Microsoft Studios (& Partners) Current and Future Landscape

Microsoft's Shannon Loftis On The Xbox One X Future, Minecraft Exclusivity, And Scalebound

Says mostly nothing

In terms of exclusives, I've heard that rumor and I'm a little bit confused because we have a really good line-up this holiday. We've got the most popular game on the planet in PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds – the Xbox console is going to be the only place where you can play that. We also have Forza Motorsports 7, which every single year reinvents the racing genre and basically owns racing in the video games industry.
This is bullshit, though
 
We have a huge vibrant community on S and not everybody in gaming right now is ready to make that 4K leap. It can be quite expensive to buy the television. The prices have come down amazingly, but it still is a major investment. I haven’t convinced my own husband yet to let me buy one.
Yeah. Okay.
 
I like Shannon a lot but my two things I'm taking out of that interview is 1) she doesn't own a 4K TV. What?! And 2) she really needs some home runs next year. SoT, CD3 and SoD2 can't just be good. They have to be great.

Fingers crossed for her and us :)


On another note, who is actually in charge of first party now, anyone know?
 
I like Shannon a lot but my two things I'm taking out of that interview is 1) she doesn't own a 4K TV. What?! And 2) she really needs some home runs next year. SoT, CD3 and SoD2 can't just be good. They have to be great.

Fingers crossed for her and us :)


On another note, who is actually in charge of first party now, anyone know?
First party and Minecraft report to Phil. 343, rare,coalition, turn 10, minecraft

Shannon oversees stuff like Crackdown and. State of decay, luckys tale etc. external exclusives and partnerships
 
I like Shannon a lot but my two things I'm taking out of that interview is 1) she doesn't own a 4K TV. What?! And 2) she really needs some home runs next year. SoT, CD3 and SoD2 can't just be good. They have to be great.

Fingers crossed for her and us :)


On another note, who is actually in charge of first party now, anyone know?
If by first party you mean Microsoft Studios then it's her, Shannon Loftis.
Last I read/heard was that 343, Minecraft, Coalition and T10 report up to Phil. Shannon is in charge of the rest.

Edit: Beaten!
 
So I know this probably won't be a first party title but I didn't know where else to put it and didn't think it warranted a new thread, Playground have posted for loads of new positions across two titles including the following

Creative Director
Playground Games is looking for a Creative Director to setup and lead a world-class design team on an entirely new AAA open-world action / RPG project. You will help to define and be responsible for executing against the project’s vision.
Narrative Director
Playground Games is looking for a Narrative Director to set up and lead a world-class narrative team on an entirely new AAA project. You will help to define and be responsible for executing against the project’s vision for narrative, story and writing.
http://jobs.jobvite.com/careers/pla...&__jvsd=sbC1cgwL&__jvsc=Facebook&bid=nCAjQBwr

So Forza Horizon 4 is assured, I think but this other one..... oh boy, can't wait to see/find out more!!
 
So I know this probably won't be a first party title but I didn't know where else to put it and didn't think it warranted a new thread, Playground have posted for loads of new positions across two titles including the following





http://jobs.jobvite.com/careers/pla...&__jvsd=sbC1cgwL&__jvsc=Facebook&bid=nCAjQBwr

So Forza Horizon 4 is assured, I think but this other one..... oh boy, can't wait to see/find out more!!
That's the rumoured multiplat project isn't it? Very talented team, same as you, looking forward to seeing what it is.
 
That's the rumoured multiplat project isn't it? Very talented team, same as you, looking forward to seeing what it is.
Funnily enough after looking through most of the job descriptions the main thing I see missing is "experience in online or multiplayer". So it looks like a big old traditional RPG. Was seriously hoping it was going to be Fable but its a new IP, so that'll be a no then.

I'll pretty much buy any game they are making day one but this sounds like it could be some way off revealing.
 
Funnily enough after looking through most of the job descriptions the main thing I see missing is "experience in online or multiplayer". So it looks like a big old traditional RPG. Was seriously hoping it was going to be Fable but its a new IP, so that'll be a no then.

I'll pretty much buy any game they are making day one but this sounds like it could be some way off revealing.
Well establishing a new studio(2bd studio) and making a new IP is gonna take 3-4+ years. I wouldn't be suprised if it was a 2019-2020 game
 
AAA/open world RPG and if the rumors are right MS didn't lock this one down?

I know we've talked about this before when we didn't know yet what genre it exactly would be except for open world and that there could be all kinds of reasons that MS would pass on this as an exclusive. Reasons like that the game may be too similar to games they already have in the pipeline, so Crackdown 3 for example.

But that doesn't seem to be the case at all. At the end of the day it's not a huge deal, just that it would be good for Xbox to have a new AAA exclusive and the fact that the hardware would be fully taken advantage of.

But... we don't know, perhaps it does turn out to be exclusive. We'll have to wait and see.
 
Well establishing a new studio(2bd studio) and making a new IP is gonna take 3-4+ years. I wouldn't be suprised if it was a 2019-2020 game
We know that the second studio has been growing and the game itself has been worked on in some capacity since February of this year at the latest. So I would say 2020 would be the earliest we could see it. Unless it was being worked on even in the prototype stages earlier than February this year.
 
I still find it hard to believe that Microsoft would pass on this new Playground new IP.

Specially since we never heard why, just that it happened
Wasn't it just hearsay though? Not sure who came with the stories but I do wonder how reliable they are. People on other sites say MS probably doesn't want to risk it, just because they made three great racing games doesn't mean they can take on a open world RPG now. But then my argument would be that they ARE giving Sea of Thieves a chance and what if this new RPG becomes a huge success? That could mean a brand new IP or at least exclusive on their roster next to Halo, Forza and Gears.

Also MS is going to be hiring independent developers to make games for them. They recently said that. PG is independent and this sounds exactly like that. Unless MS hired these developers and that those games can become multiplatform later on. It all remains to be seen. If I was MS I'd probably grab this one so I can show it next E3 or 2019 and surprise people with it.
 
I still find it hard to believe that Microsoft would pass on this new Playground new IP.

Specially since we never heard why, just that it happened
bullying one of the studios that have good relationship with your company isnt a smart business choice

for all we know playground wanted to go multiplat just like remedy. can't really blame 'em
 
Maybe Playground wanted to go multi platform or not be tied as a timed exclusive or whatever deal Microsoft wanted. It's not always one side.
Then the question is who's the publisher? If their new game is a AAA Open World Action RPG then that must limit it quite a bit? Would be hysterical if it was Sony, lol.
 
Wasn't it just hearsay though? Not sure who came with the stories but I do wonder how reliable they are. People on other sites say MS probably doesn't want to risk it, just because they made three great racing games doesn't mean they can take on a open world RPG now. But then my argument would be that they ARE giving Sea of Thieves a chance and what if this new RPG becomes a huge success? That could mean a brand new IP or at least exclusive on their roster next to Halo, Forza and Gears.

Also MS is going to be hiring independent developers to make games for them. They recently said that. PG is independent and this sounds exactly like that. Unless MS hired these developers and that those games can become multiplatform later on. It all remains to be seen. If I was MS I'd probably grab this one so I can show it next E3 or 2019 and surprise people with it.
well yeah, thats one of the reasons why I dont fully believe it

Maybe Playground wanted to go multi platform or not be tied as a timed exclusive or whatever deal Microsoft wanted. It's not always one side.
bullying one of the studios that have good relationship with your company isnt a smart business choice

for all we know playground wanted to go multiplat just like remedy. can't really blame 'em
Did the people (was it Sneakers?) with the alleged info said that? I remember reading that ''MS passed on it'', and thats what I find it weird

If its the developer wish, sure, that makes a lot of sense, but if MS passed on it, they must have major reasons for that. And that's what I would be potentially more curious about
 
There was someone else who said Phil turned down playgrounds new IP before sneakers did but I can't remember who. So there's multiple people saying it. Wouldn't surprise me if it was true either they don't seem interested in big non gaas games
 
Or perhaps MS wanted to have full ownership of the IP like they wanted with Ryse but I doubt that.

Then the question is who's the publisher? If their new game is a AAA Open World Action RPG then that must limit it quite a bit? Would be hysterical if it was Sony, lol.
That would be absolutely insane and a huge shame. If not exclusive then just make it multiplatform. But if MS did indeed say no to it as an exclusive and they went to Sony and they said yes, then yeah.

When a game is exclusive to a system it means that company always funds that particular game, right? It's not like MS doesn't have enough money though, sigh.

There was someone else who said Phil turned down playgrounds new IP before sneakers did but I can't remember who. So there's multiple people saying it. Wouldn't surprise me if it was true either they don't seem interested in big non gaas games
Now that Phil has been promoted, recently, doesn't this mean he has more freedom to do things? So if he now declines a offer it's fully on him and not higher ups anymore?
 
Now that Phil has been promoted, recently, doesn't this mean he has more freedom to do things? So if he now declines a offer it's fully on him and not higher ups anymore?
As head of gaming, it has always been fully on him.

He has limited control over the budget given to his division, that responsibility will lie with Satya and the CFO.

But ALLOCATION of budget for different business priorities is entirely on him.
 
Phil will have a budget to work too and he will decide his funding decisions based off of the money he has to spend versus the return he thinks he will get. And I don't just mean sales numbers, it'll be what value that brings to Xbox as a whole.

I would imagine purchasing a studio would still have to be approved by Satya or Amy Hood or a committee or something.

The only other publishers who would work with dev on a game of this scope would be Sony, EA, Activision or Take 2 but out of those who works with external devs? After Insomniac appearing at the Xbox E3 conference it actually wouldn't surprise me that much if Sony nabbed it.
 
I would imagine purchasing a studio would still have to be approved by Satya or Amy Hood or a committee or something.
Unless a budget was already put in place to acquire a headcount of several hundred on top of natural allocation of headcount to existing studios, approval to acquire a significant number of headcount goes all the way to the very high up.
 
Phil will have a budget to work too and he will decide his funding decisions based off of the money he has to spend versus the return he thinks he will get. And I don't just mean sales numbers, it'll be what value that brings to Xbox as a whole.

I would imagine purchasing a studio would still have to be approved by Satya or Amy Hood or a committee or something.

The only other publishers who would work with dev on a game of this scope would be Sony, EA, Activision or Take 2 but out of those who works with external devs? After Insomniac appearing at the Xbox E3 conference it actually wouldn't surprise me that much if Sony nabbed it.
I sure as shit hope not. If not exclusive for MS they should have made a deal to make it a timed exclusive perhaps or just have the marketing rights like they had with Witcher 3. So i still hope it's multiplatform but then again, if not and Sony did say yes...it's totally on MS. All this is of course very early talk, we have almost no idea about anything yet.
 
I sure as shit hope not. If not exclusive for MS they should have made a deal to make it a timed exclusive perhaps or just have the marketing rights like they had with Witcher 3. So i still hope it's multiplatform but then again, if not and Sony did say yes...it's totally on MS. All this is of course very early talk, we have almost no idea about anything yet.
If the game hasn’t even found a publisher during the point MS rejected it, and the game still doesn’t even have a creative lead yet... it is WAYYYYY too early to talk about timed exclusivity or marketing deals.

Those things happen once there’s actually a game that can be announced, not PowerPoint slides of a game pitch.
 
The only other publishers who would work with dev on a game of this scope would be Sony, EA, Activision or Take 2 but out of those who works with external devs? After Insomniac appearing at the Xbox E3 conference it actually wouldn't surprise me that much if Sony nabbed it.
just because of that? like out of pettiness? Thats not how this works lol
 
If the game hasn’t even found a publisher during the point MS rejected it, and the game still doesn’t even have a creative lead yet... it is WAYYYYY too early to talk about timed exclusivity or marketing deals.

Those things happen once there’s actually a game that can be announced, not PowerPoint slides of a game pitch.
Yeah good point there. Maybe once Phil sees the game in action in a year or two he'll change his tune. Or Sony for that matter. But you're right, this is all a lot of talk about nothing really. From now on i'm just gonna wait and see.
 
If the game hasn’t even found a publisher during the point MS rejected it, and the game still doesn’t even have a creative lead yet... it is WAYYYYY too early to talk about timed exclusivity or marketing deals.

Those things happen once there’s actually a game that can be announced, not PowerPoint slides of a game pitch.
This. Not sure if they are working already in that new building they bought. This game is atleast 3/4 years away still.
 
Unless a budget was already put in place to acquire a headcount of several hundred on top of natural allocation of headcount to existing studios, approval to acquire a significant number of headcount goes all the way to the very high up.
I agree, like the Minecraft deal that kind of investment has to be signed off by Satya. As would a $250million purchase of a studio or similar sized investment.

just because of that? like out of pettiness? Thats not how this works lol
Of course not, that's not what I meant :)

More like the surprise factor of Insomniac appearing on an Xbox stage to announce an exclusive, it would be a big thing for Sony to get Playground's next game and the Insomniac deal just shows its possible. That's all I meant.
 
Yeah good point there. Maybe once Phil sees the game in action in a year or two he'll change his tune. Or Sony for that matter. But you're right, this is all a lot of talk about nothing really. From now on i'm just gonna wait and see.
This is a most likely a massive AAA investment. Someone is already paying the bills to turn concept art and design documents into a vertical slice, aka a publisher.

And if it's a big publisher (WB, EA, etc ), doesn't matter anymore if Phil or Sony changes their tune. It already belongs to someone else.
 
This is a most likely a massive AAA investment. Someone is already paying the bills to turn concept art and design documents into a vertical slice, aka a publisher.

And if it's a big publisher (WB, EA, etc ), doesn't matter anymore if Phil or Sony changes their tune. It already belongs to someone else.
Yeah, that's what I was getting at as well. They have been working/talking about this second IP since February of this year and even if they haven't started it yet
I think they probably have
, someone has already signed this whether it is a platform holder or one of the other big publishers.
 
Yeah good point there. Maybe once Phil sees the game in action in a year or two he'll change his tune. Or Sony for that matter. But you're right, this is all a lot of talk about nothing really. From now on i'm just gonna wait and see.
they have a whole new studio set up, making a game in a new genre for them. So they are hiring both key people (aka expensive talent) and more ground level staff because of that (In February they were 115 staff overall, now they are over 150). That starting point alone is very expensive, now think paying for that over 1-2 years like you are imagining here. Thats a LOT of cash

There is no way they can do that without having a publisher already
 
I go on holiday for a week and what happens..... lol

Fucking hell did the shit hit the fan or what!?

Going to take a few days to process all of what went on here and try and understand
some of
it. Is everyone leaving then? Is NeoGAF done?





In the mean time, MS have new studios!!

Microsoft Opens Mixed Reality Studios in San Francisco and London
Microsoft is opening its first Mixed Reality capture studios in San Francisco and London, allowing developers and creators to create holograms from real life objects. Microsoft has been using its own studio at its Redmond headquarters to capture Buzz Aldrin, Reggie Watts, Max Frost, and Cirque Du Soleil performances and bring them into virtual reality and augmented reality holograms.

The new studios in San Francisco, London, and Redmond will allow third parties to create holograms that can be used on regular 2D screens, a HoloLens device, or even Microsoft’s new Windows Mixed Reality (VR) headsets. Microsoft will be licensing these studios, and it’s likely to be an expensive process to capture items as holograms.
Wee bit more at the link below

https://www.theverge.com/2017/10/25...y-capture-studio-redmond-san-francisco-london
 
Does anyone know the dev time for MS main devs?

Halo 5 released in 2015 is there a chance of another game in 2018, because that would be a 3yr dev time

And what about coalition? I wonder if there on a 2yr or 3yr dev cycle because if they are on a 2yr cycle and they release in 2018, 2018 will be pretty stacked for MS exclusives.

2018 could potentially have

Sea of theives
Crackdown 3
A coalition game
A forza game from playground games
And a halo game.
 
Apart from a new Forza, do we have an idea of what the Holiday '18 game will be for MS?

I ask because as far as I know, most of the known games are launching in the first half of next year. Do we believe MS will announce a major first party game (Halo, etc) and launch within the same year? Has that happened before for major first party title?
 
Apart from a new Forza, do we have an idea of what the Holiday '18 game will be for MS?

I ask because as far as I know, most of the known games are launching in the first half of next year. Do we believe MS will announce a major first party game (Halo, etc) and launch within the same year? Has that happened before for major first party title?
Ms announce games every E3 and have them release in the fall of the same year.

Im very confident HALO 6 and forza horizon 4 will be the Microsofts big fall games.
 
Ms announce games every E3 and have them release in the fall of the same year.

Im very confident HALO 6 and forza horizon 4 will be the Microsofts big fall games.
Obviously a new Forza will be announced and launched this year, but do you really believe a new Halo will as well? Has that ever happened before?
 
Obviously a new Forza will be announced and launched this year, but do you really believe a new Halo will as well? Has that ever happened before?
I don't believe there has ever been a Halo game announced and released in the same year. I'm not sure since I don't really care for the series but my memory over the last few years seems to be that the game was released the year following the announcement.
 
Obviously a new Forza will be announced and launched this year, but do you really believe a new Halo will as well? Has that ever happened before?
How likely is a 4yr dev cycle for a halo game?

3yrs makes more sense looking at 343s past and development cycles in the industry.

To think it is more likely there isnt going to be a 343 halo game in 2018 is unusual.

Also it wouldn't really make sense for Microsoft to give 343 more then a 3yr dev time dev time.Unless 343 are attempting somthing really ambitious.
 
March 20th - Sea of Thieves
May/June - State of Decay 2
Late September - Forza Horizon 4
Late October/Early November - Crackdown 3

March 2019 - Ori 2
Late September 2019 - Forza Motorsport 8
Mid/Late October 2019 - Halo 6

Those are my predictions for 2018 and a tentative list for 2019. I know a lot of people are expecting/hoping for Halo 6 this year but I think that would be a mistake because their exclusive lineup is already a billion times better than 2017, I believe that Crackdown 3 will be delayed to the fall and be Microsoft's big exclusive title. For Halo 6, it needs another year of development because sales decline each time they release a Halo game. It needs to be special again. Giving 343 another year and actually caring about the franchise should accomplish this.
 
March 20th - Sea of Thieves
May/June - State of Decay 2
Late September - Forza Horizon 4
Late October/Early November - Crackdown 3

March 2019 - Ori 2
Late September 2019 - Forza Motorsport 8
Mid/Late October 2019 - Halo 6

Those are my predictions for 2018 and a tentative list for 2019. I know a lot of people are expecting/hoping for Halo 6 this year but I think that would be a mistake because their exclusive lineup is already a billion times better than 2017, I believe that Crackdown 3 will be delayed to the fall and be Microsoft's big exclusive title. For Halo 6, it needs another year of development because sales decline each time they release a Halo game. It needs to be special again. Giving 343 another year and actually caring about the franchise should accomplish this.
Just because a game has longer development time does not mean its going to be better.

3yrs is not a short dev time.