Microsoft announced during the recent Developer Direct that an Xbox game showcase would be held in the summer of 2023. The digital titan’s first developer livestream of the year included a number of highly anticipated titles, including Minecraft Legends and Forza Motorsport, signalling that the company’s gaming investments aren’t going away anytime soon.
The Xbox & Bethesda Developer Direct on January 25 was almost exclusively focused on the most high-profile projects that Xbox Game Studios plans to release in the near future. The lone exception was Tango Gameworks’ cel-shaded action platformer Hi-Fi Rush, which received a surprise release during the presentation. However, the most important lesson from the show is that Microsoft’s gaming business intends to release high-quality titles on a near-monthly basis into 2023.
Given the current state, Xbox Game Studios is already preparing a second 2023 expo in the summer centred on its other future projects. The summer exhibition, unlike Developer Direct, will be a physical event held in Los Angeles, according to the business. While no further information has been released, the combination of a LA location and a summer date hints that the forthcoming showcase may be part of the E3 2023 edition.
Microsoft’s statement notably cites a “return” to a “yearly showcase” model, which the firm has always held during E3, even after Sony and Nintendo stepped out of the show’s publisher lineup. After E3 2020 was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organisers attempted a virtual event in 2021, but customers were dubious about the idea. This was a major factor in the decision to have a typical trade show at the Los Angeles Convention Center in 2023.
If Microsoft cancels its long-standing participation at E3, the next Xbox presentation might take place as part of the Summer Game Fest. Geoff Keighley, a Canadian gaming journalist and event organiser, recently announced that the Summer Game Fest 2023 would feature a physical presence in Los Angeles as well as online broadcasts. Both E3 and SGF are slated to take place in June, thus the Xbox summer showcase is likely to take place at the same time.
Meanwhile, Xbox Game Studios will release Minecraft Legends on April 18, followed by The Elder Scrolls Online: Necrom on June 20. Other high-profile titles that the studio plans to release before 2023 include the space-faring RPG Starfield, the vampire-hunting co-op shooter Redfall, and a Forza Motorsport remake.