That is a setting that is not merely an evolving one, it sort of fits several stages and it all revolves around the choices that some make. As such when the Gaming Bafta’s were on, there were two considerations. The first one was how well did Sony do, the second one is how bad Microsoft is doing. I will get to the logic a little later. Sony sort of won a few times. There was God of War who was a winner, of course the music by Bear McCreary won and Christopher Judge as the voice of Kratos won. It won 6 awards in the Gaming Bafta’s and had 15 nominations, including EE game of the year, best game went to Vampire Survivors by Luca Galante. Horizon Forbidden West by Guerrilla games, a Sony exclusive won best technical achievement. One out of 5 nominations. This maters as these two games are gaming achievements of the highest order. God of War is given a 94% score, HFW an 88% score (I personally believe it should have been a 92%). Microsoft and their acquired houses had 4 nominations and zero wins. OK, I will grant that Bethesda had bad luck having to go up against one of the Final Fantasy kids, but still as I see it, no bang for seven and a half billion spend on purchases? Perhaps next year. The big titles were not here and I was missing Hogwarts Legacy, but they might have missed the cut off point. As such Microsoft has additional issues next year and that is before the storm hits. You see, the E3 was cancelled. It does not matter what the reason is, they cancelled it for some of the players having their own spin presentation, where they can intentionally not invite those critical of them. It makes sense and it is a valid and acceptable choice to make (even as I am spinning this in personal ways too). You see, I do not know the individual reasons and that means I merely do not know. But the hardships that Bethesda presently has, the lack of releases by Microsoft houses and whatever Ubisoft has to remain absent, they might all be perfectly valid in Business Intelligence, but gamers will spin this. One source gave us in January “Ubisoft’s Project Q has now been reportedly cancelled. The PvP battle arena game was announced less than a year ago in April 2022. They’ve already delayed Skull and Bones six times now and the recent comments by CEO Yves Guillemot haven’t helped.” Another source gave us that Assassin’s Creed Mirage and The Crew: Project Orlando will not come before Q1 2024, implying that they miss the summer haul and the Christmas revenue haul (including thanksgiving), two massive revenue moment. As such it makes sense to give E3 a miss, yet I personally would have spun this into ‘We will get a better result when we take more time’ even though one game has had 6 setbacks. They basically face a lose lose proposition. In all this I set the groundworks for new IP and that actually matters this time. You see there is an element missing at present. That element is Tencent. They are giving a miss for now, but they are pouring buckets of gold into their Unreal engine 5 design teams, this implies that they could grow big next year, they could pull the carpet from under Microsoft legs.
I did not give Tencent the consideration I could have, mainly because Amazon is a better fit, but in the setting that they are in. I am sitting on a totally new form of gaming on one hand (a small exaggeration), on the other hand the other IP in phase one could represent five billion and a lot more after that. Tencent could be the direction to grow my setting and even as I prefer Amazon as a first choice, one needs to go where the gold is (a small personal greedy direction). And as long as Microsoft is rejected as a contender, I am happy, even if Tencent ends with the IP. It still is important for me to assist in sending Microsoft to some revenue graveyard by December 2026. You think I am serious, and I am, but there is a hidden egg in the graveyard part.
If Microsoft had focused on quality instead of spin (which they in part might be) there could have ben a little hope, yet at present when we see the Xbox Series X and after two years we still see review (source: Tom’s guide) “Few next-gen launch games” a setting you can accept in year one, but not after two years, you see how Microsoft is desperate and now I add Project: Graveyard against that setting, without Microsoft being able to attend that game? It is nice to hand Microsoft the wooden spoon in 2024, especially when they could have spend a little over $100 billion by then (Mojang, Bethesda and Blizzard) and that is before the other IP is launched (if it is sold) and before the list of Sony releases get to be even larger. Ubisoft is important for Microsoft and their consoles as they were their biggest drive, no matter how we think of some games, Ubisoft has had moment of true greatness and one additional title could safe Microsoft. So when we set the larger stage and we see the gaming Bafta’s and the E3 cancellation, the larger stage of Microsoft is as I personally see it diminishing. And the stage is worsening in other ways too, but I will write about that should Microsoft acquire Blizzard, because that is expected, but not set in stone at present.