Xbox this year decided that there weren’t enough times to talk to the fans through a conference and give an update on games coming out and any announcements from the company.

One of the biggest themes of this event was showing off all of the different Game Pass titles that will be releasing for the Xbox One. The event began with a trailer for Playerunknown’s Battle Ground and that in just two days it will be joining Game Pass. It was also announced that until the end of the holiday’s gamers will be able to get their first month of Game Pass for $1 to see what the program has to offer.

Next up was a world premiere for Void Bastards. This trailer shows off a first-person title that takes roguelike elements from games like FTL. Players will try to explore different ships and planets collecting components that they can use to survive. Once you die you’ll get to respawn and try all over again. When this game releases in 2019 it will be available day one on Game Pass.

A release date for Crackdown 3 was announced in a trailer where Terry Crews is trying to get away from his in-game alter ego. The game will release on the 15th of February 2019 and will also launch into Xbox Game Pass. During an interview, the Wrecking Zone gameplay mode was shown off where two teams of five agents will get to face off in a completely destructible environment. The footage showed a heavy emphasis on the cloud-driven destructible environments that were touted when the game was first shown off. Blackout Zone and Nova Station are the names of the two maps getting shown in the footage. For those who haven’t had the chance to play the original Crackdown, the game will be available for free until the 30th of November via backward compatibility.

After a break from the advertisements, to show off some advertisements we returned to Phil Spencer to learn that Mexico has good Tacos. Phil Spencer reflected on the Mexican fans, the importance of the stories that Xbox can play, and the launch of the Adaptive Controller to make sure that everyone can join in on the fun. Talking about the future Phil said that he wanted the largest library, brought out the S and X models, and wanting to promote cross-play and cross-progression of games. For Phil, Windows is the next step with an update to the Windows Store and more to make sure Windows gamers get as good an experience. Hellblade Senua’s Sacrifice will also be coming to Game Pass in November.

In a new Kingdom Hearts 3 trailer, we learn that the Hundred Acre Woods will be returning with a story and minigames to play. There are also lots of story elements revealed including a better look at the conflict in Big Hero 6’s world, characters from Unchained X appearing, and what looks to be the showdown between the forces of good and evil. Lingering Will the secret boss fight from Kingdom Hearts 2 even makes an appearance.

Shinji Yashimoto then spoke more about what we just saw. Some new features for Kingdom Hearts include an added emphasis on using all the technology available to them, making sure for locations like Port Royale the seas are dynamic and all of the verticality of Sanfranskyo. For a final announcement, it was revealed that Final Fantasy 13, 13-2, and 13: Lightning Returns will get backward compatibility and that Final Fantasy 7, 9, 10, 10-2, and 12 will be coming to Xbox One next year. After a few selfies with the crowd, Yashimoto was off.

Circling back to Xbox Games Pass announcements Major Nelson announced Ori and the Blind Forest, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, and Thief of Thieves Season One will also be coming to Game Pass. The last game is a new one based on a Robert Kirkman comic series and will be out today.

Sea of Thieves is up next with a new trailer. with Sea of Thieves Arena. This allows you to compete against other crews in this game mode. Maps seem to be set over locations from all of the currently released expansions. The Arena will release in Early 2019. Johnny and Craig Duncan from Rare were on stage to talk about their game. This new game mode will be another option to the current game which is now going to be known as the adventure mode. At this point in time testers haven’t gotten into The Arena but will be a free update when it comes out.

State of Decay 2 will be getting a new free expansion. In the announcement trailer, it was shown off that in November there will be new weapons, new gear, and new ways to play the game. This Zedhunter update will be out on November 16th. Richard Foge the Design Director at Undead Labs talked about the crossbow weapon types, new close combat weapons, new buffs for your characters and more. Since launch, there have been a number of updates to the game but there will also be an update in 2019 that will allow players to add more challenge to State of Decay 2.

For Xbox fans wanting to give back “Give with Xbox” is asking people to share images of what gaming together means to them. $5 will be donated by Xbox for every photo shared up to $1M. The donations will be split between 4 different charities: Special Effect, Child’s Play, Gamers Outreach, and OSD.

The next Game Pass games that were announced are Kingdom Two Crowns, Aftercharge, and Supermarket Shriek. Kingdom Two Crowns will be available in December, Aftercharge in January, and Supermarket Shriek will launch in 2019 launching on Game Pass day one.

After getting to learn more about the company culture around Devil May Cry some gameplay was shown allowing fans to see The Void. This mode is a practice area where you can test out your moves and avoiding enemies. Each arm that you equip will give you different types of finishing moves or even give you enhanced movement options. There will also be a Megabuster arm for Nero, the poses and animations for Nero will change to pay homage to Megaman greater than ever. More news will be revealed at the Game Awards.

Minecraft was the next title to be talked about with Minecraft Marketplace and more. After last months 91 million players per month and the upcoming 10th anniversary, there are new features being added as well as the new Minecraft Dungeons game that will be releasing. Every week new content is being released including cars and more in the add-on marketplace. Minecraft’s next update will be a cats and pandas update, where more animals will be added to the world. If there’s no other trailer you watch from this article, let it be this one.

Continuing the Xbox Game Pass announcements the next games that will be coming to the program are Mutant Year Zero, Pathologic 2, Secret Neighbor, and The Good Life. Mutant year Zero is a strategy title that will be out in December. In Pathologic 2 you need to solve the mystery of your father’s death in an open-world survival game. Secret Neighbor is the new spin-off title from the Hello Neighbor franchise, in this players are trying to escape while one is secretly the Neighbor.

Shadows of the Tomb Raider‘s new DLC, The Forge, was next to be shown off with a lava-filled tomb. You can play this expansion on your own or in co-op. There will also be a time attack and time trial mode.

Mouse and Keyboard support will be coming to Bomber Crew, Warface, Children of Morta, Minion Master, DayZ, Warframe, Strange Brigade, Deep Rock Galactic, Warhammer Vermintide 2, Moonlighter, Wargroove, Vigor, Warthunder, Xmorph Defence, and Fortnite. For Fortnite there is “input based matchmaking” so anyone on Xbox One using the keyboard and mouse will only be matched with others. Razer is partnering with Xbox for development of keyboard and mouses. Xbox is allowing developers to include lighting features into their games so that keyboards with light effects will happen automatically. At CES Razer will reveal more information.

[email protected] was the next topic to be discussed. Talking about their highlights like 1000 games released through [email protected], and 4 billion hours of those games being played. The reintroduction of the Winter of Arcade was announced, this is an old promotion where multiple arcade games are offered and if you buy each game in the pack then you’ll get bonuses. At the moment the games cannot be announced but they are locked in and will be revealed at the Game Awards this December.

Forza Horizon 4 announces some new enhancements including their first expansion. The horizon festival is going to Fortune Island that is full of ravines, mountainous roads, and also weather effects like lightning. the game will also be getting new cars.

To round out the last of the Xbox Game Pass announcements are Agents of Mayhem, MXGP 3, and Thomas Was Alone. These three games will be coming to the Game pass program later this month. This wraps up the new 16 titles that will be coming to Game Pass. There is also a new Game Pass app that is available to not only find game pass titles but also search for new ones that you might enjoy.

With Black Friday around the corner, Major Nelson showed off a number of Black Friday deals that will run between the 18th and the 25th of November.

New studio acquisitions from Xbox include inExile Entertainment. Brian Fargo from inXile gave a brief message talking about what they’ll be able to do with their roleplaying games going forward. The second studio that Xbox has added to the family is Obsidian Entertainment. These studios will remain independent and able to work their own way ensuring the same content going forward that fans have seen in the past.

What do you think of the XO18 Press Conference? Are there any standout announcements that you were excited to see? Is there anything you wanted to learn more about?


Andrew Stretch

Events Coordinator

I have been playing all kinds of games for as long as I can remember with a particular interest in action adventure and platforming titles. While I am primarily an Xbox gamer I also spend a fair bit of time on the PS4 and on my PC in VR.