal third-party. Activision seems to be out, since Destiny 2 and Call of Duty: WWII have Sony on their side. So who does that leave? Plenty. Microsoft could easily team up with Ubisoft for exclusive content for Assassin’s Creed Origins, or, for that matter, take advantage of the EA Access deal that’ll be happening with Star Wars: Battlefront II, where players will be able to check it out eight days earlier than the release date. Microsoft could milk this the right way and draw more players over to the Xbox One X side of things – and maybe even coerce EA to supporting that advanced tech to make the game look better than ever. Just a thought.prevnext
Xbox Game Pass
One area where Microsoft has a keen advantage over the PlayStation 4 is with its on-demand service. PlayStation Now has a great deal of games, but fans aren’t too thrilled with the high entry fee. The Xbox Game Pass service, however, is just about perfect, offering a high number of games for the low price of $9.99 a month. The publisher could easily hawk this as a key asset for the Xbox One, maybe even offering an extended trial for it, so users could see what it’s about and appreciate its value. And that would mean more installed systems in homes, and more eventual sales in the long run. Frankly, I’m a bit surprised that we haven’t seen more advertisements of this already. It’s almost on the level of Netflix in terms of value.prevnext
Forza Motorsport 7
Okay, this is the big one. Forza Motorsport 7 now stands as Microsoft’s big holiday season title, and this is where the company cannot screw up. It’s all about setting up gameplay videos that showcase not only what the game can do, but also the stark differences between the Xbox One and the Xbox One X. For that matter, we need to have video diaries, sponsored content that allows users to stack up the cars and the extra race tracks in the game, and maybe even introduce a highly-stacked demo that allows them to test drive it to their heart’s content. This is going to be the key title when it comes to selling that Xbox One X hardware – hopefully Turn 10 Studios will have it done in time for its October 3rd release, and we’ll really be able to see what it’s made of.prev