E3 2018: Xbox Is Investing In Its Future--And That’s A Big Deal

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Andy

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Gamespot:

E3 2018: Xbox Is Investing In Its Future--And That’s A Big Deal
The future of first-party studios at Xbox


Prior to E3, things weren't looking great for Microsoft. Crackdown was delayed to 2019. Sea of Thieves launch got off to an unstable start. And the console's list of exclusives looked lacking, to say the least. But the Microsoft press conference cracked open the shell obscuring what the Xbox has planned for the near future. And things are now looking much better.


https://www.gamespot.com/articles/e3-2018-xbox-is-investing-in-its-future-and-thats-/1100-6459856/

 

Frozpot

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Nice to see a positive outlook for once...
 

Rollins

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I was staying with a friend of mine in Santa Monica for E3/FanFest, and she currently works for Goop, but has been in the tech industry there for 15 years. I was updating her on the E3 announcements, and she was talking about the acquisition of GitHub, as well as Satya’s vision and how things have grown since he’s been CEO. (There’s a graphic showing the growth since he’s been there but I can’t find it).

Her words regarding MS were ‘the beast is waking up.’ And now that they really seem to be behind Xbox, the future looks very bright.
 

Intellivision

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Love it.

MS not going anywhere. In fact, they are expanding studios, more consoles later, more services and features.
 

Andy

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Things are looking good for them next gen, if they keep it up.
 

OneBadMutha

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Not a coincidence that the shopping started immediately after Myerson was brushed out. Nice to see the person reporting to the head of Microsoft believes in gaming. Fact that Nadella has bought in means the sleeping giant got woke.
 

Bellybama

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I was staying with a friend of mine in Santa Monica for E3/FanFest, and she currently works for Goop, but has been in the tech industry there for 15 years. I was updating her on the E3 announcements, and she was talking about the acquisition of GitHub, as well as Satya’s vision and how things have grown since he’s been CEO. (There’s a graphic showing the growth since he’s been there but I can’t find it).

Her words regarding MS were ‘the beast is waking up.’ And now that they really seem to be behind Xbox, the future looks very bright.
Goop?

Like Gwyneth Paltrow's website?
 

Bellybama

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Sounds like someone wants a work visa ;)
I already have a work visa for October for the states. :p

Although, I thought Goop was based out of London.
 

Rollins

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Goop?

Like Gwyneth Paltrow's website?
Yup. Paltrow actually interviewed her. My friend said she was pretty cool....?
 

Bellybama

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Yup. Paltrow actually interviewed her. My friend said she was pretty cool....?
Tell her an alcoholic b****y stylist with no morals is open for hiring, as long as the work day is from the hours of 11am-3pm (not including lunch).
Thats pretty rad. I love ragging on her.

Ihad a twitter account dedicated to the wanky stuff she used to say.

For instance, did you know that all of the shelves in her house, are horizontal? She invented that, so as her books would all be equal in the eyes of her children.
And when she is feeling especially wild, she'll have a puff of a clove cigarette.
And her recommended shot glass? A $300 sterling silver thimble.
 

Rollins

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Tell her an alcoholic b****y stylist with no morals is open for hiring, as long as the work day is from the hours of 11am-3pm (not including lunch).
Thats pretty rad. I love ragging on her.

Ihad a twitter account dedicated to the wanky stuff she used to say.

For instance, did you know that all of the shelves in her house, are horizontal? She invented that, so as her books would all be equal in the eyes of her children.
And when she is feeling especially wild, she'll have a puff of a clove cigarette.
And her recommended shot glass? A $300 sterling silver thimble.
I will pass that along! ;). I can’t argue with that, I’m definitely not a fan. I told my friend I wasn’t a huge fan of her and she almost bit my head off.

She had a very long interview on Howard Stern on May 23 of this year if you’re interested. Probably online somewhere. Now I know why Chris bailed.
 
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Rollins

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.....And we said as much when we met Microsoft Studios boss Matt Booty, who was very keen to know what we thought of the Xbox conference. We outlined the above to him, but added that this year’s briefing felt like the sort of thing you would’ve expected the first year that Phil Spencer took over, rather than at the twilight end of the generation.

‘I think, right now, that we’re really at a high mark in the generation’, said Booty. ‘This fall, across all platforms and all consoles, is going to be just a crazy line-up of amazing game. Like, best time for gamers ever.’

‘I can’t really talk to decisions that Phil made, other than to say that right now it feels like we have, more than ever, the full support of Microsoft. It was just last fall that Phil was promoted to sit on our executive leadership team. As part of that, Xbox was elevated to sit next to big pillars like Windows, Office, Azure… these are big enterprise pillars of the company.

‘So we feel supported, we feel encourage to grow; I think we feel very empowered. It feels like it’s a new day now, it feels like we’ve got all the things coming together’.
But the lack of new IP is still one of many problems that Microsoft faces, especially given how good Sony has been at promoting brand new franchises through its own first party releases.

‘There’s two ways that we have to get new IP into our family’, says Booty. ‘The first is with our global publishing team, which often gets overlooked. But they’re part of Microsoft Studios and that is the team that works with world-class developers like Remedy, Sumo; that’s how Ori And The Blind Forest came about.

‘The goal there is that they will go out and find new IP. But it is very much one of the motivations for why we went out and sought out studios like Compulsion Games [We Happy Few] and Ninja Theory [Hellblade], it was their ability to create new IP, new games, new characters, new worlds…

And we have even taken that to the extreme, where with our new studio The Initiative, which is in Santa Monica, that is a blank piece of paper. We did not say, ‘Go make this kind of game, go make that’. We said, ‘We want you to build a team, we want you to build a studio, and once you’ve got that up and running let us know what you think would be a good game to make’. So we’re really hoping that becomes a great place for new IP to grow.’

It’s not just the promotion of new IP where Sony’s approach differs from Microsoft’s. Most of their first party games are single-player, narratively-driven adventures, whereas Microsoft has almost none. Even the way the two companies treat E3 is completely different, with Microsoft loathe to announce any game too far before release but Sony happy to start the hype years before anything is ready.

‘Our approach to the decisions we make is very much player-led’, says Booty. ‘We think about how do we connect the dots between the games we make and getting those games in the hands of the players. And that really informs everything. And if that turns out to be different than what some other folks are doing it’s coincidental.’

‘It’s just not how we think about it. That Halo video that we showed, the trailer, that was 100% generated by the 343 team. Nobody went to them and said, ‘We need you to make a video that shows this and shows that’.

But it’s not just that there are a lack of single-player-focused games on the Xbox One, but that Microsoft execs have openly complained about the ‘complicated’ economics of making single-player games and hinted that they are no longer as economically viable as they used to be, despite Sony proving otherwise.

‘Let’s acknowledge it: those games are doing great, and people love playing those games’, says Booty. ‘For us, and I want to be very careful to clarify this, we see both. We see people loving single-player games, and it’s why you can sit and work your way through Forza solo if that’s what you want to do. But we also know that more and more gaming is about community. More and more it’s about people playing together, and we’re gonna chase that. If that’s what our players are doing and where they want to go.’

‘But there is no overarching sentiment or strategy that says, ‘We’re gonna go make one kind of game over another’. In fact, with those studio acquisitions, with Ninja Theory, with Compulsion, if they end up deciding they want to make more games like Hellblade or We Happy Few – both primarily single-player games – if The Initiative comes back and says we want to make a game that doesn’t even have a multiplayer component, then great. We want the teams to make the games that they feel are right.

‘My job, as the leader of the studios organisation, is really to make sure that the information and the thinking of the games is coming from the bottom up; from the studios back to the executives, not as some kind of mandate from the executives out to the studios.’


https://metro.co.uk/2018/06/15/xbox-...8/?ito=cbshare
 

Mcmasters

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Things are looking good for them next gen, if they keep it up.
Things are looking good for them right now! Whatchoo talkin bout Willis?!

There's new games coming this year and next. New studios added to the Xbox family. Halo and Gears look to shake things up pretty damn well. Definitely looking good to me!
 

Dread Fox

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Halo and Gears look to shake things up pretty damn well.
wut

You have an annoying level of optimism lol. First off let me just say all these new studios is GREAT news. If they are all working on projects right now then a 2020 launch of a new Xbox with a big lineup of new exclusives is awesome and much needed. I def think the Xbox brand has a bright future given the investments being made right now. But it's clear that in the here and now Xbox doesn't have all that much going on.

How you claim Halo and Gears are "shaking" anything up is beyond me. Halo is years out, and we have absolutely zero information to translate into shaking anything up and Gears 4 is just.....the next chapter in Gears of War. Likely both to be great games but not shaking up the industry.
 

Dno69

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Gears looks like it’s shaking itself up. And Halo too for that matter. Which is maybe what McMasters meant?
 

Nervusbreakdown

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wut

You have an annoying level of optimism lol. First off let me just say all these new studios is GREAT news. If they are all working on projects right now then a 2020 launch of a new Xbox with a big lineup of new exclusives is awesome and much needed. I def think the Xbox brand has a bright future given the investments being made right now. But it's clear that in the here and now Xbox doesn't have all that much going on.

How you claim Halo and Gears are "shaking" anything up is beyond me. Halo is years out, and we have absolutely zero information to translate into shaking anything up and Gears 4 is just.....the next chapter in Gears of War. Likely both to be great games but not shaking up the industry.
You might be right but the last time I heard that Halo 2 or 3 sold more than the whole SONY first party titles.

Again I am not saying your wrong but they can hit the note again.
 

Andy

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Things are looking good for them right now! Whatchoo talkin bout Willis?!

There's new games coming this year and next. New studios added to the Xbox family. Halo and Gears look to shake things up pretty damn well. Definitely looking good to me!
In terms of AAA exclusives, no, things really are not looking good for them right now, or for the next couple years. Thing are looking good for the future -- for 2020 and beyond. But for the next 2 years, the landscape is looking pretty barren (unless you're a big fan of Forza and Gears).
 

Mcmasters

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In terms of AAA exclusives, no, things really are not looking good for them right now, or for the next couple years. Thing are looking good for the future -- for 2020 and beyond. But for the next 2 years, the landscape is looking pretty barren (unless you're a big fan of Forza and Gears).
Actually, it isnt. If you mean, there arent games youre looking to play, that's entirely possible. There's still games releasing this year I'm excited for. Not all first party either.
 

Tmecha

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Do we still have the studios splash damage and was it studio gobo rumoured to be making xbox games still happening?
 

mb1025

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In terms of AAA exclusives, no, things really are not looking good for them right now, or for the next couple years. Thing are looking good for the future -- for 2020 and beyond. But for the next 2 years, the landscape is looking pretty barren (unless you're a big fan of Forza and Gears).
I think next next year will kind of sort this out. Phil said they held back stuff. Plus they can always fill out their Holdiay 2019 at E3 with

Rares 2nd game
Gears 5
Forza Motorsport 7
Fable 4/Reboot (Maybe)

Then you have Ninja Theory. How far along were they on a game they were making?

Early 2019

Battletoads
Ori 2
Crackdown 3


Also we have Gamescom and TGS. Maybe no major announcements for those, but it’s not doom and gloom. However it isn’t hype level s*** at the moment either.
 

Andy

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I think next next year will kind of sort this out. Phil said they held back stuff. Plus they can always fill out their Holdiay 2019 at E3 with

Rares 2nd game
Gears 5
Forza Motorsport 7
Fable 4/Reboot (Maybe)

Then you have Ninja Theory. How far along were they on a game they were making?

Early 2019

Battletoads
Ori 2
Crackdown 3


Also we have Gamescom and TGS. Maybe no major announcements for those, but it’s not doom and gloom. However it isn’t hype level s*** at the moment either.
Yeah, I agree about next E3 looking better, for quality AAA exclusives. Fable in particular would be a good announcement. It's still a 2020 game, tho.

Ninja Theory wrapped Hellblade about a year ago, so they should be about a year in on their new game. Maybe 2019 for that, with help from MS? It should be at the next E3. I'm figuring it won't be out until 2020, but we'll see.
 

Two Pennys Worth

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I wonder if this future of streaming games could be the reason of Xbox’s resurgence in the MS business plan. MS have been well placed before to capitalise on new opportunities such as the search engine market but were beaten to the punch by google and they don’t want to miss out on the next big thing.


It seems they’re aware of their strengths in this area, Azure and gamepass. MS want to make sure they’re leading the charge this time instead of chasing the tails of others.
Of course as the article states, there will be other companies to challenge like Amazon and Google as well as Sony but MS are definitely well placed to take the title of Netflix of gaming when the time comes.
 

Andy

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I wonder if this future of streaming games could be the reason of Xbox’s resurgence in the MS business plan. .... It seems they’re aware of their strengths in this area, Azure and gamepass. MS want to make sure they’re leading the charge this time instead of chasing the tails of others.
Could be.

If they put out more exclusive content, Game Pass will be worth it. I guess it's worth it now, too, though. At least for a few months.
 

karmakid

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Rollins

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Andy

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Buying CD would be a megaton, but I really doubt that. CD doesn't seem like the kind of studio that would be willing to be bought out, and MS would have to pay an awful lot, at a time when their stock is at an all-time high. That would also piss off a lot of gamers.

Remedy, maybe, although the fruits of their last partnership were sort of disappointing.