Over the last few months, Microsoft has been criticized for its lack of Xbox One exclusives. While the company does have several major exclusives this year, including the recently released pirate game Sea of Thieves, the delay of Crackdown 3 into 2018 and the cancellation of new IP Scalebound raised concerns among fans. Many Xbox One players have asked what other big titles the company has in the pipeline.
Today, fans noticed a job posting from Microsoft that seemed to suggest that the company is building up its in-house game development projects. The job is based in Santa Monica, California and is for a Principal Program Manager. The hired applicant will "Hire and grow internal studio talent to build teams and culture" and work with studio management, developers, and key stakeholders in order to help build a "new franchise."
Under the requirements, the Principal Program Manager is asked to have more than 10 years of experience with a "proven track record," four years of experience as a lead or executive producer role (or above), and "a knowledge and understanding of the process of building new IP." The listing also asks for experience in shipping games at "AAAA standards" and experience in managing internal and external development teams from all around the world.
The job listing also comes not long after Microsoft hired Activision's former senior vice president and head of development, Darrell Gallagher, who has now taken on an undisclosed role on the Microsoft Studios Executive Leadership team. According to LinkedIn, that role is based in Santa Monica, which again points to major staffing efforts in the area. Given that God of War, an exclusive for the rival console the PS4 was also developed by a Santa Monica-based team, it makes sense that Microsoft is also scouting for talent in the area.
Fans eager to see more original, exclusive content from Microsoft's internal talent will be delighted with what this listing suggests. Microsoft had already confirmed that it has multiple exclusive games planned for the next 12 months, but the plans outlined in this job listing confirm that the company is thinking well beyond the next 12 months. The company appears to be putting in a lot of effort into addressing that content pipeline problem that so many fans and critics have pointed a finger at.
Microsoft will hopefully offer a glimpse at its plans regarding exclusives at E3 2018. While it may be a while until this Santa Monica project has something to show, Microsoft's other exclusive plans may be enough to tide fans over until then.