Since the initial launch of the Xbox One, it was evident that Microsoft was lacking exciting single player games. The failure of Ryse scarred Microsoft and their woes have only continued with the cancellation of Fable Legends and Scalebound. Microsoft’s continued failure to release a successful single player game is embarrassing and may lead to grave financial consequences in 2017. Sony on the other hand, continues to flourish by helping to develop exciting single player games every year.
It is no coincidence that a majority of the most-anticipated games of 2017 are PS4-exclusives, such as: Horizon Zero Dawn, Last of Us 2, God of War, Kingdom Hearts, and Crash Bandicoot. What do they all have in common? They are all single player games! Unlike Microsoft, Sony has continued to have a successful and near-perfect balance of popular multiplayer and single-player games. The low sales and lack of single player games on Xbox One can be best explained through the mishandling of Ryse, Sunset Overdrive, Fable Legends, and Scalebound.
It was only a few of years ago at E3, that Microsoft was parading around their Xbox One exclusive title Ryse. Unfortunately for Microsoft, the release of Ryse was met with mediocre reviews from the media and dissatisfied reactions from players. The beautiful graphics could not hide Ryse’s flat story and deeply flawed combat system. The cancellation of Ryse 2 can easily be attributed to Crytek and their failures as a studio; especially after the disappointing release of Homefront. Microsoft picked the wrong single player game to invest in; they could have easily showcased a new installment of Fable (not Fable Legends).
Sunset Overdrive was a different story entirely. Sunset Overdrive is a fantastic game that has been under-publicized by Microsoft. Sunset Overdrive received raving reviews from the media and players applauded the originality of the game and its enjoyable combat mechanics. Yet, Microsoft has failed to capitalize on the popularity of Sunset Overdrive. There has been no word on Sunset Overdrive 2, even though a vast majority of Xbox gamers have expressed their desire for a sequel. Xbox gamer should not be blamed for the low sale figures of single player games, because Microsoft is clearly at fault for not supplying games that their players are demanding.
No game highlights the utter stupidity of Microsoft better than Fable Legends. The failure of Fable Legends has been well documented, citing constant release delays and high production costs as just some of the reasons for its collapse. The downfall of Lionhead would not have likely occured, if Microsoft had allowed Lionhead to actually make a game that they were known for…a single-player focused Fable game. Sources even stated that even Lionhead studio’s employees wanted to work on a new traditional Fable game (Fable 4). Microsoft has the award-winning Fable IP and has yet to release a single Fable game on the Xbox One. It is baffling that they have failed to even release a re-mastered version of any of the previous Fable games. Contrast this to Sony, who has managed to maintain a stable of popular Playstation-exclusive single player titles such as God of War, Kingdom Hearts, and Crash Bandicoot.
Scalebound is the latest addition to Microsoft’s saga of failed single player games. Earlier this week it was announced that Microsoft had pulled the plug on its much anticipated action-RPG, Scalebound. The cancellation of Scalebound is a crippling blow to Microsoft, and they will now have to look elsewhere for redemption. Hopefully Microsoft begins to take notice of their need for successful single player games and maybe even push Insomniac to begin development on Sunset Overdrive 2.