Forums - Microsoft Discussion - [Soft-locked DO NOT POST] Is MS focusing too much on quantity over quality with their 1st party games?

Not really. They are setting up to have both quantity and quality. They have fourteen 1st party studios currently, and based on job listings and rumors they have about 22 individual teams within those 14 studios, with rumored plans for each team to release a game every 3 years or so, that gives them the quantity they need to keep Gamepass fresh with about 6 or 7 first party games per year (plus 2nd party games through Xbox Game Studios publishing). And MS is considering more 1st party acquisitions still. 

But that focus on quantity does not mean that quality is a concern, they have 12 or 13 teams out of those 22 who are believed to be developing large AA or AAA titles currently based on job listings, and the rumored 3 year dev cycle per team should give the developers ample time to polish their releases, and I'm sure that MS will let some teams have more than 3 years if they need it (Halo Infinite will have over 4 years of development by the time it releases for instance). They have several already established AAA studios, 343 (Halo), The Coalition (Gears), Turn 10 (Forza Motorsport), Playground Games (Forza Horizon), with 2 more (Playground RPG studio and The Initiative) being built currently with top-notch AAA talent who previously worked at studios like Rockstar, Sony Santa Monica, Naughty Dog, Guerilla Games, Bioware, Rocksteady, and Crystal Dynamics, among others. The rest of those 12 or 13 teams seem to be making games that could be classified as large AA or small AAA, Obsidian's largest team is said to be working on a AAA 3D Pillars of Eternity that plays like Skyrim and there 2nd largest team is believed to be working on a large AA sequel to The Outer Worlds. inXile has job listing for a AAA 3D RPG built on Unreal 4. Ninja Theory's largest team is developing Hellblade 2, which could be classified as a small AAA, with smaller teams working on their Project Mara psychological horror games. Compulsion is expanding and seems set to do a large AA game next. Undead Labs is expanding and are believed to be working on a AAA State of Decay 3. World's Edge is working on reviving Age of Empires, which could be classified as small AAA. Rare seems to have a pretty big team working on Everwild, which could be classified as large AA or small AAA, plus a 2nd team who is still updating Sea of Thieves, that 2nd team will eventually move on to a new project most likely unless MS plans to update Sea of Thieves for Xbox Series and keep supporting it into next gen. 

Last edited by shikamaru317 - on 07 April 2020

Around the Network
DonFerrari said:
AngryLittleAlchemist said:

Yeah to be clear I'm arguing more about the Metacritic portion of the OP's argument. The actual OP is such a tangled web of different ideas that they're all hard to respond to at once in a logical fashion, even if when written down they seem to make perfect sense, they're actually pretty hard to argue against because they are all different ideas. It's like how you can easily say what you love about your favorite movie, usually in one or two sentences, but it's hard to say what you don't like about a movie without delving into a lot of detail. To be clear, quantity over quality, legitimate quality, and system sellers are all different ideas. They aren't the same from a theoretical standpoint even if in the real world they seem to fit together. Just as an example, Minecraft would undoubtedly be a system seller if MS locked it to Xbox, and that was an indie game. All I'm really saying is that something like Days Gone is not that different from Bleeding Edge when using review aggregates. 

I can understand that. For me The Last Guardian is one of the cooler exclusives this gen and no one else seems to really agree. As I said Metacritic isn't actually representative in quality. 

And I would say we should be careful when using time to develop as a good thing. I actually think things taking longer can lead to disappointment when they don't score as high, which was part of my point. But also, there are so many things that factor into how long a game's development is. Would I say Final Fantasy 15 is more AAA or "quality" than Final Fantasy 7 Remake? Probably not. 

Yeah kinda. Also, I'm frankly glad reviewers seem to finally be using number scores more correctly (even if only slightly). 

I agree with you. And I wasn't using time to develop as something positive, I was just saying that if those games are taking 3 to 5 years to be developed they aren't product of quantity before quality even if they didn't had quality it wasn't due to rush or pushing games out.

And yes lenghty time to develop usually show a lot of big issues on the game itself (more than the expectations), usually 3 to 5 years is ok, over that mostly we only see "bad" games released.

I also liked The Last Guardian (but I have to say it took me effort, the first half I played in 30-60m sessions over 1 year and wasn't liking or clicking with the game, but once I did I finished the game in like 3 days).

I don't like Metacritic (but I use it for games I don't know, if it is below 80 I'll hardly buy) but yes metawise both examples would be really comparable, plus 1 or 2 point difference is more meaningfull the highest the scores are, like a logaritimic curve.

Don, you can also argue that Crackdown 3, State of Decay 2 and Sea of Thieves all took more than 3 to 5 years to make as well. However you will see many gamers on this site bash them like they are rushed products. They are different products yes with different budgets and sized teams behind them but they were all meant to be quality titles.



Azzanation said:
DonFerrari said:

I agree with you. And I wasn't using time to develop as something positive, I was just saying that if those games are taking 3 to 5 years to be developed they aren't product of quantity before quality even if they didn't had quality it wasn't due to rush or pushing games out.

And yes lenghty time to develop usually show a lot of big issues on the game itself (more than the expectations), usually 3 to 5 years is ok, over that mostly we only see "bad" games released.

I also liked The Last Guardian (but I have to say it took me effort, the first half I played in 30-60m sessions over 1 year and wasn't liking or clicking with the game, but once I did I finished the game in like 3 days).

I don't like Metacritic (but I use it for games I don't know, if it is below 80 I'll hardly buy) but yes metawise both examples would be really comparable, plus 1 or 2 point difference is more meaningfull the highest the scores are, like a logaritimic curve.

Don, you can also argue that Crackdown 3, State of Decay 2 and Sea of Thieves all took more than 3 to 5 years to make as well. However you will see many gamers on this site bash them like they are rushed products. They are different products yes with different budgets and sized teams behind them but they were all meant to be quality titles.

Perhaps I wasn't clear. Yep these 3 games certainly aren't product of "quantity first". Their quality isn't fruit of rushing production or wanting to increase output. They all had bad reviews (and also have a lot of people that love them) but that have nothing to do with short development time.



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

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=8808363

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"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=9008994

They are focusing too much on quantity with backwards compatibility.



LivingMetal said:
They are focusing too much on quantity with backwards compatibility.

I'm not really sure what that means. Isn't quantity a good thing for backwards compatibility? And it's not like quality has suffered at all, quite the contrary in fact, quite a few OG Xbox and 360 games got updated with enhancements on backwards compatibility, including higher resolution, higher quality textures, and more. In fact, all games get updated to some degree, playing any game on Xbox One X through BC forces 16x anisotropic filtering even if the game didn't have it originally. MS is taking that a step further next gen, they are working on other forced BC improvements like AI created HDR. 

Last edited by shikamaru317 - on 07 April 2020

Around the Network

I don't know but right now they lack big AAA games. And to be honest big AAA games dont make sense when you are giving them out for free with gamepass day one. At most I see them do 1 big game a year just to to make it seem worth it.



It takes genuine talent to see greatness in yourself despite your absence of genuine talent.

eva01beserk said:
I don't know but right now they lack big AAA games. And to be honest big AAA games dont make sense when you are giving them out for free with gamepass day one. At most I see them do 1 big game a year just to to make it seem worth it.

It’s almost flattering when people think every Xbox gamer has GP and even if we are subscribers that we don’t buy anymore games outright. 

The 1 AAA game per year sounds about right for the Xbox One, but next gen looks much brighter. This year will have Halo Infinite and Forza 8, with all the A-AA throughout the year :)



 

 

sales2099 said:
eva01beserk said:
I don't know but right now they lack big AAA games. And to be honest big AAA games dont make sense when you are giving them out for free with gamepass day one. At most I see them do 1 big game a year just to to make it seem worth it.

It’s almost flattering when people think every Xbox gamer has GP and even if we are subscribers that we don’t buy anymore games outright. 

The 1 AAA game per year sounds about right for the Xbox One, but next gen looks much brighter. This year will have Halo Infinite and Forza 8, with all the A-AA throughout the year :)

If you wana twisted in that way, sure have at it.

But no, I dont think every xbox gamer has gamepass and also don't think they dont buy games. They don't buy first party games as they are included.

Wish in itself not bad as consoles work in that manner as getting you into the ecosystem and from there you buy softwate and they profit. So for that reason consoles are sold at cost or a small lost. To get people in also they have first party games which are meant to push gamers to buy the console as theese games tend to be better as they have to not only sell copys but also sell consoles. But that's the issue companys are suposed to profit from these games. If they take a loss on hardware and a loss on software its harder to  up for it in third party software or subs. I mean it could work its just they will be starting with a handicap. Miss profits that could have gone to investing in more games or hardware improvements or acquisitions or subsidizes or what ever else. 



It takes genuine talent to see greatness in yourself despite your absence of genuine talent.

AngryLittleAlchemist said:
DonFerrari said:

Man, pretending Death Stranding, Days Gone and FF7R are quantity and not quality is really funny. If you were going to do it you would need to discount almost all MS titles as just quantity.

Actually you would need to do it for almost any developer.

That's going by what this site constantly goes by, not my personal standards. I'm actually decently excited for FF7R, but I don't think my arguments are any more disingenuous than most arguments about Microsoft's output (of course, they have been way worse than Sony consistently, but I'm saying that in the recent term both companies haven't done the best, and that in both cases the future prospects have yet to be seen). Of course, Metacritic was never and has never been an actual symbol of quality, but let's be consistent now. And the counter-argument would be, Ori and all the recent Forza Horizons are just as quality, if not moreso, then those titles, again going by Metacritic. 

However, considering the OP is basically talking about the difference between AAA vs AA/A games, I guess it doesn't even matter. I think it's a little silly to act like Microsoft's first party releases for this year set a precedent for what the future is going to be when, again, most of their studio acquistions have yet to release games yet, and even when they do smaller games are developed faster than bigger games, so it's more coincidence that the smaller titles will release first. Again though, it's totally fair to say MS has way more to prove, than Sony, but I don't think the OP is giving a very good example. Days Gone is literally, 3 measly points, about Bleeding Edge.  

Days Gone was one of the few AAA Sony exclusives that didn't get critical acclaim, but you can't argue the quality of Sony's exclusives this gen. What I'm trying to say is that both companies have roughly the same number of studios but their focus is completely different. Just look at this year. It's basically TLOU2, Ghost of Tsushima, Dreams, FF7, Nioh 2, Death Stranding etc. vs a bunch of filler titles for GP and Halo. Some of those AA games will probably turn out great and get good reviews. But how many people, who bought a Xbox to play Halo or Gears, would honestly get super excited and buy a game like Ori? Sure, it's a quality game, but it barely sold 1.5m copies. 

Now, if people can play Ori for free through GP, I'm sure many will give it a go, just like I did. My point, however, is that MS doesn't seem to be focusing on games that core gamers would pay full price for and instead are going for quantity to fill up GP. I mean Gears Tactics looks pretty cool, but would you buy it for full retail price?



sales2099 said:
eva01beserk said:
I don't know but right now they lack big AAA games. And to be honest big AAA games dont make sense when you are giving them out for free with gamepass day one. At most I see them do 1 big game a year just to to make it seem worth it.

It’s almost flattering when people think every Xbox gamer has GP and even if we are subscribers that we don’t buy anymore games outright. 

The 1 AAA game per year sounds about right for the Xbox One, but next gen looks much brighter. This year will have Halo Infinite and Forza 8, with all the A-AA throughout the year :)

I realize this may come across as an atheist speaking in a cathedral. Halo and Gears don't have the pull they did in the 360 era.  Halo series sales have been slipping. MS would not even report on Gears 5 sales and aside from being a bigger open area it still plays like a cover shooter. Something that feels dated now.  Those series only seem to mainly appeal to existing fans now and not bringing in new fans. One of the reasons more Forza, Gears, Halo became a meme this gen. They will convince Xbox fans to buy Series X but I don't see Halo convincing others get an Xbox over PS5. That's not Hellblade either as the first only sold 1 million across several platforms combined. I just see a list of games that convince Xbox fans to buy an Xbox and will have some stuff to tide them over. SO far I don't see anything that says buy Xbox, not PS5.



Bite my shiny metal Cockpit!