Xbox Game Studios |OT4| When everyone plays, we all win

Feb 3, 2019
20
Why is it that anytime I read an article on The initiative the writers end up saying “they’re hiring so they can develop a game like God if war or uncharted” why is the need for them to bring that up..I find it so cringeworthy..The initiative does not have any directive like that from Microsoft..the are supposed to be a pace setting studio..just annoys me how for some all Xbox game studios are supposed to mimic something from different platforms
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,610
CD3 being successful on Game Pass alone won't be enough.

It still needs be a viable game at retail as a AAA game.

More importantly, degrees of success matter.

MS spent nearly 5 years develop the game with all manner of obstacles leading to set back after set back. Even if that wasn't the case, it's not enough to be moderate success, it needs to be a clear success that justifies a sequel and further investment in the growth of the franchise.

In that regard, I have doubts CD3 will be successful enough to warrant greenlighting a sequel. Granted, I could be dead wrong about that, but I think it's a reasonable concern.

Quite pessimistically, I don't think CD3 will find a large enough audience and substantial enough success for MS to justify funding a sequel, even if the turn around on that would be far shorter than the development period for this CD3.

Regardless of whether it's CD4 or not, I do think MS will and should continue to working with Sumo Digital.
 
Oct 27, 2017
4,726
Germany
CD3 being successful on Game Pass alone won't be enough.
And this is where I disagree (and MS in certain ways, too, as MAU seems to be their measurement for success) :)

Also, I've heard all of the stuff you listed after Crackdown 1 already ... And then after Crackdown 2. And yet, today here we are, with the next installment. And talking about growth, I think I'm not too crazy for saying that CD3 will reach more people than CD1 and CD2 combined.

In addition, the dev time you talk about there is highly inflated by the cloud destruction they developed. The campaign didn't need anywhere close this time. A hypothetical CD4 should be a campaign/co-op game, no experiments this time. The campaign of CD3 was done by Sumo Digital in about 3 years, so a completely common dev time.
 
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Oct 25, 2017
5,610
And this is where I disagree (and MS in certain ways, too, as MAU seems to be their measurement for success) :)

Also, I've heard all of the stuff you listed after Crackdown 1 already ... And then after Crackdown 3. And yet, today here we are, with the next installment. And talking about growth, I think I'm not crazy for saying that CD3 will reach more people than CD1 and CD2 combined.

In addition, the dev time you talk about there is highly inflated by the cloud destruction they developed. The campaign didn't need anywhere close this time. A hypothetical CD4 should be a campaign/co-op game, no experiments this time.
I agree that Crackdown 3 didn't spend 5 years in a constant state of development, because MS would have cancelled it a long time ago to cut their losses if it was in actual development hell for that long. The game probably didn't cost anywhere near as much to produce as people seem to think (though I don't think it was cheap).

The point I'm making is that degrees of success matter.

MS put a lot of time and effort in Crackdown 3. Even if we take it as a given that it'll be successful, after all this time, if they don't see significant success and clear potential that justifies further investment, then I don't see them signing off on a Crackdown 4.

They'll probably continue to work with Sumo Digital on something else though, so that's good.
 
Dec 20, 2017
1,596
Belgium
There's nothing like Crackdown currently on the market. With Infamous, Saints Row and Prototype on a (long) hiatus, it would be wise for MS to feed us craving for these types of sandbox experiences. It could be handled through Xbox Global Publishing, but then the future would depend on pitches from studios. Who knows, but I do hope that we get some clarity to what MS/Xbox' plans are for this franchise.

 
Jan 30, 2019
3
I hope playtonic gets a chance to develop a Banjo game. Yooka Laylee had its flaws but you can see the passion they had for it. With more money and time I think they could put out a great Banjo game.
 
Oct 25, 2017
79
True, I've been on GamePass since day 1.. But idk, when Horizon 4 came out I still bought the Ultimate Edition as a show of support to Playground. I guess I'm still trying to get used to the fact that just downloading it on GamePass is more beneficial to those studios rather than buying the game itself. I mean, I still just used GamePass to play Sea of Thieves, State of Decay, and will for Crackdown 3. I guess it's a case-by-case basis for me.
 
Oct 27, 2017
509
I mean, I'm buying Halo Infinite's collector edition no matter what
Yup, and probably other editions of future games or new IPs if they're good.

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Yes. But people say like "i gamepass that game" like its a bad thing. While its good thing and maybe even helping Xbox more.
Yeah, sometimes it's sad how they try to downplay the value of such an amazing service and its games.

For me, the value of Game Pass is that it allows me to get a taste of games and franchises I've never played or I'm not sure about for just a few bucks. Then, I can decide if I want to continue playing more or not, maybe even buy the full game (or, again, maybe not). It's about choice.

For instance, I've never been a huge Crackdown fan, but I definitely want to play Crackdown 3. This month, I'm subscribing to Game Pass just for this game. And no, it's not the typical game pass excuse ("I'll just Game Pass this game so I don't have to pay 60 bucks" or so). If Xbox Game Pass didn't exist, I'd probably not even bother, since I can't afford to buy every game I have a minimum interest in.

After all, it's a win-win situation. I get to try Crackdown 3 (and more) for just a few bucks, and Microsoft is getting some revenue from me which, otherwise, wouldn't exist. And there is a chance that I end up buying the full game or resubscribing if I like Crackdown 3 or I see something else I want to play.
 
Yup, and probably other editions of future games or new IPs if they're good.

--


Yeah, sometimes it's sad how they try to downplay the value of such an amazing service and its games.

For me, the value of Game Pass is that it allows me to get a taste of games and franchises I've never played or I'm not sure about for just a few bucks. Then, I can decide if I want to continue playing more or not, maybe even buy the full game (or, again, maybe not). It's about choice.

For instance, I've never been a huge Crackdown fan, but I definitely want to play Crackdown 3. This month, I'm subscribing to Game Pass just for this game. And no, it's not the typical game pass excuse ("I'll just Game Pass this game so I don't have to pay 60 bucks" or so). If Xbox Game Pass didn't exist, I'd probably not even bother, since I can't afford to buy every game I have a minimum interest in.

After all, it's a win-win situation. I get to try Crackdown 3 (and more) for just a few bucks, and Microsoft is getting some revenue from me which, otherwise, wouldn't exist. And there is a chance that I end up buying the full game or resubscribing if I like Crackdown 3 or I see something else I want to play.
This is exactly how I got into the sunset overdrive and metro series. I had just got an S, got a 14 day game pass freetrial a downloaded it and fell in love with it
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,422
CD3 being successful on Game Pass alone won't be enough.

It still needs be a viable game at retail as a AAA game.

More importantly, degrees of success matter.

MS spent nearly 5 years develop the game with all manner of obstacles leading to set back after set back. Even if that wasn't the case, it's not enough to be moderate success, it needs to be a clear success that justifies a sequel and further investment in the growth of the franchise.

In that regard, I have doubts CD3 will be successful enough to warrant greenlighting a sequel. Granted, I could be dead wrong about that, but I think it's a reasonable concern.

Quite pessimistically, I don't think CD3 will find a large enough audience and substantial enough success for MS to justify funding a sequel, even if the turn around on that would be far shorter than the development period for this CD3.

Regardless of whether it's CD4 or not, I do think MS will and should continue to working with Sumo Digital.
So much of Crackdown's dev costs will be treated as R&D. They were literally building new technology that will undoubtedly influence games outside the Crackdown franchise. So crackdown sales won't be the only way to measure ROI.

Any CD sequel will cost much less and will have a shorter dev cycle. Anyone considering greenlighting a sequel will take that into account.

Beyond all that, I'm thinking Crackdown will meet or exceed internal expectations- not just because of gamepass- but because it's legit fun.
 
Oct 27, 2017
509
But how will you know you want to buy the CE if you haven’t pla.........aaw snap!
My uncle works at Microsoft, so I get to test some of these games beforehand ;)

/s
I usually don't buy games at launch and wait a few days or weeks for reactions, opinions and review scores, and then decide based on all that.
However, if it's Halo I pre-order the LE months in advance.
 
Oct 27, 2017
5,487
My uncle works at Microsoft, so I get to test some of these games beforehand ;)

/s
I usually don't buy games at launch and wait a few days or weeks for reactions, opinions and review scores, and then decide based on all that.
However, if it's Halo I pre-order the LE months in advance.
What I meant was...try it first on Game Pass!
 
The thing people constantly seem to forget about game pass is that it isn't hurting sales. The data shows that MS' first party games launching into game pass has been improving their units sold.

It's a bit counter intuitive, but if you think about what gets people off the fence and to buy a game, it makes a lot of sense.
 
Dec 12, 2018
346
CD3 being successful on Game Pass alone won't be enough.
I'm gonna have to disagree with that. I know movies and games aren't the same thing, but look at Netflix, they're making a sequel to Bright, and Bright was hardly a critical or fan darling. If anything, gamepass success can mean more than retail success, 10 million copies is 600 million dollars once, 10 million gamepass subscribers in 100 million dollars a month potentially forever. I'm not actually trying to say one success is better than the other, even though I just said that verbatim, I'm just saying they're different.


More importantly, degrees of success matter.
A lot of this is iterative, Crackdown 4 learns from the mistakes and success of Crackdown 3 and uses them to make a bigger, better sequel. Plus, Gamepass mitigates this. As long as the gamepass library keeps being good and getting better, Crackdown will still be there, catching people's eyes and driving engagement.

In that regard, I have doubts CD3 will be successful enough to warrant greenlighting a sequel. Granted, I could be dead wrong about that, but I think it's a reasonable concern.
You could say this about a lot of Xbox One exclusives, Sea of Thieves, State of Decay and Sunset Overdrive didn't sell especially well, and not an exclusive. I know Sunset Overdrive hasn't gotten a sequel, but a lot of people, including me, want it to, so I'm counting it wishfully. Fable 3 also reviewed poorly and didn't sell super well, but it's a beloved franchise that Microsoft wants to keep going. Hell, Crackdown and Crackdown 2 didn't review or sell great either, but the third one is coming out. Halo 5 and Gears 4 didn't set the world on fire, and I don't know off the top of my head what kind of numbers they did, but regardless that didn't kill the franchise. And even outside of Xbox exclusives, look at Bayonetta 2 for example, it sold extremely poorly, yet Bayonetta 3 is highly anticipated. Granted it reviewed well, but my point is while degrees of success matter, just because a game doesn't succeed on all fronts doesn't mean it isn't successful.

I'm sure there are just as many examples of one game selling poorly and that killing a franchise, but I don't think Microsoft is going to drop Crackdown as long as there are fans. Especially since the key of gamepass is diversity to attract a lot of different players, Crackdown is fairly unique and has the potential to be kind of a niche star for gamepass.

Regardless of whether it's CD4 or not, I do think MS will and should continue to working with Sumo Digital.
Yeah, that has the potential to be a really great partnership. I know it's been said before, but those kinds of partnerships through MGSP are gonna be a big deal for next gen
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,610
So much of Crackdown's dev costs will be treated as R&D. They were literally building new technology that will undoubtedly influence games outside the Crackdown franchise. So crackdown sales won't be the only way to measure ROI.

Any CD sequel will cost much less and will have a shorter dev cycle. Anyone considering greenlighting a sequel will take that into account.

Beyond all that, I'm thinking Crackdown will meet or exceed internal expectations- not just because of gamepass- but because it's legit fun.
Of course, and for that reason I wouldn't be surprised if Crackdown 4 happened, I'm just not confident enough that MS will think that's enough to justify funding it if those resources can be better spent on another title with perhaps more obvious appeal in the current climate.

The technology works. It was presumably designed to be very pliable to different kinds of games for different kinds of cloud computing.

Unless the numbers are there, I see MS taking that tech and using it elsewhere.

I don't think Crackdown 4 is a long shot by any means, but I do think it's something MS will have to think about for a minute before they they decide to sign off on it or not.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,405
I don’t get both of these arguments tbh.

State of Decay isn’t critically acclaimed, yet one of Xbox most successful franchises. Same for Sea of Thieves. No one is doubting these franchises will get further games/support, no?

And no, a hypothetical CD4 doesn’t need a „reboot“. Why?

The "Orbs" are strongly connected to the Xbox mind share. I can only see CD3 being a success, it seems to be the perfect Game Pass game.

Whatever they will do with the franchise next though - I'm sure they will learn from their marketing mistakes around the whole cloud topic.
I have no doubt Crackdown will succeed in its own right and produce a sequel. Whether that will be a direct sequel, or a new direction for the game is another question.
I think something many people are not seeing here, understandably because of the inflated dev (perceived) time on this game, is that the real success here is the Cloud Destruction and how well implemented it is. Not just for Crackdowns future, but for every Xbox title going forward.

Personally I think CD3 needs a dedicated studio internal and a fresh direction in its story and gameplay.
I would love a new sci-fi RPG from Xbox, but I'd much prefer it were not Halo related.
I agree, Halo is its own beast. MS have numerous studios that can produce a high quality sci fi RPG, namely Obsidian already have Outer Worlds.
 
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Jun 20, 2018
462
If 343 wants to make a Halo RPG, let them, but don’t have another studio work on Halo. I would much rather see new ideas and properties than two studios making Halo at the same time, especially with the perception that Halo is getting a bit stale. Reinventing Halo in a new way would help that perception, but not if it’s in addition to the regularly scheduled FPS instead of replacing it.
 
Nov 2, 2017
2,709
Too early to make a call on Crackdown. Could see it going either way. Unfortunately Crackdown 3 wears an unfair burden of being the poster boy of Microsoft’s 1st party struggles this gen. SoD2 and SoT sold very well despite being on Game Pass. Both those games received ongoing support. Both are made by studios Microsoft owns. Neither of those games was targeted by media and fans for years before release. In fact SoD2 was given the benefit of the doubt because SoD1 was a pleasant surprise by the same dev. SoT received positive impressions throughout its demos leading up to release.

If I had to make a call, I’d say based on the negative mindshare associated with the game, it’s done for a long time. Fortunately...gaming is unpredictable now days. Maybe Microsoft continues to support it and finds a multiplayer game type that catches fire. Let’s hope there’s some creative gametypes they keep experimenting with. The fact Crackdown is the only game on the market using cloud destruction for now gives it a unique advantage if Microsoft sticks with supporting it.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,422
Of course, and for that reason I wouldn't be surprised if Crackdown 4 happened, I'm just not confident enough that MS will think that's enough to justify funding it if those resources can be better spent on another title with perhaps more obvious appeal in the current climate.

The technology works. It was presumably designed to be very pliable to different kinds of games for different kinds of cloud computing.

Unless the numbers are there, I see MS taking that tech and using it elsewhere.

I don't think Crackdown 4 is a long shot by any means, but I do think it's something MS will have to think about for a minute before they they decide to sign off on it or not.
I'm sure MS will take the tech and use it elsewhere... They didn't invest so much into it to limit it's use to one franchise. Spreading it out was surely the plan all along.

Comic book superhero-inspired, and free- form open world games have obvious appeal in the current climate, imo.
 
May 9, 2018
4,640
Honestly Gamepass is such a blessing towards my wallet it's great. ~120 a year is way cheaper than buying 80 dollar games (still cheaper than if I got em during the Amazon deals that cut them to 55 too#)
 
Jan 21, 2019
88
At the end of the day, every project and every announcement is calculated to get your playerbase and at least a few outside people excited. I don't see that enthusiasm for Ryse, Recore, QB, CD. That doesn't mean they won't get sequels. But it does mean they have significant narratives to overcome. God of War faced a great deal of skepticism when it was first revealed, but the marketing was fairly good about resetting expectations and changing the narrative.

If CD4 (or any other sequels) come out, they have to have an AMAZING reveal trailer. No logo. No tease. It has to blow it out of the water. Kinda like AC: Origins had to, to shake the baggage of the franchise (unfairly) attached to every game. Almost like hyping up new IP, but even worse in some ways.

Compare that to a Fable announcement. I'm sure they'll go big when they announce it, but they don't have to. (Or Bethesda's TES 6 logo reveal that some peeps went crazy over).

Crackdown 3 may be a huge success. I would still expect them to take a break before starting work on a 4. I'd also personally prefer them to take that R&D and start applying it to other use cases. Can we create a lushly detailed, physics appropriate space battles game (whether tactics or more adventure focused like Rebel Galaxy)? The trolliest usage would be releasing a tech demo of an endless flowing zombie horde a la Days Gone 3 weeks before their release.
 
Jan 21, 2019
88
Is there a possibility that with the push through xCloud to reach mobile and such, that Xbox starts pursuing games that traditionally have been Nintendo's domain? Not just "mobile games", but games like Wooly World or Paper Mario or any 3DS game? Is there room for your phone to be your first "console"? I don't know how many casual gamers are going to boot up their phone to play Gears, but maybe there's a midpoint that would be a good entry place for people that will help them ramp up into more full-featured experiences? MS is definitely not geared up for that now and I don't see much speculation along those lines (except maybe Viva Pinata), but it seems like it could be a smart move to prepare for now? Maybe?
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,792
Started playing State of Decay 2 again. Still awesome and incredibly addicting. Sounds like a new map is coming soon if I am reading the subreddit correctly. Also sounds like they announced the state of decay 1 map will be dlc later this year.

Lots of small qol and polish improvements have hit the game the last 6 montbs it seems too.