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Forums - Microsoft Discussion - Was Xbox's 2022 First Party Output the worst in their gaming HISTORY?

Leynos said:
Kakadu18 said:

Newsflash: games take time to develop. It's not like they sat down and went like: "We won't release anything this year for no reason at all." Most AAA games that their newly acquired studios develop started development not to long ago, got delayed like Starfield or just take forever like TES VI.

It's not that hard to understand.

 It's been 4 years on some of those. They showed trailer for some a few years ago and yet to release. Nintendo is a much smaller company and still gets the games out. MS has enough developers to outman the NYC Police department. They should have better output than this.

Not entirely true, I think people overestimate the size of Xbox, at around the time of acquiring Zenimax (so after the multiple individual acquisitions), Xbox was at around ~2,500 employees and Zenimax was also around ~2,300. Since then, they've been heavily hiring though, a lot of the studios they've acquired are moving from AA development to AAA development and have had to move studios, heavily staff up which brings us to today.

  • Xbox Game Studios (All 14 Studios + Publishing) According to Linkedin = 3,532
  • Mojang alone makes up 916 of those 3,532 employees.
  • Zenimax (All Studios + Publishing) According to Linkedin = 2,927.
  • Based on today's numbers, Xbox + Zenimax = 6,459 Employees.
  • Nintendo has 6,574 Employees.

The Xbox One era did a number on Xbox's size and the majority of the studios they acquired were on the small-midsized scale. So, once they acquired these studios, a few of them have heavily staffed up to move from AA to AAA development and opened new locations to achieve that, such as Obsidian, InXile and Undead Labs. Playground's Fable team is an entirely built from the ground up studio/team as well.

These games aren't taking any longer than usual game development, the issue is that Microsoft revealed them too early, they revealed some of these projects right as they entered pre-production, Lol. AAA nowadays takes about 3-6 years from pre-production to release, depending on whether sequel or new IP and that's at the best of times, this hasn't been the best of times, in-between Xbox practically having to rebuild itself and the pandemic.

Plus, as Gtotheunit mentioned, a few of these studios did release projects after Xbox acquired them; Compulsion Games, Double Fine, InXile, Obsidian, Arkane, Tango Gameworks, etc. But the issue is, they weren't exclusive as they were already announced multiplatform. So, it's a bit unfair to pin much blame of them for not releasing an Xbox exclusive already, the studios can't magic up games instantly after just releasing games, especially not at a few of their sizes.

They could have released exclusives from them if Microsoft ripped away the already announced multiplatform releases but let's be honest, Microsoft would have been torn apart for that, Lol. It's overall a mix of awkward timing and Microsoft revealing the games far too early Imo, but I understand why they did reveal them early, they had to give Xbox fans something to look forward to back in 2018/2019, Lol.

I do agree with Ice though that this year has been awful for Xbox and one of the worst I can remember.

Very excited for 2023 though.

Last edited by Ryuu96 - on 01 November 2022

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Runa216 said:
Leynos said:

I was not even aware they release any games this year. All those studios and they don't even release anything. I truly do not understand MS.

People love to spout the 'games take time' argument, as if all those 23 studios were only hatched the day Microsoft bought them and weren't working on projects in between. Furthermore, A lot of those companies make smaller or mid-sized games (not every game is Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto or Red Dead Redemption or Uncharted), and while games DO take time, there's been a lot of time and no excuses. 

For the first 2-3 years of this drought, I absolutely would agree that games take time. We're on year 6 and we've only had a handful of quality exclusives in that time and of those games more than half of them are either Halo, Gears, or Forza. 

It's just silly that they can maintain so much brand loyalty for this long. 

We're on year 4, Lol. If you're talking about since their rebuilding of Xbox Game Studios.

And we may be out of it now but there was a thing called a worldwide pandemic which hugely affected development schedules for multiple corporations, some more than others, especially ones in the midst of practically rebuilding themselves, that'd add extra needed development time.

Why are you so concerned about what others like? You'd think you would be enjoying your PlayStation or something, but you never fail to miss an opportunity to question how Xbox fans are possibly happy with their Xboxes

Runa216 said:
ice said:

-Snip-

Oh, wait. daddy Gates' money is virtually infinite and they can afford to operate at a loss for 20 years without ever going under. 

Sidenote, why do people talk about Gates as if he's still at Microsoft? He hasn't been CEO since 2000, he hasn't had a fulltime role at Microsoft since 2008 and he left the Microsoft Board as of March 2020, Lol. Man has almost nothing to do with Microsoft nowadays. Gates Microsoft is completely different to Satya Microsoft and even Ballmer Microsoft.



Ryuu96 said:
Runa216 said:

People love to spout the 'games take time' argument, as if all those 23 studios were only hatched the day Microsoft bought them and weren't working on projects in between. Furthermore, A lot of those companies make smaller or mid-sized games (not every game is Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto or Red Dead Redemption or Uncharted), and while games DO take time, there's been a lot of time and no excuses. 

For the first 2-3 years of this drought, I absolutely would agree that games take time. We're on year 6 and we've only had a handful of quality exclusives in that time and of those games more than half of them are either Halo, Gears, or Forza. 

It's just silly that they can maintain so much brand loyalty for this long. 

We're on year 4, Lol. If you're talking about since their rebuilding of Xbox Game Studios.

And we may be out of it now but there was a thing called a worldwide pandemic which hugely affected development schedules for multiple corporations, some more than others, especially ones in the midst of practically rebuilding themselves, that'd add extra needed development time.

Why are you so concerned about what others like? You'd think you would be enjoying your PlayStation or something, but you never fail to miss an opportunity to question how Xbox fans are possibly happy with their Xboxes

Runa216 said:

Oh, wait. daddy Gates' money is virtually infinite and they can afford to operate at a loss for 20 years without ever going under. 

Sidenote, why do people talk about Gates as if he's still at Microsoft? He hasn't been CEO since 2000, he hasn't had a fulltime role at Microsoft since 2008 and he left the Microsoft Board as of March 2020, Lol. Man has almost nothing to do with Microsoft nowadays. Gates Microsoft is completely different to Satya Microsoft and even Ballmer Microsoft.

Okay



Kakadu18 said:

Newsflash: games take time to develop. It's not like they sat down and went like: "We won't release anything this year for no reason at all." Most AAA games that their newly acquired studios develop started development not to long ago, got delayed like Starfield or just take forever like TES VI.

It's not that hard to understand.

Let's not pretend that this is just Bethesda Game Studios we are talking about. Here is a list of game studios who could have released a product by now based on known games and/or time between last major releases

Compulsion Games - Last game release 2018

The Initiative - Formed in 2018, never released a game

Rare - Development on Everwild began in 2016 (it's been six years)

Turn 10 - Last release was in 2017

Undead Labs - Last release was in 2018

That isn't including any of the Bethesda studios. This is also not considering that many of their studios work on multiple projects at once, such as Obsidian who is releasing Pentiment, working on Avowed, and developing Outer Worlds 2. 

Everyone knows it takes time to develop games, but it's taking especially long for MS's studios. On average it takes 3 to 5 years for a studio to develop a AAA game, yet the only developer on the above list that is going to release anything in 2023 is Turn 10 (barring any surprises, of course). Instead, we get Starfield (which, lets be honest, MS just moneyhatted Starfield exclusivity at this point by buying them up....that game was in development long ago) and Redfall (which looks fine). It is quite clear that MS does not have the output of their contemporaries. MS could manage their studios better to prevent this, but they don't. 2022 is a slow year for Sony too, but they are still managing to provide several AAA experiences (Horizon, God of War, GT 7, TLoU Part 1). I just don't really think we can excuse MS at this point. 



Doctor_MG said:
Kakadu18 said:

Newsflash: games take time to develop. It's not like they sat down and went like: "We won't release anything this year for no reason at all." Most AAA games that their newly acquired studios develop started development not to long ago, got delayed like Starfield or just take forever like TES VI.

It's not that hard to understand.

Let's not pretend that this is just Bethesda Game Studios we are talking about. Here is a list of game studios who could have released a product by now based on known games and/or time between last major releases

Compulsion Games - Last game release 2018

The Initiative - Formed in 2018, never released a game

Rare - Development on Everwild began in 2016 (it's been six years)

Turn 10 - Last release was in 2017

Undead Labs - Last release was in 2018

That isn't including any of the Bethesda studios. This is also not considering that many of their studios work on multiple projects at once, such as Obsidian who is releasing Pentiment, working on Avowed, and developing Outer Worlds 2. 

Everyone knows it takes time to develop games, but it's taking especially long for MS's studios. On average it takes 3 to 5 years for a studio to develop a AAA game, yet the only developer on the above list that is going to release anything in 2023 is Turn 10 (barring any surprises, of course). Instead, we get Starfield (which, lets be honest, MS just moneyhatted Starfield exclusivity at this point by buying them up....that game was in development long ago) and Redfall (which looks fine). It is quite clear that MS does not have the output of their contemporaries. MS could manage their studios better to prevent this, but they don't. 2022 is a slow year for Sony too, but they are still managing to provide several AAA experiences (Horizon, God of War, GT 7, TLoU Part 1). I just don't really think we can excuse MS at this point. 

It's easier said than done when you say, those studios could have released a game already.

Compulsion went from AA to AAA for there next game. Not an easy transition. 

The Intiative was taking a weird way to develop their game, but they seem to be on track now. 

Everwild had a reboot in 2020 so it's going to be at least 1-2 more years. 

Turn 10 completely updated their engine. It's the first time they went longer than 2 years between games. 

Undead went from AA to AAA for SoD3. 

Everwild is really the only game from this list that has gone through a longer development than it should have. Most of these studios are making big leaps from their last game or making a new IP. If there wasn't a pandemic, we probably would have Forza, Starfield, Redfall, and something else this year but that's not the case unfortunately. The first half of 2023 is stacked which hasn't been the case for Xbox in awhile and a good sign of things to come. 



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smroadkill15 said:

It's easier said than done when you say, those studios could have released a game already.

Compulsion went from AA to AAA for there next game. Not an easy transition. 

The Intiative was taking a weird way to develop their game, but they seem to be on track now. 

Everwild had a reboot in 2020 so it's going to be at least 1-2 more years. 

Turn 10 completely updated their engine. It's the first time they went longer than 2 years between games. 

Undead went from AA to AAA for SoD3. 

Everwild is really the only game from this list that has gone through a longer development than it should have. Most of these studios are making big leaps from their last game or making a new IP. If there wasn't a pandemic, we probably would have Forza, Starfield, Redfall, and something else this year but that's not the case unfortunately. The first half of 2023 is stacked which hasn't been the case for Xbox in awhile and a good sign of things to come. 

Your description of the Initiative is exactly what I mean about mismanagement. They even had to get Crystal Dynamics to help develop Perfect Dark because they just can't do it alone. That's ridiculous. 

Why did Everwild get rebooted after four years of development? I'll tell you, poor management and direction of the studio. 

Guerilla Games released Killzone 3, completed the Decima engine, released Killzone Shadowfall and released Horizon Zero Dawn in the same time that it will take Turn 10 to release Forza Motorsport 8 with an "updated" (not new) engine. Which it's not even like they are the only ones updating their engine as they are probably utilizing some work already completed from Playground Games. 

We don't know if Compulsions next game is AAA. All we know is it's a story driven dark fantasy. Regardless, the timeframe of 3-5 years is for AAA game development. So this excuse doesn't fly for either compulsion or undead labs anyway. In addition, Undead Labs opened up a second studio, so even their "smaller" developers have multiple studios which just further illustrates my point.

"If there wasn't a pandemic" see, you can't just blame this on the pandemic when MS's contemporaries are still delivering major AAA games where MS isn't. 



This thread is really good reminds me when I made it fews weeks ago in Neogaf. And Neogaf is extremely Xbox Centric found out when I said atleast 1 negative thing to Xbox I got a serious warning.

Last edited by SegaHeart - on 02 November 2022

Guess which version of Hatsune Miku this is? She has my Birth stone color turqoise in her eyes, And I'm most honest Sega Saturn lover alltime.Picture far right is Sega first Real Mascot. Represents my birth animal the helpful Bunny want you to find his name.My ruling Planet is Saturn if connect the Birth month I was born and year.

Doctor_MG said:
smroadkill15 said:

-Snip-

Your description of the Initiative is exactly what I mean about mismanagement. They even had to get Crystal Dynamics to help develop Perfect Dark because they just can't do it alone. That's ridiculous. 

Why did Everwild get rebooted after four years of development? I'll tell you, poor management and direction of the studio. 

Guerilla Games released Killzone 3, completed the Decima engine, released Killzone Shadowfall and released Horizon Zero Dawn in the same time that it will take Turn 10 to release Forza Motorsport 8 with an "updated" (not new) engine. Which it's not even like they are the only ones updating their engine as they are probably utilizing some work already completed from Playground Games. 

We don't know if Compulsions next game is AAA. All we know is it's a story driven dark fantasy. Regardless, the timeframe of 3-5 years is for AAA game development. So this excuse doesn't fly for either compulsion or undead labs anyway. In addition, Undead Labs opened up a second studio, so even their "smaller" developers have multiple studios which just further illustrates my point.

"If there wasn't a pandemic" see, you can't just blame this on the pandemic when MS's contemporaries are still delivering major AAA games where MS isn't. 

The Initiative always planned on co-developing Perfect Dark in this manner, that was verified by multiple insiders. I'm not sure why people panic so much about news like this, it's hugely common in the gaming industry for studios to either partner or work with multiple studios, almost every single AAA nowadays is created by multiple studios.

Nobody does anything alone nowadays in AAA development. The scale for The Initiative/Crystal Dynamics is a little larger but there's multiple examples of that, World's Edge and Relic on Age of Empires IV, The Coalition and Splash Damage on Gears of War 4/5. How multiple Ubisoft studios work on each Assassin's Creed at the same time, CoD is the same, Nintendo EPD and Monolith, etc.

If it wasn't Crystal Dynamics, then The Initiative would have hired multiple other studios to assist on development because that's how game development is. Crystal Dynamics won't be the only ones assisting on Perfect Dark either because again, that's game development.

Everwild is a bit messy, it was definitely revealed too early, before they even had an idea of what the game would be, then they lost their Creative Director and soon after rebooted it. It happens, I don't really think people understand how volatile game development is for AAA, if everything was revealed as early as some projects, we'd be hearing about reboots nonstop.

It took Guerrilla Games 7 years to make Horizon Zero Dawn.

Why credit Playground Games for the work they do on ForzaTech but not the work that Turn 10 does for ForzaTech which in turn helps Forza Horizon? Turn 10 assists Playground on Forza Horizon and heck according to Linkedin they're assisting them on Fable too because Fable reportedly is using ForzaTech as well. It's not a new engine, no, but it is being heavily revamped for both Forza's sim side and now an Open World RPG.

Yeah, I don't think Compulsion's next title is AAA, I think it'll be upper on the AA scale but you're ignoring some factors, to start with, Compulsion Games is a ~80 employee studio and secondly, We Happy Few had multiple story expansions released for it, the latest being November 2019. Undead Labs is definitely moving into AAA development for State of Decay 3, and they do have multiple studios now, they're expanding, which is a good thing, but UL is still ~130 employees.

It's not solely down to the pandemic but it's foolish to pretend it didn't play a huge part in restricting development schedules and restricting the ability for some of these studios to grow quicker, not to mention, Sony delayed multiple projects during the pandemic, it's just that Sony had a far better pipeline than Microsoft which meant they can take the delays easier, and Sony didn't have to basically restart their development starting 2018.

The Initiative/Playground are both building from the ground up for AAA development so it's likely that they're going to take even longer than even the traditional AAA development schedules, as I pointed out, Horizon Zero Dawk took 7 years to make and that was with an already established studio and not during a pandemic but that's fine because games take time.



Even Neogaf or other forums don't need me to preach. 

https://www.neogaf.com/threads/how-microsoft-isn%E2%80%99t-getting-its-deserved-credit.1643697/



Guess which version of Hatsune Miku this is? She has my Birth stone color turqoise in her eyes, And I'm most honest Sega Saturn lover alltime.Picture far right is Sega first Real Mascot. Represents my birth animal the helpful Bunny want you to find his name.My ruling Planet is Saturn if connect the Birth month I was born and year.

It's almost like Microsoft just isn't good at managing studios or juggling projects.

The numbers just can't add up. None of the cherry-picking or selective biases matter. They've been collecting studios like kids collect pokemon cards and despite having as much as they do we're not seeing releases with any form of consistency.

It doesn't matter if 'the initiative' hasn't released a game or 'the coalition' always intended to do cooperative development. 23 studios and counting. (And counting!) There's no justification for this lack of output other than just not being good at it. You can try to justify each missing game and delay, you can try your best to make up excuses, but none of them account for how they manage to own this many studios and not get anything out. Even if every argument about dev time or circumstances is true, the purpose of having 23 studios and counting is to ensure that if a game gets delayed or circumstances arise, there's some wiggle room. there's insurance.

Starfield and Redfall being delayed until next year is a good thing. It really is. I'd rather wait for better games than force broken ones. But why weren't there at least 5-8 other games there to fill the void? Why did they have nothing? Why can't they attract third parties to make games for their console like Sony and Nintendo can? They have the money, clearly, so why can't they form those bonds and maintain partnerships?

The only move they have is to just buy companies and even then it's not enough.

I'm sorry, but they're just not good at this. Sony and Nintendo have ups and downs and learn from it. Microsoft has been failing and continuing to fail to deliver since before the Xbox One launched. I want them to get better, I truly do, but they're just not good at it. They have a lot of money and can take risks on stuff like GamePass. That's their strength. It's just that simple. Their console has no unique features, it's just a powerful box. they have framerates and resolutions and load times that are so indecipherable to the human eye you need machines to tell the difference. No cool controller functions or VR or portability. Just a powerful box with gamepass on it and so few exclusive games it's honestly kind of sad.

23 studios and counting. They've been struggling, falling behind, and failing to deliver to some degree or another since 2011/2012. That's not a dry spell, that's a pattern. In those years there hasn't been a single time they 'won' in the game department compared to Sony or Nintendo.

Buying activision/blizzard is their only move because any other move they make they disappoint. They NEED Activision-Blizzard to compete. they are absolutely right about that and they admit it. Sony being pissed off about that is fair because Microsoft shouldn't just be buying studios to compete, they should learn how to develop games first, THEN you make acquisitions. They're making all the investments and spending all the money without the fundamental skill and knowledge to do the job. They have always been a brute force style. Just toss money at the problem. Buy all the competition, do nothing with them. Put out more powerful consoles despite power never being the deciding factor in what console consumers prefer. Bleed money on Gamepass because even if it fails it'll barely touch their Scrooge-McDuck levels of wealth.

and yeah I know this will NOT be a popular post (Especially not in a forum that has way too many apologists for Microsoft/Xbox), but you know I'm right. Collectively you can argue all you want, but it's been too long, with too poor of a result, and too many unfulfilled promises. They have a pattern, and it's not good. Could they turn it around? Yeah, 2023 genuinely does look good but it's coming after a consistent decade of disappointment. "Oh but Forza" yeah, that's one franchise. "But Flight simulator!" That's one game. what about all the outstanding games the competition has gotten in that same time period. Mario Kart, Zelda, Mario Odyssey, Splatoon, Horizon, God of War, Spider-Man, The Last of Us, Ghost of Tsushima, Bloodborne, ARMS, Xenoblade Chronicles, Smash Bros, and so, SO many others.

They just can't compete without buying all the biggest and most influential third party developers and publishers. If they could, they would have by now. I hope the activision deal goes through because Microsoft NEEDS it and they're absolutely right when they say that even with Acti-Blizz they still won;'t be able to compete with the universal love Nintendo gets or the global market Sony has on lockdown. at best they're fighting for the US with their heavily Western-styled games and even then they're losing to both Sony and Nintendo.



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