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GamingBolt: What The Hell Is Going On With Xbox Game Studios?

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JLB

Member
Wrong. Sea of Thieves would like a word, as would Age of Empires, Minecraft and Flight Simulator. Just because you don't like those games doesn't mean they are not consistent and popular.

You're also omitting success stories out of Gamepass like The Ascent, Psychonauts 2, Tunic, Sable, Shredders, Grounded etc. Gears 5 was only 2.5 years ago too, sames goes for Ori 2 borderline 2 years ago now.

Posts like this that Xbox has only Forza and Halo are irrelevant and ignorant these days.

How about the roadmap for 2022/23? Starfield, Avowed, Perfect Dark, Redfall, Contraband, Hellblade 2. Unknown release dates surround Everwild, State of Decay 3 and Fable.

We haven't even really pushed into ActiBliz studios that much here either with COD, DOOM, Wolf, Overwatch, WoW, Diablo, Star/War craft, Tony Hawk, Guitar/DJ Hero, Sierra games and if you want to get picky Sekiro is under ActiBliz IPs too.
I’d add Crash Bandicoot to the list but dont. want to
the simpsons GIF

some people here
 

Ozriel

Member
I think that’s more of a technicality more than anything else though. It’s clutching at straws a bit. Good game, but very little of it is down to Xbox.


Person: “Microsoft studios need to prove they can deliver quality games”

Me: “here are some quality games delivered by Microsoft studios last year”

You: *adjusts goalposts* “well that’s a technicality”

If the question is whether their studios are set up to make quality games, why would You not include games recently released by studios under their umbrella? Is your claim somehow that doublefine is expected to become less talented and less good because they have access to more funding ?
 

Banjo64

Member
The thing with long hype cycles is the games have to deliver big time because the expectation has built up over time.

Look at Cyberpunk, the negative fan reaction was probably magnified because people had been waiting for that game for 7 years or so.

Fable and Perfect Dark can’t even release to a decent reception, it will have to be stellar to live up to the hype.

They should have just kept a lid on what they were working on, even if the ‘no games’ meme carried on for a couple of years. I’m particularly worried for Everwild, however I do have hope because Gregg Mayles is leading the project.
 

II_JumPeR_I

Member
Agree with the Video.
The June show really has to show shit.

Stuff announced way to early right into dev hell isnt really great...
 

sol_bad

Member
MS provided funding and allowed them delay the game for further polish and added content.

But all that is immaterial, and what you would or wouldn’t include is irrelevant. They are an XGS studio and their work is counted as part of XGS output post acquisition.

The Wikipedia entry for XGS lists Psychonauts 2. Facts > Opinions.

Sorry but there is a massive difference between working with a studio from initial concept to release of game and purchasing a studio where their game is 90% finished and throwing money at it to polish the game. Again, Microsoft had absolutely nothing to do with approving the concept and fully funding either Psychonauts or Deathloop.

I know they are now Microsoft Studio companies but I won't include anything they make until it's conceived under Microsoft's ownership.

On the opposite scale, if Sony swooped in and purchased Housemarque when Returnal was 90% complete and then purchased them and threw money at them for extra polishing I wouldn't count that either. But Housemarque and Sony worked on and funded that game from the start.
Same with Demons Soul, Sony don't even own FromSoftware but they worked on that game together from the start. It's 100% a Sony game, they didn't swoop in when it was 90% finished and threw money at it.
 
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Ozriel

Member
Sorry but there is a massive difference between working with a studio from initial concept to release of game and purchasing a studio where their game is 90% finished and throwing money at it to polish the game. Again, Microsoft had absolutely nothing to do with approving the concept and fully funding either Psychonauts or Deathloop.

I know they are now Microsoft Studio companies but I won't include anything they make until it's conceived under Microsoft's ownership.

On the opposite scale, if Sony swooped in and purchased Housemarque when Returnal was 90% complete and then purchased them and threw money at them for extra polishing I wouldn't count that either. But Housemarque and Sony worked on and funded that game from the start.
Same with Demons Soul, Sony don't even own FromSoftware but they worked on that game together from the start. It's 100% a Sony game, they didn't swoop in when it was 90% finished and threw money at it.

Again, you’re having an entirely different conversation.

This is where the conversation started:

None of their new studios have proven anything yet.

They need to get going and prove they can deliver constant, high quality games. Enough BS.

Do you think it makes sense to claim that Doublefine and Arkane have not proven anything yet, and need to show they can deliver high quality games?


This is about Microsoft owned Studios, their capabilities and expectations from them.

I never saw anyone here question the future output from Housemarque or Bluepoint post acquisition. Because the obvious assumption is that a well oiled team will continue to make games at the same quality levels they’re used to…or better!
 
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Person: “Microsoft studios need to prove they can deliver quality games”

Me: “here are some quality games delivered by Microsoft studios last year”

You: *adjusts goalposts* “well that’s a technicality”

If the question is whether their studios are set up to make quality games, why would You not include games recently released by studios under their umbrella? Is your claim somehow that doublefine is expected to become less talented and less good because they have access to more funding ?

They are definitely set up to make good games in future, but I don’t think they can take credit for a game almost done and released under their name. That’s like a premier league team being 1st with 4 games to go and then being bought out and the new owners taking credit. Could they win the league in the future? Absolutely. Did those owners have anything to do with the title this year? Not really.
 

Godot25

Member
Literally nothing special
Every publisher has problems with development here or there. Even Sony or Nintendo
Only difference is, insiders are talking because Microsoft is prone to leaks. Sony or Nintendo are not.

Nobody talks about struggles Bend went through while making Days Gone. Nobody talked about struggles with Japan Studio right until it was clear that whole studio is closing down.

I agree that changes in 343 are long overdue, but maybe Staten is right guy to bring stability.
Rare can't seem to figure out Everwild but that's just game "taking longer to develop." Nothing wrong with that. Certainly better than releasing half baked product just to have something out.
The Initiative tried to develop game in new form. Didn't pan out, so they contracted Crystal Dynamics to help them.
Undead labs had culture problem which is literally plaguing whole industry so it's not like it only happens in Microsoft studios.

But there are for sure valid concerns if Microsoft isn't too much hands off with their studios. Because to be hands off and effective you need right management. If you don't have it, you are in trouble. Sometimes it is better to reign in which is what happened with Undead.

Other studios are working just fine. Obsidian is machine for building games, Playground has only hits under their belts and they are expanding, Coalition is expanding outside Gears franchise, Turn 10 is making new Forza, Compulsion is still making their new game and inXile released great Wasteland 3 and are working on new projects. And I'm not even talking about all Bethesda studios which are well oiled machines.
 
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Sanepar

Member
What worries me about MS Studios is how they has 30 studios. We already in April and they didn't launch any game and have nothing schedule for 1st half of the year?
 

Hezekiah

Member
Halo Infinite, Everwild, Perfect Dark and State of Decay 2 - all of these games were announced too early, or shown in a rough state in Halo's case.

MS needs to get a grip of its studios, manage them properly, and ensure key staff are retained.
 

adamsapple

Gold Member
I admire Gamingbolt greatly for being one of the first to call them out....

That is all I will say here.

You didn't watch the video :p

What worries me about MS Studios is how they has 30 studios. We already in April and they didn't launch any game and have nothing schedule for 1st half of the year?

The goal is to try and reach a point by 2023~ where they have at least one big game coming out each quarter. Covid related delays really fucked everything up.

Most of the big games coming out now were in development at some point before the lockdowns began, anything that entered full development after the lockdowns is suffering because of the transition.

Video seemed entirely fair to me. Certainly not a hit-piece as the overall tone was positive in spite of it pointing out the historically uneven performance of MGS' studios.

Yes, it was a pretty concise summary of what the current state of their portfolio is and what some of their recent projects have done. Unfortunately the title is worded in such a way that some people came in like

 

Ozriel

Member
Halo Infinite, Everwild, Perfect Dark and State of Decay 2 - all of these games were announced too early, or shown in a rough state in Halo's case.

MS needs to get a grip of its studios, manage them properly, and ensure key staff are retained.

Only a fraction of Microsoft studios have confirmed stories of games with issues or Troubled development. Not surprised some of you are trying to paint it as a widespread, pervasive issue of studio mismanagement.

3 games out of over 25 in development. That’s the ‘crisis’?
 

Riky

My little VRR pleasure pearl goes vrrrooommm.
I would like to see some new announcements this year as well as gameplay from previously announced games.

Banjo and Quake would be ideal.
 

Papacheeks

Banned
Agree with the Video.
The June show really has to show shit.

Stuff announced way to early right into dev hell isnt really great...

If we dont see anything from Fable, Everwild, Coalition, and the likes honestly I think Microsoft needs to re-valuate how they manage studios. I expect to see something from obsidian because they are super efficient. And other Bethesda studios as well like more than likely will have or be part of the showcase.

But they should have not shown shit back in 2020. Because now pressure is on since their biggest releases past 2 years has been FOrza, Flight sim, and Halo which came in hot without much in terms of content and now still has put nothing out content wise.

If Rumors are true and Sony is ready to launcH psvr2 late this year, and God of war comes out this year as well with their partnered titles like Forspoken. Sorry but no amount of money spent on a Acquisition can dispel the issues of Microsoft not putting out games.
 

Papacheeks

Banned
Please don't let them fuck up Perfect Dark...

Too late for that now they have Crystal full on taking over on top of them announcing they are also doing another Tomb Raider. CD is a quality developer I have faith, I just dont think its coming anytime soon.
 
I'm happy with the situation so far. Probably happier than I've ever been with MS. They didn't really have much in the way of first party content on Xbox 1 outside of Halo and Project Gotham. Xbox 360 was the same story. Xbox One I ended up skipping. Xbox Series even 2 years in is by far their best output ever. I don't think anyone would claim they're at the level of PS or Nintendo first party output, but it's only been improving. Recently hearing that Tango is looking to make multiple smaller games has me excited honestly. I haven't even touched Psychonauts 2 or Ghostwire yet, or Deathloop. Starfield will change the narrative a lot. (and I don't even have to buy any of these games, what)

I don't have any real problem with people who point out that they still have issues. But compared to basically any point they've ever been at, this is better. And it's likely only going to improve substantially.
 

Hezekiah

Member
Only a fraction of Microsoft studios have confirmed stories of games with issues or Troubled development. Not surprised some of you are trying to paint it as a widespread, pervasive issue of studio mismanagement.

3 games out of over 25 in development. That’s the ‘crisis’?
I mean you expect them to come out and say 'Hey guys, we done f***** up!' 😅
 

Kacho

Gold Member
Please don't let them fuck up Perfect Dark...
Agreed.

Hard not to get worried about the state of a lot these projects. Some of the problems are likely very common and it only seems worse because we’re in the era of people airing all their dirty laundry in public. With that said, the issue with The Initiative is unreal and the constant state of debacle 343 is in is disconcerting.

At least MS has bright spots like Coalition and Playground. There’s also id, BGS and Obsidian which will elevate MS’s output in spite of the problems elsewhere.
 

adamsapple

Gold Member
Not really, ranking is basically a result of a technicality, not merit.

Sorry, but if a project is far enough under way to get signed up as an exclusive release on a competitor's platform, how can you honestly congratulate them for its existence?

Y'all need to read the articles before commenting I swear.

Deathloop was not counted under MS, it was counted under Bethesda's rank at #5


Goes to show that money can buy you almost everything.

Yes, talented developers. (y)
 
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64bitmodels

Member
To be entirely honest, a few studios having development issues don't really phase me that much seeing as how they own like, 30 of them and we haven't been seeing any issues with those other ones. I get the concern but it's a bit overblown.
"But how does that reflect on all the other studios MS owns???"
it reflects not much since MS is more prone to leaks than the other two so if those other studios had issues, we would have known about them by now.
All I can say is that xbox had a great 2021. However it won't mean shit if they can't keep that momentum coming into 2022 and that seems to be the case so far honestly
Great video by gamingbolt though- they call it like it is. Seen too many biased Xbox youtubers like reviewtechusa and destin who cocksuck MS all day long. And i'm surprised to see this thread so civil & optimistic outside of all the laughing emojis.
 

Topher

Gold Member
This is some serious hardcore fanboy dedication here.

If it were Sony "Sony keeps putting out great games of course everyone loves them all their games are goty"

When it's Microsoft "fucking Spencer having all journalists on a payroll to win awards".

The quoted post is the most pitty post I've ever seen on Gaf.

Then I guess you missed all the times the exact same thing was said about Sony first party games? I agree with you that this kind of thing is just console warrior nonsense, but let's not pretend this only happens one way.
 

NahaNago

Member
To be entirely honest, a few studios having development issues don't really phase me that much seeing as how they own like, 30 of them
Pretty much this right here. They have so many studios right now that if a couple of the have issues it isn't going to mess them up badly like it did in the past when all they mostly had was halo, gears, forza, and sea of thieves.
 

The_Mike

Member
Then I guess you missed all the times the exact same thing was said about Sony first party games? I agree with you that this kind of thing is just console warrior nonsense, but let's not pretend this only happens one way.

On which forum are you reading that, because it sure isn't neogaf.
Maybe they just get borrowed or removed from Sony threads, but I read almost any thread in here and it's easy to see the difference in how threads turns out depending on which developer we're talking about.

But yes it happens both ways. It's just more common outside neogaf I guess
 

DarkMage619

Member
On which forum are you reading that, because it sure isn't neogaf.
Maybe they just get borrowed or removed from Sony threads, but I read almost any thread in here and it's easy to see the difference in how threads turns out depending on which developer we're talking about.

But yes it happens both ways. It's just more common outside neogaf I guess
Exactly. There are more Sony fans here than anyone else and they are quite vocal.

Regardless MS being more open means more stories about every issue come to light. The behind the scenes drama over Days Gone prove development issues aren't exclusively a MS problem. June will be the real test of MS's game productivity. Let's see what's planned for the later half of the year.
 

Ozrimandias

Member
There is nothing wrong with Xbox, in fact, everything is right with them. They just need to "persevere".

I don't own (and never had) an xbox console, only Sony but this gen I'm planning to buy a Series S to put it along side my PS5
 

twilo99

Member
Going on 2 years into the gen and its still literally only been Halo and Forza as the big AAA games.

Their other studios seem to be in shambles management wise, which leads to development hell.

None of their new studios have proven anything yet.

They need to get going and prove they can deliver constant, high quality games. Enough BS.

xbox no games

going out of business is imminent
 

Topher

Gold Member
On which forum are you reading that, because it sure isn't neogaf.
Maybe they just get borrowed or removed from Sony threads, but I read almost any thread in here and it's easy to see the difference in how threads turns out depending on which developer we're talking about.

But yes it happens both ways. It's just more common outside neogaf I guess

Of course I'm talking about NeoGAF. Don't how many times I've cracks about Sony paying for reviews or Sony games getting a pass. Naughty Dog alone gets as much grief from Xbox fans as anyone. If you can't see then I don't know what to tell you.

Awkward John Krasinski GIF by Saturday Night Live
 

Banjo64

Member

Fascinating listen by Gavin Price from 18m36s (timestamped from 18m onwards).

Basically says that after Banjo Nuts n Bolts the directive from MS was ‘make yourself important to the first party line up’. He specifically says that Kameo, Nuts n Bolts and Viva Pinata had not cut the mustard in terms of unit sales for ‘anyone’ to double down on to greenlight a sequel. Also said they didn’t need an FPS or a racer from Rare.

After Nuts n Bolts the studio faced a wave of redundancies and there was a shift in tone and feel. He felt like they’d lost a bit of something and the style of project and way of working changed. The inclination is clear that this was change for the worse.

This is contrary to the current image MS is trying to put out, which is make games big and small for Game Pass. It’s also contrary to the ‘Rare can make what they want’ line.

It is a massive shame/mishandling job for MS, as the studio is nothing but a name. MS should have given the eventual Playtonic team a free remit and said ‘here’s the cash, you guys are veterans and you can run your own team and make whatever you like’.
 
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these things take time. not a couple of years but like 5-10 years. did sony and nintendo get their first party to where it is now in only a few years? it took them a long time. it helps that xbox is very wallet friendly with their first party games coming to gamepass. so even if the games aint to your liking, its not like you paid alot for it.
 
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The_Mike

Member
Naughty Dog alone gets as much grief from Xbox fans as anyone. If you can't see then I don't know what to tell you.
If you only think that it was xbox fanboys that criticised naughty dog, then oh man, I got some high quality sand in Sahara I have just on sale special price for you.

Many who liked the first slammed the second for the shitty story and all that woke garbage.

That's the only Sony exclusive that got a lot of hate, and it was from Sony players as well since it was so vocal.

I see it alright. But not as the same way as you.
 

SoggyBiscuit

Gold Member

Fascinating listen by Gavin Price from 18m36s (timestamped from 18m onwards).

Basically says that after Banjo Nuts n Bolts the directive from MS was ‘make yourself important to the first party line up’. He specifically says that Kameo, Nuts n Bolts and Viva Pinata had not cut the mustard in terms of unit sales for ‘anyone’ to double down on to greenlight a sequel. Also said they didn’t need an FPS or a racer from Rare.

After Nuts n Bolts the studio faced a wave of redundancies and there was a shift in tone and feel. He felt like they’d lost a bit of something and the style of project and way of working changed. The inclination is clear that this was change for the worse.

This is contrary to the current image MS is trying to put out, which is make games big and small for Game Pass. It’s also contrary to the ‘Rare can make what they want’ line.

It is a massive shame/mishandling job for MS, as the studio is nothing but a name. MS should have given the eventual Playtonic team a free remit and said ‘here’s the cash, you guys are veterans and you can run your own team and make whatever you like’.
Probably been a fair old culture shift at MS since the Nuts and Bolts days. Especially when there was no focussed effort to make Game Pass the monolith they want it to be. As you mentioned, it is a shame that MS have completely mishandled Rare, probably responsible for most of my videogame playing childhood.
 

Topher

Gold Member
If you only think that it was xbox fanboys that criticised naughty dog, then oh man, I got some high quality sand in Sahara I have just on sale special price for you.

Many who liked the first slammed the second for the shitty story and all that woke garbage.

That's the only Sony exclusive that got a lot of hate, and it was from Sony players as well since it was so vocal.

I see it alright. But not as the same way as you.

Not sure what part of "cracks about Sony paying for reviews or Sony games getting a pass" you are not understanding. I have to wonder how much you really do see when you deliberately delete the point I was making and make it about something else entirely.
 

Ozriel

Member
If we dont see anything from Fable, Everwild, Coalition, and the likes honestly I think Microsoft needs to re-valuate how they manage studios. I expect to see something from obsidian because they are super efficient. And other Bethesda studios as well like more than likely will have or be part of the showcase.

But they should have not shown shit back in 2020. Because now pressure is on since their biggest releases past 2 years has been FOrza, Flight sim, and Halo which came in hot without much in terms of content and now still has put nothing out content wise.

If Rumors are true and Sony is ready to launcH psvr2 late this year, and God of war comes out this year as well with their partnered titles like Forspoken. Sorry but no amount of money spent on a Acquisition can dispel the issues of Microsoft not putting out games.

Where's the pressure on? Everyone expects their June showcase to be fully packed with content, and it will likely deliver the goods.

Given that there's absolutely no hint at mismanagement in Rare, Playground or Coalition, I'm not sure why youre trying to make a story around their games.

As it stands, they're likely to release Starfield, Redfall and Forza H2 2022. Not sure how releases of Ragnarok, PSVR2 or Forspoken invalidates those games.

But this 'xbox has no games' narrative is par for the course with you, isn't it?
 

Ozriel

Member

Fascinating listen by Gavin Price from 18m36s (timestamped from 18m onwards).

Basically says that after Banjo Nuts n Bolts the directive from MS was ‘make yourself important to the first party line up’. He specifically says that Kameo, Nuts n Bolts and Viva Pinata had not cut the mustard in terms of unit sales for ‘anyone’ to double down on to greenlight a sequel. Also said they didn’t need an FPS or a racer from Rare.

After Nuts n Bolts the studio faced a wave of redundancies and there was a shift in tone and feel. He felt like they’d lost a bit of something and the style of project and way of working changed. The inclination is clear that this was change for the worse.

This is contrary to the current image MS is trying to put out, which is make games big and small for Game Pass. It’s also contrary to the ‘Rare can make what they want’ line.

It is a massive shame/mishandling job for MS, as the studio is nothing but a name. MS should have given the eventual Playtonic team a free remit and said ‘here’s the cash, you guys are veterans and you can run your own team and make whatever you like’.

The people at Rare say they can make what they like, they've made Sea of Thieves which is well regarded as a typical 'Rare' game.

In the meantime, Playtonic's game that was pitched as a 'spiritual successor' to Banjo, from team y'all hailed as the 'true Rare', became a critical and commercial flop.

I had to check what year this is when I saw the 'Rare is just a name' shit going around. As if the current Rare team doesn't have its fair share of veterans and if the studio culture isn't obviously preserved.
 

conpfreak

Member
these things take time. not a couple of years but like 5-10 years. did sony and nintendo get their first party to where it is now in only a few years? it took them a long time. it helps that xbox is very wallet friendly with their first party games coming to gamepass. so even if the games aint to your liking, its not like you paid alot for it.
Yes, Nintendo did. They have been firing on all cylinders first party wise for decades, with a few misses here and there. They are the standard for how to conduct in house development. Sony first party studios didn't start to get solid output until later in the PS1 days, and even then, the quality was nowhere close to their current output.

Microsoft would be better served if they had a lead studio or executive head that can cross pollinate by building game design expertise and development tools that work across the board for in house studios. That's exactly what Nintendo excels at, and what Sony has recently achieved since last generation.
 
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PhaseJump

Gold Member
What's going on with Xbox Game Studios is a total lack of realization that Wednesday happens once a week, and the entire weeaboo market is ripe both in it's hygienic stankiness and it's subscription growth potential.



Phil Spencer needs to fly over to Japan again, only this time he needs to get something done. Buy Sega, buy Falcom, pay Itagaki, Igarashi, and Hajime Tabata to make Xbox games. Fill in that content gap already.

Do it, Phil. Bring Greenberg with you too. Unleash him like a Pokemon in the boardroom. Use him to prove to the Japanese management that Xbox is willing to spare no expense, subsidizing anything and anybody, no matter how weird and fucked up.
 

Banjo64

Member
The people at Rare say they can make what they like, they've made Sea of Thieves which is well regarded as a typical 'Rare' game.
No it isn’t.

In the meantime, Playtonic's game that was pitched as a 'spiritual successor' to Banjo, from team y'all hailed as the 'true Rare',
I think you’re confusing me with someone else, I didn’t say that.

became a critical and commercial flop.



Will Ferrell Lol GIF by NBA


First game hit 1m players after a year so not really a commercial flop either.

I had to check what year this is when I saw the 'Rare is just a name' shit going around. As if the current Rare team doesn't have its fair share of veterans and if the studio culture isn't obviously preserved.
It’s 2022. This interview is with Gavin Price. The name might not mean anything to you, but let’s just say he might know about the inner workings of Rare and its culture just a little bit more than you.
 

Riky

My little VRR pleasure pearl goes vrrrooommm.
It's interesting what he says in the interview but really when he talks about the Banjo IP they only have themselves to blame. I loved Nuts and Bolts as a game but whoever thought it was a good idea to make it a Banjo game needs to carry the can for its failure commercially, it would have been a great Lego game.
It even openly mocks the fanbase at the start of the game which was incredibly annoying, no wonder MS were not happy. They should have just made a platformer which ironically when he's talking about games that MS didn't need in FPS and racers was the one genre they did actually need.
Hopefully a real Banjo Threeie happens even if it isn't Rare doing the development.
 
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