It sounds like Microsoft executives might finally be getting the hint that their console needs more AAA exclusives as a recent job listing has revealed that a new first-party Xbox title is in the works.
The job listing (which has been taken down) is for a Principal Program Manager at Microsoft Studios in Santa Monica, California, whose top responsibility is “[w]orking with studio management, developers and key stakeholders in the creation of the product vision to help build and [sic] a new franchise.” Additionally, the job listing reveals that Microsoft is seeking a candidate who has “[e]xperience shipping high quality titles at AAAA [sic] standards” and a “knowledge and understanding of the process of building new IP.”
Previous rumors have suggested that Xbox players can expect new exclusives in the forms of Fable IV, a new Perfect Dark title, and Halo 6, though these are all existing series with various studios already reportedly attached to them. The above job listing definitely makes it sound like Xbox is looking to pursue a new Halo-sized series altogether by forming a new studio within Microsoft Studios.
While last year’s Xbox E3 revolved mostly around the announcement of the Xbox One X, its press conference still showcased a deluge of games. Unfortunately for Xbox faithful, most of those games were either Xbox One X enhanced multiplatform titles or “console launch exclusives,” which basically just means timed exclusives. It was arguably a disappointing showing for gamers who care more about software than hardware.
Xbox chief Phil Spencer has promised that Xbox’s E3 2018 press conference will feature “positive changes,” and while we know that Xbox has big plans for its overall E3 2018 presence, it’s still a secret as to what it will actually announce during the press conference proper.
As IGN points out, Microsoft Studios recently hired former Crystal Dynamics studio head Darrell Gallagher to its executive leadership team, with follow-up tweets hinting that Gallagher would be a major presence at Xbox’s E3 2018 showing. It’s very possible that Gallagher’s hiring ties into this new “AAAA” IP. We’ll find out soon enough, as E3 2018 is just a little over a month away.