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Xbox One: An RPG Wasteland

Trent Seely

I recently picked up an Xbox One. It was an impulse buy and a few friends have questioned the purchase considering that I already own a PS4, which has done a fine job satiating my gaming needs. Still, I'm satisfied with the Xbox One. It's different and I like what it has to offer...for the most part.

Has anyone else noticed that the Xbox One has almost no RPGs? A quick search of the Xbox Store yields a handful of Xbox One and 360 results, most of which are Western RPGs that could be found, often cheaper, on PC or PS4. Meanwhile, the PS4 has a wealth of diverse RPGs and will be adding more console exclusives in the near-to-immediate future. This is a disadvantage for Xbox, and I don't see any indication of that situation changing in the future.

The Xbox One is currently RPG malnourished. Relative to its predecessor, the genre's section of the Xbox Store feels like a barren wasteland. No, the Xbox 360 was never the RPG haven that the PS3 turned out to be, but there's no denying that it boasted some interesting standout titles. A few that come to mind include Lost Odyssey, Blue Dragon, Tales of Vesperia, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, Infinite Undiscovery, The Last Remnant, and the Fable games. Meanwhile, Microsoft just canceled Fable Legends and its flagship console doesn't have any other exciting RPG exclusives on the horizon.

I understand that RPGs don't push console sales like the latest Call of Duty or Halo releases, but I truly feel as though the niche audience of RPGamers can gravitate towards a console if it has a few games that are unique and can only be found in one place. To illustrate, I remember picking up an Xbox 360 after hearing about Blue Dragon. The final product wasn't exactly what I had expected, but its announcement opened the door on that purchase.

At this point, there really is no reason for most RPGamers to pick up an Xbox One. If their genre of choice can be found in better abundance elsewhere and most other high-profile games come out simultaneously on every platform, why buy an Xbox One? The biggest RPG release on the horizon for Xbox One is Final Fantasy XV, which won't mean much to most RPGamers. If I've played every Final Fantasy game upon release I've probably always had Sony consoles. The Xbox One release won't make the console any more appealing. This isn't rocket science.

I know the Xbox One is hurting these days in the hardware sales department. Maybe that has something to do with the PS4 being better positioned upon release than the PS3 was. Honestly, it's probably a multitude of unfortunate circumstances. Still, Xbox has turned its back on the RPG lovers and I think there are more of us in Japan, Europe, and North America than Microsoft gives us credit for. Enough that we could make an impact on Xbox One sales, providing there is something in it for us.

So if by chance Phil Spencer is reading this article, please strongly consider acquiring more RPG releases. I don't care if they are mostly indie, as long as they are good. The Xbox One has done a fine job appealing to certain mainstream audiences, but even the gamers who don't slam Doritos while gulping down Mountain Dew can make a difference. It's time for Microsoft to think outside of the box and bring some RPG fans into the fold.

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