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Xbox Game Studios |OT5| The Cult of Phil in the Age of Booty: A Case Study

Oct 29, 2017
139
My hopes for Microsoft E3:
  1. Nothing about next-gen hardware.
  2. No next-gen title, so nothing about Fable, neither new games from first party studios.
  3. Every game shown during the conference will be available before Summer 2020.
  4. New first party studios.
  5. A complete redesign of the Windows Game Store, more Play Anywhere games and the official launch of Xbox Game Pass on PC. Since then, every game available on Xbox Game Pass on Xbox will also be available on PC.
I disagree. MS simply cannot talk about next gen in 2018, then totally ignore it in 2019.

We all know it's coming in 2020. They have E3 to themselves. Nobody will be talking about PS5 in the media cycle. E3 is precisely where they need to reference next gen.

MS 1st party had to expand precisely because it was so weak. If they rely on IP from pre-acquisition MS, they're in big trouble. Sony would "win" 2019 without even being there because their "anticipated" 2019 games are so high profile and not all continuations of things done before.

Once 2020 comes by I think MS will be in a stronger position to hold reveals until games are nearly ready, but if you want people to buy into your eco-system NOW, you should tease them with amazing stuff coming down the road. Because BC is happening for both Sony and MS next gen, every gamer that invests into Sony NOW because of future things like Death Stranding, will be that much harder to dislodge come next gen.
 
Oct 29, 2017
139
This was what I was thinking but realistically at this point in time they won't have 3 new IP seeing as they studios they acquired would have only been developing their new games for maybe a year now. It will be another year or maybe 2 before I believe we will see a flow of new IP from MS studios. It's a slow process but its always pleasing to know the investment has been made and we can look forward even more to future E3. Whilst the MS conferences as a whole the last few years have been way better than the competition I personally have been a bit let down by the lack of new AAA exclusive IP even from 3rd parties but I accept it's a slow process. Next gen is when Xbox as a brand should really take off again with games and more games (fingers crossed).
Sony gained so much mind share by revealing games like FF remake, Death Stranding and TLOU2 early and they still benefit from that excitement. The media and influencers came out of 2/3 consecutive E3s asking things like "IS this the best E3 presentation of all time?!". People buy into eco-systems on the back of that.

MS are simply not (yet) in a strong enough position to be picky about holding back reveals. With another 1/2 years of acquisitions and more games in the oven, maybe they'll get there.

MS did really well with a nice early reveal of X-cloud. They got out in front of Stadia, whilst not even having much of anything at all to show. They stole the mindshare from Google to the point where people are already thinking they are so much further ahead than the competition and are exited about investing in MS' eco-system as a result.
 
I disagree. MS simply cannot talk about next gen in 2018, then totally ignore it in 2019.
Yeah, it was a mistake to tease next-gen and to reveal Halo Infinite last year.

They have enough games to show this year: Battletoads, Gears 5, Gears Tactics, Age of Empire 4, The Outer Worlds, Wasteland 3, Ori and the will of wisps, updates for Sea of Thieves and Forza Horizon 4... With all third party games that they will have (Borderlands 3, Cyberpunk 2077, etc.), they don't need more. They can show Halo Infinite if they really want, but please, nothing else.

Next year, in May/June, they can announce next-gen with many games (Fable, next game from Ninja Theory, ...), but not this year. This year, just focus on the last year of Xbox One.
 
Sony gained so much mind share by revealing games like FF remake, Death Stranding and TLOU2 early and they still benefit from that excitement. The media and influencers came out of 2/3 consecutive E3s asking things like "IS this the best E3 presentation of all time?!". People buy into eco-systems on the back of that.

MS are simply not (yet) in a strong enough position to be picky about holding back reveals. With another 1/2 years of acquisitions and more games in the oven, maybe they'll get there.

MS did really well with a nice early reveal of X-cloud. They got out in front of Stadia, whilst not even having much of anything at all to show. They stole the mindshare from Google to the point where people are already thinking they are so much further ahead than the competition and are exited about investing in MS' eco-system as a result.
Yeah Microsoft has the world watching it this E3 with Sony bowing out. They should use that time to talk about next-gen games, even if they're years out because it will get that mindshare.

I get they had a bad run this gen with all the cancelled games but getting people interested in your new system requires you telling them what they have to look forward to in the years to come. Most people only buy one console and they want the one that has the most interesting games.
 
Oct 27, 2017
5,228
Germany
I get they had a bad run this gen with all the cancelled games but getting people interested in your new system requires you telling them what they have to look forward to in the years to come. Most people only buy one console and they want the one that has the most interesting games.
That’s all next year though imo. Besides maybe 1 - 2 teases, I don’t see why they should get out with everything, only to have nothing new when it really matters next year.

I agree all eyes are on them this year. But next year is still more important, as that’s the year where people will choose their next-gen console - and not this year. It’s a tough balance act really.

If it’s too early, it’s too early. I mean look at these absolutely nonsense Starfield, TES VI or Dragon Age announcements. They did nothing besides ruining a more fundamental surprise announcement with a bigger impact.
 
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Oct 29, 2017
139
That’s all next year though imo. Besides maybe 1 - 2 teases, I don’t see why they should get out with everything, only to have nothing new when it really matters next year.

I agree all eyes are on them this year. But next year is still more important, as that’s the year where people will choose their next-gen console - and not this year. It’s a tough balance act really.

If it’s too early, it’s too early. I mean look at these absolutely nonsense Starfield, TES VI or Dragon Age announcements. They did nothing besides ruining a more fundamental surprise announcement with a bigger impact.
If they think they won't have much next year by revealing 3 new games this year, that is evidence that they have not bought enough studios and need to buy more...keep their part made games exclusive this time and reveal them next year for a 2021/22 release.

I totally disagree with your take on the Starfield/TES reveals. They were reassurances the fans needed to continue to have faith in their publishers. That is even more important for a platform holder. If you want me to jump into your eco-system, I need to know a lot more than what you have coming out this year, or even next. What if your launch line-up is all I like the look of?

Basically, if MS show fans an amazing looking year 1 for next gen, but then Sony show an amazing looking year 1 and tease amazing sounding years 2/3, they win mind-share.
 
Oct 29, 2017
139
E3 Predictions?

Games:

Halo Infinite Single Player Reveal
Halo Infinite Multiplayer Reveal - Flight Testing - Beta Christmas 2019. Big hints at Halo-esque "BR" mode
Gears 5 Blowout - trailer, gameplay demo. huge expansive vistas, vehicular sections, melee combat. Launches September 2019. Mutliplayer Beta available after conference.
Ori and The Will of the Wisps - launch trailer blowout - launches on Gamepass, Switch, Steam - July 2019. Co-op mode, full crossplay. XBL Support on Switch and Steam.
Splinter Cell Announcement - Spies VS Mercs Returns
Forza Horizon 4 DLC - London, Street Races
Battletoads Gameplay Trailer, launches "Fall" 2019
Xbox Global Publishing - Mechwarrior 5 "console exclusive" (Win 10 Store/Steam/Xbox One)
Fable Reveal - no date. In engine demo (next gen)
Cyberpunk 2077 Gameplay Blowout.
Age of Empires IV Gameplay Blowout
New FromSoftware Game, Exclusive, PC & Xbox
New Platinum Game, also exclusive, PC/Xbox
New Ninja Theory IP - Launches 2019

XGS Segment
3 new aquisitions - IO, Turtle Rock, Bluepoint

Services:
xCloud - official name reveal, public trials starting TODAY in select regions - available as part of Gamepass Ultimate Subscriptions.
Gamepass partnership - All Bethesda titles launching Day 1 into Gamepass.
New Gamepass titles added, new BC.

Next Gen - hardware vaguery, dev interviews, basic strategy laid out for consumers. Will talk about how console launch, Xbox players can play over 70% of launch titles on Day 1 via Gamepass.

Not that is how you do a conference.
 
Apr 27, 2019
53
Of those XGS 15 projects, quite a few are part of the same franchise and are the same genre. If Xbox is going to produce one first party release per quarter for XGP (where is this even sourced?), they're going to need to have 4 studios releasing new games every year, for when, three to five years from now?

Supposing a few more studios double up, like Playground and Ninja Theory, is this possible?
 
Nov 27, 2018
157
E3 Predictions?

Games:

Halo Infinite Single Player Reveal
Halo Infinite Multiplayer Reveal - Flight Testing - Beta Christmas 2019. Big hints at Halo-esque "BR" mode
Gears 5 Blowout - trailer, gameplay demo. huge expansive vistas, vehicular sections, melee combat. Launches September 2019. Mutliplayer Beta available after conference.
Ori and The Will of the Wisps - launch trailer blowout - launches on Gamepass, Switch, Steam - July 2019. Co-op mode, full crossplay. XBL Support on Switch and Steam.
Splinter Cell Announcement - Spies VS Mercs Returns
Forza Horizon 4 DLC - London, Street Races
Battletoads Gameplay Trailer, launches "Fall" 2019
Xbox Global Publishing - Mechwarrior 5 "console exclusive" (Win 10 Store/Steam/Xbox One)
Fable Reveal - no date. In engine demo (next gen)
Cyberpunk 2077 Gameplay Blowout.
Age of Empires IV Gameplay Blowout
New FromSoftware Game, Exclusive, PC & Xbox
New Platinum Game, also exclusive, PC/Xbox
New Ninja Theory IP - Launches 2019

XGS Segment
3 new aquisitions - IO, Turtle Rock, Bluepoint

Services:
xCloud - official name reveal, public trials starting TODAY in select regions - available as part of Gamepass Ultimate Subscriptions.
Gamepass partnership - All Bethesda titles launching Day 1 into Gamepass.
New Gamepass titles added, new BC.

Next Gen - hardware vaguery, dev interviews, basic strategy laid out for consumers. Will talk about how console launch, Xbox players can play over 70% of launch titles on Day 1 via Gamepass.
Then, at the crescendo, Phil sprouts wings and ascends to the heavens.

Seriously though, this would be great but I don't want to get my hope up.
 
Oct 25, 2017
11,393
Do you think we will ever see Game Pass exclusive games in the future? It's a small "irrelevant" thing but Rocket League has a free Xbox-themed DLC for Game Pass owners that all other players will get 3 months later, again for free. Do you think there will be timed Game Pass exclusives in the future? Do you expect outright exclusives only playable through the Game Pass service? I'm not saying it would necessarily be a viable strategy or that it would be good for consumers (it wouldn't), but imagine even a standalone expansion pack or a side-story for a Gears game or a Halo battle royale only playable on Game Pass. Stuff like that would definitely convince a lot of people to subscribe.
 
Oct 27, 2017
7,469
Do you think we will ever see Game Pass exclusive games in the future? It's a small "irrelevant" thing but Rocket League has a free Xbox-themed DLC for Game Pass owners that all other players will get 3 months later, again for free. Do you think there will be timed Game Pass exclusives in the future? Do you expect outright exclusives only playable through the Game Pass service? I'm not saying it would necessarily be a viable strategy or that it would be good for consumers (it wouldn't), but imagine even a standalone expansion pack or a side-story for a Gears game or a Halo battle royale only playable on Game Pass. Stuff like that would definitely convince a lot of people to subscribe.
Game Pass exclusives are going to exist inconjunction with xCloud and the only way to play these games on mobile, tablets, and maybe Switch is through Game Pass by way of xCloud.
 
Dec 12, 2018
791
I totally agree with you on the aspect of Platinum deserving full backing. At this point, I wouldn't be surprised to see Square Enix picking them up (especially since they've closed down 2 or 3 studios over the past year). Having a major powerhouse like Platinum within your first party lineup? That's a scary thought, in the best of ways.

For me, I have two categories for studios. Who I'd like to see acquired and who I think is more likely (there will be some overlap).

Want: Platinum Games, Moon Studios, Housemarque, IO Interactive, Tripwire Interactive, White Owls Inc., Mistwalker, Grounding Inc., Turtle Rock, Studio MDHR, Playdead

More Likely: IO Interactive, Relic Entertainment, Bluepoint Games, The Behemoth, OtherSide Entertainment, Turtle Rock

Asobo is in a weird place. I could see them being courted later on to MS, but we'll see. I would put Relic Entertainment in my "Want" side of things, but I'm not if SEGA would just sit on Relic's IPs. I know a lot of people love Company of Heroes and with so much recent interest in the series, I'd hate for that to be squashed by the devs being bought by MS and SEGA being left with no capable studios for the series (I mean, Creative Assembly could probably handle it, but still).
I've talked about my theory of waves as it relates to acquisitions a few times, but I'd expect any European studios to part of wave 2, after the CA/US/UK studios start paying off and releasing games.

There are also a few notable absences in my list of studios that I'd say I consider more likely than the ones I put, like IOI, Relic or The Behemoth, but basically I didn't list any studios that I didn't think would benefit from an acquisition. I mean all studios would benefit from an acquisition, but some I think are doing really great on their own or maybe fit better with a different collective body than Xbox.

Do you think we will ever see Game Pass exclusive games in the future? It's a small "irrelevant" thing but Rocket League has a free Xbox-themed DLC for Game Pass owners that all other players will get 3 months later, again for free. Do you think there will be timed Game Pass exclusives in the future? Do you expect outright exclusives only playable through the Game Pass service? I'm not saying it would necessarily be a viable strategy or that it would be good for consumers (it wouldn't), but imagine even a standalone expansion pack or a side-story for a Gears game or a Halo battle royale only playable on Game Pass. Stuff like that would definitely convince a lot of people to subscribe.
If it were anything other than Xbox branded cosmetics for Rocket League I might be concerned, but this is something Xbox asked Psyonix to do, probably mainly as a promotion for Game Pass. Could it be a slippery slope? Maybe, but I think for now it's a bit bold to even say that. Game Pass exclusives to me are unlikely, especially since part of the pitch of game pass is "if you love it, buy it for keeps at a discount" which you couldn't do it if it was a game pass exclusive.
 
Oct 28, 2017
3,918
Brazil
Do you think we will ever see Game Pass exclusive games in the future? It's a small "irrelevant" thing but Rocket League has a free Xbox-themed DLC for Game Pass owners that all other players will get 3 months later, again for free. Do you think there will be timed Game Pass exclusives in the future? Do you expect outright exclusives only playable through the Game Pass service? I'm not saying it would necessarily be a viable strategy or that it would be good for consumers (it wouldn't), but imagine even a standalone expansion pack or a side-story for a Gears game or a Halo battle royale only playable on Game Pass. Stuff like that would definitely convince a lot of people to subscribe.
It doesn’t make much sense to do full exclusive because that’s leaving money on the table from regular sales. It’s one advantages Ms has over netflix in that it’s still their ecosystem.

Though I can totally see some times exclusives to instigate users to subscribe.
 
I do think it would be better for Xbox if next gen launched in 2021 rather than 2020. Their acquisitions are great but probably came a year too late, and I'm not sure we'll see 'weak launch games windows' again after what Breath of the Wild did to Switch. That being said, they couldn't have come earlier with their studios because the monther company hadn't fully backed Xbox before. People are too impatient and will create whatever narrative they can if MS doesn't show a lot of stuff this E3. But I agree with those that demand a bit more patience. Alongside Gears and Halo, I think the wildcards will be Playground's second game, maybe Rare or Obsidian are in a position to tease something new, and Ninja Theory's new IP.
 
Oct 31, 2017
1,220
I do think it would be better for Xbox if next gen launched in 2021 rather than 2020. Their acquisitions are great but probably came a year too late, and I'm not sure we'll see 'weak launch games windows' again after what Breath of the Wild did to Switch. That being said, they couldn't have come earlier with their studios because the monther company hadn't fully backed Xbox before. People are too impatient and will create whatever narrative they can if MS doesn't show a lot of stuff this E3. But I agree with those that demand a bit more patience. Alongside Gears and Halo, I think the wildcards will be Playground's second game, maybe Rare or Obsidian are in a position to tease something new, and Ninja Theory's new IP.
Coming out a year after Sony would be a complete disaster. Launching with a new Halo alone would be strong enough of a lineup for their new console
 
Coming out a year after Sony would be a complete disaster. Launching with a new Halo alone would be strong enough of a lineup for their new console
You also have to remember that the NEXT BOX will be a part of the Xbox One family as well. So, I'm sure Halo will be releasing on all versions of the Xbox, so it isn't like you'd be missing out on an opportunity to launch with new first party games, seeing as they'll also be available on the other consoles. It's just more powerful hardware in a new box, I'm sure.
 
Mar 7, 2019
465
You also have to remember that the NEXT BOX will be a part of the Xbox One family as well. So, I'm sure Halo will be releasing on all versions of the Xbox, so it isn't like you'd be missing out on an opportunity to launch with new first party games, seeing as they'll also be available on the other consoles. It's just more powerful hardware in a new box, I'm sure.
Should we be expecting anything more form Scarlett than just more powerful hardware?
 
Oct 26, 2017
3,273
I view Scarlett as an Xbox reboot that brings all the games forward with them. I don't see it in the XBO family at all. If anything, MS will make sure it is distanced from that brand asap (new colors, logo, etc).
 
If it’s too early, it’s too early. I mean look at these absolutely nonsense Starfield, TES VI or Dragon Age announcements. They did nothing besides ruining a more fundamental surprise announcement with a bigger impact.
Speaking of ruining surprise announcements, it's been one year since Chris Avellone's famous fight with Obsidian on the Rpgcodex forums and I went looking to see if he had any other far out contributions to the site since then and yeah he had an absolute whinge over them being sold to Microsoft and leaked the new game they're planning to make with Xbox —





tl;dr It's a TES-like, maybe set in the Pillars of Eternity games, the rpgs Obsidian made on kickstarter.
 
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Oct 28, 2017
2,011
All they have to do is announce that The Outer Worlds is launching Day 1 on Game Pass, and the conference is an immediate success for me.

However, I don't think that will happen. We Happy Few didn't launch on Game Pass, and that was almost the exact same scenario in terms of the studio having been purchased.
 
Dec 12, 2018
791
All they have to do is announce that The Outer Worlds is launching Day 1 on Game Pass, and the conference is an immediate success for me.

However, I don't think that will happen. We Happy Few didn't launch on Game Pass, and that was almost the exact same scenario in terms of the studio having been purchased.
Except that We Happy Few was in Game Preview on Xbox One for like a year before the acquisition was announced, and the acquisition was announced only a couple of months before the full release, and possibly wasn't even finalized until after the release. For perspective, Obsidians acquisition was announced publicly in November, but wasn't fully finalized until early January.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,130
E3 Predictions?

Games:

Halo Infinite Single Player Reveal
Halo Infinite Multiplayer Reveal - Flight Testing - Beta Christmas 2019. Big hints at Halo-esque "BR" mode
Gears 5 Blowout - trailer, gameplay demo. huge expansive vistas, vehicular sections, melee combat. Launches September 2019. Mutliplayer Beta available after conference.
Ori and The Will of the Wisps - launch trailer blowout - launches on Gamepass, Switch, Steam - July 2019. Co-op mode, full crossplay. XBL Support on Switch and Steam.
Splinter Cell Announcement - Spies VS Mercs Returns
Forza Horizon 4 DLC - London, Street Races
Battletoads Gameplay Trailer, launches "Fall" 2019
Xbox Global Publishing - Mechwarrior 5 "console exclusive" (Win 10 Store/Steam/Xbox One)
Fable Reveal - no date. In engine demo (next gen)
Cyberpunk 2077 Gameplay Blowout.
Age of Empires IV Gameplay Blowout
New FromSoftware Game, Exclusive, PC & Xbox
New Platinum Game, also exclusive, PC/Xbox
New Ninja Theory IP - Launches 2019

XGS Segment
3 new aquisitions - IO, Turtle Rock, Bluepoint

Services:
xCloud - official name reveal, public trials starting TODAY in select regions - available as part of Gamepass Ultimate Subscriptions.
Gamepass partnership - All Bethesda titles launching Day 1 into Gamepass.
New Gamepass titles added, new BC.

Next Gen - hardware vaguery, dev interviews, basic strategy laid out for consumers. Will talk about how console launch, Xbox players can play over 70% of launch titles on Day 1 via Gamepass.
I'm expecting a lot more third party presence than what you are suggesting. They are the only ones with a conference, after all.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,877
I view Scarlett as an Xbox reboot that brings all the games forward with them. I don't see it in the XBO family at all. If anything, MS will make sure it is distanced from that brand asap (new colors, logo, etc).
I largely agree it needs to be a new brand of console and move away from Xbox One entirely (name-wise). At least I think that would be the wise thing to do, no idea what their internal thinking is..
For the most part they have a new logo and renamed the 1P division to Xbox Game Studios. They're heading in the right direction.
 
Aug 23, 2018
110
Speaking of ruining surprise announcements, it's been one year since Chris Avellone's famous fight with Obsidian on the Rpgcodex forums and I went looking to see if he had any other far out contributions to the site since then and yeah he had an absolute whinge over them being sold to Microsoft and leaked the new game they're planning to make with Xbox —





tl;dr it could be a TES-like, maybe set in the Pillars of Eternity games, the rpgs Obsidian made on kickstarter.
I don’t know the full back story, but man is Chris Avellone salty AF.

Regarding E3 predictions, in addition to all of the announced titles we know will show up, I’m hoping we see 3-5 *new* XGS announcements. They more or less did this last year with Halo Infinite, Battletoads, and the 3 Gears games. Since then they added 7 new studios, so I really don’t think this is overreaching.

My predictions would be:
  1. Ninja Theory’s new IP
  2. InExhile or Obsidian tease a brand new game (in addition to the Wasteland titles and The Outer Worlds... I fully expect one of these studios to get a “multi-game segment” where they show off one of their known projects and then go into teasing something new
  3. A new Global Publishing title that’ll release before fall 2020 (possibly Playful’s rumored Rare IP Platformer....save the big gun 2nd party titles for next gen blowout at E3 2020)
  4. This might be a stretch, but if MS acquires and announces 2-3 new studios (I personally think it’s only going to be 1 or 2), one of them is in a position to announce their new project that is now exclusive (House Marquee, IOI?!)
  5. Fable tease
 
Apr 6, 2018
1,099
Speaking of ruining surprise announcements, it's been one year since Chris Avellone's famous fight with Obsidian on the Rpgcodex forums and I went looking to see if he had any other far out contributions to the site since then and yeah he had an absolute whinge over them being sold to Microsoft and leaked the new game they're planning to make with Xbox —





tl;dr It's a TES-like, maybe set in the Pillars of Eternity games, the rpgs Obsidian made on kickstarter.
What the hell he has against his old mates? Btw I think that oblivion and skyrim were deep sandboxes, magic systems and dungeons, but weak for quest and storylines and reactivity, plus the rpg system is quite useless, so Chris Parker's team could do wonders
 
Oct 27, 2017
7,469
I hope so. I love the Xbox ecosystem and I plan to continue with it come next gen but man, we really need more presence from Japan.
I believe the number of Japaneses game Xbox One ports to games previously only availabe on PS4, Switch, and/or PC announced at MS E3 will be one of the bigger stories. I could see it be one big Japanese port montage trailer.
We have been robbed of an Alpha Protocol spiritual successor. Time to riot
Yeah, I preferred this due to how unique a Spy/espionage thriller RPG is.
 
Mar 17, 2018
3,000
Speaking of ruining surprise announcements, it's been one year since Chris Avellone's famous fight with Obsidian on the Rpgcodex forums and I went looking to see if he had any other far out contributions to the site since then and yeah he had an absolute whinge over them being sold to Microsoft and leaked the new game they're planning to make with Xbox —





tl;dr It's a TES-like, maybe set in the Pillars of Eternity games, the rpgs Obsidian made on kickstarter.
The guy is a child, highlighted by the fact that he thinks announcing InXile first was MS throwing shade at them.