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Microsoft Studios (& Partners) Current and Future Landscape

Zedox

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Oct 16, 2013
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I once believed in what you're saying, but again, what are their recent efforts to accomplish such a thing? (other than Scorpio annoucement)

Cause if they want to progressively unify Xbox and Windows 10 they're not doing much for it lately. Windows 10 store is still quite messy, prices are not atractive, UWP doesn't allow nearly the same freedom Steam, Origin, GoG, or any other PC platform may offer to edit the game files / configurations.

If they want to make Xbox a "steam machine"-like product they're gonna need to create stronger appeal for it. They are not gathering PC players attention with their releases in the digital store, they're scaring people away from Xbox closing so many studios, canceling so many projects and not showing new IP's.

Maybe they're gonna soon announce something big, something that means a complete change in the way they're trying to achieve things, like a new project or something. But the way things have lately been directed is only deviating people from their projects.
I stated that they are working at building out that platform. Yes, the short comings of how they are doing on PC have been enumerated. I stated what their plan is...not how it is doing. I'm not telling you to believe in what I'm saying...meaning it will be successful, just stating what it seems to me what their plan is.
 

LordRaptor

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Aug 20, 2015
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What I am curious about is where Xbox live fits into this as a paid service. I can't see that flying in the PC space. Interesting times ahead!
MS could have put the entire Xbox Live APIs into DirectX and instead of charging the end user fees for using XBL charge the developers fees for integrating an all in one package into their software.
Doing it that way, all DirectX games on PC would by default also be Play Anywhere / Cross Play / Utilising Live for MAUs, and be able to be sold on any storefront. They would have had a huge first mover advantage with that suite from when the 360 was lead target platform for console developers that would persist today when the X1 is not lead.

As it is they wanted to monetise at both ends, PC users didn't go for it, and they shitcanned GFWL after letting it wither and die and now they have to overcome the stench of GFWLs festering corpse in persuading PC gamers to trust them on top of all the inherent issues with persuading people to change their preferred storefront and social platform.
 

Kssio_Aug

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Sep 14, 2013
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I stated that they are working at building out that platform. Yes, the short comings of how they are doing on PC have been enumerated. I stated what their plan is...not how it is doing. I'm not telling you to believe in what I'm saying...meaning it will be successful, just stating what it seems to me what their plan is.
I understand, I wasn't intending to be rude or anything, sorry if that was the impression you got from my post.

I understand you're not implying things, I'm really just debating... cause since not long ago I was almost sure that what you said was exactly what they were trying to achieve. However, since a while it seems they're not moving a finger to make that project work. Which is leading me to be suspicious about their current plans.

MS could have put the entire Xbox Live APIs into DirectX and instead of charging the end user fees for using XBL charge the developers fees for integrating an all in one package into their software.
Doing it that way, all DirectX games on PC would by default also be Play Anywhere / Cross Play / Utilising Live for MAUs, and be able to be sold on any storefront. They would have had a huge first mover advantage with that suite from when the 360 was lead target platform for console developers that would persist today when the X1 is not lead.

As it is they wanted to monetise at both ends, PC users didn't go for it, and they shitcanned GFWL after letting it wither and die and now they have to overcome the stench of GFWLs festering corpse in persuading PC gamers to trust them on top of all the inherent issues with persuading people to change their preferred storefront and social platform.
I wonder what are the chances they're gonna abandon their new store (I'm not aware of how they're doing in the mobile market, which is probably the main reason of it's existance). Cause if they do it again that's gonna be ugly.
 

jelly

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Oct 14, 2013
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I used to work at MS and this seemed the direction things have been going in for a while. I think you are on the money. Xbox has been more than just a console for a while. What I am curious about is where Xbox live fits into this as a paid service. I can't see that flying in the PC space. Interesting times ahead!
I think they'll stop selling consoles eventually if Windows Store picks up along with Windows Mobile. Xbox Live will never cross over to PC as a paid service. It just one of those oddities that makes nice bank but is not feasible anywhere else but the console. I think taking in billions with the Windows Store and Mobile platform being a success trumps console and xbl subscriptions. They just have to get there, when hell freezes over so xbl subs will have to do for now. Xbox is a means to an end that results in it's death.
 

Frobary

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Mar 20, 2014
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It's only January and look at this list for PS4




Then February



March



Those are all Big PS4 exclusives for the most part.....That's insane for the first 3 months of the year.



Microsofts list comprises of



I included every XBO/PC combo exclusive.......2!!!!! Just 2!!!!!


Till fall or E3 when they announce dates for the likes of Forza and stuff. It's insane how hugely flopped it is. Xbox One launched with an amazing lineup imo compared to the PS4, they also had an amazing following year! but fumbled due to the controversies. Since then....there list has been getting smaller, and smaller and smaller.
Next Week on Xbox – Upcoming Games, January 9 – 15
http://news.xbox.com/2017/01/07/next-week-xbox-upcoming-games-january-9-15/
 

Bits N Pieces

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Jun 9, 2015
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But there isn't a Live v PSN discussion going on...

The broader point is that Microsoft and Sony have done a good job keeping each other honest, any complacency or over-stepping of bounds being seized upon immediately.
I've just seen so many threads turn to shit in the last 24 hours, apologies if it came across a bit dickish. As for your actual post I couldn't agree more, healthy competition leads to innovation and general consumer benefits. This industry needs the platform holders it has doing as well as they can.
 

Bits N Pieces

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Jun 9, 2015
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Could they? Sure, but like I've said, unless they have entire first party studios secretly hidden away somewhere, I personally can not deduce who might be working on a surprise. 343 is working on Halo, that's their bread and butter. The Coalition is on Gears, Turn 10 is on Forza, Rare is on Sea of Thieves and other prototypes (that aren't anywhere near ready to be shown), Lionhead's gone...

This first party source noted to me that this time last year they had clear knowledge about what's coming in pipeline but right now it's radio silent, which to them says not much is on the horizon, software wise.

Phil's been adamant (now) that throwing money towards third party exclusives "doesn't grow" their brand, and they likely won't go that route.

Big new IPs need significant resources and capital and I can't see where that'd come from.
Isn't that where a Dev like Playground, Remedy, Armature, Reagent, Undeadlabs etc come in, except we just don't know who that might be yet? I mean they have 0 games announced for 2018 and I can't wrap my head around them having 0 games in development due to release in that year.

Maybe they're getting better at keeping secrets?
 

sam777

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Oct 4, 2014
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I enjoy playing Halo, Gears and Forza they are great exclusives but it is annoying me that we don't see MS put more effort in to creating more new IP's. Actually it is really fucking annoying wake up MS ffs.
 

shinobi602

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Isn't that where a Dev like Playground, Remedy, Armature, Reagent, Undeadlabs etc come in, except we just don't know who that might be yet? I mean they have 0 games announced for 2018 and I can't wrap my head around them having 0 games in development due to release in that year.

Maybe they're getting better at keeping secrets?
I'm not saying there's "0". What I said is what I said. There's nothing that I personally know about for now. Playground just finished Forza Horizon, a huge endeavor that took up all the studio's resources, Remedy's next game is multiplatform and not anywhere near ready, Undead is on State of Decay.

Their deals with studios that produced things like Sunset Overdrive, Ryse, Recore, Quantum Break all failed in terms of financial success. They're all dead. That's the problem.
 

EmiPrime

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May 16, 2013
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I've just seen so many threads turn to shit in the last 24 hours, apologies if it came across a bit dickish. As for your actual post I couldn't agree more, healthy competition leads to innovation and general consumer benefits. This industry needs the platform holders it has doing as well as they can.
That's okay I understand your general weariness, such discussions can go downhill fast! I love that thanks to PS+'s IGC we got GWG and I love that Sony must have made a list of all the online features the 360 had that the PS3 was missing and fixed that with the PS4. We're all better off for it.

As for the whole GaaS thing Microsoft Studios is supposedly now focusing on, persistent world Halo anyone? 343 would be accused of ripping off Bungie but whatever, I'd be well up for it.
 

PanicFreak

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May 10, 2013
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In the embrace of a wind hug.
I'm not saying there's "0". What I said is what I said. There's nothing that I personally know about for now. Playground just finished Forza Horizon, a huge endeavor that took up all the studio's resources, Remedy's next game is multiplatform and not anywhere near ready, Undead is on State of Decay.

Their deals with studios that produced things like Sunset Overdrive, Ryse, Recore, Quantum Break all failed in terms of financial success. They're all dead. That's the problem.
Ryse performed pretty well actually. It's dead for other reasons.
 

FelipeMGM

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Isn't that where a Dev like Playground, Remedy, Armature, Reagent, Undeadlabs etc come in, except we just don't know who that might be yet? I mean they have 0 games announced for 2018 and I can't wrap my head around them having 0 games in development due to release in that year.

Maybe they're getting better at keeping secrets?
That is the issue though.

Who are those studios? There arent that many medium/big independent studios available like these ones out there. And many from the ones available had a project with Microsoft that didnt pan out which prob hurted their relationship.

More likely to have smaller studios tackling bigger things then they used to like Armature. And that might be very risky
 

SneakersSO

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Ryse performed pretty well actually. It's dead for other reasons.
Nah, Ryse underperformed, especially since it had, at that point, been funded & changed course of development twice, and didn't prop up the console to where MS wanted it to be.

The more I hear about how MS ultimately perceives the relative success their releases have enjoyed (or not enjoyed, really), the more I realize that they absolutely don't feel something is not successful unless its SUPER successful. Nintendo & Sony would kill for the numbers some of these MS releases have done that internally are considered bombs or failures.
 

Zedox

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I understand, I wasn't intending to be rude or anything, sorry if that was the impression you got from my post.

I understand you're not implying things, I'm really just debating... cause since not long ago I was almost sure that what you said was exactly what they were trying to achieve. However, since a while it seems they're not moving a finger to make that project work. Which is leading me to be suspicious about their current plans.
I understand why you feel that way, even though MS has made some steps to make the store better, they are only small. Also, with MS forgoing Redstone 2 update until Spring instead of Fall 2016 (it's original date) we got a small feature batch. So the wait for what they can do (because of the platform changes they are making but only some) with the actual release of Redstone 2 (Creators Update that's coming in April) is long. So it seems like they aren't doing anything or caring. I wish that they did update the Store faster as well. Luckily for this year (so far planned) we have Redstone 2 and Redstone 3 (Spring and Fall updates) and hopefully those bring in better changes to the platform and the store. But that's wishful thinking and I don't want (and doubt) that I want you to wish that. I'm just trying to give information where I can.

Your feelings to being suspicious about their plans are totally valid.

I'm not saying there's "0". What I said is what I said. There's nothing that I personally know about for now. Playground just finished Forza Horizon, a huge endeavor that took up all the studio's resources, Remedy's next game is multiplatform and not anywhere near ready, Undead is on State of Decay.

Their deals with studios that produced things like Sunset Overdrive, Ryse, Recore, Quantum Break all failed in terms of financial success. They're all dead. That's the problem.
I would state that the issue is, from all the information given, we don't know what they have because all of those are dead and those teams are moving on from them. It's harder to judge. I'm not saying you are wrong, I guess I'm really just giving semantics...nvm me I just got finished writing a mission statement for my team at my job so I'm being really picky about words. lololol
 

SneakersSO

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I thought MS wanted a sequel.
When MS wants a sequel to something, even if its something they don't own, they have no problem opening up the wallet & paying out for it. Thats why they bought Gears. They gave up on Ryse as soon as Crytek asked for more money.
 

michaelius

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I used to work at MS and this seemed the direction things have been going in for a while. I think you are on the money. Xbox has been more than just a console for a while. What I am curious about is where Xbox live fits into this as a paid service. I can't see that flying in the PC space. Interesting times ahead!
In Microsoft UWP dystopian future you will be able to get two types of machines
- one where you pay for all parts from your pocket - aka current pc
- one subsidized by Microsoft (or maybe rented to you by Microsoft) - with monthly payment plan - aka current xbox console
 

SamNW

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Isn't that where a Dev like Playground, Remedy, Armature, Reagent, Undeadlabs etc come in, except we just don't know who that might be yet? I mean they have 0 games announced for 2018 and I can't wrap my head around them having 0 games in development due to release in that year.

Maybe they're getting better at keeping secrets?
Let's itemize this.
  • Playground just finished Forza Horizon 3 and they're most likely in pre-production on Forza Horizon 4.
  • Remedy's next game is going to be multiplatform and it's not going to be out for awhile.
  • Armature just put out two games—ReCore and Dead Star—and are going to be doing port work on Bloodstained. I figure they'll have something new out in 2018, but there's no indication that it will be an Xbox exclusive, especially after what happened with ReCore.
  • Reagent is working on Crackdown 3. I imagine it will be out by spring 2018, but who the hell knows what comes after that.
  • Undead Labs is working on State of Decay 2, which will reportedly be out this year, so their next project is also far off.
 

Shabad

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Feb 13, 2014
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Microsoft current planning is mighty thin right now. They NEED to have a VERY strong showing at E3. They have a new hardware version of their console to launch, and in any case they already have a box that needs feeding if they want to continue to compete.

So what retail titles could they reasonably announce at E3 ? Let's take a look at their first party :
  • 343 Industries : Halo 7 announcement is a given at this point. It will be a 2018 game, but this will definitely be announced at this year E3. That's one.
  • Turn 10 Studios : Forza 7 is fairly obvious too. Definitely one of their E3 announcement.
  • The Coalition : Just released Gears 4, it will be a while before we see their new project. At best a story DLC for now.
  • Rare : Still on Sea of Thieves, I don't see them showing two projects at the same time...

And... That's it we are done for first party. That's two very likely announcement from them. Let's take a look at the "second party" partners they have been working with to produce games :

  • Armature Studios : They do are available, but after Recore - which was kind of a wreck - I am not sure they would work with them again. But in any cases, way too early.
  • Undead Labs : They are already on State of Decay 2, no announcement there
  • Remedy Games : Their new project is multiplatform, most likely with a new publisher, and it's too early to see that anyway
  • Playground Games : Too early to show Forza Horizon 4
  • Insomniac Games : Have they hands full with other projects, very unlikely.
  • Crytek : They do have plenty of projects already, and aren't in a very good state. I guess it is possible although they had misunderstanding regarding a possible Ryse 2, so I would still be very surprised
  • People Can Fly : On Fortnite, would be very surprised to see them presenting a new game before it's (eventually) out (or cancelled)
  • Mistwalker : This is a big unknown. They have been silent for a long time, they have to work on something right. Possibly with Microsoft, even though it still would be surprising given their relations with Japanese devs this generation !

That's about all I can think of. One is a decent possibility (Mistwalker), one a very unlikely one (Crytek). And that's it, I am drawing a blank after that. I cannot see from where Microsoft Studios new project could come from.

And given that all they have for the next two years is Halo Wars 2, Crackdown 3, Sea of Thieves, and State of Decay, it simply isn't enough. So what do you think ? New first party studios ? Third party temporary exclusives ? Brand new partnership with new studios they haven't worked with yet ? What are we missing ?
 

sam777

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They could, but MS wouldn't want a game like that, especially in the direction their 1st party is heading in.
Which is what? Fuck all apart from Halo, Gears and Forza, plus the other odd game here and there. Their entire upcoming exclusive games list is just so infuriating.
 

jelly

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Games as a service, expansions, drip feeding new content but the same base game. That's the only way I see them doing a 2018-2019, they can't pull games from thin air. They are setting up their franchises for not having a sequel anytime soon if at all, just expansions.
 

SneakersSO

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Games as a service, expansions, drip feeding new content but the same base game. That's the only way I see them doing a 2018-2019, they can't pull games from thin air. They are setting up their franchises for not having a sequel anytime soon if at all, just expansions.
You're actually 95% on the mark with this post. This is the mandate for right now.
 

Zedox

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You're actually 95% on the mark with this post. This is the mandate for right now.
What's the other 5%...the year? Broadcast feature?

I mean, I understand why they would approach it like this after making all of those big bets on new AAA IPs and none of them really making a name for themselves. Seems they are going to drip in new IPs that feature those things that were mentioned.
 

SneakersSO

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What's the other 5%...the year? Broadcast feature?

I mean, I understand why they would approach it like this after making all of those big bets on new AAA IPs and none of them really making a name for themselves. Seems they are going to drip in new IPs that feature those things that were mentioned.
Other 5% is mostly for the very few smaller projects that are so negligible in terms of funding required or overhead, that larger MS corporate isn't looking in their direction.

Imagine MS corporate is the Eye of Sauron, and its gaze is just turning the visage of those once wonderful looking initiatives, franchises & series that we all loved into twisted monstrosities we can barely look at, all designed to bleed the fanbase dry. In this analogy, projects like Moon studios, Cuphead, and State of Decay 2 are hobbits that are just sneaking past, small enough for the big evil eye to not notice while they do good work for us fans.

But trust, if any of those hobbits do get big enough to notice, they'll be suffering the same fate.
 

Poohblaster

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Hey Microsoft! Just a quick reminder.

You own

Perfect Dark
Banjo Kazooie
Crimson Skies
Age of Empires
Fable

Not saying these series all need to be AAA multi million dollar releases. But, they have fans and people would buy them.
 

mejin

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Other 5% is mostly for the very few smaller projects that are so negligible in terms of funding required or overhead, that larger MS corporate isn't looking in their direction.

Imagine MS corporate is the Eye of Sauron, and its gaze is just turning the visage of those once wonderful looking initiatives, franchises & series that we all loved into twisted monstrosities we can barely look at, all designed to bleed the fanbase dry. In this analogy, projects like Moon studios, Cuphead, and State of Decay 2 are hobbits that are just sneaking past, small enough for the big evil eye to not notice while they do good work for us fans.

But trust, if any of those hobbits do get big enough to notice, they'll be suffering the same fate.
Holy shit. Crackdown is no hobbit...
 

Chris1

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Jun 3, 2014
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Games as a service, expansions, drip feeding new content but the same base game. That's the only way I see them doing a 2018-2019, they can't pull games from thin air. They are setting up their franchises for not having a sequel anytime soon if at all, just expansions.
You're actually 95% on the mark with this post. This is the mandate for right now.
Other 5% is mostly for the very few smaller projects that are so negligible in terms of funding required or overhead, that larger MS corporate isn't looking in their direction.

Imagine MS corporate is the Eye of Sauron, and its gaze is just turning the visage of those once wonderful looking initiatives, franchises & series that we all loved into twisted monstrosities we can barely look at, all designed to bleed the fanbase dry. In this analogy, projects like Moon studios, Cuphead, and State of Decay 2 are hobbits that are just sneaking past, small enough for the big evil eye to not notice while they do good work for us fans.

But trust, if any of those hobbits do get big enough to notice, they'll be suffering the same fate.

Welp

I've been pretty happy with MS output this gen, but if this is the route they go...... I'll be pissed beyond belief
 

anothertech

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Oct 1, 2014
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I know an easy fix, fit their cooperate goal too. Full feature Windows 10 on Xbox.
Full PC library, all the emulator with Nintendo, Sega, Sony full retro best BC of the world.
Just make Xbox a custom Windows 10 hardware already.
The day Xbox is just a pc is the day Xbox is no more.
 

LukasTaves

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Games as a service, expansions, drip feeding new content but the same base game. That's the only way I see them doing a 2018-2019, they can't pull games from thin air. They are setting up their franchises for not having a sequel anytime soon if at all, just expansions.
You're actually 95% on the mark with this post. This is the mandate for right now.
But that doesn't make sense. If that's the type of games they want why cancel Fable Legends, or Project Spark, or that Press Play project that was heavily mp focused and could be a ongoing service. And at the same time they greenlit Recore, moneyhatted DR4, which doesn't fit this narrative.

Even Scalebound was a coop game, and an action open world rpg. Huge potential for DLC if The Witcher is anything to go by. Or even Destiny shows how they could monetize heavily with that game.
 
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But that doesn't make sense. If that's the type of games they want why cancel Fable Legends, or Project Spark, or that Press Play project that was heavily mp focused and could be a ongoing service. And at the same time they greenlit Recore, moneyhatted DR4, which doesn't fit this narrative.

Even Scalebound was a coop game, and an action open world rpg. Huge potential for DLC if The Witcher is anything to go by. Or even Destiny shows how they could monetize heavily with that game.
ReCore was likely greenlit before they made the push towards service games
 

LukasTaves

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When MS wants a sequel to something, even if its something they don't own, they have no problem opening up the wallet & paying out for it. Thats why they bought Gears. They gave up on Ryse as soon as Crytek asked for more money.
That would be against what has been leaked before. It was said ms wanted to pay more if they got the franchise, but Crytek wasn't willing to sell.
 

LukasTaves

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ReCore was likely greenlit before they made the push towards service games
When was that push made then?

We have been hearing, and actually saw some of that during the xbox one reveal, then all the games that were supposed to be a service were cancelled and that's still the push?

I'm sorry, but it doesn't even make sense.
 

GuitarAtomik

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How possible is it for MS to let their single game studios have smaller rotating sub-teams playing around with new game ideas or have game jams? Kind of like how Lionhead used to do, or how Double Fine does. I imagine it would be great to mess around with something else at studios like that even for a short time to rejuvenate themselves and keep from getting too fatigued. Maybe ideas they come up with eventually become new games/IPs, or maybe they become ideas that end up in future iterations of the main game they work on.

Just a thought. Maybe they're already doing that.
 
Nov 9, 2015
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When was that push made then?

We have been hearing, and actually saw some of that during the xbox one reveal, then all the games that were supposed to be a service were cancelled and that's still the push?

I'm sorry, but it doesn't even make sense.
Well, Fable Legends was canned because it sucked, apparently. And as for the push, I'm just going by what Sneakers and shinobi have been saying. But it seems to me pretty recently. Back in 2015 they were all about new IP and games, games, games, including multiple new IP reveals at E3. Last E3, nothing of that sort, and by the look of it none more getting announced anytime soon
 

sense

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Aug 4, 2012
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Here is my ms e3 prediction

Open with Scorpio hardware stuff
Sizzle reel with a bunch of already released games running in 4K like halo 5, gears 4, forza horizon 2, killer instinct, halo wars 2 etc....
Crackdown 3
Sea of thieves
State of decay 2
Ori 2
Forza 7
Halo 6
New Assassins creed and maybe one or two more third party fall games shown
Probably oculus/vive partnership with some vr games showcased
Cuphead, below and Tacoma coming out right away or very soon. Maybe a couple more new indie titles announced
Maybe square or Ubisoft do a timed exclusive game. I know people say square learned with tomb raider but I can see them doing it again with the next one or Ubisoft will do splinter cell timed exclusive but there will likely be some surprise third party game being timed exclusive.
Probably end with 399 price announcement for Scorpio

I honestly don't know what else they can do lol. I am sure hardcore Xbox fans would find that a good solid conference.
 

labx

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There is Below from CAPY and Pit People from Behemoth, I do not understand why this indie studios make they are exclusive don't they?
 

LukasTaves

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Well, Fable Legends was canned because it sucked, apparently. And as for the push, I'm just going by what Sneakers and shinobi have been saying. But it seems to me pretty recently. Back in 2015 they were all about new IP and games, games, games, including multiple new IP reveals at E3. Last E3, nothing of that sort, and by the look of it none more getting announced anytime soon
After E3 2015 no games as a service were announced either, better yet, the ones there were announced were no services at all.

Ms has always had a soft eye for mp, that's very true. But that usually means coop too, and they have many games that has a strong campaign that can be played in coop, heck even Scalebound was supposed to (still hurts :( )

And contrary to them, I don't think it makes sense for Ms to make that push now. They need to attract users to xbox and the store, and successful games as services are so few and between (but they are usually huge when they hit) it worked for Valve to focus on that because their platform was already the most supported game platform in the world. It worked for blizzard because they are a developer/publisher and don't need to draw consumers to a platform that sells games.

So far I'm very content for what they have in store for 2017 (a lot less now that scalebound is gone, but that took their lineup from fantastic to great at the moment), a little preoccupied to not hear anything for 2018, but seeing the reactions to last year and this cancellations I would guess it's more because they probably don't want to announce games too early just to cancel, than making a hypothetical switch to games that aren't being announced either XD
 
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I am sure hardcore Xbox fans would find that a good solid conference.
That's ultimately their problem. Hardcore Xbox gamers (at least friends of mine who are Xbox only gamers) are fine with Halo-Gears-Forza and third party games with the occasional other exclusive, but the rest of gamers (aside from the cod-madden-2K casuals) will likely be looking for more variety. Microsoft seems content with just looking to make the crowd they already have happy without trying to grow it the way Phil said he wanted to