I’m sure you wondered to yourself why on Earth is The Outer Worlds on Xbox Game Pass. I’m here to answer your confusion and clear up any doubts you have over the question.
The Outer Worlds Is On Xbox Game Pass because Microsoft acquired Obsidian Entertainment in November 2018 the excellent role-playing publisher behind games like Fall Out New Vegas as a game studio The Xbox Game Pass has all Microsoft Game Studio games available to download and play.
There you have it! However, understanding why Microsoft is making all these first-party acquisitions & what studios they bought and the plans they have for the future is well worth knowing.
Also, why the game pass is the best deal in gaming and what a fantastic pro-consumer job Microsoft is doing.
What Studios Have Microsoft Bought?
Microsoft recently has gone on a rampage with purchasing first game studios to compete with PlayStations already fantastic library of first-party exclusives.
I’ve written about why PS4 exclusives are so good compared to Microsofts here but these acquisitions are looking to the next console generation not this one as the battle is already lost and all these AAA games will take years to develop.
This wasn’t surprising as Playground and Microsoft have always had a long partnership due to one of Microsoft’s best exclusives, the Forza series being developed by the publisher. Phil Spencer the head of Xbox has teased that the company is working on something big that will be revealed “later”
This is likely to be Fable 4 sequel to the classic Xbox role-playing series. This was leaked by Eurogamer(read about it here) but we can only wait and see.
It didn’t shock anyone when Microsoft bought Undead Labs the studio behind the Microsoft zombie exclusive series State Of Decay 1&2; it just made business sense. Microsoft wanted to keep it an exclusive and the working business relationship strong.
They likely are working on State Of Decay 3 which should be the best in the series due to Microsoft’s backing, but perhaps they are looking at different options due to the freedom of being a first-party Microsoft studio.
Ninja Theory has developed action-adventure games such as Dmc: Devil May Cry, Heavenly Sword, Odyssey to the West and recently the fantastic Hellblade” Senua’s Scarfrice which is known as a true independent AAA experience.
They are working on a sequel that was announced in the 2019 Game Awards which will be an Xbox Series X exclusive, likely to be released the same time as the new console sometime during the holiday 2020 season.
Compulsion is behind the puzzle-based platformer contrast and We Happy Few and is founded by a former executive producer at Arkane Studios and is staffed by a team who worked from everything from Far Cry 3 to Darksiders.
Right now they are currently updating and creating DLC for their game We ALL Fall Down which is a post-apocalyptic survival RPG game. Expect compulsion games to have a unique stylish weirdness that you won’t find in most AAA games.
A completely new studio, with the former head of Crystal Dynamics the creators of the older Tomb Raider games, Darrell Gallagher.
This isn’t much news about what the companies working on and it could be anything. However, it is likely the initiative could make a couple of games a generation and focus on massive experiences like RockStar however its anyone’s guesses what the project will be.
Obsidian Entertainment is responsible for several modern RPG classics such as Fallout New Vegas, Knights of the Old Republic and even South Park: The Stick of Truth,
This acquisition was a BIG one from Microsoft as it’s these type of single-player driven RPGs the Xbox One was significantly lacking, and ensuring console exclusivity draws people to the Xbox brand. Now, Obsidian is likely working on The Outer Worlds DLC content and soon The Outer Worlds 2.
inXile was founded in 2002 by Interplay co-founder Brian Fargo who produced fantasy games such as The Bard’s Tale and Hunted The Demon forge. Most notably it raised via Kickstarter nearly 3$ million and then released the post-apocalyptic game Wasteland 2 in 2012.
Now, as well as making Wasteland 3 which is coming out sometime in spring 2020, they are working something brand new, exclusive for the Xbox which according to the track record is likely going to be fantastic.
Check out IGN’s video on what Microsoft’s first-party studios are working on to get a more visual feel.
Why Did Microsoft Buy So Many Game Studios?
Let’s be clear Microsoft lost this console generation very convincingly, PS4 has sold 106 million units by January 2020 by the end of 2018, the whole Xbox One family is predicted to have sold around 41 million units. There are many reasons for this but a large part is the lack of Xbox exclusives.
Before Phil Spencer was assigned the head of Xbox Microsoft was quite close to stopping Xbox all together due to how poor the Xbox One had done. The moves Microsoft have made are all centred around Phil Spencer’s ambitious vision for Xbox to truly be a gaming powerhouse.
Take a look at Phil Spencers quote way back in 2017 whilst speaking with Bloomberg as he knew that purchasing and creating studios wouldn’t immediately fix the problems but they would put Microsoft on the right track to becoming a global gaming powerhouse again.
“We need to grow, and I look forward to doing that. Our ability to go create content has to be one of our strengths. We haven’t always invested at the same level”Head Of Xbox Phil Spencer
Phil Spencer has acknowledged that Microsoft has invested halfheartedly into gaming, but making all these insane acquisitions the biggest being the $2.5 billion purchase of the Swedish develop Mojang in 2014 the developer of Minecraft; showcases how Microsoft has been taking gaming seriously for a while now, and they only increase the cquisitions over time.
Check out this IGN interview with the man himself Phil Spencer on the future of Xbox and how as a company they are thinking of the gamers first, and nowhere is this best showcased than the Xbox game pass
Why The Xbox Game Pass Is The Best Deal In Gaming
Now I’ve written a post especially about the Xbox Game Pass here if you want a more detailed explanation.
Why is it the best deal in gaming? Well, for a small subscription of $9.99/month you get 100+ Xbox games. These aren’t terrible indie titles either, every first-party game developed by Xbox Game Studios(check the full list here)
Do you really what this means? As soon as Outer Worlds 2 is released it will be on the game pass! Or any other first-party title from Halo Infinite to Hellblade 2. This removes the requirement of needing to purchase physical games ever again.
I personally only own 2 physical Xbox One games which makes buying an Xbox One S digital edition a worthy purchase(check out my post about the digital console here).
I’ve written about the pros & cons of digital vs physical gaming here but really and truly with the Game Pass, you never need to buy a physical game ever again.
You have more games than you ever will find the time to play, and switching between them is as easy as going to your Xbox menu and changing applications! Never need to waste time switching to physical discs ever again.
The only issue with the Game Pass if even with a 1TB Xbox(the standard memory) you will have to routinely delete games to make space. This problem is solved via purchasing a specific Seagate external hard drive specifically made for the Xbox One which you can find here (Amazon Link)
Microsoft is embedding a generation of gamers to the Xbox ecosystem, and most importantly the fantastic deal Xbox Game Pass truly is. Xbox has committed to backwards compatibility to all future releases meaning every Xbox game you play on the Xbox One will be playable on future consoles.
Check out an interview with Phil Spencer about the future of backwards compatibility and Xbox’s Project xCloud