Starfield seemingly replacing Halo as Xbox Series X flagship franchise

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Starfield has seemingly begun replacing the Master Chief as the Xbox Series X's mascot. 

Yesterday on January 16, a Reddit post highlighted how a new Xbox Series X owner in China had their console's packaging adorned with Bethesda's Starfield. Typically, the rear of the new-gen console's packaging would've had Halo's Master Chief emblazoned all over it, but now that honor belongs to Bethesda's new RPG.

It might seem little more than a throwaway detail at first, but this really points to Starfield replacing Halo as the Xbox's flagship franchise (for now, at least). With Halo Infinite having come and gone in November 2021, the immediate future of Xbox belongs to the juggernaut Starfield from Bethesda instead.

It obviously doesn't help matters that Starfield has been delayed out of its original release date in November 2022 to an unspecified date in the first half of 2023, and still doesn't have a firm release date. Still, with the promise of the new RPG launching at some point in the next five months or so, Xbox is clearly setting up Starfield as its big new franchise. 

Considering Microsoft spent $7.5 billion acquiring Bethesda's parent company back in 2020, it's no great surprise that the former is setting up the latter's game as its big tentpole franchise. Given that we still don't have firm release dates for other Xbox Series X exclusives like Fable 4, Everwild, Avowed, and more, it makes perfect sense for Xbox to go all-in on Starfield as its system-seller. 

Head over to our new games 2023 guide for a full look over all the games expected to launch in the coming year. 

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.