Xbox head Phil Spencer confirms that Microsoft’s 2017 game lineup won’t be led by titles like Halo or Gears of War, but will feature ‘new experiences with different IP’.

Although most of the 2017 slate for Microsoft’s Xbox One console is known at this point, gamers had been holding out hope that a certain flagship franchise might make an appearance in the fall. And while it’s still possible that Halo will show up during Microsoft’s E3 2017 presentation, the next game in the series will not release this year, according to Phil Spencer.

In a recent tweet, Spencer confirms that this year will be slightly different for Microsoft, who will not have a Gears or Halo-led slate. As Spencer puts it, 2017 will focus on “new experiences with different IP.”

There might not have been any evidence to support it, but some Xbox fans hoped that Microsoft would pull a page out of Bethesda’s book and announce Halo 6, reveal some gameplay, and then set a 2017 release date. Unfortunately, those small glimmers of hope are gone, but it doesn’t mean fans won’t see Master Chief at some point this year; it’s just that Halo 6 will not release this year.

All that being said, Spencer believes that 2017 “will be [a] fun year,” which should give Xbox fans reason to be excited. Yes, it’s true that Master Chief’s next adventure in Halo 6 won’t release this year, and presumably won’t be a Project Scorpio launch title, there are still other games to look forward to.

@Analcletoo XB1 games shipping this year are different for us. not Halo FPS/Gears led, new experiences with different IP, will be fun year— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) January 17, 2017

Chief among those is Crackdown 3, which is shaping up to be Microsoft’s major release for fall 2017. Xbox One owners haven’t seen much of Crackdown 3 since a showcase at Gamescom back in 2015, but that should change at the very least by E3.

Alongside Crackdown 3, Microsoft has a few additional IP that don’t fit the traditional blockbuster mold, but could surprise Xbox One owners. Sea of Thieves seeks to put players together in a merry pirate band, while State of Decay 2 will up the ante on survival. There’s also Halo Wars 2 next month, which, while not a traditional Halo title, is sure to have its fair share of fans for a strong start to 2017. And Halo Wars 2 will tie into Halo 6 in some fashion.


Of course, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention Scalebound, one of the more promising IPs that was slated to come to Xbox One before the title was cancelled earlier this month. Scalebound might not have been the system seller that Halo or Gears are, but it proved that Microsoft was willing to try something different, with a developer in Platinum Games that loves to innovate. Unfortunately, the project didn’t quite meet the expectations of Microsoft, and so the decision was made to halt development.

Even without the games, though, Microsoft has a lot to look forward to in 2017 thanks to Project Scorpio. The half step console will deliver a major power upgrade to this current console generation, and in the process open developers up to new experiences. However, price may be a factor in how many actually pick up Scorpio, as will games. So hopefully these unique IP will be able to keep interest in Scorpio high.