• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.

My HONEST Thoughts On Acquisitions & Market Consolidation

What's your general sentiment on the state of gaming acquisitions?

  • Love 'em

    Votes: 29 11.6%
  • They're okay

    Votes: 34 13.7%
  • I'm indifferent

    Votes: 64 25.7%
  • Starting to become concerned

    Votes: 84 33.7%
  • Hate 'em

    Votes: 38 15.3%

  • Total voters
    249
  • Poll closed .
I think it's pretty obvious what happened. Those who left thought they would have more say and control but didn't. I remember some wanting the game to be episodic and fuck no, that's not going to fly. Instead of there being so many cooks in the kitchen despite already having the chef, they left and Microsoft went and got Crystal Dynamics to develop the game. Gallagher also has a pretty damn good track record so im far more confident now than I was a year ago. I can see a short gameplay trailer at The Game Awards and if not, I would say June 2023 would be a safe bet. As for Embracer, they and CD have already stated that nothing changes. After the first game releases, who knows.

Well I'm just curious as to how the situation got out of hand at The Initiative to where they even went with an episodic approach to begin with, if Gallagher in fact had a different vision long-term. It's his project, essentially, and we know episodic isn't the way they wanted to go because otherwise things wouldn't have gotten to where they did. So was he just really loose in terms of keeping an orderly timeline or what?

I agree with 343 but Halo Infinite's core combat/gameplay is excellent. The base/foundation is there. They just need to get better organized and structured in order to release quality content in a timely fashion. Halo isn't what it once was and if anything, won't be the face of Xbox for much longer anyway if it still is.

Oh 100% agreed as far as being Xbox's marquee brand there's nothing to keep it that way for Halo with all the other IP MS will have access to. The issue is the sheer amount of potential they've squandered with Halo. The Season 2 update dropped and they barely got much of an explosion in active players going by Steam concurrent player counts. It's the highest the game's seen since the first month or two but in absolute terms it's pitiful compared to an average day for other steam games of middling popularity, and in terms of live-service FPS games is less than a third of what Destiny 2 regularly pulls in on a normal day.

So the question is, what if the Battle Royale mode doesn't do enough to rejuvenate the playerbase, what then? What if they just close out with Forge and decide the community carry the rest?

The ABK purchase was for King first and foremost. Everything else is just an amazing bonus. Can't say how any of it will play out as it's going to be a while before it gets completed.

I mean there's so much that comes with ABK that it's impossible to definitively say what can happen until things are complete. But I think just looking at it from a common-sense POV, we can take a strong guess on a few things:

1: New COD entries won't be Day 1 to GamePass. Needlessly cuts out a big revenue stream (direct sales) when sub numbers can be boosted by tying things like season passes, certain DLC content etc. to GP subs or discounts for said items via active GP subs, or getting that content first if through GP, etc.

2: Fans will absolutely NOT tolerate MS reviving Crash or Spyro with new big installments before doing so with Banjo-Kazooie. Would be a massive slap in the face to Rare fans around the world.

3: I think there'll be a higher-priced GP tier in the future and that one will probably include War of Warcraft and some other stuff.

4: MS will probably make a change to GP where online comes with base GP instead of only GPU, either around when the ABK deal is finalized or by June 2023, whichever comes first. That is probably when they finally get rid of XBL Gold altogether.

The reason why Microsoft should go after Ubisoft and/or WB is simple - it's to prevent other companies from getting them. I don't want to see companies like Apple, Amazon, NetEase, Tencent and Facebook to get them because I have no interest or confidence in any of them whatsoever. I wouldn't mind Sony acquiring either but they don't have the capital or the cash on hand to do so. And even if they pulled it off, the problem is that they wouldn't have the money to keep all the employees especially Ubisoft which is around 20,000. Thousands would lose their job where as with Microsoft, they don't prevent you from leaving if you so choose but they won't fire/layoff anyone.

But money isn't the only thing that matters here. Yes Sony has less money than Microsoft that's the case since at least the mid '90s, but they have excellent management of their internal teams. Also Ubisoft may have a lot of employees but their market cap is significantly less than ABK's so I'm guessing the majority of those employees have worst salaries than the average ABK employee. Plus, in any massive acquisition of these types there are going to be some staff who get cut, it's just the nature of the business. If they're of talent they'll land on their feet one way or another.

The ABK situation wasn't like ZeniMax which took two years to complete. It was simply one of those "too good of a deal to pass up" and business wise, I would have went after them too. As a gamer, ABK does nothing for me outside of Diablo IV but if I was a Microsoft executive, I would on them instantly. As for Crystal, I wouldn't be surprised if within the next decade, Microsoft acquires Embracer which to me, seems like Lars is adding as much value as possible and will then ride off into the sunset after a massive buyout. Could be someone else that acquires them but you can see their direction.

I don't know if MS acquiring Embracer is a good idea. Not just because it could present some significant antitrust issues (just look at the sheer amount of IP Embracer own and add MS's own alongside with it), but personally I wouldn't even want to entertain the idea until I can at least see some significant results and gains from them acquiring Zenimax and ABK in ways that are unquestionably net positives. I.e more content, better content and revivals of niche properties that neither publisher would've been able to do if left independent.

Also on the subject of Embracer it would suck if that is the only reason they are purchasing these other companies, to just sell them away like a pack of rare baseball cards. That would seem a lot like an overrated speculative market and could blow up in their faces if suddenly gaming isn't such a big investment for some of these massive companies to pour all this money into, at the rate they are. Just because these companies can do something like that, legally speaking, doesn't mean they should.

Plus if Lars is as much a supposed hardcore fan of gaming (also he got his start in collecting comics so he would know about terrible speculative markets causing massive crashes as that's what happened with comics in the '90s), I would hope he would consider it more valuable to be in it for the long haul and ensure he's there to make these investments better, rather than just looking to cash out to the highest bidder.

Microsoft should 100% get NetherRealm for three reasons. First, they own the MK IP which means it would be included. Second, they can't afford Sony to acquire NetherRealm or WB as a whole because it basically kills the fighting genre on Xbox. Add in the real possibility of Sony paying for SF 6 to be fully exclusive and yeah, Microsoft must acquire NetherRealm 100% if they want to retain any kind of fighting fan genre base that's on Xbox. Third, unlike all the other studios, fighting games is what they do plus expanding them to two teams to where Microsoft has MK and KI with an eventual MK vs KI game would be massive.

I mean, those are all valid points and if WB weren't looking to sell MS could just work out a deal for Neatherrealm to do a MK vs KI or what-have-you. That said, they still don't technically need to buy NetherRealm; they can also just hire NR talent (plus key talent, obviously), and build up from there.

Honestly though, even if they got NR it could be a situation of too little, too late for MS when it comes to having a big stake in the fighting genre. They REALLY neglected this hard with the XBO gen after KI. I personally would be more interested to see what a new fighting game IP from an internal studio could look like, but that's just me.

What a lot of people don't realize is that for generations, Sony has at times paid for full/timed exclusivity for top tier major games in certain genres which if you get every JRPG for example on PS, you don't need an Xbox so if MK was to go to Sony and you're a fighting fan, you don't need an Xbox for this particular reason. These types of deals kills the genre on the competition's platforms. This is one of the many reasons why Microsoft is going after studios and publishers. There's more important reasons but this is definitely one of them.

Again though, we can't pretend that this is all "Sony's fault" for spurring MS into this direction. Sony co-funded SFV's dev, they didn't just buy out exclusivity. MS could've co-funded SFV, but instead they wanted a Dead Rising 4 out of Capcom. There were a lot of such instances last gen across various games with Sony. I'd also like to think that with all the deals they have with SE, they have to in some way be co-funding those titles as well, at the very least.

If MS were more proactive in taking care of the internal studio problem in 2013-2015, they would've had at least a few more internal dev teams by now to cover some of these gaps we're talking about like with the fighting game genre. However, they really just neglected to do anything about it until 2018, and that's when they started buying up smaller dev teams like Ninja Theory and Double Fine. But in some ways it almost feels like they're too scared to lead them with certain project initiatives to resolve longstanding release gaps of the past.

I don't see Microsoft acquiring Platinum Games whatsoever nor should they. They failed to meet deadlines for Scalebound numerous times and rumors have always had it where Platinum took the money for Scalebound and put it towards their other projects including Nier Automata which was a licensed game from Square Enix who are notoriously cheap when it comes to studios they don't or didn't own. So I don't see this happening whatsoever and would be shocked if it did.

While Microsoft could use a Japanese development studio or publisher, I think they're more likely to just "be close" with Sega and just ensure that they get all their future games day one on Xbox and if possible, on Game Pass.

TBH, the issues between MS and PG in the past should be water under the bridge. That was with an Xbox division under a different guiding philosophy, and it's not like worst business deals haven't happened in the industry.

MS owns the Ori IP but im not 100% sure. It could be the publishing rights. Honestly, I forget which it is but doesn't matter, it's highly unlikely that Microsoft is going to work with Moon Studios again and wouldn't give the IP to someone else. What Microsoft wants is to get studios/publisher that solve a gap/weakness in which those studios/publishers have expertise in doing. I do think this gets somewhat solved after the ABK acquisition gets completed but to see anything come out of it, is at least a few years away. Microsoft bought ABK because it's one of those "once in a lifetime opportunities" that you simply don't pass up.

So if ABK, from your POV, was more a means of capitalizing on a once in a lifetime opportunity, what are Microsoft's answers to plugging some of the game genres gaps they have currently, that don't have to rely on more acquisitions? See, this is where IMO they could've already been a bit more resourceful with what they have. Did Bleeding Edge really need to be another hero shooter? Did MS lack for FPS or hero shooters on their platform? No. So why not work with Ninja Theory to make Bleeding Edge into a For Honor-style fighter instead? Could've given Xbox platform and their 1P a very unique game entry in a specific type of fighting space that doesn't have much competition.

Things like that are what are frustrating to consider as realizations to alternative approaches MS could've already implemented if they were just a bit more hands-on in guiding their teams. Another example: why take Halo, strip it of a formula which has generally worked to its advantage (in reality it was always either just the actual story narrative or game mechanic additions for MP that hampered previous 343i Halo games) and turn it into a F2P live-service? Why not use a new FPS IP for that, to iron out the kinks and then when you have something established there, THEN make Halo F2P?

...or don't. Because by that point they'd be making the ABK acquisition anyway and already be getting Warzone. There's your F2P live-service shooter right there; let Halo hone and improve in a template better suited for it because IMO if Infinite were a more traditional Halo but with an excellent story and a lot more content, alongside the great gunplay, it'd be performing a lot better than it is.

Yes, Microsoft wants IP ownership which is brilliant and exactly what they should be after if they're buying a development studio or publisher. Look at last generation and even Xbox 360. They were burned several times by not owning the IP. If you're the company funding and publishing the game, you should 100% own the IP because if you don't, high chance you inadvertantly get screwed over. As for WB, they passed due to not getting any IP's but also because they were going to acquire ZeniMax which was and is far more valuable than WB especially without the IP's. Too much risk in acquiring WB without IP's.

Wait you think Zenimax is more valuable than WB even if WB came with the IPs? I'm not following that one :/

I agree but look at the problems with not owning IP/studios. Titanfall 2/Respawn with EA, multi-platform. Microsoft wanted Ryse 2 but didn't own the IP or Crytek. While I do believe that Microsoft is going to rectify that based on the Crytek leak a while back, it hurt them. Same for Alan Wake, Quantum Break, Sunset Overdrive and more.

TBF almost all of these share something else in common: lukewarm retail performance on XBO. That's why TitanFall 2 went multiplat, and MS had no leverage there since the first game didn't shift units or XBOs the way they hoped it would. Same goes with Quantum Break (a big reason why Control was multiplat), Sunset Overdrive (a big reason why Insomniac retained the IP rights), etc.

Xbox One was hamstrung by Mattrick at launch and then for about 4 years, Myerson. The real reasons why Microsoft lost ground with Xbox One was a shitty reveal of TV TV TV, an overpriced weaker console that had Kinect which no one wanted. After that, they literally only had 5 studios for the majority of the generation. 343/Turn 10/Coalition/Mojang all do up to now one franchise and that's it. Rare was a disaster for the most part but have a hit with Sea of Thieves.

They cut Rare's legs short and could've had them work with the Viva Pinata IP a bit more. Maybe even try a Viva Pinata platformer? I know Myerson took over after Mattrick but Phil headed XGS during that period. While Mattrick made a lot of mistakes in some ways he was just doing what his superiors were pushing for anyway, and he did get a lot of quality AAA exclusives for the platform's early years.

More than Phil Spencer did afterwards tbh, I think the one big notable example from Phil was Rise of the Tomb Raider, and then we already know what happened with Scalebound, etc. It was Mattrick who secured DR4, TitanFall, Cuphead, Quantum Break etc.

...damn it's late, I'll have to look at the rest tomorrow 🤣
 
Last edited:

Panajev2001a

GAF's Pleasant Genius
I think it's pretty obvious what happened. Those who left thought they would have more say and control but didn't. I remember some wanting the game to be episodic and fuck no, that's not going to fly. Instead of there being so many cooks in the kitchen despite already having the chef, they left and Microsoft went and got Crystal Dynamics to develop the game. Gallagher also has a pretty damn good track record so im far more confident now than I was a year ago. I can see a short gameplay trailer at The Game Awards and if not, I would say June 2023 would be a safe bet. As for Embracer, they and CD have already stated that nothing changes. After the first game releases, who knows.

I agree with 343 but Halo Infinite's core combat/gameplay is excellent. The base/foundation is there. They just need to get better organized and structured in order to release quality content in a timely fashion. Halo isn't what it once was and if anything, won't be the face of Xbox for much longer anyway if it still is.

I disagree in regards to depriving other publishers the chance to make these studios great. If other publishers wanted ABK so badly, then they should have outbid Microsoft which granted, isn't easy but not impossible either if you really want them. Like the saying goes, where there's a will, there's a way. The toxic culture will burn itself out once Microsoft takes over so no worries about that.

The ABK purchase was for King first and foremost. Everything else is just an amazing bonus. Can't say how any of it will play out as it's going to be a while before it gets completed.

Agree with Asobo part.

The reason why Microsoft should go after Ubisoft and/or WB is simple - it's to prevent other companies from getting them. I don't want to see companies like Apple, Amazon, NetEase, Tencent and Facebook to get them because I have no interest or confidence in any of them whatsoever. I wouldn't mind Sony acquiring either but they don't have the capital or the cash on hand to do so. And even if they pulled it off, the problem is that they wouldn't have the money to keep all the employees especially Ubisoft which is around 20,000. Thousands would lose their job where as with Microsoft, they don't prevent you from leaving if you so choose but they won't fire/layoff anyone.

The ABK situation wasn't like ZeniMax which took two years to complete. It was simply one of those "too good of a deal to pass up" and business wise, I would have went after them too. As a gamer, ABK does nothing for me outside of Diablo IV but if I was a Microsoft executive, I would on them instantly. As for Crystal, I wouldn't be surprised if within the next decade, Microsoft acquires Embracer which to me, seems like Lars is adding as much value as possible and will then ride off into the sunset after a massive buyout. Could be someone else that acquires them but you can see their direction.

Microsoft should 100% get NetherRealm for three reasons. First, they own the MK IP which means it would be included. Second, they can't afford Sony to acquire NetherRealm or WB as a whole because it basically kills the fighting genre on Xbox. Add in the real possibility of Sony paying for SF 6 to be fully exclusive and yeah, Microsoft must acquire NetherRealm 100% if they want to retain any kind of fighting fan genre base that's on Xbox. Third, unlike all the other studios, fighting games is what they do plus expanding them to two teams to where Microsoft has MK and KI with an eventual MK vs KI game would be massive.

What a lot of people don't realize is that for generations, Sony has at times paid for full/timed exclusivity for top tier major games in certain genres which if you get every JRPG for example on PS, you don't need an Xbox so if MK was to go to Sony and you're a fighting fan, you don't need an Xbox for this particular reason. These types of deals kills the genre on the competition's platforms. This is one of the many reasons why Microsoft is going after studios and publishers. There's more important reasons but this is definitely one of them.

I don't see Microsoft acquiring Platinum Games whatsoever nor should they. They failed to meet deadlines for Scalebound numerous times and rumors have always had it where Platinum took the money for Scalebound and put it towards their other projects including Nier Automata which was a licensed game from Square Enix who are notoriously cheap when it comes to studios they don't or didn't own. So I don't see this happening whatsoever and would be shocked if it did.

While Microsoft could use a Japanese development studio or publisher, I think they're more likely to just "be close" with Sega and just ensure that they get all their future games day one on Xbox and if possible, on Game Pass.

MS owns the Ori IP but im not 100% sure. It could be the publishing rights. Honestly, I forget which it is but doesn't matter, it's highly unlikely that Microsoft is going to work with Moon Studios again and wouldn't give the IP to someone else. What Microsoft wants is to get studios/publisher that solve a gap/weakness in which those studios/publishers have expertise in doing. I do think this gets somewhat solved after the ABK acquisition gets completed but to see anything come out of it, is at least a few years away. Microsoft bought ABK because it's one of those "once in a lifetime opportunities" that you simply don't pass up.

Yes, Microsoft wants IP ownership which is brilliant and exactly what they should be after if they're buying a development studio or publisher. Look at last generation and even Xbox 360. They were burned several times by not owning the IP. If you're the company funding and publishing the game, you should 100% own the IP because if you don't, high chance you inadvertantly get screwed over. As for WB, they passed due to not getting any IP's but also because they were going to acquire ZeniMax which was and is far more valuable than WB especially without the IP's. Too much risk in acquiring WB without IP's.

I want WB (and Ubisoft) because I love a lot of their games as they cater to me compared to say ABK but business wise, it has to either make sense/fit in like almost every acquisition or be like ABK to where you just can't pass on it because it would be stupid to do so.

I agree but look at the problems with not owning IP/studios. Titanfall 2/Respawn with EA, multi-platform. Microsoft wanted Ryse 2 but didn't own the IP or Crytek. While I do believe that Microsoft is going to rectify that based on the Crytek leak a while back, it hurt them. Same for Alan Wake, Quantum Break, Sunset Overdrive and more.

Xbox One was hamstrung by Mattrick at launch and then for about 4 years, Myerson. The real reasons why Microsoft lost ground with Xbox One was a shitty reveal of TV TV TV, an overpriced weaker console that had Kinect which no one wanted. After that, they literally only had 5 studios for the majority of the generation. 343/Turn 10/Coalition/Mojang all do up to now one franchise and that's it. Rare was a disaster for the most part but have a hit with Sea of Thieves.

But when you look at their exclusives, they have just as many exclusives from companies they don't own as those they did. You're not going to do anything with 5 studios and you're sure as hell not going to be able to rebound within the same generation with the issues I mentioned above.

I disagree in regards to having "too much" because there could end being studios that just don't hit and need to be closed down or whatever the case may be which is why you want as many as possible, if/when this happens, it won't matter in the grand scheme of things. Last gen, Microsoft shutdown Lionhead and I think one or two studios but I can't remember their names off the top of my head and it made their first party go from shit to shittier.

Simply, Microsoft isn't fucking around anymore and are finally doing what they should have been doing 20 years ago. It's also the simple fact that before an Apple, Amazon, Tencent, etc. start goobling up stuff, they need to do it first and as an Xbox fan, I definitely want them to do so because if the others end up with studios/publishers that im a fan of, they pretty much are dead to me because none of those companies have any history or track record in consoles and Apple having some shit 30 years was horrible and makes them look even worse than if you're coming into gaming with nothing like Google did who saw that you can't just enter and not do anything for your eco-system. Microsoft is simply making the business moves necessary not just for what they want to do but for Xbox fans because no Xbox fan wants to ever see a repeat of the Xbox One generation or at least, I don't.

I understand what you're saying but at the same time, games don't get made overnight and if you have the opportunity to get more, why wouldn't you? It's a buyers and sellers market right now. If you're looking to sell, no better time than now to do so. Also, one reason that people probably don't know about is in regards to banks and whatnot where Microsoft's money sitting in a bank is not giving them anything because of the world situation. Better off spending that money in order to make more money in the future based on acquisitions instead of letting money sit in the bad with minimal to interest accrued and getting nothing out of it.

Also, for the last decade or so, everyone said that Microsoft has no games, they have no studios, they have nothing. Spencer and Nadella im sure took that shit to heart and they simply are not going to allow this to happen again. Plus, the acquisitions isn't just for now, it's for generations into the future. Who knows how studios will be in 5/10/15+ years from now. Again, the more the better because even those that fuck up or this or that, it won't matter because you have so much other content that can easily make up for it.

Where as with Xbox One, they fucked up and had nothing to make up for those fuck ups. And like I said above, games don't get made overnight. Look at 2022. Nothing thus far. FM is probably September but take away Bethesda for example, there's no Starfield, no Deathloop port and there's no Redfall to strengthen the lineup and excluding Deathloop, nothing to strengthen the exclusive games lineup.

Everyone bashed Microsoft for only having Gears Tactics at launch and while Sony has had their empty gaps as well, Microsoft wants to get to where they can release an exclusive every quarter if not every two months. Plus, their focus is subscription and in order for a subscription to be successful, you need a shit ton of varied content and more importantly, exclusive content.

Yes, they can be done but exclusively? Not so much. Spencer isn't into timed exclusives which I personally hate and see as a waste of money for short term gain if that. It's also the simple fact that like I said in regards to Xbox One, if you don't own the IP and whatnot, you're basically screwing yourself in the long term.

The difference with Take Two/Rockstar and Rocksteady/WB Montreal is that GTA Online makes no much money that they don't need a new GTA for a decade or so. Where's the money, return of investment, profits, etc. from WB Montreal and Rocksteady? They haven't done shit. Arkham Knight had it's few months and then basically died. WB Montreal released Origins which was a failure and haven't done anything since.

Two completely different situations and also two very different results.

I agree with the first part but it doesn't hurt to have more. More is always better than less. It just is.

I understand wanting to see results but as stated above, games don't get done overnight and if Microsoft is committed to highly reducing crunch if not completely eliminating it, that means games will take longer to make and release which in turn, means that you need as many studios and whatnot as possible in order to have a steady stream of solid varied content releasing for your platform and eco-system. If you don't then there will be people that get turned off and leave the eco-system.

I look at acquisitions first and foremost for what it does for me personally because it's my time and money. The more Microsoft buys, the less I have to buy which is already a massive positive. The more games and content I get for less money is even better.

I look at it like this. Microsoft wants to give their fanbase more for less money where as Sony wants to give it's fanbase less for more money. I own a PS5 and love Sony's exclusives for the most part but in all honesty, they leave a lot to be desired. One is simply giving me much more value for my money and time while also saving me a lot of money which in turn allows me to re-invest it into their eco-system so they basically have me and the more studios/publishers they buy, the more greater the chance they keep me.

GOTG is said to have sold 4m copies which isn't bad considering it's SE and Avengers was a flop. But true, not the best example I could use.

The only rush was ABK because it's one of those "holy shit, they're available" that you can't pass up. ZeniMax took two years. The studios they acquired took at least several months to complete. There's other ways, sure but is it beneficial to Microsoft? Is it beneficial to me as an Xbox gamer this generation? Going the Sony route for example where they pay for FF16 for a year is not something I want Microsoft to do. I want their timed exclusivity to be dead honestly because there's no long term gain whatsoever from it. Do I want third party multi-platform games day one on Game Pass? Absolutely. Why wouldn't I? And again, it's all about not repeating Xbox One where they release an exclusive but own the IP and the entire thing goes to someone else or you get any long term benefit from it.

Always better to bring studios/games/publishers/whatever in hours because you then control it's destiny as opposed to depending on someone/something else hoping it goes their (Microsoft) way.

The problem with The Initiative was there there were too many people with egos who thought Perfect Dark should be their way. Gallagher siad fuck no, they left and instead of taking years to hire/staff the studio, Gallagher/Microsoft went to a studio and people he knows and trusts which in turn allows Microsoft to trust them or at least the opportunity to prove themselves. The proble was the peopl at The Initiative thinking who they were, wanting control, Gallagher refusing ideas repeatedly like the episodic (smh) rumor and saying, fuck it, enough is enough.

Imagine if those people were still there. Nothing at all would be getting done. Instead, Gallagher saw problems and said fuck this shit, im going to try to bring in people I know and have worked with in which he obviously has chemistry with and knows their work habits and whatnot. After all, it was Gallagher that rebooted TR for CD in 2013. Makes perfect sense to me because of who the studio head is and the studio that's now working on the game.

It instill confidence because I have far more confidence in a veteran like Gallagher who was at CD and knows everyone as opposed to him fighting with those who were there and wanted the game their way despite being told no repeatedly.

Even if you take 343/Rare/Playground (Fable)/Undead Labs/The Initiative as negatives, you still have Mojang/Obsidian/InXile/Turn 10/Playground (Forza Horizon team is not the same team working on Fable, there's two studios, two separate teams), Compulsion/The Coalition/Global Publishing/Ninja Theory/Double Fine as positives which by my count is 10 to 5 which means twice as many studios aren't having issues compared to the five that are.

Reason why I wouldn't see CD as having a bad fate is two fold. First, getting away from SE already makes them better by far and second, Gallagher would basically be the studio head which he was years ago so I wouldn't see any issues here at all. If Gallagher wasn't here or was to leave, then okay but since that's not what it is now, I wouldn't have any worries with CD under Microsoft with Gallagher as the studio head.

To you both, reading this very long and detailed back and forth has been informative and entertaining :), thanks!
 

Danjin44

The nicest person on this forum
My HONEST thoughts……

 

peter42O

Member
Well I'm just curious as to how the situation got out of hand at The Initiative to where they even went with an episodic approach to begin with, if Gallagher in fact had a different vision long-term. It's his project, essentially, and we know episodic isn't the way they wanted to go because otherwise things wouldn't have gotten to where they did. So was he just really loose in terms of keeping an orderly timeline or what?
With The Initiative, it just seems like those that were hired were all going to have their say with the game and long story short, my guess would be that Gallagher simply said no and most people left which resulted in what it is now. All I know for sure is that im much more confident with Gallagher in charge with CD as opposed to what it was.
Oh 100% agreed as far as being Xbox's marquee brand there's nothing to keep it that way for Halo with all the other IP MS will have access to. The issue is the sheer amount of potential they've squandered with Halo. The Season 2 update dropped and they barely got much of an explosion in active players going by Steam concurrent player counts. It's the highest the game's seen since the first month or two but in absolute terms it's pitiful compared to an average day for other steam games of middling popularity, and in terms of live-service FPS games is less than a third of what Destiny 2 regularly pulls in on a normal day.

So the question is, what if the Battle Royale mode doesn't do enough to rejuvenate the playerbase, what then? What if they just close out with Forge and decide the community carry the rest?
This all remains to be seen because truthfully, we don't know how it will all play out. If the Battle Royale is good, I do think most will overlook the other MP aspects because they'll mostly be playing Battle Royale anyway. The roadmap/content is bad/non-existent but I say wait until the Battle Royale releases and go from there. It's either going to rejuvenate it or if it's bad/doesn't exist, then it will be close to killing it off. Of course, I see the entire 343/Halo Infinite as a clusterfuck. New management/leadership is needed. Last generation version should have been cancelled. They should probably switch game engines if Slipspace is as bad as some have said and even if it's good, they should have went with Unreal Engine for one simple reason - you can hire people with experience. You can't hire anyone with Slipspace experience because there isn't any. For me, I only care about the campaign expansions so the MP/BR doesn't affect me whatsoever but looking at it, they definitely fucked up and lost all their momentum that they had back in November. If anything, they should have said we're in "early access" for a year instead of releasing a "final version" as this may have given them more leeway.
I mean there's so much that comes with ABK that it's impossible to definitively say what can happen until things are complete. But I think just looking at it from a common-sense POV, we can take a strong guess on a few things:

1: New COD entries won't be Day 1 to GamePass. Needlessly cuts out a big revenue stream (direct sales) when sub numbers can be boosted by tying things like season passes, certain DLC content etc. to GP subs or discounts for said items via active GP subs, or getting that content first if through GP, etc.

2: Fans will absolutely NOT tolerate MS reviving Crash or Spyro with new big installments before doing so with Banjo-Kazooie. Would be a massive slap in the face to Rare fans around the world.

3: I think there'll be a higher-priced GP tier in the future and that one will probably include War of Warcraft and some other stuff.

4: MS will probably make a change to GP where online comes with base GP instead of only GPU, either around when the ABK deal is finalized or by June 2023, whichever comes first. That is probably when they finally get rid of XBL Gold altogether.
1. COD will definitely be on Game Pass day one. Microsoft's entire company strategy, structure and focus is on subscriptions. Microsoft doesn't care about sales as much as getting and retaining subscribers because that gives them more recurring revenue every month.

2. Disagree completely. Banjo was never huge, definitely not on the level of Crash in it's prime. And im pretty sure Spyro was also bigger. The main issue is that with ABK, they have studios that have worked on Crash/Spyro. Rare has no interest in revisiting their old IP's and 98% of people are long gone anyway. Simply, they don't have a team to do Banjo. They should have acquired Playtonic years ago because I think they would be a perfect fit for Banjo since that's where majority of old Rare developers are who made those games in the first place. As for Rare fans, I see it as you're either a new fan of Rare due to Sea of Thieves or are like me and moved on a very long time ago.

3. I see Game Pass being $5 for Cloud only, $10 base Game Pass, $20 for Ultimate in time and then, probably $40 or $50 for a Family Plan which will probably happen later this year. I don't think they need a third tier at all. Two tiers is perfect with a cheap tier for only Cloud streaming and a Family Plan which makes it four in total. They don't need 5 in total or 3 base. I think Microsoft should end the Windows Store for gaming and go with Blizzard.net as that seams to be far better. They should then implement Game Pass into battle.net or whatever service they have on PC as it's still better than the Windows Store for gaming. WOW requires a subscription which unless you do a yearly thing, it's $15 a month. GP Ultimate being say $20 and including this would already be a steal because they would have access to console and cloud as well. I do see Microsoft having a yearly savings plan once the ABK gets finalized and things get settled. I don't see WOW going on Xbox, at least not this generation.

4. I believe that Microsoft will take all Gold subscribers and roll them into Game Pass Ultimate for the duration of their current subscription while making online co-op/multi-player completely free. When this happens? Who knows? If I was Microsoft, I would announce this at their showcase in June and make it effective in July which starts their new fiscal year.

I don't know if MS acquiring Embracer is a good idea. Not just because it could present some significant antitrust issues (just look at the sheer amount of IP Embracer own and add MS's own alongside with it), but personally I wouldn't even want to entertain the idea until I can at least see some significant results and gains from them acquiring Zenimax and ABK in ways that are unquestionably net positives. I.e more content, better content and revivals of niche properties that neither publisher would've been able to do if left independent.

Also on the subject of Embracer it would suck if that is the only reason they are purchasing these other companies, to just sell them away like a pack of rare baseball cards. That would seem a lot like an overrated speculative market and could blow up in their faces if suddenly gaming isn't such a big investment for some of these massive companies to pour all this money into, at the rate they are. Just because these companies can do something like that, legally speaking, doesn't mean they should.

Plus if Lars is as much a supposed hardcore fan of gaming (also he got his start in collecting comics so he would know about terrible speculative markets causing massive crashes as that's what happened with comics in the '90s), I would hope he would consider it more valuable to be in it for the long haul and ensure he's there to make these investments better, rather than just looking to cash out to the highest bidder.
I'm not saying they should or that they will. Just that Embracer seems to be buying up everything they can and that tells me that Lars will eventually want to sell. I just see Microsoft as the front runner because they can easily afford it.
I mean, those are all valid points and if WB weren't looking to sell MS could just work out a deal for Neatherrealm to do a MK vs KI or what-have-you. That said, they still don't technically need to buy NetherRealm; they can also just hire NR talent (plus key talent, obviously), and build up from there.

Honestly though, even if they got NR it could be a situation of too little, too late for MS when it comes to having a big stake in the fighting genre. They REALLY neglected this hard with the XBO gen after KI. I personally would be more interested to see what a new fighting game IP from an internal studio could look like, but that's just me.
While I agree with the second part, MK has overtaken SF as the main fighting franchise. SF isn't what it once was. MK is far more successful and more mainstream and popular. Microsoft getting NetherRealm which would include the MK IP would be huge for them and keeps the genre alive on Xbox. Hiring talent doesn't mean much if you don't own the IP which is why owning the IP is so vital.
Again though, we can't pretend that this is all "Sony's fault" for spurring MS into this direction. Sony co-funded SFV's dev, they didn't just buy out exclusivity. MS could've co-funded SFV, but instead they wanted a Dead Rising 4 out of Capcom. There were a lot of such instances last gen across various games with Sony. I'd also like to think that with all the deals they have with SE, they have to in some way be co-funding those titles as well, at the very least.

If MS were more proactive in taking care of the internal studio problem in 2013-2015, they would've had at least a few more internal dev teams by now to cover some of these gaps we're talking about like with the fighting game genre. However, they really just neglected to do anything about it until 2018, and that's when they started buying up smaller dev teams like Ninja Theory and Double Fine. But in some ways it almost feels like they're too scared to lead them with certain project initiatives to resolve longstanding release gaps of the past.
I never said it was all Sony's fault but if you research what they have done since the original PlayStation, they could either be seen as equal or worse than Nintendo was back in the 80's/90's. They don't buy you out because well, they can't due to lack of funds but they will try to kill off the competition. That's why they go after timed exclusivity. It's not to help their eco-system or fan base. It's to hurt the competition. Microsoft especially after ROTTR in 2015 does small Indie/AA timed exclusivity and even then, it's minimal and short term. Sometimes as little as three months. Also, Dead Rising 4 was Fall 2016 if I remember correctly and that was when Microsoft stopped funding games and all that. That was probably far cheaper than SF 5 and didn't require them to pay for the game to be made.

Microsoft wasn't proactive because the people running Xbox didn't give a shit about gaming. So while I agree with you, all that is in the past and nothing can change any of it. If it wasn't for Spencer and his vision, long term plan and roadmap winning over Nadella, Xbox would be dead right now and we wouldn't be having this conversation. But thankfully, Spencer saw the way Microsoft is going as a company and instead of trying to do the opposite, he thought of a plan that fits in with what the company is doing as a whole which is why they've been massively successful this generation and outside of Halo Infinite and Forza Horizon 5, they haven't really had any top tier exclusives released yet. Imagine when they start all just clicking.

They didn't do anything until 2018 because until Spencer took over in Fall 2017 and Myerson was gone, there was no one who cared about Xbox or gaming. That's why it took long. It was basically a power struggle which thankfully, Phil eventually won. The overall main difference is that unlike generations past, Microsoft is now a giant who woke up and they're taking Xbox and gaming seriously plus best of all, while they're nowhere near perfect, they're giving their fan base and consumers far better value and an eco-system not just for now but for generations into the future that you want to be a part of. Sony is simply staying with their old school mentality which in all honesty, is becoming old, outdated and obsolete. This only works for Nintendo because their tech is cheap, their games are cheap to make and they have the history and nostalgia that only Disney surpasses.
TBH, the issues between MS and PG in the past should be water under the bridge. That was with an Xbox division under a different guiding philosophy, and it's not like worst business deals haven't happened in the industry.
I disagree for one simple reason. It's a matter of trust. If im Phil and Nadella, how can I trust Platinum if the rumors are in fact true? I wouldn't trust them as far as I could throw them. In my opinion, Microsoft should stay away from them and I believe that they will but at the same time, never say never. lol.
So if ABK, from your POV, was more a means of capitalizing on a once in a lifetime opportunity, what are Microsoft's answers to plugging some of the game genres gaps they have currently, that don't have to rely on more acquisitions? See, this is where IMO they could've already been a bit more resourceful with what they have. Did Bleeding Edge really need to be another hero shooter? Did MS lack for FPS or hero shooters on their platform? No. So why not work with Ninja Theory to make Bleeding Edge into a For Honor-style fighter instead? Could've given Xbox platform and their 1P a very unique game entry in a specific type of fighting space that doesn't have much competition.

Things like that are what are frustrating to consider as realizations to alternative approaches MS could've already implemented if they were just a bit more hands-on in guiding their teams. Another example: why take Halo, strip it of a formula which has generally worked to its advantage (in reality it was always either just the actual story narrative or game mechanic additions for MP that hampered previous 343i Halo games) and turn it into a F2P live-service? Why not use a new FPS IP for that, to iron out the kinks and then when you have something established there, THEN make Halo F2P?

...or don't. Because by that point they'd be making the ABK acquisition anyway and already be getting Warzone. There's your F2P live-service shooter right there; let Halo hone and improve in a template better suited for it because IMO if Infinite were a more traditional Halo but with an excellent story and a lot more content, alongside the great gunplay, it'd be performing a lot better than it is.
Bleeding Edge was all Ninja theory. Had nothing to do with Microsoft. Microsoft simply said do what you want to do and we'll release it. If it succeeds, great but if not, it's gone. Game was in development since 2014 or some shit. In all honesty, it wasn't worth the money, time and resources to change the game. Also, only 15 or so people worked on it which is why it took so long and it was a passion project. Nothing more, nothing less. I for one am happy that it's dead because it's not what Ninja Theory are great at.

As for Halo, it's always been centered around the multi-player. Isn't MCC still supported years later with maps and stuff? It was always live service. The free to play aspect was a smart move because most $60+ online MP only games are going to bomb when you have the Fortnite's, Warzone's, Apex Legends, etc. of the world being on fire and free to play. The main issue with 343 I outlined a few paragraphs above somewhere. lol

Warzone isn't going to be exclusive. Warzone 2 will be multi-platform due to whatever contracts Sony still has with ABK. Microsoft isn't going to break them or go to court to fight them as it's not worth the hassle. Warzone is also as I said free to play. A $60 Halo Infinite MP only would have been dead on arrival.

The campaign for Halo Infinite is excellent in my opinion. I loved it and yeah, a few minor complaints but it won me over. Granted, HI was the first Halo game I ever played so I have no history or connection to any of it. While the visuals were at times beautiful, they were also underwhelming especially if you're flying around, but the core combat/grapple hook and shooting mechanics felt great and are top notch. There was also plenty of content for the campaign. If anything, it could have been stripped down a little more because the open world Ubisoft type stuff wasn't really needed outside of the bases in my opinion. But still, the core is there which is the most important aspect. Having content wouldn't mean anything if the game didn't play great like it does.

Of course, Halo isn't going to be the face of Xbox for much longer anyway so in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter. Also, they're trying to make Halo fans happy while also trying to make new comers happy which is very difficult to do. My opinion is that they should do what they need to do for the new players and get more new players into the game. I wouldn't worry about the past simply because they'll never be satisfied anyway and sticking with the past stifles any potential growth that the MP and game/franchise could have. Simply, it's not 2001. Shit changes and you either need to adapt or get left behind. 343/Microsoft needs to adapt for HI and think more future/long term and trying to get new players as opposed to catering to those who bitch about everything anyway. At least, that's what I would do.
Wait you think Zenimax is more valuable than WB even if WB came with the IPs? I'm not following that one :/
ZeniMax is more valuable than WB with OR without the IP's. Look at Skyrim excluding remasters and Fallout 4 which I think is the most successful game in that series. They completely outdo anything WB has released. Starfield if going to be massive while The Elder Scrolls VI will crush everything in it's path and be the new face of Xbox replacing Halo in my opinion. I love WB and DC games because they're more for me personally but business wise, ZeniMax is far more valuable. Also, they have a streaming service tech and game engines. There's more to them than just IP's. WB Games doesn't have all that extra stuff.
TBF almost all of these share something else in common: lukewarm retail performance on XBO. That's why TitanFall 2 went multiplat, and MS had no leverage there since the first game didn't shift units or XBOs the way they hoped it would. Same goes with Quantum Break (a big reason why Control was multiplat), Sunset Overdrive (a big reason why Insomniac retained the IP rights), etc.
Agreed but if Microsoft owned the IP, things would be different because they would have had more control.
They cut Rare's legs short and could've had them work with the Viva Pinata IP a bit more. Maybe even try a Viva Pinata platformer? I know Myerson took over after Mattrick but Phil headed XGS during that period. While Mattrick made a lot of mistakes in some ways he was just doing what his superiors were pushing for anyway, and he did get a lot of quality AAA exclusives for the platform's early years.

More than Phil Spencer did afterwards tbh, I think the one big notable example from Phil was Rise of the Tomb Raider, and then we already know what happened with Scalebound, etc. It was Mattrick who secured DR4, TitanFall, Cuphead, Quantum Break etc.

...damn it's late, I'll have to look at the rest tomorrow 🤣
Phil headed XGS but he literally had no power until Fall 2017 when he took over and Myerson was gone. And this only happened because Phil had a long term vision, plan and roadmap that fit in with what Microsoft as a company was and still is doing which is why Nadella agreed. If Phil doesn't convince Nadella in Fall 2017, Xbox is basically dead.

Wait.........................I typed more???? lmao
 
With The Initiative, it just seems like those that were hired were all going to have their say with the game and long story short, my guess would be that Gallagher simply said no and most people left which resulted in what it is now. All I know for sure is that im much more confident with Gallagher in charge with CD as opposed to what it was.

But that was a known risk they took when they hired a bunch of people who usually act as leads on their own projects. There was always going to be a clash of egos and I don't see how Gallagher or Booty didn't see that coming. They wanted an all-star team of developers on the project but did not once consider about team synergy until it development had long begun.

This all remains to be seen because truthfully, we don't know how it will all play out. If the Battle Royale is good, I do think most will overlook the other MP aspects because they'll mostly be playing Battle Royale anyway. The roadmap/content is bad/non-existent but I say wait until the Battle Royale releases and go from there. It's either going to rejuvenate it or if it's bad/doesn't exist, then it will be close to killing it off. Of course, I see the entire 343/Halo Infinite as a clusterfuck.

Did you see the news about Overwatch 2 numbers after the first week? Yeah, not good at all. And then if you look at the games most of those players and viewers went back to, they were the usuals: Valorant, Apex Legends, Destiny 2 etc. I'm convinced more than ever now that there is a peak market size for F2P live-service shooters and the only way a game like Overwatch 2 or Halo Infinite can break into that league is if one of the established games dies off.

Probably shouldn't be too surprising; all genre markets kind of have a saturation point in terms of amount of games with the biggest player bases, viewers, etc. But the amount of unique games in the F2P live-service battle royale/hero shooter style market is probably lower due to the fact in all of those games you have to buy a lot of shit. So player spending money for the average gamer who isn't a whale, is being spread thin among them. That makes it harder for yet another game to pop into that space which is what we're seeing now with Overwatch 2 and Halo Infinite.

New management/leadership is needed. Last generation version should have been cancelled.

Definitely agreed on these two. Especially the latter; I know a lot of these kind of games are meant to run on almost anything, but that could also be a detriment and hold back noticeable advances. Honestly think this is what's hurting Overwatch 2; if it weren't for the UI changes I could see a gameplay shot of it and Overwatch 1 side-by-side and think they're from the exact same game.

If they are serious about supporting Halo Infinite for another 10 years, that means they'll have to support base XBO for 10 more years as well. Just imagine all of the cool gameplay ideas that'll have to be sacrificed to ensure this game can run on pre-2013 archaic gaming hardware...in 2031. That was a terrible call and I think they will have to jettison XBO support very soon or limit it to cloud-only.

They should probably switch game engines if Slipspace is as bad as some have said and even if it's good, they should have went with Unreal Engine for one simple reason - you can hire people with experience.

I thought Slipspace was just more a rebranding of their other engine? That's what I've seen go around.

1. COD will definitely be on Game Pass day one. Microsoft's entire company strategy, structure and focus is on subscriptions. Microsoft doesn't care about sales as much as getting and retaining subscribers because that gives them more recurring revenue every month.

MS may be gung-ho on subscriptions but not at the expense of ensuring maximum revenue. New COD releases on GP Day 1 are counter-productive to that, plain and simple. It would also affect sales of COD on other platforms, without the guarantee that anyone on said other platforms now accessing through GP, do so paying for a year's worth or even two month's worth, or don't use a free trail, etc. to basically get it for free.

Which would increase GP sub #s, but not so much GP revenue figures. That's why I think them tying MTX content, DLC etc. to GP subscriptions either as exclusive to GP or first in GP works much better in the long run to retain subs while not hemorrhaging sales numbers (and therefore sales revenue & profit) on Xbox & other consoles.

2. Disagree completely. Banjo was never huge, definitely not on the level of Crash in it's prime. And im pretty sure Spyro was also bigger. The main issue is that with ABK, they have studios that have worked on Crash/Spyro. Rare has no interest in revisiting their old IP's and 98% of people are long gone anyway. Simply, they don't have a team to do Banjo. They should have acquired Playtonic years ago because I think they would be a perfect fit for Banjo since that's where majority of old Rare developers are who made those games in the first place.

The Banjo games each sold at least 3 million worldwide, the first one selling a bit more. They were huge by N64 standards; you have to keep in mind the install base difference between N64 and PS1 that generation. By comparison the first Spyro "only" sold around 5 million worldwide, and was on a much bigger platform install base-wise. But it isn't even about sales; just out simple respect it would be sacrilege of Microsoft to push Crash or Spyro ahead of Banjo, considering how long they've had the Banjo IP and how much could still be done with it.

Whether Rare has no interest or not is irrelevant; out of the 35 teams MS is about to have (once the ABK deal closes), at least ONE of them has to be interested in revisiting BK. And if not? Make them. Sometimes you do need upper management to step in and guide the direction of certain teams, because it could make for better products and better things for the fanbase. Some guys like Matt Booty are a bit too hands-off, in that respect, imagine what being more hands-on could've done to help shape up Perfect Dark reboot better than where it was at until very recently.

But say none of those teams are interested...can't MS still just work with Playtonic without acquiring them, to do a new Banjo-Kazooie? They are still independent, and maybe they want to remain that way. Maybe MS should establish some longer-term relationship with them before considering buying, and letting them have access to the BK IP would be a great point to start that.

3. I see Game Pass being $5 for Cloud only, $10 base Game Pass, $20 for Ultimate in time and then, probably $40 or $50 for a Family Plan which will probably happen later this year. I don't think they need a third tier at all. Two tiers is perfect with a cheap tier for only Cloud streaming and a Family Plan which makes it four in total.

Why would Ultimate jump up to $20? What value would they be adding to that tier to justify the price increase? IMO while a tier for just xCloud is a good idea and mandatory, none of this fixes the issue that they still have XBL Gold out there on its own floating around as the only option for online play for those who want a cheaper entry point without a Family Plan, no desire for GP as it currently is, and without needing to pay month-to-month. MS have to do something to address that because it's not a very good value proposition for those people in particular.

Windows Store feels like a dead end so I agree they should probably just drop it for something like Blizzard.net, and I won't be surprised if they integrate GP into Battle.net as you suggest. No WOW on Xbox seems like a bafflingly dumb decision on their part tho if they do it, and just makes the GP value proposition on Xbox that much worst WRT Xbox 1P because you can already argue PC gets better treatment as-is (games like Flight Sim and AoE4 coming to PC a full year before Xbox console, PC gamers not needing to pay for online play vs. Xbox players who still do, etc.). Not bothering to bring WOW to Xbox would just exacerbate that problem, and that game needs as much of a boost as it can get.

4. I believe that Microsoft will take all Gold subscribers and roll them into Game Pass Ultimate for the duration of their current subscription while making online co-op/multi-player completely free. When this happens? Who knows? If I was Microsoft, I would announce this at their showcase in June and make it effective in July which starts their new fiscal year.

Better late than never, and something they should've done a while ago IMO. But it is for the best; Gold is redundant and while I suspect a majority of Gold subs have already moved to GP using the conversion/stacking stuff, there's still a decent number who haven't moved over and this would be a good way to do it.

That's one thing (of a few) I like about Sony's approach; they're doing a rollover process right off the bat for their revamped service. Always best to figure out those type of logistics at the start to keep the process of transition smooth.

I'm not saying they should or that they will. Just that Embracer seems to be buying up everything they can and that tells me that Lars will eventually want to sell. I just see Microsoft as the front runner because they can easily afford it.

And I'm just saying, if MS in that situation do happen to make that buy, without showing me some results (significant results) from the acquisitions they've already made first, then they'll lose me as a customer for good. I'm still most likely going to pick up a Series S (either that or get GP for PC, it depends on which way I go between console & PC in the future for MS stuff), but I'm already at most "tolerant" of the reality of acquisitions; not a fan of them personally, though.

But in MS's case I just see so many options for them where they don't actually NEED any other big sweep of gaming acquisitions anytime soon if ever, to maximize their presence in gaming in the way that ultimately matters: consistent releases of fresh, quality games. They'll have enough teams and IP for that especially once the ABK deal closes, and it'll already be pretty difficult for them to maximize usage of the IP they will own by that point (including not just the current IP but also new IP from those teams AND classic IP that came with the purchases). It could take a decade if not more, for example, for us to maybe get a new Leisure Suit Larry (Leisure Skirt Laura?) or Gabriel Knight game, let alone a new Jet Force Gemini or Jade Empire.

Even a company the size of Microsoft, realistically speaking cannot maximize the usage of hundreds of IP within a reasonable span of time, which is the situation they'd have if they also bought Embracer Group. OTOH, if some other company happened to buy Embracer, we could have enough of a pseudo-open market still where at least we'd have two big companies having a wealth of those IP between them where we as gamers are more likely to get better maximal usage of the IP they own in a reasonable amount of time, than if only one of those companies owned ALL of those IP. See what I mean?

While I agree with the second part, MK has overtaken SF as the main fighting franchise. SF isn't what it once was. MK is far more successful and more mainstream and popular. Microsoft getting NetherRealm which would include the MK IP would be huge for them and keeps the genre alive on Xbox. Hiring talent doesn't mean much if you don't own the IP which is why owning the IP is so vital.

Dunno, think it depends on how you look at it. I know SFV ultimately didn't sell as many copies as SFIV but that's not so much because it was exclusive console-was so much as it was due to Capcom dropping the ball with a pathetic launch. Ultimately SFV's done maybe half a million less than all versions of SFIV combined, while being on way less platforms (PS4 & PC, vs. 360, PS3, 3DS & PC), and has earned a lot more in actual revenue due to strong DLC and MTX sales of costumes, characters, stages and more.

Plus, if we're just talking within the competitive scene, SFV seems to retain players and viewers a lot better than the Neatherrealm fighters. Part of that might be due to how quickly NR replace some of their fighters, but I also think it's partly due to the nature of their games. Just objectively speaking, SFV just "feels" like a smoother and more technical game than something like MK or Injustice, let alone when it comes to animations. It's also not as violent which helps with appealing to a larger audience by default.

That said, one thing NR destroy Capcom at is with single player-centric content. The way MK and Injustice do their story modes, and have a ton of extra content in them, the only other fighters that regularly do stuff at that level are Tekken and Smash. SFV had a good idea with the Cinematic Story Mode but never followed up like they promised, and a lot of staple mini-games were missing early on. Plus the netcode was garbage and still isn't perfect (or as good as it could've been). Hopefully for SF6 Capcom avoids those mistakes.

I never said it was all Sony's fault but if you research what they have done since the original PlayStation, they could either be seen as equal or worse than Nintendo was back in the 80's/90's.

Dude no, Nintendo in the '80s was actually VERY draconian. It was so bad they are still the only platform holder who have been found guilty by the U.S government of antitrust violations, and had to pay back $50 rebates to NES owners because of it. No one else, not Sega, not Sony, not SNK, not NEC, not Microsoft...have been found guilty of this type of thing. Only '80s Nintendo.

And that doesn't even get into the other things they stipulated like 3P not being allowed to make games for competitor platforms (this is why companies like Sega had to license out so many 3P games during Master System and early MegaDrive years, and publish those games themselves), and on top of that, limiting how many games 3P publishers could release per year (this is why some like Namco made spin-off labels like Namcot, so that they could publish more than Nintendo's limit. Konami did something similar IIRC). Nintendo's licensing fees were also very restrictive, they even screwed Square over at least a couple of times with cart amounts (I think Chrono Trigger and FF VI were affected because Nintendo needed to ensure enough DKC carts were made one time).

Compared to that, companies like Sony practically look like saints. I'm not saying Sony didn't do some suspect stuff back then; they DEFINITELY did and usually Sega were the ones that lost out (losing Tomb Raider as an exclusive, not being able to call RE Code: Veronica RE3 because of a preexisting Sony/Capcom PS1 contract, etc.), but they simply aren't comparable to the worst corporate policies of Nintendo during the NES and early SNES period.

They don't buy you out because well, they can't due to lack of funds but they will try to kill off the competition. That's why they go after timed exclusivity. It's not to help their eco-system or fan base. It's to hurt the competition.

No Dead Rising 4 was a XBO launch title, so 2013. That was around when Capcom was in dire straits, just trying to survive after several commercial failures.

But on the topic of timed exclusivity...I agree to some extent that one of the purposes is to hurt their competition. Especially when the period of timed exclusives ranges for like a whole year or two; by that point most people will have played it on the platform it first came out for. However, timed exclusives generally come to other platforms eventually, and ultimately it's up to the publisher to agree to the terms or not. They also tend to be far cheaper than buying a studio or publisher, to the point where if Microsoft wanted, they could've easily competed with Sony in securing a decent bit of timed exclusives for Xbox beyond RotTR.

One of the reasons why I think MS going for timed exclusives later in that gen was met with so many questions was because they already announced they were doing all 1P games Day 1 on PC. So for some people, what would be the point of them locking 3P games exclusive to their console for a period of time, when they were already eschewing the concept of exclusives as traditionally viewed by bringing their own 1P games to PC Day 1? There was a contradiction of logic in there which I think is part of how people looked at it.

At the end of the day, though, timed exclusivity is a means of being competitive with other consoles; Sony didn't start that trend, I'd say Nintendo did back with SF2 on SNES, but it might've began even earlier in some form or another. It's also not like MS didn't push a ton of timed exclusives with the 360 gen, either, so really Sony were taking a page from MS's playbook there. And in all of those cases, timed exclusivity had its intended effect: influenced gamers to buy that platform to play those games on those consoles as soon as possible. If the practice did not add value to the ecosystem, then we would've seen it fizzle out decades ago.

Also I don't think we can try claiming that timed exclusives don't add value, while acquiring studios and publishers do add value, when those can then have their content leveraged for either timed or full exclusives. And to the average gamer, they don't think about a timed exclusive in a way where it's "timed"; they just see it as another exclusive because for the time they intend to buy and play that game, it is exclusive to that particular platform. If that gamer sees value in exclusive content for a platform, then that timed exclusive will therefore create more value.

Microsoft wasn't proactive because the people running Xbox didn't give a shit about gaming. So while I agree with you, all that is in the past and nothing can change any of it. If it wasn't for Spencer and his vision, long term plan and roadmap winning over Nadella, Xbox would be dead right now and we wouldn't be having this conversation. But thankfully, Spencer saw the way Microsoft is going as a company and instead of trying to do the opposite, he thought of a plan that fits in with what the company is doing as a whole which is why they've been massively successful this generation and outside of Halo Infinite and Forza Horizon 5, they haven't really had any top tier exclusives released yet. Imagine when they start all just clicking.

Well I'm hoping for the best. Ultimately though it's the gameplay that will do the talking, especially for some of the games that might have had tumultous developments so far (PD Reboot, Everwild, etc.).

Sony is simply staying with their old school mentality which in all honesty, is becoming old, outdated and obsolete. This only works for Nintendo because their tech is cheap, their games are cheap to make and they have the history and nostalgia that only Disney surpasses.

I disagree with this. If what you're saying was factually true, then market numbers would reflect it. Sony annual revenue would be declining, not increasing (of course having enough consoles to go around helps, something they are hopefully addressing). Their 1P sales and revenue would be shrinking, not growing. Services like GamePass would be able to demonstrate revenue numbers clearly, not obfuscate them. The numbers simply don't show anything about Sony's model being outdated or that it's a model which only works for Nintendo (because while no one arguably has IP as iconic as Mario and Zelda, there is a lot of nostalgia for several of Sony's IP including GoW, Jak & Daxter, Sly Cooper, Uncharted, Twisted Metal, Ico, Parappa, Syphon Filter, Gran Turismo etc.).

To the rest, I'm glad MS are taking gaming seriously again, but like I've said before I'm a point where I feel they've purchased enough in terms of studios & publishers, and it's time to start churning out some consistent, high-quality results with projects fostered under the new ownership. Show me what being a Microsoft internal studio really means, and show me you can be creative with all of these IP.

I don't need them to show me how much money they can spend, anymore, because they've already proven they can spend more than pretty much anyone else. But that ultimately will never win most people over; it's what that money can do over time, and games are the only result that matter to me as a gamer.

I disagree for one simple reason. It's a matter of trust. If im Phil and Nadella, how can I trust Platinum if the rumors are in fact true? I wouldn't trust them as far as I could throw them. In my opinion, Microsoft should stay away from them and I believe that they will but at the same time, never say never. lol.

If things could have changed with Xbox management over a period of time, why not with Platinum? I say at least give them a chance; if MS feel they can clean up the absolute trainwreck that is ABK, they can certainly help tidy up Platinum's objectively lesser issues. And in terms of game style, Platinum bring something none of their other teams currently do.

Additionally, they could probably pick up Platinum for very cheap with the way things are right now. They can show by example what they're capable of in helping reform and grow a Japanese developer which would also earn the trust of not only gamers but also other Japanese developers and publishers in wanting to work closer with Microsoft in the future. I say it's worth considering.

Bleeding Edge was all Ninja theory. Had nothing to do with Microsoft. Microsoft simply said do what you want to do and we'll release it. If it succeeds, great but if not, it's gone. Game was in development since 2014 or some shit. In all honesty, it wasn't worth the money, time and resources to change the game. Also, only 15 or so people worked on it which is why it took so long and it was a passion project. Nothing more, nothing less. I for one am happy that it's dead because it's not what Ninja Theory are great at.

Even so, MS could've at least helped salvage that game. The earlier beta testing went over pretty well, but the final release changed so much of it and was worst for doing so. This is what I mean when I say that MS still need to show much better initiative in guiding and leading their internal teams from a creative POV, so that they are more than the sum of their parts. Bleeding Edge didn't have to die pitifully, but they let it anyway.

Warzone isn't going to be exclusive. Warzone 2 will be multi-platform due to whatever contracts Sony still has with ABK. Microsoft isn't going to break them or go to court to fight them as it's not worth the hassle. Warzone is also as I said free to play. A $60 Halo Infinite MP only would have been dead on arrival.

Maybe, or maybe not. A $60 Halo Infinite as I think of it would've had SP campaign and MP rolled into one, just a very robust campaign and all the usual MP modes Day 1. Then maybe also include some MTX Battle Royale perks while making Battle Royale the F2P mode.

I think that scenario Halo Infinite does a lot better than it is currently doing, would've seen much stronger sustained sales and a healthy BR pulling in big numbers even on daily averages let alone peaks.

The campaign for Halo Infinite is excellent in my opinion. I loved it and yeah, a few minor complaints but it won me over. Granted, HI was the first Halo game I ever played so I have no history or connection to any of it. While the visuals were at times beautiful, they were also underwhelming especially if you're flying around, but the core combat/grapple hook and shooting mechanics felt great and are top notch. There was also plenty of content for the campaign. If anything, it could have been stripped down a little more because the open world Ubisoft type stuff wasn't really needed outside of the bases in my opinion. But still, the core is there which is the most important aspect. Having content wouldn't mean anything if the game didn't play great like it does.

From what I've seen the campaign lacks any notable setpieces, like big singular moments that would define the experience for the average player. But that's just me as an outsider looking in.

Of course, Halo isn't going to be the face of Xbox for much longer anyway so in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter. Also, they're trying to make Halo fans happy while also trying to make new comers happy which is very difficult to do. My opinion is that they should do what they need to do for the new players and get more new players into the game. I wouldn't worry about the past simply because they'll never be satisfied anyway and sticking with the past stifles any potential growth that the MP and game/franchise could have. Simply, it's not 2001. Shit changes and you either need to adapt or get left behind. 343/Microsoft needs to adapt for HI and think more future/long term and trying to get new players as opposed to catering to those who bitch about everything anyway. At least, that's what I would do.

Yes but was going F2P live-service the best approach? That's the big question and right now, the answer seems to be "No".

ZeniMax is more valuable than WB with OR without the IP's. Look at Skyrim excluding remasters and Fallout 4 which I think is the most successful game in that series. They completely outdo anything WB has released. Starfield if going to be massive while The Elder Scrolls VI will crush everything in it's path and be the new face of Xbox replacing Halo in my opinion. I love WB and DC games because they're more for me personally but business wise, ZeniMax is far more valuable. Also, they have a streaming service tech and game engines. There's more to them than just IP's. WB Games doesn't have all that extra stuff.

Are we talking about sales or quality? Revenue? Cultural impact? Because on some of those metrics Zenimax would win out but on others, depending on tastes, WB wins out. Someone who really loves Batman and Batman games, but not high fantasy, probably won't give a crap about Skyrim or Elder Scrolls regardless of how much critics and fans love them.

Also while I'm sure ESVI will be a big release, again claiming it'll crush everything else in its path is a very subjective take. What if something even better releases around the same time? What if ESVI is lukewarm? And again, for people who don't like high fantasy as much, it won't be the biggest release for them.

Agreed but if Microsoft owned the IP, things would be different because they would have had more control.

This feels a bit contradictory; so they'll have more control by owning the IP, but have a very hands-off approach in guiding game development of those IP once acquired anyway so...what big benefit does owning them bring outside of retaining more of the profits?

Phil headed XGS but he literally had no power until Fall 2017 when he took over and Myerson was gone. And this only happened because Phil had a long term vision, plan and roadmap that fit in with what Microsoft as a company was and still is doing which is why Nadella agreed. If Phil doesn't convince Nadella in Fall 2017, Xbox is basically dead.

Again I don't really have much to contest on this particular point, it's just more me speaking from my POV, I feel MS have enough studios and teams at this point to where they don't need to buy any others. I want to see results from the current stable and let the games earn them the goodwill with gaming communities and industry to maybe look into another major acquisition in the more distant future.

Wait.........................I typed more???? lmao

Hell yeah man, it was a lot 🤣And that might be saying something considering a lot say that about what I type 😂. I still need to find time to respond to those other points btw.
 

12Dannu123

Member
The only reason why a certain amount of people are concerned about acquisitions and consolidation despite consolidation in the past is because the balance of power is moving away from Sony and into Big Tech, who have more buying power and control in data centres for Cloud Gaming and the distribution of said games.

Consolidation and acquisitions happens to every industry as it becomes more mainstream, saturates or becomes expensive.
 
Last edited:

peter42O

Member
But that was a known risk they took when they hired a bunch of people who usually act as leads on their own projects. There was always going to be a clash of egos and I don't see how Gallagher or Booty didn't see that coming. They wanted an all-star team of developers on the project but did not once consider about team synergy until it development had long begun.
I agree but thankfully, they saw the issues and took care of it pretty quickly. All I can say is that im much more hyped now for PD than I was pre-September 2021.
Did you see the news about Overwatch 2 numbers after the first week? Yeah, not good at all. And then if you look at the games most of those players and viewers went back to, they were the usuals: Valorant, Apex Legends, Destiny 2 etc. I'm convinced more than ever now that there is a peak market size for F2P live-service shooters and the only way a game like Overwatch 2 or Halo Infinite can break into that league is if one of the established games dies off.

Probably shouldn't be too surprising; all genre markets kind of have a saturation point in terms of amount of games with the biggest player bases, viewers, etc. But the amount of unique games in the F2P live-service battle royale/hero shooter style market is probably lower due to the fact in all of those games you have to buy a lot of shit. So player spending money for the average gamer who isn't a whale, is being spread thin among them. That makes it harder for yet another game to pop into that space which is what we're seeing now with Overwatch 2 and Halo Infinite.

Definitely agreed on these two. Especially the latter; I know a lot of these kind of games are meant to run on almost anything, but that could also be a detriment and hold back noticeable advances. Honestly think this is what's hurting Overwatch 2; if it weren't for the UI changes I could see a gameplay shot of it and Overwatch 1 side-by-side and think they're from the exact same game.

If they are serious about supporting Halo Infinite for another 10 years, that means they'll have to support base XBO for 10 more years as well. Just imagine all of the cool gameplay ideas that'll have to be sacrificed to ensure this game can run on pre-2013 archaic gaming hardware...in 2031. That was a terrible call and I think they will have to jettison XBO support very soon or limit it to cloud-only.
I haven't seen any news regarding Overwatch 2 but in fairness, im not an online multi-player gamer so in all honesty, I don't pay attention to it. What I do know is that ABK should have probably just kept adding to the first game instead of dong a sequel. I agree in regards to this market being over saturated but I don't think that one of the big games needs to die off for a Halo Infinite to be successful. Imagine if it wasn't free to play? It would be far worse than what it currently. The Battle Royale will eventually show if Halo Infinite can succeed/survive or not.

I don't know what they were thinking with making Halo Infinite cross-gen. I always thought it would be current generation only but could be played on Xbox One via X-Cloud streaming. I'm personally just hoping that I get a few great story expansions this generation for the single player campaign.
I thought Slipspace was just more a rebranding of their other engine? That's what I've seen go around.
I thought it was a brand new game engine. If you're right, then even more reason why they should have went with Unreal Engine.
MS may be gung-ho on subscriptions but not at the expense of ensuring maximum revenue. New COD releases on GP Day 1 are counter-productive to that, plain and simple. It would also affect sales of COD on other platforms, without the guarantee that anyone on said other platforms now accessing through GP, do so paying for a year's worth or even two month's worth, or don't use a free trail, etc. to basically get it for free.

Which would increase GP sub #s, but not so much GP revenue figures. That's why I think them tying MTX content, DLC etc. to GP subscriptions either as exclusive to GP or first in GP works much better in the long run to retain subs while not hemorrhaging sales numbers (and therefore sales revenue & profit) on Xbox & other consoles.
COD will be day one on Game Pass for one simple reason - if not, their fan base will be pissed off and it's a consumer friendly move for all their games to be on Game Pass day one but not COD? Since 2018, they made the commitment. There's no going backwards. Besides, the game will still sell over 10m if not 20m because those who only play COD will just buy it anyway. Microsoft doesn't care if people buy MTX, DLC, etc. via the game being in Game Pass or if it purchased. They'll still be getting all the rewards.
The Banjo games each sold at least 3 million worldwide, the first one selling a bit more. They were huge by N64 standards; you have to keep in mind the install base difference between N64 and PS1 that generation. By comparison the first Spyro "only" sold around 5 million worldwide, and was on a much bigger platform install base-wise. But it isn't even about sales; just out simple respect it would be sacrilege of Microsoft to push Crash or Spyro ahead of Banjo, considering how long they've had the Banjo IP and how much could still be done with it.

Whether Rare has no interest or not is irrelevant; out of the 35 teams MS is about to have (once the ABK deal closes), at least ONE of them has to be interested in revisiting BK. And if not? Make them. Sometimes you do need upper management to step in and guide the direction of certain teams, because it could make for better products and better things for the fanbase. Some guys like Matt Booty are a bit too hands-off, in that respect, imagine what being more hands-on could've done to help shape up Perfect Dark reboot better than where it was at until very recently.

But say none of those teams are interested...can't MS still just work with Playtonic without acquiring them, to do a new Banjo-Kazooie? They are still independent, and maybe they want to remain that way. Maybe MS should establish some longer-term relationship with them before considering buying, and letting them have access to the BK IP would be a great point to start that.
I agree. I just don't see Banjo as being a priority right now. Most of these games just don't do what they did back then. I think Playtonic was acquired by someone or they have a deal with someone that I would guess prevents them from working with someone else. I could easily be wrong on the Playtonic stuff though.
Why would Ultimate jump up to $20? What value would they be adding to that tier to justify the price increase? IMO while a tier for just xCloud is a good idea and mandatory, none of this fixes the issue that they still have XBL Gold out there on its own floating around as the only option for online play for those who want a cheaper entry point without a Family Plan, no desire for GP as it currently is, and without needing to pay month-to-month. MS have to do something to address that because it's not a very good value proposition for those people in particular.

Windows Store feels like a dead end so I agree they should probably just drop it for something like Blizzard.net, and I won't be surprised if they integrate GP into Battle.net as you suggest. No WOW on Xbox seems like a bafflingly dumb decision on their part tho if they do it, and just makes the GP value proposition on Xbox that much worst WRT Xbox 1P because you can already argue PC gets better treatment as-is (games like Flight Sim and AoE4 coming to PC a full year before Xbox console, PC gamers not needing to pay for online play vs. Xbox players who still do, etc.). Not bothering to bring WOW to Xbox would just exacerbate that problem, and that game needs as much of a boost as it can get.
Ultimate would jump to $20 because I do believe that Ubisoft's vault will get added at some point and I believe that Microsoft will include their expansions day one. So for example, let's say there's 3 expansions released in a year that sells for $20+. Could be a single game or even three different games. That would be $60+. For the same amount, consumers would be better off just paying the extra $5 a month/$60 a year to get it all.

WOW should be ported to Xbox but who knows if/when it will happen. As of now, I would say that it's at a minimum, three years away if it was to happen. I do agree that PC gets better treatment but in fairness, the games that get the treatment are PC centric focused titles and more times than not, don't do as well on console for various reasons.

Of course, we won't know anything until after the ABK deal gets completed.
Better late than never, and something they should've done a while ago IMO. But it is for the best; Gold is redundant and while I suspect a majority of Gold subs have already moved to GP using the conversion/stacking stuff, there's still a decent number who haven't moved over and this would be a good way to do it.

That's one thing (of a few) I like about Sony's approach; they're doing a rollover process right off the bat for their revamped service. Always best to figure out those type of logistics at the start to keep the process of transition smooth.
Agree in regards to Gold. It's obsolete but until Game Pass gets to the subscriber count that Microsoft wants, Gold will stay around even though I personally would eliminate it as of this July. My guess is that it makes a lot of money for Microsoft right now and until they're making up the loss revenue, no reason to get rid of it.

PS Now was a total and complete failure so it makes sense to roll those subscribers into PS Plus. Of course, im not a fan of their three tiered service at all. Cloud saves still behind a paywall is UGH. This shit has saved me three times on Xbox Series X where I would have quit Gears Tactics, AC Valhalla and Immortals Fenyx Rising expansion. The third tier with paid trials/demos/whatever they will be and BC locked behind it is just double UGH to me.

In my eyes, Microsoft is trying to bring new consumers into Game Pass where as with PS Plus, I think Sony just wants to milk their current existing fan base out of more money instead of trying to get new consumers into the subscription. I honestly have no hype or interest in PS Plus.

For me, you have to give me your exclusives day one. Sony isn't so I already see them as inferior. Unless Sony gets some third party games day one on PS Plus, they have nothing for me. At least with Game Pass, I know im getting every Microsoft first party game day one. PS Plus is superior to Gold easily. But Game Pass and especially Ultimate is in my opinion superior to the new PS Plus three tier system. In short, Sony wants to give me less for more money while Microsoft wants to give me more for less money.
And I'm just saying, if MS in that situation do happen to make that buy, without showing me some results (significant results) from the acquisitions they've already made first, then they'll lose me as a customer for good. I'm still most likely going to pick up a Series S (either that or get GP for PC, it depends on which way I go between console & PC in the future for MS stuff), but I'm already at most "tolerant" of the reality of acquisitions; not a fan of them personally, though.

But in MS's case I just see so many options for them where they don't actually NEED any other big sweep of gaming acquisitions anytime soon if ever, to maximize their presence in gaming in the way that ultimately matters: consistent releases of fresh, quality games. They'll have enough teams and IP for that especially once the ABK deal closes, and it'll already be pretty difficult for them to maximize usage of the IP they will own by that point (including not just the current IP but also new IP from those teams AND classic IP that came with the purchases). It could take a decade if not more, for example, for us to maybe get a new Leisure Suit Larry (Leisure Skirt Laura?) or Gabriel Knight game, let alone a new Jet Force Gemini or Jade Empire.

Even a company the size of Microsoft, realistically speaking cannot maximize the usage of hundreds of IP within a reasonable span of time, which is the situation they'd have if they also bought Embracer Group. OTOH, if some other company happened to buy Embracer, we could have enough of a pseudo-open market still where at least we'd have two big companies having a wealth of those IP between them where we as gamers are more likely to get better maximal usage of the IP they own in a reasonable amount of time, than if only one of those companies owned ALL of those IP. See what I mean?
For context, im not a PC gamer at all. I do own an Xbox Series X (primary) and PlayStation 5 disc edition (exclusives only). I get wanting to see results but as someone who's keeping track of Microsoft's and Sony's first party releases this generation, Microsoft has had more quality games than Sony. Based on their Open Critic scores, Microsoft has published 7 games with an average score of 86.8 while Sony has published 10 games with an average score of 82.5. Granted, it's less than a 5 point difference but compared to last generation, Microsoft and Xbox are doing far better than even I was expecting this early into the generation. And yes, I do count Bethesda games Deathloop and Tokyo because if Microsoft dies tomorrow, Bethesda dies with them so to me, it's all Microsoft.

Point being is that even though 5 out of 7 games from Microsoft weren't for me, im happy that the quality is there because I don't want to see 60 rated games like last generation even if it's a game I don't give two shits about. Their lowest rated game is Tokyo at 77 on OC.

I agree with wanting to see results as I do as well but at the same time, compared to what they were, Microsoft is on a different level and personally, I haven't been this hyped for Xbox in over a decade during the second half of the Xbox 360 generation.

I do see what you mean in regards to Microsoft acquiring Embracer and using the IP's but you have to realize that when you look at most companies, the vast majority of their IP's are never used. This applies to Sony, Take Two, EA, etc. as well as Microsoft.
Dunno, think it depends on how you look at it. I know SFV ultimately didn't sell as many copies as SFIV but that's not so much because it was exclusive console-was so much as it was due to Capcom dropping the ball with a pathetic launch. Ultimately SFV's done maybe half a million less than all versions of SFIV combined, while being on way less platforms (PS4 & PC, vs. 360, PS3, 3DS & PC), and has earned a lot more in actual revenue due to strong DLC and MTX sales of costumes, characters, stages and more.

Plus, if we're just talking within the competitive scene, SFV seems to retain players and viewers a lot better than the Neatherrealm fighters. Part of that might be due to how quickly NR replace some of their fighters, but I also think it's partly due to the nature of their games. Just objectively speaking, SFV just "feels" like a smoother and more technical game than something like MK or Injustice, let alone when it comes to animations. It's also not as violent which helps with appealing to a larger audience by default.

That said, one thing NR destroy Capcom at is with single player-centric content. The way MK and Injustice do their story modes, and have a ton of extra content in them, the only other fighters that regularly do stuff at that level are Tekken and Smash. SFV had a good idea with the Cinematic Story Mode but never followed up like they promised, and a lot of staple mini-games were missing early on. Plus the netcode was garbage and still isn't perfect (or as good as it could've been). Hopefully for SF6 Capcom avoids those mistakes.
Capcom screwed up with SF 5 but it being exclusive didn't help. If anything, it hurt it. MK 11 was simply far better than SF 5 at launch and throughout the life span. SF is still huge but MK is just as huge if not more so which considering the M rating is very impressive because while SF can appeal to a wider audience due to it's T rating, a lot of people have simply moved on to MK instead. I do believe tat Microsoft must at the very least acquire NetherRealm and MK if Sony gets SF 6 as an exclusive because Microsoft can't afford to not have SF AND MK. If Sony gets NetherRealm and MK in addition to SF 6 as exclusives, the fighting game genre is dead on Xbox.
Dude no, Nintendo in the '80s was actually VERY draconian. It was so bad they are still the only platform holder who have been found guilty by the U.S government of antitrust violations, and had to pay back $50 rebates to NES owners because of it. No one else, not Sega, not Sony, not SNK, not NEC, not Microsoft...have been found guilty of this type of thing. Only '80s Nintendo.

And that doesn't even get into the other things they stipulated like 3P not being allowed to make games for competitor platforms (this is why companies like Sega had to license out so many 3P games during Master System and early MegaDrive years, and publish those games themselves), and on top of that, limiting how many games 3P publishers could release per year (this is why some like Namco made spin-off labels like Namcot, so that they could publish more than Nintendo's limit. Konami did something similar IIRC). Nintendo's licensing fees were also very restrictive, they even screwed Square over at least a couple of times with cart amounts (I think Chrono Trigger and FF VI were affected because Nintendo needed to ensure enough DKC carts were made one time).

Compared to that, companies like Sony practically look like saints. I'm not saying Sony didn't do some suspect stuff back then; they DEFINITELY did and usually Sega were the ones that lost out (losing Tomb Raider as an exclusive, not being able to call RE Code: Veronica RE3 because of a preexisting Sony/Capcom PS1 contract, etc.), but they simply aren't comparable to the worst corporate policies of Nintendo during the NES and early SNES period.
All true and I agree. It's just that at times, it feels like Sony cares more about trying to kill off Xbox which isn't going to happen then they do their own fan base. I look at what they're doing and in all honesty, if it wasn't for some of their exclusives, I would have no reason to own a PS5.
 

peter42O

Member
No Dead Rising 4 was a XBO launch title, so 2013. That was around when Capcom was in dire straits, just trying to survive after several commercial failures.

But on the topic of timed exclusivity...I agree to some extent that one of the purposes is to hurt their competition. Especially when the period of timed exclusives ranges for like a whole year or two; by that point most people will have played it on the platform it first came out for. However, timed exclusives generally come to other platforms eventually, and ultimately it's up to the publisher to agree to the terms or not. They also tend to be far cheaper than buying a studio or publisher, to the point where if Microsoft wanted, they could've easily competed with Sony in securing a decent bit of timed exclusives for Xbox beyond RotTR.

One of the reasons why I think MS going for timed exclusives later in that gen was met with so many questions was because they already announced they were doing all 1P games Day 1 on PC. So for some people, what would be the point of them locking 3P games exclusive to their console for a period of time, when they were already eschewing the concept of exclusives as traditionally viewed by bringing their own 1P games to PC Day 1? There was a contradiction of logic in there which I think is part of how people looked at it.

At the end of the day, though, timed exclusivity is a means of being competitive with other consoles; Sony didn't start that trend, I'd say Nintendo did back with SF2 on SNES, but it might've began even earlier in some form or another. It's also not like MS didn't push a ton of timed exclusives with the 360 gen, either, so really Sony were taking a page from MS's playbook there. And in all of those cases, timed exclusivity had its intended effect: influenced gamers to buy that platform to play those games on those consoles as soon as possible. If the practice did not add value to the ecosystem, then we would've seen it fizzle out decades ago.

Also I don't think we can try claiming that timed exclusives don't add value, while acquiring studios and publishers do add value, when those can then have their content leveraged for either timed or full exclusives. And to the average gamer, they don't think about a timed exclusive in a way where it's "timed"; they just see it as another exclusive because for the time they intend to buy and play that game, it is exclusive to that particular platform. If that gamer sees value in exclusive content for a platform, then that timed exclusive will therefore create more value.
You mean Dead Rising 3 which was fully exclusive to Xbox at their 2013 launch. Dead Rising 4 was a one year timed exclusive for Xbox released in late 2016. PS4 was late 2017. Agree with the Capcom part.

I disagree with the part about if Microsoft wanted to, they could have paid for timed exclusivity because look at ROTTR, all anyone asked was will there be a PS4 version? How long is it exclusive for? With Sony, when do you ever see those same questions being asked. FF16 is a one year exclusive. Not a single question regarding it going to Xbox. Look at FF7R. It was supposed to be a one year timed exclusive. Two years later and still no rumblings of an Xbox port. Yet, not a single question is asked by anyone. This is why Microsoft doesn't do them as much as they once did and I believe that before this generation ends, they won't bother with timed exclusivity at all. I believe that they won't care if you release on PS5 day one but they will try to get you into Game Pass day one which is more vital to what their long term roadmap is.

I know Sony didn't start the trend. And I agree in regards with Microsoft doing it during Xbox 360. I'm simply not a fan and don't want Microsoft to do it at all. People see value in them. I don't because you're not getting the game early, you're just getting the "privilege" of paying for it early because if games weren't timed, they would be on both consoles day one. The main issue is that whenever Microsoft does something, everyone questions it but when Sony does the same thing, no one says a word. Giving me a game day one on Game Pass is valuable to me. Me paying say $40 for Kena as it's a one year timed exclusive for PS4/PS5 isn't value to me. Thankfully, excluding Kena and the KOTOR Remake, Sony keeps paying for timed exclusive games that I have zero interest in.

I agree with the last part in general but for me personally, I just see it as a waste of money. I would much rather see Sony/Microsoft put that money towards acquiring a studio or getting a multi-platform game into Game Pass/PS Plus day one so I don't have to buy it or and this may comes across as worse but even pay for a full exclusive. For example, Microsoft has a shit ton of full third party exclusives like Contraband which is fine while Sony was paying for Haven's game pre-acquisition and Deviation's game or in the past, Lucid's game Destruction All Stars. This to me adds more value because im getting a game that may have never existed. But to pay for an already existing game just to keep it off the competitor's platform is such a turn off for me.
Well I'm hoping for the best. Ultimately though it's the gameplay that will do the talking, especially for some of the games that might have had tumultous developments so far (PD Reboot, Everwild, etc.).
Me too and I agree. I'm hyped for the Xbox/Bethesda showcase in June. I'm expecting gameplay for Starfield, Redfall, Avowed, Contraband, Forza Motorsport and hoping for a short gameplay trailer for Fable.
I disagree with this. If what you're saying was factually true, then market numbers would reflect it. Sony annual revenue would be declining, not increasing (of course having enough consoles to go around helps, something they are hopefully addressing). Their 1P sales and revenue would be shrinking, not growing. Services like GamePass would be able to demonstrate revenue numbers clearly, not obfuscate them. The numbers simply don't show anything about Sony's model being outdated or that it's a model which only works for Nintendo (because while no one arguably has IP as iconic as Mario and Zelda, there is a lot of nostalgia for several of Sony's IP including GoW, Jak & Daxter, Sly Cooper, Uncharted, Twisted Metal, Ico, Parappa, Syphon Filter, Gran Turismo etc.).

To the rest, I'm glad MS are taking gaming seriously again, but like I've said before I'm a point where I feel they've purchased enough in terms of studios & publishers, and it's time to start churning out some consistent, high-quality results with projects fostered under the new ownership. Show me what being a Microsoft internal studio really means, and show me you can be creative with all of these IP.

I don't need them to show me how much money they can spend, anymore, because they've already proven they can spend more than pretty much anyone else. But that ultimately will never win most people over; it's what that money can do over time, and games are the only result that matter to me as a gamer.
Sony's model works but is it working as great now as it did just a few years ago? Returnal is a great game (not for me and I quit it after 4 hours) but bombed in sales. I don't even think it's surpassed 2m yet. Not good. Rift Apart which I loved hasn't done huge numbers either but in fairness, it was never really huge so it evens out. Look at Horizon Forbidden West. Over two months later and no sales numbers. Sony loves bragging about sales numbers yet they've been quiet. This tells me that it's not doing as well as they hoped. I do see GOWR and Spider Man being huge, no doubt about them but the rest I believe will all decline in sales because competition is much stronger this generation than last generation. Every generation is a fresh start and what was done previously rarely carries over unless one of the main competitors screws up badly pre-launch. While I do think that Sony has had a few missteps this generation, none of them are anywhere close to PS3 or XBO levels.

Sony's revenue is higher because their charging more money for their games as opposed to them selling more which outside of Miles, most have underperformed. Also, while the PS5 console is more or less the same as PS4 in the same time period, it's $100 more money and they barely have any of the $400 digital PS5's available so revenue will be higher because like the games, they're charging more. We'll see how the generation plays out but im expecting this generation to be much more like Xbox 360/PS3 as opposed to PS4/Xbox One.

NOTE: I know im probably coming off as harsh and whatnot towards Sony but as stated, I do own a PS5 and was a PS4 guy last generation with over 100 games completed and 20 Sony published games bought, played and completed. Compared to Xbox One which was 7 games total. 5 games published by Microsoft. I love the majority of Sony's exclusives but compared to what Microsoft is doing and have given me thus far, Sony leaves a lot to be desired for me especially coming off PS4 which is my #1 all time gaming console.

I personally want to see more acquisitions from Microsoft simply because it's better for me as an Xbox gamer and consumer. And of course, I don't want to see Amazon, Apple, Tencent, Facebook or NetEase acquire companies especially those I like. They've already churned out high quality consistent games this generation. Outside of Tokyo, their lowest rated game is Gears Tactics at an 83 on OC. Just because the games may not be for you doesn't mean that the quality isn't there. I have no interest in Demon's Souls but damn, it's a 92 on OC and the highest rated Sony published game thus far this generation.

I understand the last part but you have to take into account that Microsoft is in it for the long term. What they're doing isn't just for this generation. It's for beyond. It's for consoles, PC, Cloud and subscription. Also, with Game Pass and any subscription for that matter, you must have exclusive content which is what Microsoft will automatically get when acquiring studios/publishers barring any contracts that were already signed with Sony.
If things could have changed with Xbox management over a period of time, why not with Platinum? I say at least give them a chance; if MS feel they can clean up the absolute trainwreck that is ABK, they can certainly help tidy up Platinum's objectively lesser issues. And in terms of game style, Platinum bring something none of their other teams currently do.

Additionally, they could probably pick up Platinum for very cheap with the way things are right now. They can show by example what they're capable of in helping reform and grow a Japanese developer which would also earn the trust of not only gamers but also other Japanese developers and publishers in wanting to work closer with Microsoft in the future. I say it's worth considering.
Perhaps. Of course, acquiring a Japanese based studio/publisher is a far bigger pain in the ass than in the U.S. for example. Not impossible or undoable but definitely more of a hassle. Also, does Platinum own any IP's? I know they don't own Bayonetta or Nier. If not, even less likely for Microsoft to acquire them. Microsoft isn't going to repeat Xbox One's mistakes.
Even so, MS could've at least helped salvage that game. The earlier beta testing went over pretty well, but the final release changed so much of it and was worst for doing so. This is what I mean when I say that MS still need to show much better initiative in guiding and leading their internal teams from a creative POV, so that they are more than the sum of their parts. Bleeding Edge didn't have to die pitifully, but they let it anyway.
In all honesty, I don't think Microsoft cared about Bleeding Edge. Realistically, I don't think that it was ever going to be huge or a success even if Microsoft helped the best they could. Sometimes, I think certain games/projects just need to die. Like take Everwild for example. If there's no progress by the end of this year, I would cancel it if it was up to me and tell Rare to move on to their next project because this shit is taking way too freaking long.
Maybe, or maybe not. A $60 Halo Infinite as I think of it would've had SP campaign and MP rolled into one, just a very robust campaign and all the usual MP modes Day 1. Then maybe also include some MTX Battle Royale perks while making Battle Royale the F2P mode.

I think that scenario Halo Infinite does a lot better than it is currently doing, would've seen much stronger sustained sales and a healthy BR pulling in big numbers even on daily averages let alone peaks.
Only problem with your Halo Infinite scenario is that first, there was and as of now, no Battle Royale mode and obviously, all the MP modes weren't there day one. A $60 combo doesn't change any of this barring another delay and while im all for delays, sometimes, a game just needs to be released because if you keep delaying it, it's going to feel like it's never coming out.

I believe that their current setup is better, especially for the MP because it's free to play. If it's lack of content, doesn't play well or whatever the case may be, if consumers don't like it, they can drop it or go back to it at a later date. Paying $60 for it and the campaign would have led to more disappointment in my opinion. It would be like Halo 4 where majority said campaign was great but MP wasn't. This way, being free to play, how can anyone really bitch? It's free.

Should the MP have much more content and whatnot? Absolutely but at the same time, people complaining about a free to play game is funny to me. Back to your scenario, at $60 against other bigger more popular and successful free to play games, I think the MP fails completely or it becomes free to play anyway.
From what I've seen the campaign lacks any notable setpieces, like big singular moments that would define the experience for the average player. But that's just me as an outsider looking in.
There's a few small set pieces. Nothing huge or major but overall, the campaign was excellent. I'm saying this as someone who's never played any Halo game until Infinite. If I had to nitpick, the upgrades weren't great/swapping between them was bad user interface wise, a few of the interior layouts repeated and some aspects of the "open world" was Ubisoft/Sony like with all the icons and filler content. With that said though, the soundtrack and voice acting was superb, the combat and gameplay excellent, I loved the story and characters even though I can understand if some didn't like it and the visuals while at times underwhelming, still impressed me here and there. I'm not the biggest sci-fi guy but I was definitely into the Halo Infinite campaign and I did the vast majority of all the optional side content which I normally do in open world games unless im just not fully into the game itself (examples would be AC Valhalla and WD Legion). I suggest giving it a chance once you get Series S/Game Pass or play it on your PC if you have a capable one.
Yes but was going F2P live-service the best approach? That's the big question and right now, the answer seems to be "No".
Halo Infinite was always going to be live service. It's called Infinite for a reason. lol. Free to play simply gives more leeway and a far better chance at success. Imagine paying $60 and there's no Forge, no new maps or modes and the season lasts six months again? Free to play, meh, okay, I'll check back in six months because the core combat/gameplay is so damn fucking good.


Are we talking about sales or quality? Revenue? Cultural impact? Because on some of those metrics Zenimax would win out but on others, depending on tastes, WB wins out. Someone who really loves Batman and Batman games, but not high fantasy, probably won't give a crap about Skyrim or Elder Scrolls regardless of how much critics and fans love them.

Also while I'm sure ESVI will be a big release, again claiming it'll crush everything else in its path is a very subjective take. What if something even better releases around the same time? What if ESVI is lukewarm? And again, for people who don't like high fantasy as much, it won't be the biggest release for them.
I understand your point about what if someone doesn't like high fantasy or this or that but loves Batman, however, take Elden Ring for example. I don't give two shits about it but that's not stopping it from dominating everything in it's path. HFW, see ya!!! DL 2, lol. (I love both games by the way) What else is there? Doesn't matter. Elden Ring is basically the bully that's beating up everyone and took their lunch money. lol

Point being is that it doesn't matter if some prefer a certain game or genre over another. There's some games that will simply dominate. As for what is worth more? Overall, it's ZeniMax. First, they have had more GOTY winners than WB which only had 1 which was The Witcher 3 and some would say that doesn't really count. Second, they've had better sales. Third, they've had better scored games. Fourth, they obviously have a lot of IP's. WB Games technically has only one which is MK and only if you include NetherRealm. If they're not included, there's literally no IP's so that in of itself makes it worth not just less but much less.

I'm not even an Elder Scrolls fan. Hell, never played any of them but I can see the massive hype around Starfield so I can only imagine what it would be once TES 6 gets close to releasing. So just like with Elden Ring, im not a TES fan but im not blind, just because I have no interest in doesn't mean that they can't or won't dominate.

For the record, I actually prefer WB Games over Bethesda because their games are way more catered to what I want and prefer but again, im not blind, they're just not on the same level. Take Ubisoft for example. I love Ubisoft. Ubisoft is my #1 favorite company, publisher and developer since 2010 BUT are they the best? Fuck no. Not even close. See my point?
This feels a bit contradictory; so they'll have more control by owning the IP, but have a very hands-off approach in guiding game development of those IP once acquired anyway so...what big benefit does owning them bring outside of retaining more of the profits?
Here's an example. Microsoft wanted a sequel to Ryse which while no better than a 7/10, I really enjoyed that game and wanted a sequel. Microsoft and Crytek couldn't reach a deal for a sequel. Now if Microsoft owned the IP, that deal could have been far easier to make because they would have had leverage. Also, with owning Ninja Theory now, if Microsoft owned the Ryse IP, they could have always seen if Ninja Theory had interest in working on it. Simply, there's far more positives and opportunities if you own the IP as opposed to if you don't. Also, a generation ago, Microsoft wasn't hands off. They were hands on which was one of the reasons why so many bad things happened.
Again I don't really have much to contest on this particular point, it's just more me speaking from my POV, I feel MS have enough studios and teams at this point to where they don't need to buy any others. I want to see results from the current stable and let the games earn them the goodwill with gaming communities and industry to maybe look into another major acquisition in the more distant future.
Here's a question for you - you feel that Microsoft has enough studios to where they don't NEED to buy anymore. Could this be that you don't WANT them to buy anymore? Because this would make more sense to me. You have to remember, for Microsoft, it's all about Game Pass and building that subscriber base and count. In order to do that, they need content, exclusive content and a lot of it. I completely understand what you're saying but how long until you see results?

For example, let's say Starfield releases, it's a 90+ on OC and is one hell of a game. Redfall releases and is a solid 80+ looter shooter. Next year, Avowed releases and is also 80+ which is good bet as Obsidian is great. Will you then be satisfied or are you still waiting for more results?

Forza Horizon 5 has earned them a lot of goodwill. Sea of Thieves and State of Decay 2 while not highly rated have around 20m and 10m players respectively so I would say that all things considered, they've been successful in regards to getting, having and maintaining the goodwill for their respective communities.

For me personally, I have zero worries about their quality. Thus far, they've already done better than I was expecting 18 months into the generation and their most anticipated top tier games are still coming. Best of all, even games that im not fully interested in (Avowed, Starfield, etc.), I will still give them a fair chance by playing them on Game Pass as a $10 monthly rental because they could either be like, Gears Tactics where it's like, why did I play and complete this or it could be like Halo Infinite and end up being my game of the year.
Hell yeah man, it was a lot 🤣And that might be saying something considering a lot say that about what I type 😂. I still need to find time to respond to those other points btw.
Man....it just took me almost 2 hours to type all of the above and this is after over an hour writing more stuff that I lost when I closed the damn tab due to this damn touchpad on my laptop. So apologies if some of my responses aren't as long or as detailed as before.

Hell, I think I have typed more the last few days when replying to you than my entire time here on NeoGAF which is almost 8 years. I don't even remember what those other points were. lmao

P.S. - Split into two posts because I hit the 30000 character limit which I know includes your quotes but still, damn!!! lol
 
The only reason why a certain amount of people are concerned about acquisitions and consolidation despite consolidation in the past is because the balance of power is moving away from Sony and into Big Tech, who have more buying power and control in data centres for Cloud Gaming and the distribution of said games.

Well that is part of the reason, but can you blame them? Almost all of the big tech companies are involved in some form of personal data gathering or are tied very close to various government projects, at least some of which are potentially not good for many citizens in the long run. I think people would be more okay with this stuff if it weren't so rapid-fire in development, if it was more paced or measured and these massive companies could produce results in a timely fashion for what they acquire in one point of time before running out and buying up something else.

It's natural to be weary of this type of rapid consolidation.

Consolidation and acquisitions happens to every industry as it becomes more mainstream, saturates or becomes expensive.

The difference is in most other industries where it happens said industries have either been around for a much longer time than gaming, or are not entertainment industries. The latter alone changes a lot of things in how people look at it.

Tell us about SEGA and Square Enix, that's all I wanna know

Next Wednesday and Tuesday, respectively ;)
 
Last edited:
Imagine if it wasn't free to play? It would be far worse than what it currently. The Battle Royale will eventually show if Halo Infinite can succeed/survive or not.

Kinda doubt this tbh, only because if it were designed as a full-package FPS game with all the usual Halo modes Day 1 and more MP map, gun etc. content and the campaign were awesome, it'd of easily been the 2nd best-selling shooter on the market behind COD Vanguard and probably pace very close to it or even surpass it in sales if good enough. That'd of been a great success story IMO.

BR will hopefully give the game a real shot in the arm, but it needs to be excellent, and they may wan to get it out the door sooner rather than later.

I don't know what they were thinking with making Halo Infinite cross-gen. I always thought it would be current generation only but could be played on Xbox One via X-Cloud streaming. I'm personally just hoping that I get a few great story expansions this generation for the single player campaign.

That aught to be the case for sure, at the very least.

COD will be day one on Game Pass for one simple reason - if not, their fan base will be pissed off and it's a consumer friendly move for all their games to be on Game Pass day one but not COD? Since 2018, they made the commitment. There's no going backwards. Besides, the game will still sell over 10m if not 20m because those who only play COD will just buy it anyway. Microsoft doesn't care if people buy MTX, DLC, etc. via the game being in Game Pass or if it purchased. They'll still be getting all the rewards.

Wasn't the all 1P games Day 1 to GamePass stuff mainly towards the XGS titles? ABK falls under its own label so they can make those games exempt, tho if I'm wrong and it is in fact ALL 1P games including all Zenimax and ABK ones, then I suppose the new CODs will be there in GP Day 1.

But if that's the case, I do think they run a risk of jeopardizing sales on other platforms because, again, why wouldn't casuals just play it via Xbox GamePass? Or if the idea is that they will still buy the game because it's the only one they play (if they're the hardcore type), then doesn't that mean putting the new releases on GP Day 1 have no effect for netting those players in since they'd rather buy the game versus subscribing to a service for it?

I agree. I just don't see Banjo as being a priority right now. Most of these games just don't do what they did back then. I think Playtonic was acquired by someone or they have a deal with someone that I would guess prevents them from working with someone else. I could easily be wrong on the Playtonic stuff though.

Checked the Wiki and it still listed them as independent, so maybe they just have a publishing deal with someone else. Anyway on the BK stuff, regardless if the series may or may not pull in the numbers now it did back then, I think putting out a new BK ahead of a new Crash or Spyro is just something to do for the honor of things. It's the "right thing" to do for the fanbase and for the lineage of the IPs they've had for far longer by this point.

Besides it's not like they couldn't make a new BK work or make it bigger and better than it's ever been before, you just need to have the vision to make that happen.

Ultimate would jump to $20 because I do believe that Ubisoft's vault will get added at some point and I believe that Microsoft will include their expansions day one. So for example, let's say there's 3 expansions released in a year that sells for $20+. Could be a single game or even three different games. That would be $60+. For the same amount, consumers would be better off just paying the extra $5 a month/$60 a year to get it all.

Oh OK I think I see what you mean now. If the Ubisoft deal is deep enough then I can see them doing that.

WOW should be ported to Xbox but who knows if/when it will happen. As of now, I would say that it's at a minimum, three years away if it was to happen. I do agree that PC gets better treatment but in fairness, the games that get the treatment are PC centric focused titles and more times than not, don't do as well on console for various reasons.

I guess, but it just seem like odd messaging to send out there, wouldn't you agree? Xbox, or Microsoft even really, they weren't truly focused on PC as a platform until 2016 or so when they made the commitment of all 1P games Day 1 to PC.

However, most gamers in the MS ecosystem became that way (in terms of associating MS as a gaming brand) thanks to Xbox (and therefore, console), so why not prioritize Xbox a bit more in this dynamic?

PS Now was a total and complete failure so it makes sense to roll those subscribers into PS Plus. Of course, im not a fan of their three tiered service at all. Cloud saves still behind a paywall is UGH. This shit has saved me three times on Xbox Series X where I would have quit Gears Tactics, AC Valhalla and Immortals Fenyx Rising expansion. The third tier with paid trials/demos/whatever they will be and BC locked behind it is just double UGH to me.

TBF, MS can roll out cloud saves for no extra cost because they own OneDrive and are probably using that tech for the cloud saves (and even if not, they have Azure which can facilitate the hardware and utility side of things). Sony doesn't have that, so they'd have to rent out cloud storage from another company. That said you can easily back up saves to a USB drive.

I do think they could offer some form of the trails to the other tiers and maybe even some that are free, same with the BC games, but I actually really like what they're doing there. Being able to test out any 3P or 1P AAA game at or around launch (if the feature is taken up the right way by all parties involved), or maybe even before launch, would mean I can decide earlier for myself if the game is a buy, a rent, or a pass.

Similarly with BC, if they go the extra mile and add trophy support, plentiful shader & emulator options, or even do official translations for various PS1/2/3/PSP/Vita games that were Japan-only, that adds a lot of value as well IMO.

In my eyes, Microsoft is trying to bring new consumers into Game Pass where as with PS Plus, I think Sony just wants to milk their current existing fan base out of more money instead of trying to get new consumers into the subscription. I honestly have no hype or interest in PS Plus.

IMO neither approach is objectively better or worst than the other. Ultimately these are two different businesses with their own forecasts and strategies, and I can see value in both approaches.

Anyway I'll have to reply to the rest tomorrow (I might indeed have lost the title of Poster With Longest Replies...but try doing a reply that breaks the character limit if you really want that title ;) 🤣
 
I'm all for them. The more unique and exclusive games to each console the better for the player.

Sony is quite simple to guess, as they will buy more traditional console gaming type studios like Square etc.

Microsoft on the other hand might be a little bit different.
With Activision they bring on board on large mobile gaming company in King. It will be interesting to see if they then expand into more mobile gaming studios. It's a big money earner and they did say they wanted to get into it.
Lucky for them they have a shit ton of money in the bank to spend.
 

peter42O

Member
Kinda doubt this tbh, only because if it were designed as a full-package FPS game with all the usual Halo modes Day 1 and more MP map, gun etc. content and the campaign were awesome, it'd of easily been the 2nd best-selling shooter on the market behind COD Vanguard and probably pace very close to it or even surpass it in sales if good enough. That'd of been a great success story IMO.

BR will hopefully give the game a real shot in the arm, but it needs to be excellent, and they may wan to get it out the door sooner rather than later.
I understand what you're saying and agree in theory but the only problem is that either way ($60 total package or separate with MP being free to play), the content wasn't going to be there and still isn't. Basically, I don't either scenario somehow having more content than what's already there now barring the MP being delayed which all of it was already delayed a year. It wasn't going more than that no matter what.

I do think they should have stayed in "early access" because this would have given 343 a little more leeway as opposed to having the final release back in December when the campaign launched. Regardless, it all comes down to if it bounces back or not.
That aught to be the case for sure, at the very least.
The campaign had a good ending and sets up the first expansion so im hoping.
Wasn't the all 1P games Day 1 to GamePass stuff mainly towards the XGS titles? ABK falls under its own label so they can make those games exempt, tho if I'm wrong and it is in fact ALL 1P games including all Zenimax and ABK ones, then I suppose the new CODs will be there in GP Day 1.

But if that's the case, I do think they run a risk of jeopardizing sales on other platforms because, again, why wouldn't casuals just play it via Xbox GamePass? Or if the idea is that they will still buy the game because it's the only one they play (if they're the hardcore type), then doesn't that mean putting the new releases on GP Day 1 have no effect for netting those players in since they'd rather buy the game versus subscribing to a service for it?
Bethesda runs as it's own publishing label but make no mistake, it's all under Microsoft. It's their money, their resources, their time. The only reason why it stays "separate" is because why take a chance of implementing it all into Xbox Game Studios and fucking it up? Better off just leaving it alone. Bethesda's back catalog had 20 or so games added to Game Pass once the deal closed. Starfield, Redfall, etc. is all day one. Deathloop will also be day one once it releases on Xbox in October. There's probably also tax reasons too. Embracer has three or four publishing arms. Take Two has two or three. Point is that it's all under the parent company. It's just easier to leave shit alone as opposed to trying to implement them all.

I see ABK as being the same thing once the deal closes. They run the risk of jeopardizing sales but you have to realize that a $60 sale isn't as important as getting someone into Game Pass for a year. Sales are important but people need to understand that subscription will in time overtake them because first and foremost, the publisher which in this case being Microsoft makes much more revenue than selling the game. Second, they don't have to pay retailers the percentage on each sale as well as manufacturing, shipping, distribution, etc. so while you can still buy the game on a disc, they won't need to manufacture as many because they know a good portion will play via Game Pass.

The hardcore who only play COD or perhaps 2/3 live service games a year will buy it because they don't care about all the other stuff in Game Pass. But Microsoft will still gain subscribers because there will be those who want to play COD but aren't going to play "only" COD and think about this - Let's say COD sells 30m which im pretty sure it does yearly or close to it. Now, let's say it sells 20m across Xbox/PC while 10m subscribe to Game Pass and since I do believe that Microsoft will have a cheaper yearly plan by the time COD hits Game Pass day one (my guess is November 2024) which I will put at $100 (saving consumers $20) to sign up for the $10 base version of Game Pass. Getting $100 from a subscriber for the year is better than getting $60 especially when taking into account how many of this 10m would have bought the game on disc which lessens the revenue and in turn, the profits. This is all before DLC/MTX/etc.

Sales are important but when you compare the actual gain of it after all the expenses compared to a subscription service which is obviously in-house for Microsoft since their own, it's a pretty big difference once you start adding it all up. Plus, getting people into Game Pass leads to them spending more money in their eco-system which is definitely true because I do this myself. I saved $50 on Gears Tactics and $50 on Halo Infinite as I subscribe to Game Pass when a new game releases day one that I want to play so every game for me is a $10 monthly rental. The money I have saved, I have already put back into the Xbox eco-system. So imagine those who subscribe year round, save even more money than I do. They'll put more money back into the eco-system because in their mind, they're saving a lot of extra money.
Checked the Wiki and it still listed them as independent, so maybe they just have a publishing deal with someone else. Anyway on the BK stuff, regardless if the series may or may not pull in the numbers now it did back then, I think putting out a new BK ahead of a new Crash or Spyro is just something to do for the honor of things. It's the "right thing" to do for the fanbase and for the lineage of the IPs they've had for far longer by this point.

Besides it's not like they couldn't make a new BK work or make it bigger and better than it's ever been before, you just need to have the vision to make that happen.
I just looked this up. They're still independent but did accept a minority stake from Tencent. Don't know if this would affect anything in regards to Microsoft working with Playtonic but they don't appear to be working with Splash Damage anymore since they were owned by Leyou which is now owned by Tencent.

I agree. They could make a new BK game. It comes down to if an actual studio wants to do it.
Oh OK I think I see what you mean now. If the Ubisoft deal is deep enough then I can see them doing that.
Adding Ubisoft's vault and first party expansions easily make up for the loss of online multi-player and a $5/month increase. Plus, there's that Rewards thing that gives a lot of points and all that shit when purchasing and whatnot.
I guess, but it just seem like odd messaging to send out there, wouldn't you agree? Xbox, or Microsoft even really, they weren't truly focused on PC as a platform until 2016 or so when they made the commitment of all 1P games Day 1 to PC.

However, most gamers in the MS ecosystem became that way (in terms of associating MS as a gaming brand) thanks to Xbox (and therefore, console), so why not prioritize Xbox a bit more in this dynamic?
I agree. WOW should get ported to Xbox Series and even Xbox One if it could run which it probably could. Either way, it's going to be a while before anything happens as first things first - the deal has to get approved and completed.
TBF, MS can roll out cloud saves for no extra cost because they own OneDrive and are probably using that tech for the cloud saves (and even if not, they have Azure which can facilitate the hardware and utility side of things). Sony doesn't have that, so they'd have to rent out cloud storage from another company. That said you can easily back up saves to a USB drive.

I do think they could offer some form of the trails to the other tiers and maybe even some that are free, same with the BC games, but I actually really like what they're doing there. Being able to test out any 3P or 1P AAA game at or around launch (if the feature is taken up the right way by all parties involved), or maybe even before launch, would mean I can decide earlier for myself if the game is a buy, a rent, or a pass.

Similarly with BC, if they go the extra mile and add trophy support, plentiful shader & emulator options, or even do official translations for various PS1/2/3/PSP/Vita games that were Japan-only, that adds a lot of value as well IMO.
I know that you can backup PS4 saves on a USB drive but is that still available for PS5 games? Because I don't remember seeing that option. Thankfully, I just leave the save files on the console itself with the game as since I only have 2 games, I have plenty of SSD space. I agree with the Microsoft part in regards to Cloud Saves. I just see stuff Microsoft is offering/giving me for free and yet, Sony wants to charge me. Why would I go with the company that wants to charge me when I get the same for free on another platform?

I disagree with the trials because they'll give you a two hour trial which becomes maybe 90 minutes after downloading/installing the game plus why would I want to spend $18 a month for this when I could just wait for the third party game to go to Game Pass where I get the entire full game for a $10 monthly rental? Also, I don't see AAA publishers like Take Two/EA, etc. agreeing to this at all. Take Two isn't going to put a two hour trial of GTA 6 on that $18 service. No way in hell. Take Two will laugh them out of the building and what is Sony going to do? Say no, you can't release GTA 6 on PS5? That's not going to happen. Sony trying to force all of this as opposed to making it optional is a bad decision as it's going to piss off a lot of smaller development studios, especially Indies to where I think they just releases their games at $34 instead of $35 and avoid having the demo whatsoever.

AAA publishers aren't going to accept this whatsoever. I personally expect Sony to modify this requirement this Summer if not in June because it's just not gong to fly with the vast majority of development studios. If you're a small Indie especially, why go through all this bullshit when you could just release the game on Switch which Indies for the most part do better on than PS4/PS5 anyway and in some cases, do better than PS/Xbox combined.

Trials are also equally negative as they are positive. You could end up playing half or more of an Indie game and be like, I had my fill, not buying or for longer games, the trial could be two hours of the most boring slowest shit you've ever played which leads to, no thanks, im not buying. I simply see what Sony trying to do as being bad and it's going to blowup in their face just like it did for Microsoft back during the Xbox 360 generation when they required every Indie game and whatnot to have a free playable demo.

If the BC games get all that, that's good BUT it's still behind a paywall. Not every game is BC on Xbox but if a game is BC on Xbox, you can simply insert the disc that you own, download the game since it runs off the emulator and then play it without paying a cent.

I just think Sony is trying to milk their current existing fan base for every single penny they can and the sad part is that the vast majority of PlayStation fans accept it. I'm very happy that Xbox fans have spoken up the last almost decade and demanded better and more. Granted, it took a while but better late than never. With Sony, in my mind, I just see them as trying to screw over their hardcore fan base repeatedly instead of trying to get newer fans into their eco-system which makes no sense to me.

To me, Sony is taking their fans for granted and the fans allow that which in turn, I believe will blow up in their face because this isn't 8 years ago. That time is gone and done. It's a new generation and the competition is far stronger than before and the underdogs in Microsoft are simply giving so much to their consumers for less money than what Sony is doing.

But we'll see how it all plays out.
IMO neither approach is objectively better or worst than the other. Ultimately these are two different businesses with their own forecasts and strategies, and I can see value in both approaches.

Anyway I'll have to reply to the rest tomorrow (I might indeed have lost the title of Poster With Longest Replies...but try doing a reply that breaks the character limit if you really want that title ;) 🤣
I see Game Pass as vastly superior because it gives me all the first party games day one so games that I would normally have zero interest in playing and buying, I can now play them all and if it wins me over like Halo Infinite campaign for example, I will be getting 7 games for the price of 1 Sony game. That's insane. It also gives me more third party games that im interested in day one. Thus far, I had Outriders/The Ascent with A Plague Tale Requiem/Stalker 2 the next two where as thus far with Sony, absolutely nothing. I also don't think Sony is going to pay 6/7 figures to get an AAA third party game day one. But we'll see. I'm hoping Sony gives me a few third party multi-platform games day one that im interested in but im not expecting it.

HAHAHAHAHA. I don't want that title. You can keep it bud. lol. :messenger_tears_of_joy::messenger_beaming::messenger_grinning:
 
I'm all for them. The more unique and exclusive games to each console the better for the player.

Sony is quite simple to guess, as they will buy more traditional console gaming type studios like Square etc.

But Square-Enix isn't that traditional a company, looking at everything they're involved in. They have a lot of involvement in the manga scene, some in the anime scene, and a few other things IIRC. So they also align with what Sony's doing WRT Aniplex/Funimation/Crunchyroll. I also think they do have a couple of mobile games out there, so they've dipped their toes into that market as well.

Microsoft on the other hand might be a little bit different.
With Activision they bring on board on large mobile gaming company in King. It will be interesting to see if they then expand into more mobile gaming studios. It's a big money earner and they did say they wanted to get into it.
Lucky for them they have a shit ton of money in the bank to spend.

That's well and good for MS's bottom line, but if I'm looking at it more in terms of me as a console gamer, King does absolutely nothing for me. That big revenue in Candy Crush doesn't guarantee something potentially cool like a BK/Candy Crush platformer crossover, or even more AAA games being greenlight.

Frankly I'm tired of thinking about these acquisitions in terms of what they do for the companies buying them, and thinking more in terms of what they do for me as a gamer. What slept-on IP get to come back in a big way that would not have otherwise? Will games falling under the new ownership be elevated in quality in ways they would not have otherwise? Etc.

Then from there I'm just thinking more of how does this stuff benefit me as a customer. Is the quality enough to justify the purchasing price? Are there any savings being passed on to my wallet? What extra perks can I get in the ecosystem buying the game on X platform (or subbing to a service providing the game on X platform) that I would not be able to get if this acquisition didn't happen?

How much more money MS, Sony, etc. make off these companies ultimately doesn't matter to me. But as long as their finances are looking good to satisfy the things I mentioned above, then good.
 
I understand what you're saying and agree in theory but the only problem is that either way ($60 total package or separate with MP being free to play), the content wasn't going to be there and still isn't. Basically, I don't either scenario somehow having more content than what's already there now barring the MP being delayed which all of it was already delayed a year. It wasn't going more than that no matter what.

Do you really think 343i have only been able to make two whole maps for Season 2, or do you rather think they have more maps yet are holding them off to drip feed content out to the player base? Because I find it hard to think a studio would believe two maps (each only usable in a specific mode) would be enough content for another six whole months.

I do think they should have stayed in "early access" because this would have given 343 a little more leeway as opposed to having the final release back in December when the campaign launched. Regardless, it all comes down to if it bounces back or not.

But the whole point of the original delay was to give 343i enough time to polish what was there, we even had word shortly after the delay that the game was "done", assuming enough content was complete, and they were just polishing. Clearly that isn't the case; either that, or they have broken up content releases and drip-feeding content as little as possible.

Bethesda runs as it's own publishing label but make no mistake, it's all under Microsoft. It's their money, their resources, their time. The only reason why it stays "separate" is because why take a chance of implementing it all into Xbox Game Studios and fucking it up? Better off just leaving it alone. Bethesda's back catalog had 20 or so games added to Game Pass once the deal closed. Starfield, Redfall, etc. is all day one. Deathloop will also be day one once it releases on Xbox in October. There's probably also tax reasons too. Embracer has three or four publishing arms. Take Two has two or three. Point is that it's all under the parent company. It's just easier to leave shit alone as opposed to trying to implement them all.

Fair enough; when put like that it would make sense for all Zenimax & ABK games even to go in GP Day 1. Still though, I can't picture new COD releases being there Day 1, I think they left just enough wiggle room in earlier talk to excuse games like that. That's just too much obvious revenue through direct sales to pass up on. I think releases like Starfield, Redfall, Avowed etc., should they hit well enough, will be enough to grow GamePass (that, and doing more direct advertising for each of those games).

Meanwhile you tie all DLC and MTX content to GP subs. Either that, or MS can do with COD what they did with FH5; "pre-release" it for players to buy who want it a few days earlier and then release it into GP proper a few days later. Seems like it did well enough for FH5, can't see why COD would be a sudden exception. That way they get to have their cake and eat it, too.

I see ABK as being the same thing once the deal closes. They run the risk of jeopardizing sales but you have to realize that a $60 sale isn't as important as getting someone into Game Pass for a year. Sales are important but people need to understand that subscription will in time overtake them because first and foremost, the publisher which in this case being Microsoft makes much more revenue than selling the game. Second, they don't have to pay retailers the percentage on each sale as well as manufacturing, shipping, distribution, etc. so while you can still buy the game on a disc, they won't need to manufacture as many because they know a good portion will play via Game Pass.

That's very optimistic, but what's more important than getting someone into GP for a year is making sure the average annual revenue off that person for a year covers the costs of what that game would've bought in as a direct sale. Then, you have to ensure you get enough additional people in at that same consistent rate to offset the lost sale revenue, preferably to the point where now you're making more in subs than you would've in peak total sales for that and other games otherwise coming into the service.

I don't know how many other ways to say this but, GamePass isn't at that point yet. In fact it's pretty far away from that point, and that's with 25 million subs. That is, if we're going by Axios market revenue and share percentage reports from earlier in the year. Altho those reports were kind of sloppy, there was still enough (as well as other data from other sources for complementary info) to do some guesswork, and the likely revenue stream for a service like GamePass, at best, I think it's south of $800 million. That's for the whole year.

Now, a single COD, what do they normally sell? I'm guessing something like 15 million Day 1? I'd assume platform splits are close to even between Xbox and PS for COD games, let's just say 40% PS/35% Xbox/25% PC. So Xbox would typically account for 5.25 million sales. Let's say it going into GP Day 1 on Xbox and PC causes a 50% drop in direct sales on both systems, and a 20% drop in sales on PlayStation. But of that 20%, 50% buy direct between Xbox and PC (maybe because it's cheaper there) and the other 50% sub to GamePass. And let's just assume those are all new subscribers.

So, in other words, PS goes from 6 million sales volume to 4.8 million sales. That's 1.2 million sales lost. Half of those (600K) buy the game on Xbox and PC instead, so let's just be simple and say that's 300K for Xbox and 300K for PC. 5.25 million copies on Xbox now becomes 5.55 million, but remember, they're now losing 50% sales due to COD being in GamePass, so it's 5.2 * . 5 = 2.6 + .3 = 2.9 million copies. With PC, it's 3.75 * .5 = 1.875 + .3 = 2.175 million copies. And again with PS, you have 4.8 million copies.

In total, that's (4.8 + 2.9 + 2.175 =) 9.875 million copies being sold, dropping from 15 million it would've had normally. That's about a 34% drop in direct sales across all platforms, due to COD now being on GP Day 1. However, now GamePass gets 600,000 new subscribers. Let's say they ALL stay on the whole year and pay monthly for GPU (since they would want to play it online). Let's split it 50/50 between Xbox and PC. That comes to (300K * $15 * 12 =) $54 million from Xbox and (300K * $10 * 12 =) $36 million from PC on those subs over the course of a year. We'll also just assume that of the 50% direct sales lost on Xbox and PC, half of that from each already have GP and the other half are new subscribers. So, for Xbox that's (2.6/2 =) 1.3 million, and for PC it's (1.875/2 =) 937,500. Let's say they all also jump in on GPU for a whole year, paying monthly. That's (1.3 million * $15 * 12 =) $234 million from Xbox and (937.5K * $10 * 12 =) $112.5 million from PC.

Throw them all together and from those theoretical GamePass subs, putting COD into GP would generate an additional $436.5 million a year on the service. Compare that to what they lost in direct sales: (5.675 million * $60 =) $340.5 million. $436.5 million > $340.5 million, naturally, BUT the GP numbers I did are not realistic numbers, because we already were able to calculate probable GP average sub revenues per user and cumulatively off the current subscriber base, and these #s off COD are much, MUCH higher than those calculations (search the Axios threads or my prior post history and you should come across the posts I'm referring to). You'd realistically have to scale that $436.5 million down to what range was seen in those other calculations and, when you do so, the amount drops off significantly.

And that's all just to say, THAT is why I don't think putting new CODs into GP Day 1 results in a net gain where MS might want them: generated revenue off the service that's enough to match (let alone surpass) lost direct sales of certain games like COD. But, if MS cares more ATM about growing total GP subscriber count, then it COULD actually be a good idea to do what you suggest and put the new CODs in GP Day 1, or at least do it for the first new release, if they could get a (potentially conservative) estimate of ~ 3 million new subscribers off of just standalone COD (there's a chance it could jump up higher than that, though. That would affect some of the other calculations done above, however).

The hardcore who only play COD or perhaps 2/3 live service games a year will buy it because they don't care about all the other stuff in Game Pass. But Microsoft will still gain subscribers because there will be those who want to play COD but aren't going to play "only" COD and think about this - Let's say COD sells 30m which im pretty sure it does yearly or close to it. Now, let's say it sells 20m across Xbox/PC while 10m subscribe to Game Pass and since I do believe that Microsoft will have a cheaper yearly plan by the time COD hits Game Pass day one (my guess is November 2024) which I will put at $100 (saving consumers $20) to sign up for the $10 base version of Game Pass. Getting $100 from a subscriber for the year is better than getting $60 especially when taking into account how many of this 10m would have bought the game on disc which lessens the revenue and in turn, the profits. This is all before DLC/MTX/etc.

Wait how would it sell 20 million on Xbox/PC and the other 10 million of the 30 million convert to GamePass? Where are the PS sales accounted for in that? They would still have a significant portion even if it's ultimately smaller than Xbox/PC combined.
 
Sales are important but when you compare the actual gain of it after all the expenses compared to a subscription service which is obviously in-house for Microsoft since their own, it's a pretty big difference once you start adding it all up. Plus, getting people into Game Pass leads to them spending more money in their eco-system which is definitely true because I do this myself. I saved $50 on Gears Tactics and $50 on Halo Infinite as I subscribe to Game Pass when a new game releases day one that I want to play so every game for me is a $10 monthly rental. The money I have saved, I have already put back into the Xbox eco-system. So imagine those who subscribe year round, save even more money than I do. They'll put more money back into the eco-system because in their mind, they're saving a lot of extra money.

I really appreciate that insight into how you personally reinvest money back into Xbox's ecosystem. It's actually a bit enlightening, because usually I just hear it from people like Phil Spencer or others who don't specify how they do it.

But that said, it does sound more like a re-routing of money, not necessarily spending more money than you normally would have. What I mean is, instead of you, in your case, buying those games individually, you're putting that money into subbing to GamePass. Which is great for MS in terms of active subs and count, but it still means a lost sale of Gears Tactics, a loss sale of Halo Infinite, etc. If you're paying month-to-month and those were the only games in the year you planned to buy, you are in a way spending more money in the ecosystem, but then my question is are there ENOUGH people like you in the ecosystem doing that to be of a net gain to GP's bottom line?

Because eventually that's where companies like MS will have to look. If there's let's say 30 million GP subs but only 5% of you spend into the ecosystem (redirecting that money to the service) the way you do, and MS had 2 AAA games releasing that would've normally done 5 million copies each, yet they're losing half of those sales to GP subs where you at best might have only 5% subbing in the way you do (or spending even more), that isn't enough to negate the revenue drop from loss of direct game sales.


Adding Ubisoft's vault and first party expansions easily make up for the loss of online multi-player and a $5/month increase. Plus, there's that Rewards thing that gives a lot of points and all that shit when purchasing and whatnot.

Yeah; I get Reward points just by using Edge browser or the extension in Chrome, particularly when buying stuff online or doing Bing searches. But I generally don't use Bing for that much other than language translation (I think its software for that works better than Google's), and maybe running some plugins I can't run in Chrome

I agree. WOW should get ported to Xbox Series and even Xbox One if it could run which it probably could. Either way, it's going to be a while before anything happens as first things first - the deal has to get approved and completed.

I agree. WOW should get ported to Xbox Series and even Xbox One if it could run which it probably could. Either way, it's going to be a while before anything happens as first things first - the deal has to get approved and completed.

Technically speaking ABK could do a port for Xbox in the meantime of their own prerogative without MS needing to be involved. I just think that they wouldn't be able to tie such a port to GamePass until the deal is finalized, is all.

I know that you can backup PS4 saves on a USB drive but is that still available for PS5 games? Because I don't remember seeing that option. Thankfully, I just leave the save files on the console itself with the game as since I only have 2 games, I have plenty of SSD space. I agree with the Microsoft part in regards to Cloud Saves. I just see stuff Microsoft is offering/giving me for free and yet, Sony wants to charge me. Why would I go with the company that wants to charge me when I get the same for free on another platform?

Can't see why Sony would remove USB save back-ups for PS5.

EDIT: Did some Reddit snooping and looks like you can back up PS5 game saves to USB:

Yes you can. I’ve just done it. Just go to Settings >> system >> system software >> backup and restore >> backup your ps5 and chose only save games or games as you like. The ps5 will restart and starts backup. I did it right now and it works.

Sound kind of convoluted but apparently does the job. They definitely seem to have made it more obfuscated though to drive the cloud option which requires PS+. Kinda lame but the option is still there which is what matters.

I do see your general point though and can agree with it, but for me it also comes down to how much of an inconvenience factor it would have to be for my playing habits in order to drive me away. Even if PS5 back-up saves were paywalled to PS+ only, it probably would not personally bother me too much. Save files are pretty small, and tend to stick to a single console (i.e don't need one for the living room AND one for the bedroom, etc.). For others though it could be an issue.

I disagree with the trials because they'll give you a two hour trial which becomes maybe 90 minutes after downloading/installing the game plus why would I want to spend $18 a month for this when I could just wait for the third party game to go to Game Pass where I get the entire full game for a $10 monthly rental? Also, I don't see AAA publishers like Take Two/EA, etc. agreeing to this at all. Take Two isn't going to put a two hour trial of GTA 6 on that $18 service. No way in hell. Take Two will laugh them out of the building and what is Sony going to do? Say no, you can't release GTA 6 on PS5? That's not going to happen. Sony trying to force all of this as opposed to making it optional is a bad decision as it's going to piss off a lot of smaller development studios, especially Indies to where I think they just releases their games at $34 instead of $35 and avoid having the demo whatsoever.

No, the trail time won't start until you actually fire up the game and being playing. Would be very scummy and a potential class-action lawsuit in the making if they advertised 2-hour trails but didn't account for download & install times.

Technically speaking as well, you don't have to pay monthly for Sony's service; they're still doing the annual offers which cut down the total cost by 33%. It's a good move and I wish Microsoft did something similar for GamePass. The problem with waiting for the game to go to GP is, depending on the publisher or even the game, you could be waiting several months or even up to years. FF VII Remake, for example, is still MIA on Xbox or GamePass, and it's been over two years at this point. I expect similar with games like Forspoken and FF XVI and that's considering they (or FF VII Remake for that matter) come to Xbox/GP at all.

There are other 3P games that just haven't came to the service, either, or when they do it's simply for a couple of months before they're taken out of the rotation. That approach might work for you if you want to treat the games as a backlog kind of thing, but if they're games someone wants to at least try at or around launch, and were thinking of buying, Sony's option might work out very well for them.

As for Take-Two and GTA, well that could or could not be an issue. However I think they will generally be okay with it. For starters, GTA games are MASSIVE and a 2-hour or even 4-hour trail is literally just the introductory portions of a much larger game. There may also be incentives to 3P partners (financial incentives) for providing the trails; we don't know that for sure but I'm just speculating.

AAA publishers aren't going to accept this whatsoever. I personally expect Sony to modify this requirement this Summer if not in June because it's just not gong to fly with the vast majority of development studios. If you're a small Indie especially, why go through all this bullshit when you could just release the game on Switch which Indies for the most part do better on than PS4/PS5 anyway and in some cases, do better than PS/Xbox combined.

We'll have to wait and see but I personally don't think there's going to be that much if any pushback. For starters, Sony's PS Store team are handling the trails. Secondly like some other users have speculated this could be done at the OS level making it trivial to implement.

But most importantly, trails aren't near the same degree of work as an actual demo would be, since they're built out of final retail assets and executables. That's WAY different from building a polished vertical slice from a game still deep in-progress.

Trials are also equally negative as they are positive. You could end up playing half or more of an Indie game and be like, I had my fill, not buying or for longer games, the trial could be two hours of the most boring slowest shit you've ever played which leads to, no thanks, im not buying. I simply see what Sony trying to do as being bad and it's going to blowup in their face just like it did for Microsoft back during the Xbox 360 generation when they required every Indie game and whatnot to have a free playable demo.

If the BC games get all that, that's good BUT it's still behind a paywall. Not every game is BC on Xbox but if a game is BC on Xbox, you can simply insert the disc that you own, download the game since it runs off the emulator and then play it without paying a cent.

That is a nice perk on Xbox, but again I see benefits in both approaches. MS's is limited not just because of the range of games they support, but also at least for my retro gaming tastes there's way less 360 & OG Xbox games I'm itching to play compared to PS1/2/3/PSP titles. If the latter come with the aforementioned additions, just that much better for me.

But, MS's advantage is that you don't need to pay for them. I hope Sony at least provide those retro games for sale so you can play them outside of the service, the option itself would be nice to have.

I just think Sony is trying to milk their current existing fan base for every single penny they can and the sad part is that the vast majority of PlayStation fans accept it. I'm very happy that Xbox fans have spoken up the last almost decade and demanded better and more. Granted, it took a while but better late than never. With Sony, in my mind, I just see them as trying to screw over their hardcore fan base repeatedly instead of trying to get newer fans into their eco-system which makes no sense to me.

Dunno; that's a very loaded, negative outlook on the situation IMO. It could simply be due to tastes and what people in the ecosystems prioritize. I think for people outside of the PS ecosystem, they're confused when they see things they think a lot of people should be upset about, yet they aren't. IMO it's down to the fact that for those people in the ecosystem, Sony are still doing the one thing that matters most to them: providing high-quality, fantastic games. 1P & 3P, exclusive or not, simply having that amount of quality and variety on the platform, and decades of consistency at it, earns a lot of loyalty.

It also shapes priorities of the player base on that platform, as well, so maybe what you personally see as Sony "nickel and diming" their fans, actual fans see as providing more value based on the expectations and priorities they've come to had being in the PS ecosystem for years. And you already know my own take on it: I easily see the value in both, so I see what Sony are doing and some small things aside, ultimately IMO they are adding value to their ecosystem with the service revamp.

To me, Sony is taking their fans for granted and the fans allow that which in turn, I believe will blow up in their face because this isn't 8 years ago. That time is gone and done. It's a new generation and the competition is far stronger than before and the underdogs in Microsoft are simply giving so much to their consumers for less money than what Sony is doing.

But we'll see how it all plays out.

I guess we will, but I personally see things shaping out well on this front for MS and Sony. They don't need to copy each other's approach verbatim in order to have value; in fact that would make this gaming space a lot more boring if they did. The fact there are a lot of people who are cool with MS's approach to adding value AND cool with Sony's approach to adding value, is ultimately a good thing.

Plus, at least they're both lightyears ahead of this in the services department than Nintendo (tho I think Nintendo adds their own value; adding MegaDrive retro titles for example means they could even end up getting Sega CD & Saturn, PC-Engine, Neo Geo etc. games too. Would be neat if Sony & Microsoft could get similar deals with prior platform holders and their content libraries as well).

I see Game Pass as vastly superior because it gives me all the first party games day one so games that I would normally have zero interest in playing and buying, I can now play them all and if it wins me over like Halo Infinite campaign for example, I will be getting 7 games for the price of 1 Sony game. That's insane. It also gives me more third party games that im interested in day one. Thus far, I had Outriders/The Ascent with A Plague Tale Requiem/Stalker 2 the next two where as thus far with Sony, absolutely nothing. I also don't think Sony is going to pay 6/7 figures to get an AAA third party game day one. But we'll see. I'm hoping Sony gives me a few third party multi-platform games day one that im interested in but im not expecting it.

Well Sony did get the new Virtua Fighter Day 1 into PS+, that could be a start in getting more AAA 3P games into their service Day 1. As to your other points: I in general see the benefits as you describe them. However for myself, I don't really mind paying for a game if I know I'll be investing a LOT of time into it; for smaller, shorter games I could beat in a couple hours or whatever, unless they're very specific games I could be more inclined to sub to a service for them if enough such games are in that service.

But the AAA games, especially the longer ones? Yeah I don't mind buying them if I know they're games I want. I did it for HFW, I'll do it again later this year for GT7 and Elden Ring. If I'm able to, I could likely do it for Starfield as well (depends on when I either pick up a Series S or upgrade my PC setup, whichever comes first) and same for Forza Motorsport 8.

Not all of those would even be Day 1, either. Like Elden Ring for example, the soonest I'm picking that up is either sometime in the Summer or in the Fall, could even be early Winter. There'd be zero point buying it right now when I'm still deep in HFW and would only have enough time for one such large open-world action-RPG at a time.

HAHAHAHAHA. I don't want that title. You can keep it bud. lol. :messenger_tears_of_joy::messenger_beaming::messenger_grinning:

You prob have an idea how draining it is to edit this giant-ass comments so that's why 😂
 

peter42O

Member
Do you really think 343i have only been able to make two whole maps for Season 2, or do you rather think they have more maps yet are holding them off to drip feed content out to the player base? Because I find it hard to think a studio would believe two maps (each only usable in a specific mode) would be enough content for another six whole months.
I believe that they only have two maps and are probably working on more maps but actually having them done and ready but holding them? No way. There's not really any major releases after Wonderlands that I have seen and it's pretty barren for the next few months so I can't imagine 343 holding maps when now would be a perfect time to get people into the MP because there's not much else that's new to play that's considered major. I believe that changes need to be made and all that but if that happens, who knows. What I do know is that im happy im not an online multi-player guy who was into Halo Infinite MP because I would be disappointed especially after loving the campaign so much.
But the whole point of the original delay was to give 343i enough time to polish what was there, we even had word shortly after the delay that the game was "done", assuming enough content was complete, and they were just polishing. Clearly that isn't the case; either that, or they have broken up content releases and drip-feeding content as little as possible.
I think the game was done meaning that it was playable from start to finish but needed a lot of extra time polishing and fine tuning. Also, reports/rumors had it that Staten cut a decent amount of content in the campaign because it was said to be too Ubisoft like. Don't know if that's true or not.

Simply, 343 is a clusterfuck and Spencer/Booty/Nadella really need to take a closer look into that studio. Even if they wanted to make changes, I can't see Microsoft firing anyone right now unless it's for some legal fucked up shit because it would be a bad look and I think they just ride it out because I think they all realize that Halo isn't what it once was and is going to be surpassed.
Fair enough; when put like that it would make sense for all Zenimax & ABK games even to go in GP Day 1. Still though, I can't picture new COD releases being there Day 1, I think they left just enough wiggle room in earlier talk to excuse games like that. That's just too much obvious revenue through direct sales to pass up on. I think releases like Starfield, Redfall, Avowed etc., should they hit well enough, will be enough to grow GamePass (that, and doing more direct advertising for each of those games).

Meanwhile you tie all DLC and MTX content to GP subs. Either that, or MS can do with COD what they did with FH5; "pre-release" it for players to buy who want it a few days earlier and then release it into GP proper a few days later. Seems like it did well enough for FH5, can't see why COD would be a sudden exception. That way they get to have their cake and eat it, too.
I can see an "ultimate edition" with a few days early access being available to purchase but at the same time, I think that would be a bad idea in regards to the multi-player aspect as some people would have a few days head start. I don't see Microsoft restricting DLC/MTX to only GP subs. No way.

Microsoft said in 2018 that every first party release would be on Game Pass day one and even if this was Take Two instead of Activision, I would say the same for GTA 6. It will be day one on Game Pass. They can't just pick and choose what first party titles go on Game Pass because all that would do is piss off their fan base and after last generation, that's the last thing they can have happen.
That's very optimistic, but what's more important than getting someone into GP for a year is making sure the average annual revenue off that person for a year covers the costs of what that game would've bought in as a direct sale. Then, you have to ensure you get enough additional people in at that same consistent rate to offset the lost sale revenue, preferably to the point where now you're making more in subs than you would've in peak total sales for that and other games otherwise coming into the service.

I don't know how many other ways to say this but, GamePass isn't at that point yet. In fact it's pretty far away from that point, and that's with 25 million subs. That is, if we're going by Axios market revenue and share percentage reports from earlier in the year. Altho those reports were kind of sloppy, there was still enough (as well as other data from other sources for complementary info) to do some guesswork, and the likely revenue stream for a service like GamePass, at best, I think it's south of $800 million. That's for the whole year.

Now, a single COD, what do they normally sell? I'm guessing something like 15 million Day 1? I'd assume platform splits are close to even between Xbox and PS for COD games, let's just say 40% PS/35% Xbox/25% PC. So Xbox would typically account for 5.25 million sales. Let's say it going into GP Day 1 on Xbox and PC causes a 50% drop in direct sales on both systems, and a 20% drop in sales on PlayStation. But of that 20%, 50% buy direct between Xbox and PC (maybe because it's cheaper there) and the other 50% sub to GamePass. And let's just assume those are all new subscribers.

So, in other words, PS goes from 6 million sales volume to 4.8 million sales. That's 1.2 million sales lost. Half of those (600K) buy the game on Xbox and PC instead, so let's just be simple and say that's 300K for Xbox and 300K for PC. 5.25 million copies on Xbox now becomes 5.55 million, but remember, they're now losing 50% sales due to COD being in GamePass, so it's 5.2 * . 5 = 2.6 + .3 = 2.9 million copies. With PC, it's 3.75 * .5 = 1.875 + .3 = 2.175 million copies. And again with PS, you have 4.8 million copies.

In total, that's (4.8 + 2.9 + 2.175 =) 9.875 million copies being sold, dropping from 15 million it would've had normally. That's about a 34% drop in direct sales across all platforms, due to COD now being on GP Day 1. However, now GamePass gets 600,000 new subscribers. Let's say they ALL stay on the whole year and pay monthly for GPU (since they would want to play it online). Let's split it 50/50 between Xbox and PC. That comes to (300K * $15 * 12 =) $54 million from Xbox and (300K * $10 * 12 =) $36 million from PC on those subs over the course of a year. We'll also just assume that of the 50% direct sales lost on Xbox and PC, half of that from each already have GP and the other half are new subscribers. So, for Xbox that's (2.6/2 =) 1.3 million, and for PC it's (1.875/2 =) 937,500. Let's say they all also jump in on GPU for a whole year, paying monthly. That's (1.3 million * $15 * 12 =) $234 million from Xbox and (937.5K * $10 * 12 =) $112.5 million from PC.

Throw them all together and from those theoretical GamePass subs, putting COD into GP would generate an additional $436.5 million a year on the service. Compare that to what they lost in direct sales: (5.675 million * $60 =) $340.5 million. $436.5 million > $340.5 million, naturally, BUT the GP numbers I did are not realistic numbers, because we already were able to calculate probable GP average sub revenues per user and cumulatively off the current subscriber base, and these #s off COD are much, MUCH higher than those calculations (search the Axios threads or my prior post history and you should come across the posts I'm referring to). You'd realistically have to scale that $436.5 million down to what range was seen in those other calculations and, when you do so, the amount drops off significantly.

And that's all just to say, THAT is why I don't think putting new CODs into GP Day 1 results in a net gain where MS might want them: generated revenue off the service that's enough to match (let alone surpass) lost direct sales of certain games like COD. But, if MS cares more ATM about growing total GP subscriber count, then it COULD actually be a good idea to do what you suggest and put the new CODs in GP Day 1, or at least do it for the first new release, if they could get a (potentially conservative) estimate of ~ 3 million new subscribers off of just standalone COD (there's a chance it could jump up higher than that, though. That would affect some of the other calculations done above, however).
I think that $800m number for an entire year is way off. You have $10 and $15 tiers. I know they do a lot of deals and all that but let's say, that's 5m subscribers and the other 20m is at $10 a month. You're looking at $200m a month so in 4 months, that's already $800m. A year would be $2.4b. And this is just going by 20m subscribers at the $10 tier.

I believe that Game Pass makes Microsoft a lot more money than people think. After all, they're not stupid. Nadella isn't running a $2T company like it's lemonade stand. They know what they're doing. I believe that majority think Game Pass isn't successful or this or that because they fear change and don't want the industry going in this direction despite it being better for gamers just on a money savings perspective.

Numbers wise, COD makes a killing but for Microsoft, it's all about Game Pass and increasing the subscriber count. Microsoft will still sell it of course but it will be in Game Pass day one. Of course, by the time COD hits Xbox under Microsoft, the campaign will be in Game Pass and the MP will be free to play as I can easily see this being the time Microsoft eliminates Gold. I would do it this July but I can see Microsoft waiting two more years and eliminate the online paywall for co-op/MP in Fall 2024 to coincide with their first COD game under Microsoft.

You also have to realize that we're talking two years from now. Game Pass will be at least 40m if not more by then and they will finally be on a roll when it comes to their first party releases on a consistent quarterly basis. I don't believe that there will be yearly COD games. I think that ends with 2024 release. I see one game as a platform with free content for the MP and paid campaign expansions.
Wait how would it sell 20 million on Xbox/PC and the other 10 million of the 30 million convert to GamePass? Where are the PS sales accounted for in that? They would still have a significant portion even if it's ultimately smaller than Xbox/PC combined.
It wouldn't sell that. I was just using the 30m total since that's their yearly average or at least close to that as an example. As for PlayStation, yeah, I don't see Sony getting any COD game after COD MW 2 and Warzone 2. You don't spend $70B on a company to still give your competitor a massive game like COD which outside of GTA is probably the one game that can easily shift an audience and consumer base to your platform and eco-system.
 

peter42O

Member
I really appreciate that insight into how you personally reinvest money back into Xbox's ecosystem. It's actually a bit enlightening, because usually I just hear it from people like Phil Spencer or others who don't specify how they do it.

But that said, it does sound more like a re-routing of money, not necessarily spending more money than you normally would have. What I mean is, instead of you, in your case, buying those games individually, you're putting that money into subbing to GamePass. Which is great for MS in terms of active subs and count, but it still means a lost sale of Gears Tactics, a loss sale of Halo Infinite, etc. If you're paying month-to-month and those were the only games in the year you planned to buy, you are in a way spending more money in the ecosystem, but then my question is are there ENOUGH people like you in the ecosystem doing that to be of a net gain to GP's bottom line?

Because eventually that's where companies like MS will have to look. If there's let's say 30 million GP subs but only 5% of you spend into the ecosystem (redirecting that money to the service) the way you do, and MS had 2 AAA games releasing that would've normally done 5 million copies each, yet they're losing half of those sales to GP subs where you at best might have only 5% subbing in the way you do (or spending even more), that isn't enough to negate the revenue drop from loss of direct game sales.
Here's a few examples. I had Game Pass Ultimate for January 2021 to August 2021 since it was part of the Xbox Series X bundle I purchased from GameStop. I played Outriders via Game Pass and while I was already leaning towards buying it based on the free playable demo, playing the actual retail release made my decision easier and I actually went digital instead of disc. I also played The Ascent which I also purchased after playing on Game Pass. Game was $24 and since my GPU sub was ending the first week of August, I would have had to pay $10 for the month of August but instead, I put that $10 towards just buying it digitally because I figured for $14 more, I'll just buy it.

Other examples are that despite owning the following games digitally for PS4, I bought them on Xbox so I could replay them on the Series X. AC Origins/Odyssey, Black Flag, Division 2, GR Wildlands, The Witcher 3 complete edition and Rise of the Tomb Raider. Since Series X is my primary console this generation, I wanted to have these games for Xbox Series X. I will be saving at least $50 each on Starfield, A Plague Tale Requiem, Redfall and Stalker 2 this year even though the last two I see being delayed to 2023. Anyway, point is that im saving $200 from these four games alone and while I spent around $150 on the games I just mentioned, im basically spending the same amount of money but getting so much more out of it. While I could still do this if Game Pass didn't exist in regards to buying games on Xbox that I already owned for PS4, I wouldn't be as enticed to do so like I am because of Game Pass.

Also, because I know that im saving extra money throughout the generation, I will also buy games digitally instead of physically but only if I know/believe that there will be expansions for the respective game. For example, I bought Dying Light 2 Ultimate Edition for $100 digitally because I was all in before it released.

One thing I should make clear - I don't subscribe to Game Pass on a monthly or even yearly basis. I don't stay subscribed. I subscribe when there's a new release I want to play. Next game im expecting will be A Plague Tale Requiem which if it wasn't on Game Pass would have been a day one purchase but since it is, it's basically a $10 monthly rental. Game gets played to completion and subscription is then cancelled so I don't get charged for the following month when I know I won't be using it. This saves me $50.

With that said, in some cases I do spend more money like with Outriders. I could have just completed it on Game Pass and be done with it. Instead, I purchased it for $60 digitally and have already pre-ordered the Worldslayer expansion which I believe is $40. So while not every example is me spending more money, I put it at 50/50. One other example is that take Gotham Knights - releases in late October. It's going to be a live service game. If it has a good post launch roadmap and story expansions, im more likely to buy it digitally than physically mainly because I know im already saving that extra money. Also, I would probably buy the gold/ultimate edition that includes the post launch content so instead of spending only $60, I would be spending $100+.

So basically, it's 50/50. For every game that evens out, there's a second game in which im spending more money on than I would normally. Either way, im getting more while spending less overall even though in some cases, im spending more than I normally would have if I had to buy literally every game that I wanted to play.

I think there's plenty of people who spend more money than I do and don't forget, a lot of people have kids so they're even spending more money than someone like me where it's well, just me. lol.
Technically speaking ABK could do a port for Xbox in the meantime of their own prerogative without MS needing to be involved. I just think that they wouldn't be able to tie such a port to GamePass until the deal is finalized, is all.
They could. I just don't see them really doing anything that was already planned because when you get acquired, you can't really be doing all this other shit because the deal doesn't include it. Even if they started now, I still see it taking at least two years to port the game.
Can't see why Sony would remove USB save back-ups for PS5.

EDIT: Did some Reddit snooping and looks like you can back up PS5 game saves to USB:


Sound kind of convoluted but apparently does the job. They definitely seem to have made it more obfuscated though to drive the cloud option which requires PS+. Kinda lame but the option is still there which is what matters.

I do see your general point though and can agree with it, but for me it also comes down to how much of an inconvenience factor it would have to be for my playing habits in order to drive me away. Even if PS5 back-up saves were paywalled to PS+ only, it probably would not personally bother me too much. Save files are pretty small, and tend to stick to a single console (i.e don't need one for the living room AND one for the bedroom, etc.). For others though it could be an issue.
Good to know that I can use a Flash Drive to backup my saves like I did with PS4. Thanks for the info.

The free cloud saves on Xbox for me is huge for two reasons - first, I obviously don't have to pay to have access to use it and second, it's all automatic where as on PS5, you have to manually upload them. Not going to lie, if I had to manually upload my cloud saves on Xbox, I would probably forget to do so every time. lol. And of course, I don't play co-op/MP so no reason for me to pay for PS Plus at all.
No, the trail time won't start until you actually fire up the game and being playing. Would be very scummy and a potential class-action lawsuit in the making if they advertised 2-hour trails but didn't account for download & install times.

Technically speaking as well, you don't have to pay monthly for Sony's service; they're still doing the annual offers which cut down the total cost by 33%. It's a good move and I wish Microsoft did something similar for GamePass. The problem with waiting for the game to go to GP is, depending on the publisher or even the game, you could be waiting several months or even up to years. FF VII Remake, for example, is still MIA on Xbox or GamePass, and it's been over two years at this point. I expect similar with games like Forspoken and FF XVI and that's considering they (or FF VII Remake for that matter) come to Xbox/GP at all.

There are other 3P games that just haven't came to the service, either, or when they do it's simply for a couple of months before they're taken out of the rotation. That approach might work for you if you want to treat the games as a backlog kind of thing, but if they're games someone wants to at least try at or around launch, and were thinking of buying, Sony's option might work out very well for them.

As for Take-Two and GTA, well that could or could not be an issue. However I think they will generally be okay with it. For starters, GTA games are MASSIVE and a 2-hour or even 4-hour trail is literally just the introductory portions of a much larger game. There may also be incentives to 3P partners (financial incentives) for providing the trails; we don't know that for sure but I'm just speculating.
Are you sure about the time thing because I have seen PS fans complain about that setup now where once you click download, the timer starts. I have never done this so im only going based on what I have seen others say.

I do believe that Microsoft will have a yearly plan. My guess is when they announce the Family Plan, they'll also announce a yearly discount plan.

I agree with the waiting for the game to hit Game Pass. Of course, im a day one guy 9 times out of 10 so if im waiting then chances are it's a game that if I play it, great but if not, no biggie. As for the games you mentioned, I don't see FF going on Xbox at all. I believe that Sony extended that deal for the duration of the generation. This includes FF7R and I believe FF16 if I had to bet money on it. Forspoken I think is going to bomb. SE will take every deal for that game that they can.

Luckily, the timed console exclusive games that Sony has paid for haven't bothered me at all. Kena was great and im all in for the KOTOR Remake but otherwise, the games Sony is paying for just aren't for me.

As for Take Two, I just don't think that they'll want to even be bothered. Spending years on a game but then have to make a trial/demo. I just think that Sony should make it optional instead of trying to force everyone to do this.
We'll have to wait and see but I personally don't think there's going to be that much if any pushback. For starters, Sony's PS Store team are handling the trails. Secondly like some other users have speculated this could be done at the OS level making it trivial to implement.

But most importantly, trails aren't near the same degree of work as an actual demo would be, since they're built out of final retail assets and executables. That's WAY different from building a polished vertical slice from a game still deep in-progress.
The PS Store team handling the trials are all rumors. The required trials was in a dev report or some shit that developers get based on the dev kit when they receive updates, changes, etc. I'm sure we'll know exactly what it is before this month ends since the three tier service launches later this month in some regions.

True about trials compared to demos. I see most of the pushback coming from small Indie studios who simply may not want a trial available for their game.
That is a nice perk on Xbox, but again I see benefits in both approaches. MS's is limited not just because of the range of games they support, but also at least for my retro gaming tastes there's way less 360 & OG Xbox games I'm itching to play compared to PS1/2/3/PSP titles. If the latter come with the aforementioned additions, just that much better for me.

But, MS's advantage is that you don't need to pay for them. I hope Sony at least provide those retro games for sale so you can play them outside of the service, the option itself would be nice to have.
I can understand that. It's just nice to have free BC on Xbox for those who already own the game and the games that are BC can actually be purchased where as for Sony, it's all behind the most expensive tier and based on your reply, you can't purchase those old games individually. Basically, they're only accessible via the $18 paywall.
Dunno; that's a very loaded, negative outlook on the situation IMO. It could simply be due to tastes and what people in the ecosystems prioritize. I think for people outside of the PS ecosystem, they're confused when they see things they think a lot of people should be upset about, yet they aren't. IMO it's down to the fact that for those people in the ecosystem, Sony are still doing the one thing that matters most to them: providing high-quality, fantastic games. 1P & 3P, exclusive or not, simply having that amount of quality and variety on the platform, and decades of consistency at it, earns a lot of loyalty.

It also shapes priorities of the player base on that platform, as well, so maybe what you personally see as Sony "nickel and diming" their fans, actual fans see as providing more value based on the expectations and priorities they've come to had being in the PS ecosystem for years. And you already know my own take on it: I easily see the value in both, so I see what Sony are doing and some small things aside, ultimately IMO they are adding value to their ecosystem with the service revamp.
Well, here's the thing. I'm not loyal to any company or brand. I have switched primary consoles three generations in a row and four out of the last five. Where Microsoft has been open and up front about so many things, Sony basically bullshits for no apparent reason. The entire cross-gen/we believe in generations bullshit is like, you know some of your games will be cross-gen snce that's what they've been developed for and yet, they say it in a blog post two months before launch. I'm like, wow.

I do agree in regards to decades of consistency and it earns a lot of loyalty. Sony's exclusives are for the most part great and I love a lot of them. It's just all the extra stuff that they seem to be missing on at least for me personally.
I guess we will, but I personally see things shaping out well on this front for MS and Sony. They don't need to copy each other's approach verbatim in order to have value; in fact that would make this gaming space a lot more boring if they did. The fact there are a lot of people who are cool with MS's approach to adding value AND cool with Sony's approach to adding value, is ultimately a good thing.

Plus, at least they're both lightyears ahead of this in the services department than Nintendo (tho I think Nintendo adds their own value; adding MegaDrive retro titles for example means they could even end up getting Sega CD & Saturn, PC-Engine, Neo Geo etc. games too. Would be neat if Sony & Microsoft could get similar deals with prior platform holders and their content libraries as well).
Well, in all honesty, Nintendo is always like two generations behind. Of course, I have only completed 10 Nintendo published games in the last 25+ years between N64 and Switch. Just not for me.

I do agree that it's good Microsoft and Sony have their different approaches and whatnot.
Well Sony did get the new Virtua Fighter Day 1 into PS+, that could be a start in getting more AAA 3P games into their service Day 1. As to your other points: I in general see the benefits as you describe them. However for myself, I don't really mind paying for a game if I know I'll be investing a LOT of time into it; for smaller, shorter games I could beat in a couple hours or whatever, unless they're very specific games I could be more inclined to sub to a service for them if enough such games are in that service.

But the AAA games, especially the longer ones? Yeah I don't mind buying them if I know they're games I want. I did it for HFW, I'll do it again later this year for GT7 and Elden Ring. If I'm able to, I could likely do it for Starfield as well (depends on when I either pick up a Series S or upgrade my PC setup, whichever comes first) and same for Forza Motorsport 8.

Not all of those would even be Day 1, either. Like Elden Ring for example, the soonest I'm picking that up is either sometime in the Summer or in the Fall, could even be early Winter. There'd be zero point buying it right now when I'm still deep in HFW and would only have enough time for one such large open-world action-RPG at a time.
Yeah, hopefully they did more third party games into PS+ day one. My only question is - which tier would it be part of?

I don't mind buying games either (disc or digital) but knowing that im getting every Microsoft first party game day one in Game Pass is huge. I currently have 12 games on my list so not having to buy them saves me $600. And this is just what's been announced thus far. Also, since Microsoft is more focused on building Game Pass, there's always a chance I get a third party multi-platform game day one where as with Sony, I just don't know how much money and effort they're willing to put into the revamped PS+ since it's not the focal point of their business model.

I'm not going to buy a Microsoft game probably ever again because no reason for me to do so since I know I can play them for a $10 monthly rental and unless it's a licensing/contract issue, the games are never going to leave the service so even if an expansion or something gets released that I want to play, I'll just resub for a month which would still be cheaper than me buying the game itself.

Lucky for me, I have no interest in GT 7, FM or Elden Ring. I did play and complete Horizon Forbidden West. Excellent game but I prefer ZD over it. My biggest gripe was the technical issues. Game needed at least another three months in my opinion. I had more technical issues with HFW than I had with all 20 Sony published games I completed on PS4 combined and that includes Days Gone day one. Still, FW is an excellent game. Hope you're enjoying it. :)
You prob have an idea how draining it is to edit this giant-ass comments so that's why 😂
Yes, I do. lol :)
 
I think that $800m number for an entire year is way off. You have $10 and $15 tiers. I know they do a lot of deals and all that but let's say, that's 5m subscribers and the other 20m is at $10 a month. You're looking at $200m a month so in 4 months, that's already $800m. A year would be $2.4b. And this is just going by 20m subscribers at the $10 tier.

This is the same mistake I've seen some guys like Colt and Destin make. It's assuming that there are no people using the $1 conversion deal, free trials, or even those who sub for a month but drop the next (since your only option is to sub month-to-month with GamePass).

And again, just take a look at the Axios reports on services revenue for 2021, total market revenue for 2021, Sony's own PS+ revenue numbers for 2021, Nintendo's services amounts, break all of that down between the different gaming regions etc. and then the claims of GP having 60% of the game subscriptions market (which is a subset of the services market) and you get something closer to $800 million. If it brings in more than that, it'd most likely be to the detriment of XBL Gold subs, i.e XBL Gold sub counts dropping as they convert to GamePass Ultimate.

I think if GP revenue was as high as you think it is, Microsoft would absolutely be reporting it on its own and not lumping it in with the rest of Xbox division revenue. After all, they want to prove to investors and the market as a whole that game subscription services like GamePass are the future, and the only way you can really do that is by showing the hard numbers with how much revenue it brings in. That shows something to the rest of the market, and acts as a signal. At that point you'd get Sony, Valve, EGS, maybe even Nintendo, all jumping in with 100% GamePass copycats & competitors.

They aren't doing that, though, because MS haven't shared those numbers. And I don't think MS have quite shared those numbers, because they aren't in that $2.4 billion/year range, or anywhere close to it. Not yet, anyway. The 3-year stacking stuff ends at the end of this year so 2023 will be the time to see how many people are actually willing to pay month-to-month for GamePass. It's going to be something to watch, hopefully in Microsoft's favor.

I believe that Game Pass makes Microsoft a lot more money than people think. After all, they're not stupid. Nadella isn't running a $2T company like it's lemonade stand. They know what they're doing. I believe that majority think Game Pass isn't successful or this or that because they fear change and don't want the industry going in this direction despite it being better for gamers just on a money savings perspective.

I wouldn't say GamePass isn't successful, just that it's successful at doing very specific things currently. Mainly I think it's successful at providing a decently-sized library of games for subscribers to play, with some 3P AA/indie games coming Day 1 usually every month or so. For those subbed via stacking and conversions, it's a great value to them given how little money they've paid into it.

However, for the main selling point, Day 1 MS 1P AAA games, GamePass hasn't been as successful due to the infrequency of those game releases. With the Starfield & RedFall delays this make it even more prominent a glaring issue. We've also yet to see how many current subs will be willing to sub paying the full monthly rate, although by the time they'll have to I think MS will introduce a yearly payment option with a reduced price similar to what Sony's doing with PS+/Extra/Premium (Deluxe).
 

peter42O

Member
This is the same mistake I've seen some guys like Colt and Destin make. It's assuming that there are no people using the $1 conversion deal, free trials, or even those who sub for a month but drop the next (since your only option is to sub month-to-month with GamePass).

And again, just take a look at the Axios reports on services revenue for 2021, total market revenue for 2021, Sony's own PS+ revenue numbers for 2021, Nintendo's services amounts, break all of that down between the different gaming regions etc. and then the claims of GP having 60% of the game subscriptions market (which is a subset of the services market) and you get something closer to $800 million. If it brings in more than that, it'd most likely be to the detriment of XBL Gold subs, i.e XBL Gold sub counts dropping as they convert to GamePass Ultimate.

I think if GP revenue was as high as you think it is, Microsoft would absolutely be reporting it on its own and not lumping it in with the rest of Xbox division revenue. After all, they want to prove to investors and the market as a whole that game subscription services like GamePass are the future, and the only way you can really do that is by showing the hard numbers with how much revenue it brings in. That shows something to the rest of the market, and acts as a signal. At that point you'd get Sony, Valve, EGS, maybe even Nintendo, all jumping in with 100% GamePass copycats & competitors.

They aren't doing that, though, because MS haven't shared those numbers. And I don't think MS have quite shared those numbers, because they aren't in that $2.4 billion/year range, or anywhere close to it. Not yet, anyway. The 3-year stacking stuff ends at the end of this year so 2023 will be the time to see how many people are actually willing to pay month-to-month for GamePass. It's going to be something to watch, hopefully in Microsoft's favor.
I did take into account the $1 conversation and whatnot. I had it listed at 5m. Even if you say 10m are using these deals, that's still 15m at $10 a month minimum which is $1.8B a year. Personally, I believe that most people don't even know about the conversion trick especially since it's not advertised.

I don't think that Microsoft would have to tell us the numbers to get that info to investors and shareholders. I'm sure they know all this shit. It's only us who don't know. Even if it's not profitable and whatnot, in all honesty, it will be eventually. Right now, they're in that "building" phase or whatever it's called to get people into the service.
I wouldn't say GamePass isn't successful, just that it's successful at doing very specific things currently. Mainly I think it's successful at providing a decently-sized library of games for subscribers to play, with some 3P AA/indie games coming Day 1 usually every month or so. For those subbed via stacking and conversions, it's a great value to them given how little money they've paid into it.

However, for the main selling point, Day 1 MS 1P AAA games, GamePass hasn't been as successful due to the infrequency of those game releases. With the Starfield & RedFall delays this make it even more prominent a glaring issue. We've also yet to see how many current subs will be willing to sub paying the full monthly rate, although by the time they'll have to I think MS will introduce a yearly payment option with a reduced price similar to what Sony's doing with PS+/Extra/Premium (Deluxe).
I agree completely. And I do believe that Microsoft adds a yearly discount option once they announce the Family Plan.
 
It's going to get worse before it gets better. Sony should just be brutal and pick up as much in Japan as possible. Honestly I'd just prefer natural first party growth with the occasional acquisition but I think to stay relevant and a market leader, we're way past that point. Sony don't normally target companies that have long a long history as a multi-platform developer. Most companies Sony have acquired have either worked solely with them or mostly with them and don't disrupt the market too much.

But the spate of acquisitions at the moment from major publishers and platform holders is fucking unreal.
 

Ev1L AuRoN

Member
I don't like it. I do think exclusives are important. But I don't like the idea that I need to own different machines with the same purpose in order to experience the content I want. I don't think it is a big deal for a lot of people, but for gamers like me that live in a Third World Country, this is very impactful.
 

jroc74

Phone reception is more important to me than human rights
Indifferent.

After spending lots of time on smartphone forums over the years, acquisitions became something I got used to.

If nothing really changes, so be it.

If it means I need to get [insert console platform here], so be it.
 
I did take into account the $1 conversation and whatnot. I had it listed at 5m. Even if you say 10m are using these deals, that's still 15m at $10 a month minimum which is $1.8B a year. Personally, I believe that most people don't even know about the conversion trick especially since it's not advertised.

If that's really what the service is pulling in, then I think MS should come forth and put those numbers out there because when you have other things like those Axios reports and other revenue figures from other companies, that's going to naturally invite some folks to calculate numbers themselves. Heisenberg007 Heisenberg007 and myself did that in the Axios thread and even though we took some different approaches, we both arrived at figures that were under $800 million a year.

Also worth considering, if they were pulling in twice that amount per year, they would be able to pull in more major 3P AAA Day 1 releases for GamePass, no? The revenue itself would justify the extra spending. With the delays for RedFall and Starfield, I guess we'll see what MS does to bring some type of big value to fill those voids. If they get a couple of massive 3P AAA games Day 1 for the service this year, then maybe that would validate the idea they're bringing in north of $1 billion a year at least. If not, then I don't see how they're doing any more in revenue than what we've been able to calculate ourselves with the various info out there.

I don't think that Microsoft would have to tell us the numbers to get that info to investors and shareholders. I'm sure they know all this shit. It's only us who don't know. Even if it's not profitable and whatnot, in all honesty, it will be eventually. Right now, they're in that "building" phase or whatever it's called to get people into the service.

That said I'm sure there's at least one investor who's also a gamer and possibly interested enough to leak (anonymously) what actual revenue figures for GamePass are. Leak them on Reddit, to a news source like IGN or Eurogamer etc. doesn't matter. It'd be virtually impossible for MS to trace the leaker since it would be "a" shareholder and there are thousands (probably more like tens of thousands) of shareholders they brief with their financials every quarter.

I agree completely. And I do believe that Microsoft adds a yearly discount option once they announce the Family Plan.

Maybe they do it with the Family Plan? Though really how cheap could they make that? Nintendo's is $35/mo, or $420/year. GPU for a single person is $180/year. They could maybe add a 3-person plan for $350/year ($30/month), I guess.

But I'm more interested what they could do for single-user subscriptions. If they offer a way to get GPU for the year for say $120 or $140 instead of the usual $180 if you pay month-to-month. That type of thing.

It's going to get worse before it gets better. Sony should just be brutal and pick up as much in Japan as possible. Honestly I'd just prefer natural first party growth with the occasional acquisition but I think to stay relevant and a market leader, we're way past that point. Sony don't normally target companies that have long a long history as a multi-platform developer. Most companies Sony have acquired have either worked solely with them or mostly with them and don't disrupt the market too much.

But the spate of acquisitions at the moment from major publishers and platform holders is fucking unreal.

Sadly yes, it seems more and more likely Sony will have to secure certain publishers and studios that otherwise would've remained wholly independent. As long as they still keep obvious games multiplatform and leverage those acquisitions to add exclusives to their library that otherwise would not have been made, I think it'd go over well.

Like if they bought Sega or Capcom for example. I wouldn't expect them to suddenly take away Sonic or Monster Hunter from Nintendo, but they could lock down Virtua Fighter and Street Fighter as exclusive to PlayStation console-wise. Keep stuff like SMT multiplat still on Switch and offshoots like the new Soul Hackers one on Nintendo & Xbox but lock down Persona as PS/PC-only. I can see them doing that type of thing and as long as it's graceful enough and still leaves expected options still available on other consoles, then...fine.

I guess in terms of Japanese publishers then those would be among the ones Sony are considering: Capcom, Sega, Square-Enix and Konami. Konami probably just down to some extensive IP licensing agreement (kind of like what they've done with Spiderman), so mainly between Capcom, Sega, and Square-Enix. And with the way some things have been going the past few months the most likely (at least for now) of those would be Square-Enix. If not them, then Capcom. If not Capcom, then Sega.

Also I don't know if we can count Nintendo out of this, either, if it gets even crazier WRT these acquisitions, because they are affected as well. Publisher-wise tho I can't see Nintendo going for anyone other than Sega; Sonic is seen by a lot of people as a Nintendo-adjacent brand at this point, and the two have a pretty strong relationship. Of course in terms of Japanese publishers, if Microsoft were in the market of going after one, it would also most likely be Sega, but I think they (clearly) have more than enough on their plate between the XGS teams, Zenimax and soon-to-be ABK.

I don't like it. I do think exclusives are important. But I don't like the idea that I need to own different machines with the same purpose in order to experience the content I want. I don't think it is a big deal for a lot of people, but for gamers like me that live in a Third World Country, this is very impactful.

I guess it would really suck when looking at it from that POV. At the very least hopefully you can find a means of accessing systems and games from markets where they're cheaper and not pay hefty import taxes in getting them shipped to you. Dunno if a VPN would be of any help there tho.

Indifferent.

After spending lots of time on smartphone forums over the years, acquisitions became something I got used to.

If nothing really changes, so be it.

If it means I need to get [insert console platform here], so be it.

Can see where you're coming from there. I would kind of maybe, mostly fall into that camp, and it's nothing new for most gamers who've done it times in the past. But I do still worry about lack of total game output being reduced if you have a small handful of companies owning all of the big publishers and studios.
 

peter42O

Member
If that's really what the service is pulling in, then I think MS should come forth and put those numbers out there because when you have other things like those Axios reports and other revenue figures from other companies, that's going to naturally invite some folks to calculate numbers themselves. Heisenberg007 Heisenberg007 Heisenberg007 Heisenberg007 and myself did that in the Axios thread and even though we took some different approaches, we both arrived at figures that were under $800 million a year.

Also worth considering, if they were pulling in twice that amount per year, they would be able to pull in more major 3P AAA Day 1 releases for GamePass, no? The revenue itself would justify the extra spending. With the delays for RedFall and Starfield, I guess we'll see what MS does to bring some type of big value to fill those voids. If they get a couple of massive 3P AAA games Day 1 for the service this year, then maybe that would validate the idea they're bringing in north of $1 billion a year at least. If not, then I don't see how they're doing any more in revenue than what we've been able to calculate ourselves with the various info out there.
Perhaps but at the same time, me knowing their numbers doesn't mean anything to me. If they're losing money on Game Pass, that's on them and their problem that they need to save. All I care about is what I get out of Game Pass which is how every consumer/gamer should look at it.

I agree with the second part but only to an extent. Not every third party publisher is going to accept or agree to a payday in exchange for their game going on Game Pass day one. Second, if Sony has the marketing deal as seen with RE VIII: Village, they tend to put in a clause that prevents that game going on Game Pass day one and up to a year from release which makes sense because if you're paying for the marketing deal and that game goes on Game Pass day one, then what's the point and purpose of paying for that marketing deal?

We'll see what they do for the rest of 2022. Of course, it could be that Microsoft did spend $70B on ABK and prefer to just ride out the year like they did in 2020 when they delayed Halo Infinite and all they had was Gears Tactics which most people aren't going to care about.

One last possibility is that Microsoft could be making a massive profit on Game Pass and don't say it because doing so would also raise people's expectations higher than what they already are. Granted, this could be a slim chance to no way, but at the end of the day, none of us know for sure. It's all just assumptions and opinions.
That said I'm sure there's at least one investor who's also a gamer and possibly interested enough to leak (anonymously) what actual revenue figures for GamePass are. Leak them on Reddit, to a news source like IGN or Eurogamer etc. doesn't matter. It'd be virtually impossible for MS to trace the leaker since it would be "a" shareholder and there are thousands (probably more like tens of thousands) of shareholders they brief with their financials every quarter.
Yeah maybe but if you're a shareholder or investor, are you really going to take that chance? I wouldn't. I would be like, fuck them. They don't need to know shit. If they like the service, subscribe and if you don't, cancel it and move on.
Maybe they do it with the Family Plan? Though really how cheap could they make that? Nintendo's is $35/mo, or $420/year. GPU for a single person is $180/year. They could maybe add a 3-person plan for $350/year ($30/month), I guess.

But I'm more interested what they could do for single-user subscriptions. If they offer a way to get GPU for the year for say $120 or $140 instead of the usual $180 if you pay month-to-month. That type of thing.
I think the Family Plan will be more expensive than Nintendo because you would be getting more out of it. My guess is 5 users at most for $40 or $50 a month. But it would be for Game Pass Ultimate. Saving $25 or $35 a month adds up. And they could introduce a Yearly Family Plan in addition to a Yearly Plan for GP/GPU. At $40, 12 months would cost $480 so signing up for the entire year at once could maybe cost $360 or $400. At $50, 12 months would cost $600 but signing up for the entire year could cost maybe $450 or $400.

This is hard to say because we don't know if they want to go higher than $30. Reason I see $40 or higher is because I do believe that eventually GPU goes from $15 to $20. I don't see the base GP sub going past $10. I believe that stays $10. Have to just wait and see.

The yearly thing for Game Pass, if it was me, I would make it a 33% discount so for base GP which would be $120 a year via monthly, I would have it be $80. For GPU which would be $180, I would have it at $120. Or they could always increase the price of GPU to $20 a month but if you subscribe for a year in advance, it would cost $180. Now, this would be the same price if it stays at $15 a month but it depends on when they increase the price because I do believe the price will get increased before this generation ends.
 
Top Bottom