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Forums - Microsoft Discussion - Microsoft opens new studio in Santa Monica

Microsoft is hiring for a new team in California to build 'AAA' Xbox games

Microsoft has been under pressure to do more to build up its first-party Xbox games portfolio as of late. Its primary competition in the console space, Sony's PlayStation, seems to be churning out Hollywood-level "AAA" games to widespread acclaim with no sign of slowing down. The same cannot be said for Xbox's recent efforts, but we're seeing the first signs that change is on the horizon.

Noticed by Rychu over at ResetEra, Microsoft is hiring a Principle Program Manager with experience in "AAA" games, located in Santa Monica, California.

Executive Producer/ Lead Producer

  • Develop and manage the product production and launch of across various platforms from both a development and publishing perspective
  • Manage development from concept to release and deliver great high quality games that build on franchise goals
  • Deliver financial and schedule goals on time and to quality
  • Build lead and manage a production team, working in conjunction with multiple cross-functional groups, to deliver milestones
  • Develop and improve production and organizational processes as the teams scale
  • Hire and grow internal studio talent to build teams and culture
  • Utilize location in Southern California to build an ecosystem of contract and external employees for production scalability

The listing asks for experiencing in shipping high-quality games to "AAA" standards, which typically refer to titles that utilize photorealistic art assets and expensive production values, including motion-capture, quality voice work and writing. Internally, only Forza, Halo, and Gears of War approach this standard for Xbox, with many of their other titles falling somewhere in the mid-range in terms of production quality.

Recently, I wrote an article describing how Xbox was working on a slim budget in recent years as part of the Windows & Devices group under Terry Myerson. With the re-organization in place and Xbox lead Phil Spencer sitting at the senior leadership table, Xbox will have the resources it needs to create a high-quality portfolio of content as we head towards the next shift in gaming, notably hardware-agnostic cloud streaming. Clearly, this, along with the recent hiring of Daniel Gallagher and promotion of Matt Booty, are the first signs of this turn around



Daniel Gallagher joined Microsoft as a former head of Crystal Dynamics - which is based in in CA as well.

Imagine not having GamePass on your console...

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Good. Maybe this means they're finally getting off their butt and stepping up their 1st Party development after Sony and Nintendo have been constantly knocking it out of the park the past 2 years.

Are you Jez Corden? It seems very odd to read "Recently, I wrote an article" unless you are actually him.

Also why have the title of the thread be different than the H1 huge text at the beginning of the thread.

It feels like you are copying an article, without actually sourcing the article or even commenting on the article.

  • Deadliest mass shooting by an individual in US history (10/01/2017)
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Overall positive news, probably the one thing I've seen most people suggesting that they should do. Let's see how it pans out.

Honestly, I'd be stoked if this was Ensemble 2.0 - MS' strategy games are the only first party games I ever played.

Top investment will be a high powered telescope pointed right at SSM's office.

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I read it as Microsoft opened a new development team in Santa Monica Studios lmao

Link to the VGChartz Discord server:

Someday you will die somehow 

And something's gonna steal your carbon 

The job opening doesn't really mean new studio, even more when one of the listed atributes is to overlook external work. But let's take it as a positive sign of first party increase or even new studio and perhaps new IP for 2020 on X2.

duduspace11 "Well, since we are estimating costs, Pokemon Red/Blue did cost Nintendo about $50m to make back in 1996"

Mr Puggsly: "Hehe, I said good profit. You said big profit. Frankly, not losing money is what I meant by good. Don't get hung up on semantics"

Azzanation: "PS5 wouldn't sold out at launch without scalpers."

I hope they call it Microsoft Santa Monica.

Good news! More games the better.

Still. Any title would be years away from release, meaning it will do squat for the current console generation probably.

--::{PC Gaming Master Race}::--