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Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft’s gaming division, admitted in a recent interview with IGN that 2022 wasn’t the greatest for Xbox, at least in terms of how many games the company’s first-party studios released. However, Spencer said he’s confident that 2023 will be different.

"Our commitment to our fans is that we need to have a steady release of great games that people can play on our platform, and we didn't do enough of that in 2022, there's no doubt," Spencer said. "And fundamentally, that's on me. I'm the head of the business."

Spencer said 2022’s comparatively bare slate is why Xbox wanted to focus on games with release dates during the Developer_Direct showcase. Four of the five games shown during the presentation will release at some point before summer 2023, with two exceptions. Hi-Fi Rush, the rhythm game from Tango Gameworks, launched right after the showcase, and Forza Motorsport still doesn’t have a release date.

“From a production standpoint, we're coming out of all of the COVID at home, and I think we've got a better working rhythm as an industry and things that are going on, and I'm excited,” Spencer said.

Xbox's plans for 2023 are seemingly independent of the outcome of the Activision-Blizzard acquisition, which remains locked in controversy as regulatory bodies determine whether to let it proceed.

Redfall, Starfield, and Forza are the three major pillars of the year for Xbox, though Bethesda has yet to announce a release date for their space RPG after delaying it in 2022. That aside, Spencer made it a point to single out Bethesda and praise the studio for its work on The Elder Scrolls Online and Hi-Fi Rush.

As for what's next, Spencer said Xbox has a showcase planned for June 2023, though stopped short of saying whether this next presentation will coincide with E3 or be another standalone stream like the company put on in 2022.