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Colin Moriarty Discusses Microsoft vs. Sony Acquisition Strategy

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He's a bit harsh on Microsoft, but he does have a point that their history with cultivating studios isn't the best. Granted, Phil's hands may have been tied by upper management and only recently was given the green light. I think acquisitions like Double Fine and Ninja Theory can make sense for their GamePass strategy. I actually think it makes more sense for Microsoft to go after smaller studios rather than the AAAA like Take2 precisely because their strategy hinges more on volume and quantity of regular releases on GamePass (smaller titles, still can be AA or even AAA, but not necessarily mega-AAAA titles like GTA).

Zenimax kind of fit that bill. Outside of Bethesda, most of their studios produced smaller budget type titles. So I'm not going to be too quick to judge Microsoft's recent moves just yet. By having such a long history of failing to build their own studios Phil wasn't left with too many options other than external growth instead of what Sony is doing with organic growth. But historically Microsoft hasn't done that well manging the studios they have externally acquired, so hopefully they do a better job nurturing recent acquisitions through good times and bad. You never know how management will react when stock prices take a tumble. Right now the environment is "risk on" so to speak and so management isn't as critical about studios that may make great games but underperform whatever metrics they prioritize.
 

On Demand

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I have to agree with all they’re saying. MS is just buying studios cause they can’t compete with Sony. Sony’s has been building their first party studios from the ground up since the end of the PS3 generation. They put full investment into making their studios what they are today. MS just want to buy games they can’t create themselves and try to take away games from PlayStation.

Remember when Phil Spencer said the reason he did the Tomb Raider timed exclusivity is because Xbox doesn’t have an Uncharted type game? He needed something to compete with Uncharted 4. So dumb.

It’s true MS also doesn’t have good studio management and they have yet to prove they can handle a large development pipeline like Sony does. Sony is still has the best beginning to end development production with so many support teams available like VASG.
 

Kilau

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Warning Jeff Goldblum GIF by MOODMAN
 

Dr Bass

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This has been discussed ad infinitum on this board, and despite what anyone's opinion on this might be, this feels like it's just gonna stir up a bunch of stupid arguments. No one is going to have minds changed either way on this, and this seems to go against some of the new (thankfully) stated rules.

Shut it down folks.
 
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Looks like we made the thread at the same time and I gave my thoughts there. Mods can merge:


This has been discussed ad infinitum on this board, and despite what anyone's opinion on this might be, this feels like it's just gonna stir up a bunch of stupid arguments. No one is going to have minds changed either way on this, and this seems to go against some of the new (thankfully) stated rules.

Shut it down folks.

Only if people can't have a civil discussion about strategy in general. This is an interesting topic worth discussing, and no reason why it shouldn't or can't be talked about that way.
 

SF Kosmo

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Harsh but it's hard to argue with. I think MS has gotten more hands off with their acquisitions and hopefully that pays off, but to date MS's studios have really not been well managed.
 

Kilau

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This has been discussed ad infinitum on this board, and despite what anyone's opinion on this might be, this feels like it's just gonna stir up a bunch of stupid arguments. No one is going to have minds changed either way on this, and this seems to go against some of the new (thankfully) stated rules.

Shut it down folks.
Yeah it probably would just create a discussion that’s against the new rules but it’s too bad because I think there is a discussion to be had on what Colin is saying.

On topic:

I don’t agree with him because I feel like MS is buying these studios in reaction to Google/Amazon streaming and not Sony.

I don’t like them doing it either.
 

Nemesis Prime

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MS just want to buy games they can’t create themselves and try to take away games from PlayStation.

Remember when Phil Spencer said the reason he did the Tomb Raider timed exclusivity is because Xbox doesn’t have an Uncharted type game? He needed something to compete with Uncharted 4. So dumb.
You had me until this part, your argument may have been true 5-10 years ago, but when has this been the case in recent times?

the number of Sony paid timed exclusives eclipse the ones MS is copping. Especially high profile games such as FF7 remake, death loop, KOTOR remake, wolverine etc
 
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On Demand

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You had me until this part, your argument may have been true 5-10 years ago, but when has this been the case?

the number of Sony paid timed exclusives eclipse the ones MS is copping. Especially high profile games such as FF7 remake, death loop, KOTOR remake, wolverine etc

They bought Tomb Raider exclusivity because they wanted an Uncharted game. Uhhhhh make your own? They’re a trillion dollar company.
 
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Dr Bass

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Looks like we made the thread at the same time and I gave my thoughts there. Mods can merge:




Only if people can't have a civil discussion about strategy in general. This is an interesting topic worth discussing, and no reason why it shouldn't or can't be talked about that way.
I agree with you, and I agree with Colin for the most part. But I think this board really needs a strong cooling off period, as a handful of (always the same) people were really bringing the board down. To the point where I cancelled my gold membership because it just stopped being fun to discuss games. I just think it's wise to not bring this kind of stuff up atm, this thread is already getting silly replies.
 
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Kagey K

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You had me until this part, your argument may have been true 5-10 years ago, but when has this been the case?

the number of Sony paid timed exclusives eclipse the ones MS is copping. Especially high profile games such as FF7 remake, death loop, KOTOR remake, wolverine etc
Yep this part of the discussion tends to get glossed over a lot.

People like to say they bought games that were coming anyway, but this guarantees the games come day 1 and not potentially 2 years down the road.
 
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I agree with you, and I agree with Colin for the most part. But I think this board really needs a strong cooling off period, as a handful of (always the same) people were really bringing the board down. To the point where I cancelled my gold membership because it just stopped being fun to discuss games. I just think it's wise to not bring this kind of stuff up atm, this thread is already getting silly replies.

Fair enough but you're always going to have these sorts of threads that may be dissecting different company strategies. I think it's best to just handle those that step out of line while allowing actual discussion to take hold. No reason for this to get heated, honestly. It's just friendly debate. I think a big part of the problem are those that get overly defensive whenever the company they prefer gets slighted in any way possible, leading to nothing but snarky one-liner comments and a lot of toxicity. It's just games people.
 

SF Kosmo

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What studios of Sony were built from the ground up, and which ones were bought.?
Their studios that were founded internally are like, Santa Monica, San Diego, London (kinda), Polyphony and Asobi.

But they've also shown a pretty good ability to take these acquisitions and partnerships with smaller studios like Naughty Dog, Geurilla, and Sucker Punch and turn them into indusrtry leading devs, when they weren't before. Microsoft hasn't really been able to nurture studios they purchase in the same way so far.

That said, Sony does have some L's as well. The collapse of Liverpool/Psygnosis, for example, or Japan Studio during and after Last Guardian.
 

Spukc

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The only exclusives i bothered about playing on my xbox one x was

forza
Gears

they are not on the same level as sony or nintendo exclusive wise..



MS did good on buying beth because they had fuck all.
I collect games physically so gamepass is pointless to me.

I kinda get colins point… but what else can they do?
It’s kinda like epic trying to get into PC space..

i don’t buy an xbox to play small indie games.. i have my switch and pc on that.. MS need to start pushing out their own AAA fast
 
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captainraincoat

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Would agree that ms really didn’t invest in studios coming off the back of the 360 but in saying that Sony really only kicked into gear when it had its ass handed to it and they did the same as ms…buy and acquire studios and even closed some well known studios from the 80s/90s

now we have that generation where ms is really on the ground floor with a heap of studios working on stuff but Sony tapped the brakes on growing their studio base even more which may see them in a bad position in a few years

I love my Sony games but I’m realistic in the fact ms is going to have a much larger first party library and a bigger variety of genres in a couple of years and will most likely have the better library of games by the generation end unless Sony starts to do some big moves of its own and also starts to offer more pro consumer stuff like gamepass and stop charging people for remasters/directors cuts


that’s my take on it
 
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If you are creating your own studios or buying proven studios…what’s the actual difference to us, the consumer?

It’s impressive what Sony has done with their own studios. But does your average consumer care?

I think it can matter if the acquisition strategy of buying proven studios vs. organically growing (or purchasing 2nd parties like Insomniac) fails to materialize in the long term.

I think the biggest risk of outright takeovers is that talent potentially leaves, gets unmotivated, or feels stifled and then the studios just sort of collapses. There was a pretty large exodus of talent from RARE after that acqusition, and regardless of how you feel about their content today, they are not the same studio they were at their peak when they were churning out so many games on the N64.

But I think Microsoft is playing it right by being more hands off. I think that was a big lesson learned from their previous acquisition, so that's a good development.
 

Concern

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Random fanboy podcast crying about acquisitions need its own thread? We've have plenty crying still over the Zenimax acquisition.

Now I really want them to buy Take Two just to spite more people lol
 

On Demand

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Would agree that ms really didn’t invest in studios coming off the back of the 360 but in saying that Sony really only kicked into gear when it had its ass handed to it and they did the same as ms…buy and acquire studios and even closed some well known studios from the 80s/90s

now we have that generation where ms is really on the ground floor with a heap of studios working on stuff but Sony tapped the brakes on growing their studio base even more which may see them in a bad position in a few years

I love my Sony games but I’m realistic in the fact ms is going to have a much larger first party library and a bigger variety of genres in a couple of years and will most likely have the better library of games by the generation end unless Sony starts to do some big moves of its own and also starts to offer more pro consumer stuff like gamepass and stop charging people for remasters/directors cuts


that’s my take on it

Because more amount of studios automatically means quality correct?

You seem to be one of the usual people falling for numbers and the image with the pretty 23 studios logos. As if that means something tangible and automatic success.


EDIT-

Ah damn. I missed that you brought up the basically copy paste meme

Anti consumer
Needs game pass like service (I’m sure that’s called PSnow)
Remasters
Direct cut.

You missed one though. $70 games.
 
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Hugare

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I kinda agree, but now its going to be different

As they have mentioned, Bethesda will be independent mostly. So it wont be a Rare situation where they will be making Kinect games.

And they are letting Playground make something different than Forza with Fable.

I have hopes that they wont fuck everything up this time
 
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IDappa

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I like Colin but surely everyone knows he's a hard-core playstation fan. I honestly couldn't trust him to remove that from his point of view and be neutral. Just the fact he glosses over all the timed exclusively Sony is doing now or even not admitting that sony bought their top studios when they were smaller. Not to say they didn't put the work in to make those studios what they are today, I just can't see how you can judge one company for buying devs while ignoring another.
 

Kenshin775

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But didn't they get Sony's former talent acquisition manager? I read she hired most of the people at the Initiative. Why wouldn't she be able to do what she did before?

And what is wrong with acquiring studios while also recruiting talent to all these studios? What is wrong with doing both?
 
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Oct 30, 2011
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I like Colin but surely everyone knows he's a hard-core playstation fan. I honestly couldn't trust him to remove that from his point of view and be neutral. Just the fact he glosses over all the timed exclusively Sony is doing now or even not admitting that sony bought their top studios when they were smaller. Not to say they didn't put the work in to make those studios what they are today, I just can't see how you can judge one company for buying devs while ignoring another.

Colin has been pretty critical of Sony lately too. I disagree with a lot of what he's saying these days tbh. I'm not sure if he's really reading the situation correctly from the perspective of each entity and what their long term goals are, which can be quite different.
 

Ozzy Onya A2Z

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Some merit to what they say but it's nowhere near the doom and gloom of mismanagement. How weird they leave out any of these from the conversation to balance the good with the bad -
  • ID @ Xbox (total success and brilliant long term initiative)
  • Minecraft (total success and zeitgeist level of penetration, beyond prior the purchase even)
  • Sea of Thieves (Rare is back baby!)
  • MCC turn around is now on the level of No Man's Sky (free content with brilliant support and community interaction)
  • 343 did hit the mark with Halo 4 campaign and Halo 5 multi. Arena, Warzone and Warzone Firefight were successful
  • Halo Infinite preview reactions are literally off the charts positive
  • Forza Horizon (going from strength to strength and attracting far more than the hardcore racing fans)
  • Xbox hardware teams (killing it with X1X and XSX and XSS, accessories like Elite and Adaptive controllers)
  • Other mentions on exclusives like Ori 1 & Ori 2 & Cuphead etc.
  • Gamepass is a roaring success right out of the gate (there are numerous developer reports of win win in terms of development support, contracts, game sales and player engagements/retention)
  • Gears of War 5 was very well received
  • Age of Empires IV (being well received by fans of the pinnacle AoE 2 currently)
  • Flight simulator is a modern day work of art simulator (attracting far more than the die hard pilots of the old entries in the series)
It's easy to cherry pick the negative and make a chat/video about. I haven't even spent time looking through things, the above is just off the top of my head. I call bullshit.
 
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Brock2621

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So much truth in this podcast clip. Microsoft seems to constantly show a precedent for not knowing how to manage teams and projects. They are gobbling up studios in the vacuum of their own failure.

Sony starts dating 2nd party studios and slowly nurtures them to the point they are basically first party anyway and then opens their checkbook to put a ring on it and make it official. I don’t think this is very ”controversial” or a “problematic“ take….
 
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captainraincoat

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Because more amount of studios automatically means quality correct?

You seem to be one of the usual people falling for numbers and the image with the pretty 23 studios logos. As if that means something tangible and automatic success.


EDIT-

Ah damn. I missed that you brought up the basically copy paste meme

Anti consumer
Needs game pass like service (I’m sure that’s called PSnow)
Remasters
Direct cut.

You missed one though. $70 games.
U trying to turn this into a console warrior thread?…u wanna drag out the metacritic memes as well?
 
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As much as I enjoy the prospect of playing even more XBox first and second party games day one on gamepass, media consolidation sucks.
 

Neofire

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MS has the capital so I don't blame them but the truth is undeniable they are buying studios to compete with Sony no doubt. Maybe to pad out GP too.
consider yourself virtually kicked in the nuts by me for that...
 
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