Gears 6 and unannounced Xbox Game Studios projects outed via NVIDIA GeForce Now database

Gears 5Source: Xbox Game Studios

Several unannounced Xbox Game Studios projects have surfaced via the NVIDIA GeForce Now database, providing possible insight into upcoming Microsoft-published titles. The database contents, published online following documentation released on Monday, refer to PC games in testing, including some tied to major third-party studios.

The database comes via NVIDIA’s GeForce Now cloud gaming service, with developer Ighor July documenting a vulnerability that provided access to a database used for internal testing. The resulting list of titles, compiled by SteamDB creator Pavel Djundik, includes references to some foreseeable projects, plus some unlikely to resemble actual products launching anytime soon. However, the entries also shed light on Xbox’s future, aligning information from sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans.

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Database entries include the first mention of Gears 6, the unannounced next title in Microsoft’s Gears of War franchise. Vancouver-based studio and Gears caretaker, The Coalition, is expected to be working on the sixth mainline Gears of War game, following up on its acclaimed 2019 predecessor, Gears 5. Microsoft previously discussed Gears 5 in the context of a larger “saga,” with more on The Coalition’s next project likely to surface over the year ahead.

Halo 5: Guardians on PC makes an appearance, the last Halo title still to make the transition beyond the Xbox consoles. Halo: The Master Chief Collection currently serves as the closest thing to a complete Halo PC experience, a six-part compilation, spanning Halo: Combat Evolved through Halo 4. While developer 343 Industries has previously ruled out a PC debut for Halo 5: Guardians, its presence implies some consideration from the studio.

Halo 5: GuardiansSource: Xbox Game Studios

The database also brings a series of codenames tied to upcoming Xbox Game Studios projects; Project Holland, Project Typhoon, Project Woodstock, and Oxide. Project Holland received an unveiling in 2020 as the Fable reboot, headed by a new team within Forza Horizon developer, Playground Games. Action-packed heist ’em up from Avalanche Studios, Contraband, was once rumored under its “Project Typhoon,” while we understand Woodstock relates to the Forza franchise.

Microsoft’s Oxide project remains unreported, although our sources indicate the title is in the early stages of development. We understand Oxide is internally known as “Project Indus,” a strategy/simulation title, drawing inspiration from the city-building genre.

The referenced projects provide a potential insight into what’s ahead for Microsoft and Xbox, although as with any unannounced titles, plans can and will change. However, references to various internal codenames, some unreported, imply a level of legitimacy behind the contents.

We also understand NVIDIA GeForce Now and other cloud streaming services have played a more prominent role in game development throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, providing remote access in work-from-home environments. With such services playing an increasingly crucial role in creating games, we expect multiple entries to reference work unlikely to hit the market – at least, not anytime soon.

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