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How should Microsoft approach first party development going forward?

Forums - Microsoft Discussion - How should Microsoft approach first party development going forward?

One of the biggest problems with the Xbox One, is its lackluster First party lineup. Compared to Sony Interactive and Nintendo, Microsoft's Xbox Game Studios (Formerly Microsoft Studios) has put out very few compelling games this generation for Xbox One and Windows 10. Sure, there were a few gems like Sunset Overdrive and Ori and the Blind Forest, but by and large, Microsoft's output this generation has been underwhelming, with constant first party software droughts each year. Microsoft feels the same thing, which is why they went on a massive shopping spree to beef up Xbox's First party network. Acquisitions of companies like Obsidian, Ninja Theory, and even Double Fine Productions. But simply buying a bunch of studios doesn't mean anything if they aren't being put to use. How do you think Microsoft should go about First party game development in the future going into Scarlett? They can fix their first party woes in a few easy steps.

1. Get away from the Halo/Gears/Forza reliance - Seriously, by this point it feels like these three properties are all we ever see from Xbox Studios these days. Have these IPs continue sure, but don't act like they're the only ones you have.

2. Variety is the spice of life - Take a page from Nintendo in this regard. Nintendo publishes a lot of different genres each year. Fighting games, Platformers, RPGs, Action games, Multiplayer games, and really experimental shit. Complain about them not getting AAA games out regularly all you want, they at least know how to offer a diverse content lineup. Microsoft needs to do the same. Let your studios experiment, allow them to do a variety of genres, and don't just stick to one genre, art style, or gameplay type exclusively.

3. Also encourage AAA quality - Obviously you can't make every game a blockbuster, but if one of your developers wants to make a top-teir AAA, high budget title, then give them the budget to do so. This is where you should also take a page from Sony, who gives their teams as much time and money needed to make really ambitious titles. Right now Xbox has a reputation for lacking in AAA exclusives, so if one of your developers want to make something of that caliber, then let them do it.

4. Keep them Xbox exclusive - If you want people to also play their Xbox Studios games on Windows PCs, fine, but don't negate that by distributing them on platforms like Steam or Epic Games. Keep them locked to the Xbox PC and Console Platform. If it's a first party game, then I should only be able to access it from either an Xbox console, xCloud, or the Xbox Launcher on PC. I get what Microsoft is doing with their initiative, they want Xbox to be on any screen imaginable, and that's a fine ambition, but make sure your games are locked strictly to the Xbox ecosystem.

These are all that Microsoft needs to give Xbox Scarlett a healthy first party lineup. I think they have the right tools needed so far, now they just need to follow through.



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"Variety is the spice of life"
Thats the main issue..... too much of their focus seems on online-multiplayer and GaaS type games.
They should get praise for doing a platformer as good looking as "Ori" though.

Sadly this isnt going to change imo, because of Gamepass, and them viewing xbox as a service.
They want things that could potentially last, so everything needs to be online multiplayer focused GaaS.


"Obviously you can't make every game a blockbuster"
You actually could, you controll these companies and their pockets.
MS could dictate they all need to hire, and only do AAA games.

MS doesnt want to give them time to do quality, or open the pocket book for it, though.
Developers say MS interfer, changeing their plans for games mid developement, and when they ask for more time, they just get cancelled.
Its why quality is low on alot of these titles, their rushed out the gate.

-edit:  Sony basically came out and said their doubleing down, on AAA focused developements for the PS5.

"Keep them Xbox exclusive"
What is xbox though? because Phill isnt even trying to sell you consoles anymore.
Play anywhere, old console? new console? PC? want to stream it? ect they just want the sale of the game.
At this point, xbox future could end up as a "app" you install.

They even talked about putting Halo on competeing platforms (ei. playstation)
like How you can play Minecraft everywhere now..... imagine next gen, Halo also launches on playstation 5.

Last edited by JRPGfan - on 08 July 2019

Number of days to reach 50M from 40M : 198 days
Number of days to reach 60M from 50M : 187 days
Number of days to reach 70M from 60M : 175 days
Number of days to reach 80M from 70M : 227 days

Necro-bump this 2020: http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/thread.php?id=229249

TheMisterManGuy said:

1. Get away from the Halo/Gears/Forza reliance - Seriously, by this point it feels like these three properties are all we ever see from Xbox Studios these days. Have these IPs continue sure, but don't act like they're the only ones you have.

2. Variety is the spice of life - Take a page from Nintendo in this regard. Nintendo publishes a lot of different genres each year. Fighting games, Platformers, RPGs, Action games, Multiplayer games, and really experimental shit. Complain about them not getting AAA games out regularly all you want, they at least know how to offer a diverse content lineup. Microsoft needs to do the same. Let your studios experiment, allow them to do a variety of genres, and don't just stick to one genre, art style, or gameplay type exclusively.

3. Also encourage AAA quality - Obviously you can't make every game a blockbuster, but if one of your developers wants to make a top-teir AAA, high budget title, then give them the budget to do so. This is where you should also take a page from Sony, who gives their teams as much time and money needed to make really ambitious titles. Right now Xbox has a reputation for lacking in AAA exclusives, so if one of your developers want to make something of that caliber, then let them do it.

4. Keep them Xbox exclusive - If you want people to also play their Xbox Studios games on Windows PCs, fine, but don't negate that by distributing them on platforms like Steam or Epic Games. Keep them locked to the Xbox PC and Console Platform. If it's a first party game, then I should only be able to access it from either an Xbox console, xCloud, or the Xbox Launcher on PC. I get what Microsoft is doing with their initiative, they want Xbox to be on any screen imaginable, and that's a fine ambition, but make sure your games are locked strictly to the Xbox ecosystem.

1 Nothing wrong with key franchises, especially since others have failed. These IPs need to keep thriving to help others as well.

2 Sure, but at the same time they need to focus on IPs that will attract the userbase they need. We saw Sony ditch FPS after they had got the marketing deals for Destiny, SW BF and CoD, so they could focus on open-world and 3rd person adventure titles. 

3 I don't see this happening too much. Their main studios yes, but the studios they bought are most likely going AA. Gamepass is what they are looking at in the future and getting out smaller titles on a more frequent basis makes sense rather than longer AAA development games.

4 With gamepass, this won't happen. They aren't going to back down from this. 



JRPGfan said:

"Variety is the spice of life"
Thats the main issue..... too much of their focus seems on online-multiplayer and GaaS type games.
They should get praise for doing a platformer as good looking as "Ori" though.

Sadly this isnt going to change imo, because of Gamepass, and them viewing xbox as a service.
They want things that could potentially last, so everything needs to be online multiplayer focused GaaS.


"Obviously you can't make every game a blockbuster"
You actually could, you controll these companies and their pockets.
MS could dictate they all need to hire, and only do AAA games.

MS doesnt want to give them time to do quality, or open the pocket book for it, though.
Developers say MS interfer, changeing their plans for games mid developement, and when they ask for more time, they just get cancelled.
Its why quality is low on alot of these titles, their rushed out the gate.

-edit:  Sony basically came out and said their doubleing down, on AAA focused developements for the PS5.

"Keep them Xbox exclusive"
What is xbox though? because Phill isnt even trying to sell you consoles anymore.
Play anywhere, old console? new console? PC? want to stream it? ect they just want the sale of the game.
At this point, xbox future could end up as a "app" you install.

They even talked about putting Halo on competeing platforms (ei. playstation)
like How you can play Minecraft everywhere now..... imagine next gen, Halo also launches on playstation 5.

MS's devs already said that they have almost total freedom now and that they get much more time if needed (which we already see with Forza Motorsport, Halo...)

MS also bought studios like Double Fine and they didn't buy a dev for what they achieved with Hellblade just for multiplayer.

Phil Spencer said that Game Pass will be important especially for SINGLE player games and you just say that Game Pass proves how it's all about multiplayer.

Your post doesn't really sound like it has much to do with MS from now going forward.

I wonder why you mention what Sony said about PS5 but what MS says now isn't relevant for you?

@topic

They shouldn't go away from Halo, Forza and so on as much as Nintendo shouldn't leave Mario and Zelda behind.

MS just needs more besides that in the future



crissindahouse said:
JRPGfan said:

MS's devs already said that they have almost total freedom now and that they get much more time if needed (which we already see with Forza Motorsport, Halo...)

MS also bought studios like Double Fine and they didn't buy a dev for what they achieved with Hellblade just for multiplayer.

Phil Spencer said that Game Pass will be important especially for SINGLE player games and you just say that Game Pass proves how it's all about multiplayer.


"Phil says Game pass is important for single player games.... "

"They bought the dev's behinde Hellblade"

And what happend? Ninja Theory first game, is a multiplayer online AA game called Bleeding Edge.

Also if Phil says Game pass is important for single player games.... how many single player focused games, have MS made that are currently on it?
My impression is that Xbox says one thing, but does another.


Your saying that my assumption that Gamepass is for cheap AA games with Online Multiplayer focus, GaaS type, is wrong...
Can you say why? other than "phil says".

Double Fine is doing "Psychonauts 2" currently,  but that was in the work before MS bought them.
Thats a single player game, but are you confident that there next game wont be a Online Focused game?

Last edited by JRPGfan - on 08 July 2019

Number of days to reach 50M from 40M : 198 days
Number of days to reach 60M from 50M : 187 days
Number of days to reach 70M from 60M : 175 days
Number of days to reach 80M from 70M : 227 days

Necro-bump this 2020: http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/thread.php?id=229249

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I'm really curious what the game their supposedly AAAA studio is developing. Is it implied it will make all other games look like a joke because it will be an expensive technical masterpiece?



JRPGfan said:


"Phil says Game pass is important for single player games.... "

"They bought the dev's behinde Hellblade"

And what happend? Ninja Theory first game, is a multiplayer online AA game called Bleeding Edge.

Also if Phil says Game pass is important for single player games.... how many single player focused games, have MS made that are currently on it?
My impression is that Xbox says one thing, but does another.


Your saying that my assumption that Gamepass is for cheap AA games with Online Multiplayer focus, GaaS type, is wrong...
Can you say why? other than "phil says".

Double Fine is doing "Psychonauts 2" currently,  but that was in the work before MS bought them.
Thats a single player game, but are you confident that there next game wont be a Online Focused game?

Ninja Theory are making Bleeding Edge, this is not something MS asked them to make. This is what they are doing with there funds, and that's releasing some of there older projects. You can claim the same thing that you said with Psychonauts 2 with Bleeding Edge. Company freedom is a risking business. It also wasn't long ago that gamers hated on MS for not giving company freedom.

Single Player Games

Halo 5

Halo MCC

Gears Ulitmate

Gears of War 4

Forza 5

Forza 6

Forza 7

Horizon 2

Horizon 3

horizon 4

Sunset Overdrive

Ori and the Blind Forest

Cuphead

Super Lucky Tails

Recore

Qauntum Break

Rare's Replay

Dead Rising 3

State of Decay 2

Zoo Tycoon

Crackdown 3

Ryse

I am sure I am missing some.

EDIT: Oh wait, you asked what 1st party games are on GamePass? Well we know all future 1st party games are coming to it. Halo Infinite and Gears 5 are single player games that's coming to GamePass

Last edited by Azzanation - on 08 July 2019

JRPGfan said:
crissindahouse said:

MS's devs already said that they have almost total freedom now and that they get much more time if needed (which we already see with Forza Motorsport, Halo...)

MS also bought studios like Double Fine and they didn't buy a dev for what they achieved with Hellblade just for multiplayer.

Phil Spencer said that Game Pass will be important especially for SINGLE player games and you just say that Game Pass proves how it's all about multiplayer.


"Phil says Game pass is important for single player games.... "

"They bought the dev's behinde Hellblade"

And what happend? Ninja Theory first game, is a multiplayer online AA game called Bleeding Edge.

Also if Phil says Game pass is important for single player games.... how many single player focused games, have MS made that are currently on it?
My impression is that Xbox says one thing, but does another.


Your saying that my assumption that Gamepass is for cheap AA games with Online Multiplayer focus, GaaS type, is wrong...
Can you say why? other than "phil says".

Double Fine is doing "Psychonauts 2" currently,  but that was in the work before MS bought them.
Thats a single player game, but are you confident that there next game wont be a Online Focused game?

Ninja Theory had been working on Bleeding Edge for years before MS bought them. You’re knowledgeable about the gaming scene enough to know this. 

“single player focus” is subjective. I play Horizon 4 exclusively solo. I play State of Decay 2 exclusively solo. I play Crackdown 3 only solo. They have Hellblade on there. All of the Fables. All Gears. All Halos. You can say Gears and Halo have MP, but the SP is just as relevant and important. You would probably say Last of Us and Uncharted are SP focused even though they have MP.

Plus looking at non-MS games, there are fucktons of SP games on the service. This idea that GamePass is for GaaS MP games and episodic SP titles is nonsense because MS is also selling these games at retail.



JRPGfan said:
crissindahouse said:

MS's devs already said that they have almost total freedom now and that they get much more time if needed (which we already see with Forza Motorsport, Halo...)

MS also bought studios like Double Fine and they didn't buy a dev for what they achieved with Hellblade just for multiplayer.

Phil Spencer said that Game Pass will be important especially for SINGLE player games and you just say that Game Pass proves how it's all about multiplayer.


"Phil says Game pass is important for single player games.... "

"They bought the dev's behinde Hellblade"

And what happend? Ninja Theory first game, is a multiplayer online AA game called Bleeding Edge.

Also if Phil says Game pass is important for single player games.... how many single player focused games, have MS made that are currently on it?
My impression is that Xbox says one thing, but does another.


Your saying that my assumption that Gamepass is for cheap AA games with Online Multiplayer focus, GaaS type, is wrong...
Can you say why? other than "phil says".

Double Fine is doing "Psychonauts 2" currently,  but that was in the work before MS bought them.
Thats a single player game, but are you confident that there next game wont be a Online Focused game?

This. We've heard from a few devs that had cancelled XBO games that MS meddled in the dev process, asking for more without extra time or money.  The saying one thing and doing another is kind of staple for them this gen. 

The past 2 or 3 E3's from them have been very lackluster, but instead of curbing expectations like Sony does, they hype them like there will be non-stop megatons throughout.



TheMisterManGuy said:

One of the biggest problems with the Xbox One, is its lackluster First party lineup. Compared to Sony Interactive and Nintendo, Microsoft's Xbox Game Studios (Formerly Microsoft Studios) has put out very few compelling games this generation for Xbox One and Windows 10. Sure, there were a few gems like Sunset Overdrive and Ori and the Blind Forest, but by and large, Microsoft's output this generation has been underwhelming, with constant first party software droughts each year. Microsoft feels the same thing, which is why they went on a massive shopping spree to beef up Xbox's First party network. Acquisitions of companies like Obsidian, Ninja Theory, and even Double Fine Productions. But simply buying a bunch of studios doesn't mean anything if they aren't being put to use. How do you think Microsoft should go about First party game development in the future going into Scarlett? They can fix their first party woes in a few easy steps.

1. Get away from the Halo/Gears/Forza reliance - Seriously, by this point it feels like these three properties are all we ever see from Xbox Studios these days. Have these IPs continue sure, but don't act like they're the only ones you have.

2. Variety is the spice of life - Take a page from Nintendo in this regard. Nintendo publishes a lot of different genres each year. Fighting games, Platformers, RPGs, Action games, Multiplayer games, and really experimental shit. Complain about them not getting AAA games out regularly all you want, they at least know how to offer a diverse content lineup. Microsoft needs to do the same. Let your studios experiment, allow them to do a variety of genres, and don't just stick to one genre, art style, or gameplay type exclusively.

3. Also encourage AAA quality - Obviously you can't make every game a blockbuster, but if one of your developers wants to make a top-teir AAA, high budget title, then give them the budget to do so. This is where you should also take a page from Sony, who gives their teams as much time and money needed to make really ambitious titles. Right now Xbox has a reputation for lacking in AAA exclusives, so if one of your developers want to make something of that caliber, then let them do it.

4. Keep them Xbox exclusive - If you want people to also play their Xbox Studios games on Windows PCs, fine, but don't negate that by distributing them on platforms like Steam or Epic Games. Keep them locked to the Xbox PC and Console Platform. If it's a first party game, then I should only be able to access it from either an Xbox console, xCloud, or the Xbox Launcher on PC. I get what Microsoft is doing with their initiative, they want Xbox to be on any screen imaginable, and that's a fine ambition, but make sure your games are locked strictly to the Xbox ecosystem.

These are all that Microsoft needs to give Xbox Scarlett a healthy first party lineup. I think they have the right tools needed so far, now they just need to follow through.

1. They acquired all those studios exactly because they know you can't rely only on those games forever but they are still extremely popular so don't expect them to go away any time soon.

2. Xbox already has a lot of variety. Killer Instinct(fighting game), Ori (platformer), Recore(action Adventure), Sea of thieves(MMO), State of Decay(Survival-horror), Flight Simulator, GOW tactics, Age of Empire (strategy). Their first party is more diverse than Sony's(mostly Third person action adventures) and close to Nintendo's

3. Quality was affected by the lesser number of studios. They didn't have enough time to polish games because they would have nothing in their lineup if they delayed them. Now it'll be easier to give more time to developers. Even Forza now gets more development time.

4. Whether more people on PC can play those games has no effect to me as an Xbox player. For all i know, if games like Lost Odyssey and Blue Dragon were on PC day 1 maybe they would have sequels already.