The Xbox Tax is a term that has been coined by Xbox gamers in an effort to highlight the alleged bias Xbox games face in comparison to their Playstation and Nintendo counterparts. It recently started trending after the Game Awards, when not a single Xbox game was nominated for the award. Although for years gamers have highlighted how the industry has bias for certain aspects of the industry, does that also extend to the Xbox Brand as well?
Truth be told, I don’t believe that there’s an Xbox Tax in this case. You’d have a better argument if you said there’s a Hogwarts Tax because that’s a game that was truly robbed of any nominations due to the nature of its IP owner, but that’s a different discussion to be had for another day.
I mean Xbox got Hi-Fi Rush, Forza Motorsport, and Starfield in other nomination runs, which are Xbox exclusives. I believe what has happened is that Xbox fans were expecting to see Starfield nominated as Game of the Year, and not seeing that happen has upset them. It’s a classic case of unrealistic hype that meets realism. The reality is that most people who voted for the gaming nomination felt that Starfield simply did not qualify for the running. There were other better games. And at this point, it looks sad that Xbox gamers have resorted to coping with a made-up conspiracy of “Xbox Tax” rather than admitting to themselves that Xbox has let them down, time and time again with exclusives. Game Pass is cool, but not really a great substitute for quality games that represent the Xbox brand.
The reality is this, there is no Xbox Tax (for now). Xbox just has to do a better job producing a game worthy of a Game of the Year title. That being said, will can agree that the Game Award has its flaws, allowing remakes into the nominations should really be allowed but it is what it is at this point.