It was human error that led Xbox to reveal its business secrets through a massive leak in which the company’s medium and long-term plans were revealed. New consoles, projects for Game Pass to continue growing or attempts to take over cloud gaming by catching all its competitors on the back foot. The ideas can be summarized in survive the present and conquer the future. Despite this, there have been many who have thought that the event has been dramatic for Microsoft. The reality is that I couldn’t agree less. It is clear that some problems have arisen, but if we separate the wheat from the chaff I think that the consequences can be positive.
Xbox has not surprised me with its leaks
Most Microsoft leaks are uninteresting. I am not saying this in the sense that there are no attractive products, but rather referring to the fact that should not surprise us. Is the next big Xbox console coming out in 2028? The separation between generations is already more than established at seven or eight years. Will there be a cross-generational review for Xbox Series Perhaps a little more surprising, but it is an industry standard for the last two decades. Is the cloud an important piece of the future of video games? This is an issue that they have been focusing on for years. It is interesting to see that internal speech confirms what they say in publicbut it already seemed more than ratified based on facts.
Microsoft leaks show interesting products, but they are not surprising if you follow the news of the brand
Microsoft’s strategy was built years ago. The company lost the most important generation, in which gamers began to build their virtual libraries. The goal is to win back as many ‘league’ users to PlayStation as they can and convince others to think about buying both consoles. The third leg of the plan, and also the most important, is expand the boundaries of the business reaching a user base that other companies do not even consider. They want to link the PC community with the Xbox brand and bring their video games even to televisions through the cloud. All this, in addition, offering easy access plans for a historically marginalized public. 80% of consoles are sold in Europe, the United States or Japan. Literally, there is more than half the world to expand.
Although an Xbox Series
Perhaps the most problematic thing about the leak is the Bethesda projects, but it is not really surprising either. We knew it existed and our heads are not going to explode because they have decided that The Elder Scrolls VI will be exclusive to the Xbox ecosystem. The same happens with the sequels to the company’s most successful games, that is one of the most standard practices among the standard practices of the video game industry. Even here the negative part is also debatable. The leaks, along with recent console exclusives and those coming next year, could lead some users to buy an Xbox Series much sooner than they expected.
If the leak ensures something, it is a good catalog of games that could lead some to bet on the console
All in all, leaks can lead to problems. Companies don’t like them because they force them to work under pressure on projects that should not have been revealed to the public yet. However, if there is a reason why they really hate them, it is because they lose control of their products. They have not been the ones to decide when we will start talking about the new console and they cannot guide the conversation by showing us carefully selected elements that attract attention. Furthermore, a good part of the surprise effect of their upcoming announcements.
An announcement like the one Bethesda made with The Elder Scrolls VI will no longer save a conference.
If we knew or intuited what Xbox’s big moves would be before this leak was carried out, you can imagine how complete the competition analyzes of Sony or Nintendo would be. The only real problem that Microsoft will encounter in the next couple of years is the marketing. They must ensure that the public is satisfied with the presentation of products that they already know, that video game journalists have reasons to talk about it and that content creators have material to make videos or live shows. In short, they need the machine to continue moving as always. The only difference is that the gasoline they used until now will no longer make the pistons go up and down with the same intensity.
Conventional marketing strategy wasn’t helping Xbox’s comeback
The video game industry has a tremendous external dependence in terms of marketing. Companies are banking everything on a high-impact event at the beginning of summer or just before Christmas. They withhold content for months so as not to disappoint at the Summer Game Fest or the Game Awards in a model that is unique in the world of entertainment. It is something that began almost 30 years ago and that not even the death of E3 has been able to change. In this sense, Xbox has had the exclusive attention of the entire video game world in recent days. The important thing, however, is what they are going to do from now on.
In the world of video games, dominating the conversation is very expensive.
Xbox has the option of dealing with the leak as if nothing had happened or take advantage of it for your own benefit. They may not have realized it yet, but they have given gold to the marketing team of one of the three most valuable companies in the world. There are opportunities here to play with fans’ expectations; with what they learned thanks to the leaks, the incomplete information they have and the “changes in plans” announced by Phil Spencer. The traditional model is not going to work well, but it was not being great for Microsoft either. They have done tremendous summer conferences in recent years. Despite this, the company defends that “Xbox has consistently occupied third place (of three) in sales, behind PlayStation and Nintendo.”
Companies, politicians and personalities have turned negative events into positive impulses on many occasions.
When a content creator is involved in a scandal, what usually happens is that their next streaming or video is the most viewed of the year. All eyes have been on him and are waiting for him to do something. In Spain we have even seen a candidate for president of the government take over a meme that was intended to give him a bad image in order, as absurd as it may sound, to gain ground among the young public. If you find the formula, it is possible turn something seemingly negative into an impulse in your favor. It is what, for better or worse, social networks have created. Xbox has hundreds of opportunities that range from changing its logo on networks to a Nintendo red color for a few days to running campaigns based on reactions to leaks in recent days.
Video games generally only give opportunities at big conferences and in the context of a big launch. These are impacts that are short-lived – that is why the Xbox plan is an exclusive every three months – and that are obtained at a ridiculously high cost. Brands invest millions in getting people to talk about them because it is proven to work. Between one thing and another, adding Starfield and the leaks, we have been 20 days in which they have been the main focus of attention. Furthermore, now they have the opportunity to extend that path in which the third least sold console is the one that monopolizes the conversation. It’s just my opinion, but I think they won the lottery. The interesting thing, now, is to see if they realize that it was the winning ticket.