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

sales2099 said:
goopy20 said:

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?

And there it is. You remind me of myself 10 years ago except on the other side. Numerous people in this thread pointed out how premature your post is and that Xbox studios has a healthy mix of A-AAA games in development.

“Xbox just has a bunch of filler that aren’t system sellers where as Sony only produces big budget AAA games”.

Bravo, you made a thread to prove Sony still top dog in games. But the way I see it...you made this thread because part of you is threatened MS has their shit together. Having the same studios as Sony is somehow registered as a insult to Sony’s superiority so you have to drive home that Xbox makes “filler” as you said yourself. 

Fact is Xbox is making more games, more genre diversity and is also ramping up AAA production. Xbox wants to move beyond Halo Gears and Forza, get with the times. And you are listing 3rd party games....thought this was a 1st party discussion? Lol subtle. 

And don’t list Dreams when we all know it’s not selling... at all.

I don't think there's anything wrong with MS going for a bit more diversity. And yes, Sony's been doing games like Death Stranding, Dreams too, which obviously don't appeal to everyone and probably won't sell 10m copies. The big difference, however, is that they've always been building new AAA ip's that appeal to the core console gamers, while MS spend too long focusing on just their 3 AAA ip's: Gears, Halo and Forza. As someone already mentioned, the mass appeal and critical acclaim of Gears and Halo isn't what it used to be and imo they need new AAA ip's to keep things interesting. Now MS is making a whole bunch of new ip's, which is great, but tell me honestly: Would you buy games like Wasteland 3, Bleeding edge, Gears Tactics, Ori, Grounded, Everlast, flightsim if they were full retail price? 

Thing is, on one hand I'm pretty excited about Series X when I look at the specs. However, I'm just wondering what games MS can come up with that'll truly showcase what the thing can do. With Sony they're a lot more predictable and we already know there'll be AAA blockbusters like HZD, Spiderman, new ip's from ND/ SM etc. But from what we're seeing from MS, I can't think of any of their studios that'll be able to make their own new AAA blockbuster and isn't a Halo or Gears, especially if they're all doing multiple projects. I mean from what we know there's Hellblade 2 and the rumoured Fable/ Perfect Dark reboots. Most people can't even remember Perfect Dark on the N64 while the 360 version was terrible, so why would anyone get excited about a reboot? The Fable reboot could be good, but people will obviously compare it to the Witcher and I'm not sure that's gonna work out for MS either. 

Last edited by goopy20 - on 08 April 2020

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Halo and Gears when they launched, helped redefine the genre on consoles. For years now both have been, "yup it's more of what you expect". That's not a bad thing entirely if fans are happy. So then comes well ok if you don't let these series re-invent themselves at least. Then create a new IP that's as compelling as those once were. This is where I believe MS is truly struggling. They may not know-how and just hoping these studio acquisitions solve all. Not sure they will. Time will tell. I want all 3 to do well. Silly to wish any bad. It may be wishful thinking for me to hope for a console from MS to feel as special as Xbox and Xbox 360. Dunno yet.



Bite my shiny metal cockpit!

goopy20 said:
sales2099 said:

And there it is. You remind me of myself 10 years ago except on the other side. Numerous people in this thread pointed out how premature your post is and that Xbox studios has a healthy mix of A-AAA games in development.

“Xbox just has a bunch of filler that aren’t system sellers where as Sony only produces big budget AAA games”.

Bravo, you made a thread to prove Sony still top dog in games. But the way I see it...you made this thread because part of you is threatened MS has their shit together. Having the same studios as Sony is somehow registered as a insult to Sony’s superiority so you have to drive home that Xbox makes “filler” as you said yourself. 

Fact is Xbox is making more games, more genre diversity and is also ramping up AAA production. Xbox wants to move beyond Halo Gears and Forza, get with the times. And you are listing 3rd party games....thought this was a 1st party discussion? Lol subtle. 

And don’t list Dreams when we all know it’s not selling... at all.

I don't think there's anything wrong with MS going for a bit more diversity. And yes, Sony's been doing games like Death Stranding, Dreams too, which obviously don't appeal to everyone and probably won't sell 10m copies. The big difference, however, is that they've always been building new AAA ip's that appeal to the core console gamers, while MS spend too long focusing on just their 3 AAA ip's: Gears, Halo and Forza. As someone already mentioned, the mass appeal and critical acclaim of Gears and Halo isn't what it used to be and imo they need new AAA ip's to keep things interesting. Now MS is making a whole bunch of new ip's, which is great, but tell me honestly: Would you buy games like Wasteland 3, Bleeding edge, Gears Tactics, Ori, Grounded, Everlast, flightsim if they were full retail price? 

Thing is, on one hand I'm pretty excited about Series X when I look at the specs. However, I'm just wondering what games MS can come up with that'll truly showcase what the thing can do. With Sony they're a lot more predictable and we already know there'll be AAA blockbusters like HZD, Spiderman, new ip's from ND/ SM etc. But from what we're seeing from MS, I can't think of any of their studios that'll make their own new AAA blockbuster and isn't a Halo or Gears, especially if they're all doing multiple projects. I mean from what we know there's Hellblade 2 and the rumoured Fable/ Perfect Dark reboots. Most people can't even remember Perfect Dark on the N64 while the 360 version was terrible, so why would anyone get excited about a reboot? The Fable reboot could be good, but people will obviously compare it to the Witcher and I'm not sure that's gonna work out for MS either. 


Your topic is really redundant because Ori 2 just scored a 90.

MS doesn’t have to make all their games system sellers because unlike Sony, MS doesn’t have a console paywall for PC gamers. Plus the existing Xbox base. Its just a matter of appealing to their tastes. 

I wouldn’t buy all the games you listed. But then again I’ll be playing games on GP that I wouldn’t have even tried otherwise. Get it? MS found a way to persuade me to play different games. You sound like a stockholder....what do we care if the smaller titles aren’t system sellers. We should be happy Xbox has more games and genre diversity compared to having neither not long ago. And they will attract a more diverse audience to the brand. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t lol.

Your analysis of Xbox’s upcoming AAA is extremely shallow and pessimistic. We don’t know how they look or play and yet you judge. Huh.

If people don’t remember Perfect Dark then great, sounds like a fresh slate and new IP ;). Fable has unique charm that sets it apart. Can’t wait to see what a higher budget Hellblade can do. Obsidian AAA is gonna be amazing they are a talented studio. Then you got Forza Horizon, Motorsport, Gears and Halo AAA. Thats 8 AAA IP. Your topic is premature, ignores and downplays the AAA and dismisses smaller quality games as filler. In no way is this objective.  

Im optimistic a new gen means the staple IPs can have newfound success. Remember while PS4 exclusives sell great, most PS3 exclusives sold horribly. Market share has a direct tie to 1st party sales. 

Last edited by sales2099 - on 08 April 2020

Xbox: Best hardware, Game Pass best value, best BC, more 1st party genres and multiplayer titles. 

 

LudicrousSpeed said:
One big game a year and a few small ones is not enough to entice people to sub lol. People always want to claim MS is going to poop out GamePass filler and limit big games on it but they never say how those strategies are supposed to actually help them push subs.

Netflix doesn’t release one big series and then stop for the year.

It’s a beautiful and hilarious narrative. The lengths people go to. 

If you can’t downplay GamePass because of its superior value and day one 1st party...pretend you are a business man (and not a gamer who is interested in playing more games lol) and say it isn’t profitable to do this model. Despite knowing nothing of said internal business model ;)

Or say MS makes filler yet games like Ori JUST scored a 90. The irony 

Last edited by sales2099 - on 08 April 2020

Xbox: Best hardware, Game Pass best value, best BC, more 1st party genres and multiplayer titles. 

 

goopy20 said:
sales2099 said:

And there it is. You remind me of myself 10 years ago except on the other side. Numerous people in this thread pointed out how premature your post is and that Xbox studios has a healthy mix of A-AAA games in development.

“Xbox just has a bunch of filler that aren’t system sellers where as Sony only produces big budget AAA games”.

Bravo, you made a thread to prove Sony still top dog in games. But the way I see it...you made this thread because part of you is threatened MS has their shit together. Having the same studios as Sony is somehow registered as a insult to Sony’s superiority so you have to drive home that Xbox makes “filler” as you said yourself. 

Fact is Xbox is making more games, more genre diversity and is also ramping up AAA production. Xbox wants to move beyond Halo Gears and Forza, get with the times. And you are listing 3rd party games....thought this was a 1st party discussion? Lol subtle. 

And don’t list Dreams when we all know it’s not selling... at all.

I don't think there's anything wrong with MS going for a bit more diversity. And yes, Sony's been doing games like Death Stranding, Dreams too, which obviously don't appeal to everyone and probably won't sell 10m copies. The big difference, however, is that they've always been building new AAA ip's that appeal to the core console gamers, while MS spend too long focusing on just their 3 AAA ip's: Gears, Halo and Forza. As someone already mentioned, the mass appeal and critical acclaim of Gears and Halo isn't what it used to be and imo they need new AAA ip's to keep things interesting. Now MS is making a whole bunch of new ip's, which is great, but tell me honestly: Would you buy games like Wasteland 3, Bleeding edge, Gears Tactics, Ori, Grounded, Everlast, flightsim if they were full retail price? 

Thing is, on one hand I'm pretty excited about Series X when I look at the specs. However, I'm just wondering what games MS can come up with that'll truly showcase what the thing can do. With Sony they're a lot more predictable and we already know there'll be AAA blockbusters like HZD, Spiderman, new ip's from ND/ SM etc. But from what we're seeing from MS, I can't think of any of their studios that'll be able to make their own new AAA blockbuster and isn't a Halo or Gears, especially if they're all doing multiple projects. I mean from what we know there's Hellblade 2 and the rumoured Fable/ Perfect Dark reboots. Most people can't even remember Perfect Dark on the N64 while the 360 version was terrible, so why would anyone get excited about a reboot? The Fable reboot could be good, but people will obviously compare it to the Witcher and I'm not sure that's gonna work out for MS either. 

Yes I would buy those games (Specifically Wasteland 3, Gears Tactics, Ori, Grounded; I'm curious about Everwild but need to see more, Flight Sim looks insane but I worry it'll be too 'Sim' for me) at their full retail price if Gamepass didn't exist, instead I use Gamepass which...is exactly Microsoft's plan and Gears Tactics, Everwild and Flight Sim are likely close to, if not AAA titles.

Obsidian and InXile are both hiring for AAA RPGs, Undead Labs is rumoured to take State of Decay 3 AAA, The Initiative is working on a AAA IP. Playground Games is working on a AAA RPG. Clearly Microsoft aren't just focusing on Gears, Halo and Forza.

If most people can't even remember Perfect Dark then what difference does it make whether it's a new IP or not? Perfect Dark has been dead for 15 years, gaming has advanced a lot since then, whatever they do is likely going to feel fresh and different from the original Perfect Dark's, it's not like they're just going to remaster Perfect Dark Zero.

Picture this, AAA FPS in a Cyberpunk setting - That sounds cool! Oh and it's called Perfect Dark - Boo, it's suddenly a worse game because it's not a New IP! It doesn't make any sense at all. You've mentioned yourself in this very thread titles like God of War/Spider-Man which aren't new IPs but reinvented their franchise into something fresh, there's no reason why that can't be done with Perfect Dark or Fable it's likely even easier for those given how long they've been dead.

Halo, Gears are still popular franchises too even if their popularity has diminished, people act like they aren't popular at all which isn't true, at all, I think Gears will struggle in all honesty though in the future but Halo is still big and Infinite will likely be huge on Gamepass, along with hopefully feeling fresh if 343 has made some changes. There's also a current example of it being done with Microsoft's trinity too, Forza...Playground took that IP and made twice as popular with Forza Horizon.

The last part is a little ridiculous Tbh, it's like you're basically saying no RPGs should ever be made because they'll get compared to Witcher 3, which is crazy. CDPR is an amazing developer, Witcher 3 is an amazing RPG and one of the best ever Imo, I don't expect Fable to top it, I don't expect Elder Scrolls to top it, that doesn't mean they shouldn't be made cause they can still be great-amazing RPGs in their own right, not to mention, Fable is absolutely nothing like Witcher and is a very unique RPG.

Last edited by Ryuu96 - on 08 April 2020

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LudicrousSpeed said:

I never had any issues with the AI in Guardians. And thanks for another good example, Borderlands. Can be experienced fully and enjoyably solo. Same with almost every game on that list he provided.

There no mistake in how MP focused is being defined here, he’s just incorrect.

I'm glad you didn't but I personally disliked this game mechanic and this was the worst part of Halo 5 for me. Not to mention that having the game story being tied to 4 characters also impacted it's story (probably the reason why they decided not to have MC as the protagonist for this game which is one of the biggest reasons why Halo fans didn't like the game - new characters weren't interesting). So, my point still holds. Halo 5 is a multiplayer focused game even in terms of campaign because having mandatory multiplayer component in campaign impacted it's game design and story. 343i had specific set of requirements which needed to be met which took away some portion of creative freedom.



 

derpysquirtle64 said:
LudicrousSpeed said:

I never had any issues with the AI in Guardians. And thanks for another good example, Borderlands. Can be experienced fully and enjoyably solo. Same with almost every game on that list he provided.

There no mistake in how MP focused is being defined here, he’s just incorrect.

I'm glad you didn't but I personally disliked this game mechanic and this was the worst part of Halo 5 for me. Not to mention that having the game story being tied to 4 characters also impacted it's story (probably the reason why they decided not to have MC as the protagonist for this game which is one of the biggest reasons why Halo fans didn't like the game - new characters weren't interesting). So, my point still holds. Halo 5 is a multiplayer focused game even in terms of campaign because having mandatory multiplayer component in campaign impacted it's game design and story. 343i had specific set of requirements which needed to be met which took away some portion of creative freedom.

Hi. Just my 2 cents as a Halo nut. 

Multiplayer has always been the factor that keeps Halo going for years after the campaign is done. But it’s not a multiplayer focused game. The campaign always goes hand in hand and the fanbase in general is very diverse. 

We need to define what’s multiplayer focused. To me that’s games like Overwatch, Bleeding Edge, League of Legends. Games like Halo are half and half, despite one side getting more attention. I wouldn’t group games with a full campaign and multiplayer as “multiplayer centric” alongside examples I listed. 



Xbox: Best hardware, Game Pass best value, best BC, more 1st party genres and multiplayer titles. 

 

goopy20 said:

I don't think there's anything wrong with MS going for a bit more diversity. And yes, Sony's been doing games like Death Stranding, Dreams too, which obviously don't appeal to everyone and probably won't sell 10m copies. The big difference, however, is that they've always been building new AAA ip's that appeal to the core console gamers, while MS spend too long focusing on just their 3 AAA ip's: Gears, Halo and Forza. As someone already mentioned, the mass appeal and critical acclaim of Gears and Halo isn't what it used to be and imo they need new AAA ip's to keep things interesting. Now MS is making a whole bunch of new ip's, which is great, but tell me honestly: Would you buy games like Wasteland 3, Bleeding edge, Gears Tactics, Ori, Grounded, Everlast, flightsim if they were full retail price? 

Thing is, on one hand I'm pretty excited about Series X when I look at the specs. However, I'm just wondering what games MS can come up with that'll truly showcase what the thing can do. With Sony they're a lot more predictable and we already know there'll be AAA blockbusters like HZD, Spiderman, new ip's from ND/ SM etc. But from what we're seeing from MS, I can't think of any of their studios that'll be able to make their own new AAA blockbuster and isn't a Halo or Gears, especially if they're all doing multiple projects. I mean from what we know there's Hellblade 2 and the rumoured Fable/ Perfect Dark reboots. Most people can't even remember Perfect Dark on the N64 while the 360 version was terrible, so why would anyone get excited about a reboot? The Fable reboot could be good, but people will obviously compare it to the Witcher and I'm not sure that's gonna work out for MS either. 

I would honestly buy Ori 2(bought the first one), Gears Tactics (big fan of Halo wars so why wouldn't I?), Psychonauts 2(bought the first one), Hellblade 2(bought the first one). Games I might buy include Everwild(looks beautiful, but need to see more), Wasteland 3(on it's 3rd game so it must have a decent following), and Tell me why(enjoyed other DontNod games). I'm not going to buy every single game MS releases, but why would I? Flight sim and Age of empires has a dedicated following on PC,and Grounded could find an audience among the younger crowd and PC. I don't particularly care for Minecraft, but it's one of the best selling games of all time. I'm sureMinecraft Dungeons it will have an audience as well. Now with Gamepass, I can play all these games I was on the fence about or wasn't on my radar, and maybe I might become a fan. 

The Initiative has talent all across the board and I have no doubt they will release something great. Playground is rumored to be working on the next Fable and I know tons of people are ready for a new Fable, including myself. Fable and Witcher are completely different games and style of RPG, there is enough room for both. I've seen enough people excited for a perfect dark reboot. They could easily make it a 3rd person action adventure game which a lot people are excited. Obsidian will release their new AAA RPG supposedly in the vain of Skyrim, and I know people will buy it. Plus Xbox Game Publishing is doing their own thing with 3rd party developers so we could get some great stuff from them. I think you(and others) need to stop being worried and be excited MS is releasing new stuff. 



sales2099 said:

Hi. Just my 2 cents as a Halo nut. 

Multiplayer has always been the factor that keeps Halo going for years after the campaign is done. But it’s not a multiplayer focused game. The campaign always goes hand in hand and the fanbase in general is very diverse. 

We need to define what’s multiplayer focused. To me that’s games like Overwatch, Bleeding Edge, League of Legends. Games like Halo are half and half, despite one side getting more attention. I wouldn’t group games with a full campaign and multiplayer as “multiplayer centric” alongside examples I listed. 

Games you mentioned are "multiplayer-only", not "multiplayer-focused". It's two different things, as games like Overwatch, League of Legends, etc. don't have singleplayer component at all. "Multiplayer-focused" at least in my understanding means that the game can be played solo, but because of it's multiplayer focus, you get somewhat inferior experience if not playing the game in multiplayer mode. So, the game design decision to build the game around co op or some other multiplayer mode impacts solo game experience in negative way. I've specifically mentioned Halo 5 and Borderlands as examples, because in my opinion 343i didn't put an effort to make Halo 5 enjoyable as a solo experience and the game was designed to play in co op. Borderlands, on the other hand, was built to give the same level of enjoyment no matter how you play it - solo or co op. I've tried playing some Borderlands games both solo and co op and it's really cool that you get two different but still enjoyable experiences out of it. Therefore, Borderlands in my opinion is not a multiplayer focused game unlike Halo 5 because it still plays great solo. On the other hand, there are the opposite of "multiplayer-focused" games, like recent Doom Eternal for example. The multiplayer mode in this game is lazy and half assed, so I wouldn't expect it to take off because the game was initially designed just to be played solo.



 

Let's have a look at what all is rumored right now at Xbox Game Studios:

343- 343's last game was Halo 5 Guardians in late 2015. It was rumored that Halo 6 began development almost immediately after Halo 5 released on the Halo 5 engine, but was cancelled a few months later and the Halo 5 writer replaced with a new writer, after the story of Halo 5 was so heavily criticized by game critics and series fans. Halo Infinite then began development alongside the new Slipspace engine. We're looking at 4+ years of development if the game releases on schedule later this year and isn't delayed by the devs needing to work from home due to coronavirus. So far it seems like 343 is making all the right decisions to win back classic Halo fans. Classic designs are back again instead of the revamped designs that 343 did for 4 and 5, there is teasing that Chief will save Cortana, classic music is used in the trailers, all good signs.

The Coalition- The Coalition released Gears 5 in 2019. The game got pretty good critic reviews, but user reviews were lower, and the games sales and multiplayer legs seem to be lackluster for the series. The head of the The Coalition, Rod Fergusson, recently left for Blizzard, so we can expect the new head of the studio to be announced soon. The leadership shakeup might be just what the studio needs to get Gears back on track again. Currently, it is rumored that Coalition has a smaller secondary team who is assisting The Initiative with their AAA game, possibly doing the multiplayer mode for their game. It's likely we won't see Gears 6 until at least 2022, possibly even longer depending on how much of a directional change we see for the series and how much they decide to polish it.

Compulsion- Since MS acquired Compulsion in 2018, alot of their time was spent on finishing We Happy Few and it's DLC. Development on their next game, a new IP, seems to have begun this year, with the studio hiring a new writer for the project in January. We don't know much about the IP, other than that they have been expanding some for the project, they had 40 devs when MS acquired them, they are up to 50 now with 4 more job listings open. We Happy Few had promise, but was over ambitious for their small team size and was rushed out before it was ready. With MS funding, a larger team size, and a planned development cycle of at least 3 years, I have hopes that their new IP will be a success.

Double Fine- Double Fine is a bit of a dark horse, as we have no idea what they are working on other than Psychonauts 2, but they are most likely working on something else, as they have had multiple games in development at the same time for most of their life as a studio. Many hope for a Brutal Legend sequel, as Tim Schafer has mentioned a sequel 3 times this decade, in 2013 that he hoped he would be able to get enough funding for Brutal Legend 2, in 2015 he said he thought he would be able to develop Brutal Legend 2 if Psychonauts 2 was a success, and mentioned again in 2017 that they still wanted to do a sequel to it. With Microsoft's budget, they might finally be able to make a sequel.

The Initiative- Since Microsoft opened The Initiative in 2018, headed up by former Crystal Dynamic's head Darrel Gallagher, they've been expanding quite slowly towards their eventual AAA size, after almost 2 years they are at just 42 employees. The reason for the slow growth? They have been carefully handpicking people for lead and senior positions who have AAA experience at some of the most successful AAA studios, like Naughty Dog, Sony Santa Monica, Rockstar, Bioware, Crystal Dynamics, and more. Most of the lead and senior positions are filled now, and it is expected that they will start expanding much more quickly once the only positions left to fill are entry level positions. It is rumored that MS has had their other 1st party studios assisting The Initiative with development grunt work while they have been expanding so slowly, most notably The Coalition. As for what they are working on, all we know for sure is that it is AAA with a heavy focus on story, with MS even describing the game with a AAAA buzzword at points, indicating that it is planned to be large and ambitious with a very high budget. Phil Spencer in an E3 2018 mentioned that Darrel Gallagher had looked at Microsoft's catalog of dormant IP's and was possibly interested in reviving a certain one of them, leading to speculation that The Initiative is developing a story drive 3rd person action adventure reboot of Perfect Dark, due Darrel Gallagher's experience with rebooting Tomb Raider. We know they plan to announce their game this year, but with how slowly they've been expanding we may not see the game release until 2022 or later.

inXile- inXile's next game, Wasteland 3, will release in August, but was a pre-existing contract with Deep Silver. Their next game after that will be their 1st MS exclusive. They have been expanding since MS acquired them, from 70 devs up to 97 so far, with 2 open positions currently. Job listings describe their next game as a AAA singleplayer RPG built on Unreal 4, with rumors suggesting the game will be 3rd person rather than isometric. With the game not beginning full development until later this year, it is likely that we won't see it release until 2022 or 2023.

Mojang- Not much is known about what Mojang is working on besides Minecraft Dungeons and updates for the original Minecraft.

Ninja Theory- Ninja Theory currently has 120 devs, but seems to have alot of teams, at least 3 currently if not more. The first, and largest team, is currently developing Hellblade 2. Hellblade 1 was developed in 3 years with just 20 developers, Ninja Theory has announced that the team working on Hellblade 2 is twice that size, 40 developers. The 2nd team of 15-25 people developed Bleeding Edge and will likely be supporting it with DLC for at least the rest of this year I would guess, after that it's anyone's guess what this team will work on. A 3rd team is developing Project Mara, the first game in Ninja Theory's Insight Project psychiatric research project, a collaboration with a University of Cambridge psychiatrist. The project is a collection of smaller games said to be designed to help people control negative emotions. Project Mara is a psychological horror game, designed to depict the real life horrors that people with psychosis experience as accurately as possible. With 120 devs total, 40 on Hellblade 2, 15-25 on Bleeding Edge, and Project Mara said to be a smaller game, it is highly likely that Ninja Theory has at least 1 other small team working on a 4th game currently, possibly 2 more small teams.

Obsidian Entertainment- After releasing The Outer Worlds last year, all of Obsidian's pre-acquisition contracts have been fulfilled. Obsidian currently has 202 devs split across 3 teams, with 31 open positions. The largest team is rumored to have been working on a AAA 3D Pillars of Eternity game that plays alot like Skyrim since 2018 I believe, if true that game will likely be announced soon. The 2nd largest team developed The Outer Worlds, and it is rumored that they are currently working on DLC for the first game and a sequel, with plans to keep the team size at large AA levels. The 3rd team, of just 12 developers, is developing Grounded, the Honey I Shrunk the Kids inspired singleplayer/multiplayer backyard survival game.

Playground Games- Playground now has 2 main studios, with a 3rd smaller studio who assists the other two. The first is their original studio, focused on the Forza Horizon franchise, the most critically acclaimed racing franchise of this generation with multiple games winning Racing GOTY awards. The first studio has been expanding with plans to eventually reach 200+ devs, and it is looking like their next game will have at least 3 years of development with a release Fall/Holiday 2021 (all previous Forza Horizon games were developed in 2 years. The increased dev team size and extra year of development should mean they are developing the largest, most ambitious, most polished Forza Horizon game yet. The 2nd studio was founded in 2017, and is an RPG studio. The RPG studio has been expanding slowly, much like The Initiative, mainly hiring top tier AAA devs who previously worked at some of the most successful AAA studios in the industry. The RPG studio is aiming for 200+ devs eventually, and growth is expected to ramp up significantly soon, at both studios, with 79 open job listings currently across both studios. As for what they are developing, most rumors point to a Fable reboot. Release will likely be in 2021 or 2022, as even though their expansion has been slow, much like The Initiative, it is rumored that other MS 1st party studios have been assisting them with development grunt work while they have been slowly expanding.

Rare- Rare currently has 246 devs split across at least 2 teams (possibly more), with 15 open job positions. We know they have one team working on ongoing Sea of Thieves content, and another developing Everwild, which seems to be a large AA or small AAA game. It is rumored that they may have a 3rd team as well, but there aren't many rumors about what that 3rd team is developing.

Turn 10 Studios- Turn 10 currently has 132 developers with 11 open positions (compare this to 100 developers in 2014). While that may seem small by AAA standards, it is worth noting that Turn 10 contracts out alot of car modeling to independent contractors, so there are more than just their permanent employees working on their games. Historically, Turn 10's Forza Motorsport games have only gotten 2 years of development, but Turn 10 have been taking their time with Forza Motorsport 8, carefully listening to fan feedback while developing it. If Forza Motorsport 8 releases as an XSX launch title this holiday as rumored, it will have 3 years of development, 1 more than prior Forza Motorsport games.

Undead Labs- Undead currently has 86 developers with no open positions, compared to 60 developers in 2016 when State of Decay 2 was in development. It is rumored that they are developing State of Decay 3 currently, as a large AA or small AAA project. There was some talk about the game being an online game at one point, but they seem to have scaled back on that plan now and are settling for singleplayer/co-op, much like the first 2 games.

World's Edge- Microsoft's newest studio, created internally at Xbox Game Studios in Redmond Washington to assist Relic with Age of Empires 4 and eventually take over the franchise, bringing it wholly internal. Not much is known about their current team size, but it's safe to say that MS is likely aiming for large AA or small AAA.

Xbox Game Studios Global Publishing- Not a 1st party studio, but rather Microsoft's 2nd party division, tasked with publishing games which are developed by studios that MS doesn't own. According to a recent interview, MS has quite a few unannounced 2nd party games in development which they are quite proud of and excited about. Given the fact that MS had some pretty cool 2nd party projects this gen (Sunset Overdrive, ReCore, Quantum Break, Ryse, D4, Crimson Dragon, etc., I have high hopes for the future of Microsoft's 2nd party efforts.



And remember, that MS is rumored to be aiming for at least 3 years of development across all of those studios and teams.

Last edited by shikamaru317 - on 08 April 2020