Xbox Executive Vice President Phil Spencer has iterated that Microsoft is dedicated to building its first-party brand, including single-player games.
Responding to IGN’s Ryan McCaffrey on Twitter, wrote that “a high quality and diverse [first party] (yes, with [single-player]) built the right way is our goal and what our customers deserve.” However, Spencer also noted that the process will “take time,” just as the development of the Xbox service, platform, and backwards compatibility has been ongoing.
Our hardware took time, our service/platform/BC took time and continuing to grow our 1P will take time. A high quality and diverse 1P (yes, with SP) built the right way is our goal and what our customers deserve. We can have similar results to what we've seen in hw and platform.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) April 13, 2018
Of particular interest is the note about single-player offerings. In recent years, Microsoft has focused on building a slate of games that skew heavily towards multiplayer and co-operative play, including Sea of Thieves, State of Decay 2, and Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds. Additionally, although several of the company’s other major franchises, including Halo and Gears of War have robust single-player campaigns, they are better known for their competitive aspects.
While Spencer did not divulge further information, Microsoft has commissioned Snake Pass and LittleBigPlanet 3 developer Sumo Digital to craft the campaign of the upcoming Crackdown. Additionally, Forza Horizon developer Playground Games is heavily rumoured to be developing a new entry in the long-running Fable RPG series.