In 2021, Swedish developer MachineGames revealed that its next project wouldn't be a Wolfenstein game. Instead, the team was working on an Indiana Jones game, a project that was being coordinated with Lucasfilm Games and even got Todd Howard from Bethesda Game Studios involved. Now, we know a lot more about what to expect from this game, titled Indiana Jones and the Great Circle.
This game pulls from the developer's past experience, continuing on the legacy of fighting Nazis while introducing a number of new elements and ideas. There's a lot to look forward to, as Indiana Jones and the Great Circle could be one of the best Xbox games of the year. Here's everything you need to know and the answers to some frequently asked questions.
What is Indiana Jones and the Great Circle?
Best answer: Indiana Jones and the Great Circle is a (mostly) first-person adventure game being developed by MachineGames and published by Bethesda Softworks.
Indiana Jones and the Great Circle was first teased sans title in 2021, where almost all we knew was the developer. The game received a full, proper unveiling in January 2024 at the Xbox Developer_Direct 2024, with a trailer, gameplay, and behind-the-scenes footage that talked about the development process so far.
Indiana Jones and the Great Circle is set just after Raiders of the Lost Ark, but before the events of The Last Crusade, with Indy's adventure's kicking off as he chases down connections between historical sites across the world, from the pyramids of Egypt to the Himalayas.
While this Indiana Jones game is being developed by MachineGames and published by Bethesda Softworks — the publishing arm of Microsoft-owned ZeniMax Media — it's also being made in partnership with Lucasfilm Games, a division of Disney that provides aids on video game adaptions of Lucasfilm properties, such as working with Respawn Entertainment and Electronic Arts on Star Wars Jedi: Survivor.
Todd Howard of Bethesda Games Studios (one of MachineGames' sister studios under ZeniMax Media) also has a major role in the development of the game, as he's the executive producer. His conversations with Lucasfilm and Disney are a major reason development on the game began, and he has been working on the game's story for years in collaboration with MachineGames.
The list of actors in Indiana Jones and the Great Circle is full of talent, with gaming industry constant Troy Baker taking up the role of Indy.
Why is Indiana Jones and the Great Circle a first-person game?
Best answer: Indiana Jones and the Great Circle is mostly first-person because it allowed MachineGames to build on its work with past games like the Wolfenstein reboots. There are still some third-person sections from time to time.
Before this game was fully revealed, there was much speculation and discussion around whether or not it would be a first-person game. First-person titles comprise MachineGames' history, with Wolfenstein: The New Order, Wolfenstein: The New Colossus, and Wolfenstein: Youngblood all taking a first-person perspective for killing Nazis.
Speculation was additionally fueled as other adventure games like the Tomb Raider and Uncharted franchises are third-person experiences. These games have drawn on the Indiana Jones films for inspiration, so to see things come full circle wouldn't have been a total shock.
All that in mind, Indiana Jones and the Great Circle being a first-person game makes sense. The studio's history is focused on building first-person games, which would've made development easier by not radically shifting the camera and the way things function.
"Whether it's cracking your whip, solving puzzles in ancient temples, or seeing your knuckles go bloody in a fistfight, all of these moments are much more intense in first-person," says cinematic producer Mitra Ashkan Far.
This doesn't mean players won't be seeing Indy's face though. In addition to the usual cutscenes, there are still some third-person sections of gameplay, with the camera pulling back whenever you're in a "traversal" section, such as climbing up some scaffolding or sliding down a rope.
When is the release date for Indiana Jones and the Great Circle?
Best answer: Indiana Jones and the Great Circle does not currently have a specific release date, but the game is slated to launch later in 2024.
Right now, we don't know exactly when Indiana Jones and the Great Circle is expected to launch. During the game's proper unveiling at the Xbox Developer_Direct 2024, we did learn that MachineGames and Bethesda Softworks will be launching Indiana Jones and the Great Circle later in 2024.
Is Indiana Jones and the Great Circle an Xbox exclusive?
Best answer: Indiana Jones and the Great Circle is being developed exclusively for Xbox Series X|S and Windows PC.
Thanks to some testimony during the Microsoft vs. FTC court hearing in 2023 — when the former was in the process of acquiring Activision Blizzard — we already knew that Indiana Jones and the Great Circle was originally a multiplatform game, with Microsoft reworking the deal with Disney in order to allow the game to be exclusive to Xbox Series X|S consoles and Windows PC.
When Indiana Jones and the Great Circle took the spotlight during the Xbox Developer_Direct 2024, the developers at MachineGames confirmed that it's being developed for Xbox Series X|S and Windows PC. As Microsoft acquired ZeniMax Media (parent company of Bethesda Softworks and its studios) in March 2021, Indiana Jones and the Great Circle will be the first completely new game that MachineGames launches as an Xbox first-party developer.
That note of "completely new" is important, as the team has contributed to some titles that shipped over the last couple of years, with MachineGames crafting new, original campaigns for Quake Remastered and Quake 2 Remastered, which launched in 2021 and 2023, respectively.
Is Indiana Jones and the Great Circle coming to Xbox Game Pass?
Best answer: Yes, Indiana Jones and the Great Circle will be available day one with Xbox Game Pass.
Indiana Jones and the Great Circle will be launching day one on Xbox Game Pass, meaning it'll be available to any Xbox Series X|S or PC users that want to play it through their subscription instead of buying it outright.
We also knew this before the game's unveiling, as the fact it would be launching day one on Microsoft's subscription service is another detail let loose from the Microsoft vs. FTC court hearing, alongside the fact that the game would be an Xbox console exclusive.
Get the Windows Central Newsletter
All the latest news, reviews, and guides for Windows and Xbox diehards.