Last week, Bethesda and Lucasfilm Games unexpectedly revealed an Indiana Jones game in the works. It caught many people off-guard, but it’s the questions surrounding the development that have people talking. MachineGames, known for the Wolfenstein franchise, is helming the project. Many are wondering if it will be in first-person or third-person, given the studio’s other games.
The biggest question is whether or not Indiana Jones will be exclusive to Microsoft platforms. While there is an argument that a multiplatform release should happen, I think exclusivity is vital for the Xbox brand. What better place to start than with an iconic franchise that everybody knows?
Indiana Jones and Microsoft – A match made in heaven
Keeping up with surprises, no one expected Microsoft to acquire ZeniMax Media and the Bethesda catalog. It was a massive deal that cost 7.5 billion dollars and came with eight studios to join Microsoft’s growing team.
One of my biggest takeaways is that Microsoft lets its studios do what they want. You rarely hear about interference from Microsoft when it comes to the games that the studios make. With the amount of money that Microsoft invests in the games department, there’s a great chance that Indiana Jones will have a considerable budget. When you have an IP this massive, you give it all the care in the world.
Microsoft’s biggest weapon is Xbox Game Pass. Despite the fact that the arsenal of studios is prestigious, Xbox Game Pass is the best aspect of their offerings, in my opinion. Countless video games come in and out of the service every month. On top of that, first-party titles launch day and date on Game Pass. I became hooked on Sea of Thieves, State of Decay 2, and Wasteland 3 because of Game Pass. These are games I never would’ve spent money on if it had not been for the service. While the thought of Indiana Jones is exciting, there are plenty of others who may be hesitant to try the title, and the Game Pass should make that decision easier.
Sony and Nintendo have licensed exclusives. Why not Microsoft?
PlayStation knocked it out of the park with 2018’s Marvel’s Spider-Man and PS5 launch title Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales. Both games wonderfully portrayed the iconic wall-crawlers and quickly became two of my favorite exclusives. Nintendo made fans happy when they teamed up with Team Ninja to develop Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3. It’s a franchise that fans wanted to make a return for years, and it became an exclusive.
When it comes to those games, people didn’t really complain that they were exclusives. But where does that leave Indiana Jones? The thought has passed that Bethesda’s new game won’t be an exclusive. After all, Microsoft is obtaining the company, but the acquisition hasn’t gone through yet. This means that the deal for Indiana Jones was made before the acquisition. There’s a case to be made that Indiana Jones will be multiplatform, but I don’t think that’s the case at all.
Why would Microsoft purchase an entire company and not expect the games that come from them to be exclusive? Sure, not everybody likes exclusives. Everybody can’t afford all the consoles and are required to choose what to play very carefully. Having iconic franchises only on one console may divide the fanbase. Xbox fans who wanted Marvel’s Spider-Man needed to buy a PlayStation or just skip it altogether. This has been a practice for years and is the norm in the industry.
Game Pass, unique genres, and exclusives are the end-game
Microsoft needs to continue to diversify and increase their catalog. Indiana Jones is the type of game that will sell Xbox consoles or get more people to subscribe to Game Pass. Microsoft’s long-term plan isn’t selling more Xbox consoles than PlayStations. It’s to get people in the Xbox ecosystem, whether on console, PC, or X-cloud. Game Pass is the service that welcomes players with open arms regardless of platform choice. What better way to get people to subscribe to your program than by having enticing exclusives that you’ll get for a low monthly price?
Indiana Jones is the type of game that Microsoft needs to fight for. I love Xbox, but when I think of the brand, shooters and racing games come to mind. Gears of War, Halo, and Forza are synonymous with the console. Sure, Microsoft is branching out, but many RPGs and other shooters coming out in the near future. PlayStation’s library is full of diverse titles, and Xbox needs to follow suit. Indiana Jones can scratch that action/adventure itch that is truly missing from the ever-growing catalog. And Microsoft needs to justify spending $7.5 billion on Bethesda.
With Elder Scrolls VI, Starfield, and hopefully, Indiana Jones, Microsoft can make Game Pass an even better deal than it already is. A service is only as good as its content, and Indiana Jones is the type of franchise that will have many people running to enter the Xbox ecosystem.