While Sony and Nintendo routinely battle for JRPG supremacy, it seems as though Microsoft has snuck in to claim a similar distinction as the de facto home of western RPGs.
Yesterday, job listings for inXile Entertainment, creators of The Bard's Tale and Wasteland series, indicated what their far afield RPG may look like. Though it was reported last September that this second project is in the early stages, the job postings refer to first-person RPG elements with which prospective employees will need to familiarize themselves. We already knew the studio is working on not one but two RPGs, but the job listing gives us a better idea of what to expect.
More so, it reaffirms Xbox's place as the go-to console for western RPGs. Joining the recent launch of Wasteland 3, here's everything that we know about for the genre on Xbox and Windows PC.
Most notable is probably The Elder Scrolls VI. Announced over two years ago, we haven't seen a second of the game - even its setting is yet to be revealed - but it's likely to launch as an Xbox and PC exclusive, though Microsoft has not yet confirmed this. Still, you probably don't spend $7 billion buying Bethesda because you feel like sharing. Along with The Elder Scrolls, of course, come Bethesda's other major RPG series, Fallout and Starfield. They must be far off, with a Fallout sequel not even announced yet, but these will likely follow a similar path of exclusivity as The Elder Scrolls VI.
Then there's Fable. The comedic RPG is getting its overdue reboot from a new 200+ person team at Playground Games, the studio behind Forza Horizon. We've seen the debut CG trailer but nothing else yet, so it's safe to assume the game is at least a year off, and likely more.
Meanwhile, Obsidian is at work on a new RPG franchise called Avowed. It looks to be their answer to The Elder Scrolls, though now they're likely not seen as competitors but more like labelmates, being under the same Xbox Game Studios umbrella.
Of course, there's the yet to be announced but probably in pre-production The Outer Worlds 2, also from Obsidian. The first game was a big hit and DLC is still being developed for it as well. It's hard to believe Microsoft wouldn't greenlight a sequel.
In addition to all of those revealed or likely RPG projects, one can speculate about how other games will borrow from the RPG genre's roots with things like side quests, skill trees, and dialog options. Revealed games such as State of Decay 3, Perfect Dark, and the next game from Arkane and Harvey Smith are all likely to have RPGish qualities to them, even if they aren't classed chiefly as role-playing games.
Put it all together and it seems like the next few years of Xbox and PC first-party output from Xbox Game Studios is going to be quite the boon for western RPG fans. Not long ago, players criticized Xbox for a lack of first-party content, and though we mostly await the fruits of all this labor today, it does seem like Game Pass subscribers and players on Xbox and PC will soon have a bounty of RPGs to choose from on the new de facto home of western RPGs.