Thanks to a recent database leak from NVIDIA, a slew of codenames and "possible" projects recently hit the airwaves, creating a frenzy of intrigue for the possibilities of upcoming Xbox games for 2022 and beyond. The leak "revealed" games like God of War for PC, Gears 6, and others, and while NVIDIA has since claimed many titles were speculative, documents we've received prove that many of these projects are, in fact, real.
Database entries included Project Typhoon, which we now know as the Avalanche Studios-developed heist 'em up, Contraband. It also named Project Holland, which we know to be Fable, and Project Woodstock, since announced as Forza Horizon 5. And while sure, some of the games on the list most likely aren't real products headed to market, many of them are, giving us a tantalizing glimpse at what's ahead.
As we head into the weekend, I thought I'd recap some of the info that appeared in the GeForce Now database alongside just some other projects we've heard about for the near and far future.
Project "Indus" (Oxide Games)
I first heard about Indus back in spring 2021, although was only able to confirm that the project is definitely going ahead, thanks to the GeForce leak. Project Indus is a 4X strategy game being developed by Oxide Games, known for its work on real-time strategy (RTS) title, Ashes of the Singularity.
Although Indus' unique hook remains to be seen, the gameplay sounds very similar to what you experience in Civilization, with turn-based strategic elements alongside city building, empire advancement, espionage, diplomacy, warfare, and so on. From what I understand, Indus is indeed targeting the Microsoft Store for PC, Xbox, and Steam.
Civilization is one game that works particularly well via the cloud, given its turn-based nature. I wouldn't be surprised if Project Indus is heavily designed with cloud platforms and smaller screens in mind too, using Microsoft's cloud-aware user interface APIs.
Project "Cobalt" (inXile Entertainment)
As teased by inXile Entertainment itself on Twitter, the Wasteland studio is working on a new FPS RPG, although details remain shrouded in mystery.
What we do know is that it's codenamed Cobalt, and believe it has a Steampunk-style, inspired by Industrial Revolution-inspired tech. Expect steam engines, zeppelins, retro-futuristic robots, dark Victorian-era streets, and more. The above concept art was shared by inXile concept artist Aleksander Danilovac on ArtStation, and we have reason to believe this is representative of the environmental style inXile is gunning to deliver. Venture Beat editor, Jeff Grubb, previously stated that inXile's next game could be targeting a 2023 release.
Other Xbox Game Studios projects
There's a veritable mountain of projects going on at Xbox Game Studios right now, across both Microsoft's internal studios under Matt Booty and the wider Bethesda network under Todd Howard. We know Arkane Studios has shifted focus to its action-adventure project, Redfall, Bethesda has unveiled Starfield, and we've previously reported on Project Dragon from IO Interactive. It seems that Microsoft is casting a wide net to fund future projects, expanding many of its internal studios to multi-team status, and building multiple projects side-by-side.
It has never been a more exciting time to be an Xbox gamer.
Beyond Minecraft itself and Minecraft Dungeons, we've heard Mojang is building additional Minecraft-related games. We also understand that World's Edge is also looking ahead, working with partner studios on additional entries in the Age of Empires universe alongside Age of Empires IV. Josh Sawyer of Obsidian Entertainment also previously teased that he's working on another project that isn't Avowed-related. Microsoft is accepting pitches from studios big and small at a greater frequency than they have in the past, as they look to ramp up the diversity of exclusive titles on Xbox Game Pass.
This is just a glimpse at the full slate on the horizon for Xbox. We have Perfect Dark, Fable, Senua's Saga: Hellblade II, Avowed, The Elder Scrolls VI, State of Decay 3, and more projects to come, many shrouded in deep secrecy at this time.
Microsoft's Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X consoles continue to remain perpetually sold out, in part due to ongoing global chip shortage. With hopes that stock levels will return to normal towards the end of next year, Microsoft will have more exclusives than ever to promote and push Xbox consoles and Xbox cloud gaming, through the lens of Xbox Game Pass. It has never been a more exciting time to be an Xbox gamer.