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Opinion Game Dev Platform Phil Spencer Believes Bethesda Will Be Critical to Xbox’s Progress; Excited About Announced & Unannounced Games

Fredrik

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Given how Evergreen Skyrim has been, and how successful all the Fallout projects are, not to mention all their associated studios, I'd be inclined to agree. I have a bad feeling about Starfield though. I guess we'll see this year.

Even if my fears are unfounded and it turns out great, I'm willing to bet MS pushes them to ramp up development on ES7.
They’ve worked on Starfield for over 10 years, I think it’ll be absolutely fantastic, they’re probably seeing it as their most important IP since The Elder Scrolls, they won’t release it or even show it until they’re proud of what they have built.
 
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quest

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Given how Evergreen Skyrim has been, and how successful all the Fallout projects are, not to mention all their associated studios, I'd be inclined to agree. I have a bad feeling about Starfield though. I guess we'll see this year.

Even if my fears are unfounded and it turns out great, I'm willing to bet MS pushes them to ramp up development on ES7.

EDIT: Wait, what Elder Scrolls are we on again? lol
Considering Jim money hat Ryan was ready to back up the trucks full of cash for an exclusive deal. I would say starfield was impressive in private demos. I think the game is much closer than we think with how Microsoft keeps talking about it and how close jim Ryan was to closing that exclusive deal that got Microsoft off their asses to move the deal forward with the halo disaster.
 

prinz_valium

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They’ve worked on Starfield for over 10 years, I think it’ll be absolutely fantastic, they’re probably seeing it as their most important IP since The Elder Scrolls, they won’t release it or even show it until they’re proud of what they have built.
Hope you're right. I'm ready for a new Spafe RPG, after Destiny being just good in the gunplay and loot and Mass Effect being a let down.

Will be a great exclusive for Xbox
 

x@3f*oo_e!

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He said no such thing and even if he did, that would be illegal. Phil Spencer has been very very careful with the words he chose simply because they have NOT bought them yet. I would assume Zenimax would give Microsoft access to confidential information as part of the deal process but they are not allowed to even HINT at any details.

Saying anything definitive like that would cause stock to change. If it goes up, the deal of 7.5B becomes undervalued and MS can be sued. If it goes down because Phil couldn't shut his mouth, MS can be sued to oblivion.

You clearly have no idea what you're talking about so I suggest you shut up and stop talking like anything is set in stone yet.

Edit: Spencer reports directly to the CEO. This deal was most likely run by the actual CFO of MS, Amy Hood and not the Xbox CFO seeing how big it is.

https://seekingalpha.com/article/43...interactive-entertainment-virtual?part=single (interview with Tim Stuart CFO 'Xbox division')

Reading between the lines he sort of did :

Yes. The goal here is, we're -- I'll say it from a cross-platform perspective. Microsoft is a platform. We're one of the first to really support Minecraft, Roadblock, Fortnite across platforms. So we highly encourage cross-platform play, simply from this landscape of, if it's good for the gaming ecosystem, it's good for us, classic rising tide lifts all boats.

What we'll do in the long run is we don't have intentions of just pulling all of Bethesda content out of Sony or Nintendo or otherwise. But what we want is we want that content, in the long run, to be either first or better or best or pick your differentiated experience, on our platforms. We will want Bethesda content to show up the best as -- on our platforms.

Yes. That's not a point about being exclusive. That's not a point about we're being -- adjusting timing or content or road map. But if you think about something like Game Pass, if it shows up best in Game Pass, that's what we want to see, and we want to drive our Game Pass subscriber base through that Bethesda pipeline.

So again, I'm not announcing pulling content from platforms one way or the other. But I suspect you'll continue to see us shift towards a first or better or best approach on our platforms.

My emphasis - I read "first" as timed exclusivity, "better.." as exclusive content or other tweeks

But (earlier in the interview) :

And we said this as part of the announcement. When we think about Bethesda, it's going to be the continuing to allow -- I'll say allow, but continue to sell their games on the platforms that they exist today, and we'll determine what that looks over time and will change over time. I'm not making any announcements about exclusivity or something like that. But that model will change.
(My emphasis again) idk what that means - but at minimum is doesn't rule out total exclusivity .. ?

..

afaik It's not illegal for them to state their intentions ..what is illegal to give instructions to Zenimax employees before the deal has been cleared.

quote (Phil Spencer)

“First of all, I would like to say that we haven’t acquired ZeniMax. We have announced our intention to acquire ZeniMax. It is going through regulatory approval and we don’t see any issues there. We expect early in 2021 the deal will close. But I say that because I want people to know, I’m not sitting down with Todd Howard and Robert Altman and planning their future. Because I’m currently not allowed to do that, that would be illegal. Your question is completely inbound, but I get a lot of questions right now: ‘is this game exclusive? Is this game exclusive?’ And right now, that is not my job in regards to ZeniMax. My job is not to sit down and go through their portfolio and dictate what happens.”
(My emphasis) That doesn't prevent them from saying exactly what they want to do (if they chose to).
 
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Fredrik

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Hope you're right. I'm ready for a new Spafe RPG, after Destiny being just good in the gunplay and loot and Mass Effect being a let down.

Will be a great exclusive for Xbox
No doubt, if they make Starfield into an exclusive it could be one of the most important exclusives. At least until The Elder Scrolls VI pops up. Skyrim had sold over 30 million back in 2016. It’s a beastly IP.

And MS have Obsidian too under the same roof. Can’t wait to see what a bigger budget can do to their games!
 
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Topher70

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It does to matter to Microsoft when the incentive to invest in their biggest source of revenue is gone.

What source is that? Windows? Windows is not Microsoft's biggest source of revenue. Server products, Office products, and cloud services pull in more than three times the revenue that Windows does.

MS makes money from people playing anything on PC since they make the operating system and playing on PC means they can lure you into a Game Pass subscription. The game sale is just one part of the equation.

If I buy Cyberpunk 2077 on Steam or GOG, Microsoft gets nothing from that transaction. PC gamers are already on PC so you are not luring them into anything. It is already there. Either way, that does not negate the money to be made from the 150+ million gamers on PS and Nintendo by continuing to publisher games on those platforms that already exist, just as they have done with Minecraft.
 
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Bernkastel

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What source is that? Windows? Windows is not Microsoft's biggest source of revenue. Server products, Office products, and cloud services pull in more than three times the revenue that Windows does.
I was talking about their gaming division. Their biggest source of revenue is the Xbox store(like every other platform).
 
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Fredrik

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If I buy Cyberpunk 2077 on Steam or GOG, Microsoft gets nothing from that transaction. PC gamers are already on PC so you are not luring them into anything. It is already there. Either way, that does not negate the money to be made from the 150+ million gamers on PS and Nintendo by continuing to publisher games on those platforms that already exist, just as they have done with Minecraft.
They get the Windows money but the whole point is to get you into the Xbox ecosystem, and from Microsoft’s perspective you’re a baby step from that simply by having a Windows PC with Windows Store and Game Pass a mouse click away. I’m a big Steam and GOG fan but personally I play Microsoft’s games through Game Pass Ultimate. That’s their goal.

If their games were on Playstation they would sell more copies, no doubt, but the endgame plan is to get you into their ecosystem and Playstation isn’t getting you there.

Minecraft is everywhere because it was already everywhere when they bought Mojang and well on it’s way to become the biggest game in history.
 
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Krisprolls

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Reread what I said. The person who controls the finances of Xbox flat out said these games would at most be timed exclusives. This person is basically Phil’s boss and tells him what he can and can’t do.

But xbox fanboys on GAF told me games wouldn't be on ps5. Surely they would know better than Xbox Chief Financial Officer :(

I always thought Riky was the Xbox CFO by the way.
 
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Topher70

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They get the Windows money but the whole point is to get you into the Xbox ecosystem, and from Microsoft’s perspective you’re a baby step from that simply by having a Windows PC with Windows Store and Game Pass a mouse click away. I’m a big Steam and GOG fan but personally I play Microsoft’s games through Game Pass Ultimate. That’s their goal.

If their games were on Playstation they would sell more copies, no doubt, but the endgame plan is to get you into their ecosystem and Playstation isn’t getting you there.

Minecraft is everywhere because it was already everywhere when they bought Mojang and well on it’s way to become the biggest game in history.

That's my point. Elder Scrolls and Doom are also already everywhere. I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft follows that same pattern. Existing IP continues on platforms where they already exist and new IP may or may not be on Sony or Nintendo. Spencer said this would be evaluated on a case by case basis so it makes sense. Going to be a while before we find out anything either way.
 

Bernkastel

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If that’s the case then Microsoft would be dead to me. You don’t buy a major studio just to share games for Sony. That’s why the general consumer and gamers find Xbox to be a laughingstock.
He is just saying that existing single player games(Doom, Skyrim) won't be pulled from other stores and multiplayer projects(ESO and Fallout 76) will continue to receive support in other platforms. This is what they meant by "case by case basis".
 

Hezekiah

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If that’s the case then Microsoft would be dead to me. You don’t buy a major studio just to share games for Sony. That’s why the general consumer and gamers find Xbox to be a laughingstock.
Well they won't be best on Xbox, it's pretty obvious Microsoft massively miscalculated its power advantage this gen.

The smart thing for Playstation owners is to get a decent GPU for their PC. For most people there's no point having both consoles, and Playstation has better exclusives. This is what I'll be doing for Wolfenstein and Dishonored games.

It would be pretty funny to see the tears from diehard Xbox boys if the games do appear on PS5 after they adamantly insisted they won't be 😅. My guess is Microsoft is wary of Zenimax game sales tanking without Playstation, regardless of PC. They'll have to stop giving GamePass away so cheaply through the current deals, and also increase the price sooner or later.
 

CatLady

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He is just saying that existing single player games(Doom, Skyrim) won't be pulled from other stores and multiplayer projects(ESO and Fallout 76) will continue to receive support in other platforms. This is what they meant by "case by case basis".
To expand on that, I think going forward the 2 Sony Moneyhats, ESO and FO76 will be those games that continue to appear on PS5 on that "case by case" basis. Doubt anything else will be there unless Sony actually managed to get some kind of contract or agreement with regard to Starfield from Zenimax before the acquisition.
 
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phil_t98

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To expand on that, I think going forward the 2 Sony Moneyhats, ESO and FO76 will be those games that continue to appear on PS5 on that "case by case" basis. Doubt anything else will be there unless Sony actually managed to get some kind of contract or agreement with regard to Starfield from Zenimax before the acquisition.

surely part of the presale agreement will prevent that happening
 

Dabaus

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He said no such thing and even if he did, that would be illegal. Phil Spencer has been very very careful with the words he chose simply because they have NOT bought them yet. I would assume Zenimax would give Microsoft access to confidential information as part of the deal process but they are not allowed to even HINT at any details.

Saying anything definitive like that would cause stock to change. If it goes up, the deal of 7.5B becomes undervalued and MS can be sued. If it goes down because Phil couldn't shut his mouth, MS can be sued to oblivion.

You clearly have no idea what you're talking about so I suggest you shut up and stop talking like anything is set in stone yet.

Edit: Spencer reports directly to the CEO. This deal was most likely run by the actual CFO of MS, Amy Hood and not the Xbox CFO seeing how big it is.
MS did not spend 7.5 billion to sell mega franchises to a console that will be lucky to have a 20 million installed base 4 years from now. These games will be on ps5, pc, and even switch if they can downport. Nothing Phil says matters when his boss the chief financial officer is out there implying timed exclusives and gamespass day one.
 

bxrz

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MS did not spend 7.5 billion to sell mega franchises to a console that will be lucky to have a 20 million installed base 4 years from now. These games will be on ps5, pc, and even switch if they can downport. Nothing Phil says matters when his boss the chief financial officer is out there implying timed exclusives and gamespass day one.
"Nothing the head of Xbox says matters" Do you know how dumb you sound?

And Phil's boss is the Microsoft CEO. Who has said nothing on Zenimax games exclusivity
 

Hezekiah

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MS did not spend 7.5 billion to sell mega franchises to a console that will be lucky to have a 20 million installed base 4 years from now. These games will be on ps5, pc, and even switch if they can downport. Nothing Phil says matters when his boss the chief financial officer is out there implying timed exclusives and gamespass day one.
Tbf, Microsoft doesn't care about console sales apparently.

Lots of nerves being shredded on this thread though 😁.
 
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Topher70

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He also says in that same interview "I'm not making any announcements about exclusivity or something like that." He contradicts himself so hes unreliable. Lets wait until the deal and done and hear what Phil announces

Sure. There has been nothing definitive said at all. This is all just speculation. I could be very well be totally wrong about the direction Microsoft takes Zenimax. And then I'll just throw this one on the massive mountain of incorrect prognostications I've made about video games in my lifetime. :messenger_beaming: All good either way.,
 

fighterman101

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MS did not spend 7.5 billion to sell mega franchises to a console that will be lucky to have a 20 million installed base 4 years from now. These games will be on ps5, pc, and even switch if they can downport. Nothing Phil says matters when his boss the chief financial officer is out there implying timed exclusives and gamespass day one.
Lol. You're kidding right? Microsoft literally just had their biggest xbox launch and their consoles are selling out especially in the states where most console video games are bought.
 
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fighterman101

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It would be hilarious if MS release all Bethesda games on PS4, but not PS5.
MS is doing that currently with psychonauts 2. It won't be in Microsoft's best interest to scrap the PS4 version that they have been making for years. However, they probably won't make the PS5 version as MS will be focusing on their own platforms.
 
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Valued Gamer

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MS is doing that currently with psychonauts 2. It won't be in Microsoft's best interest to scrap the PS4 version that they have been making for years. However, they probably won't make the PS5 version as MS will be focusing on their own platforms.
Psychonauts has more to do with the Sony people that helped crowd fund the game in its initial phase thinking they could.play it on their PS4.
MS is just honouring that situation.
 

Edgelord79

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https://seekingalpha.com/article/43...interactive-entertainment-virtual?part=single (interview with Tim Stuart CFO 'Xbox division')

Reading between the lines he sort of did :



My emphasis - I read "first" as timed exclusivity, "better.." as exclusive content or other tweeks

But (earlier in the interview) :


(My emphasis again) idk what that means - but at minimum is doesn't rule out total exclusivity .. ?

..

afaik It's not illegal for them to state their intentions ..what is illegal to give instructions to Zenimax employees before the deal has been cleared.

quote (Phil Spencer)


(My emphasis) That doesn't prevent them from saying exactly what they want to do (if they chose to).
Funny thing about intentions (the vague word they used for market-speak) is that they change with reality. Assuming things is not usually good practice. They can't legally say anything about potentially pulling games or not releasing games as they don't own Zenimax yet.

Thia isn't to say they will do any of those things. But, as of now we know about as much as a bag of air.
 

Zannegan

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They’ve worked on Starfield for over 10 years, I think it’ll be absolutely fantastic, they’re probably seeing it as their most important IP since The Elder Scrolls, they won’t release it or even show it until they’re proud of what they have built.
I hope so, but in my experience, too long of a dev time usually means a messy game rather than a masterpiece.

There's only so much content you can realistically put into a game, so games that spend too long in active development have usually seen several pivots or even complete reboots. The exceptions would be if they were actively developing a new/practically new engine alongside the game to realize their next gen visions, or if it was only being worked on by a small core team for most of that time and a big team for the last three years or so, or both I suppose.

Again though, I hope you're right and that it is a masterpiece. We'll see, hopefully this year.
 

Fredrik

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I hope so, but in my experience, too long of a dev time usually means a messy game rather than a masterpiece.

There's only so much content you can realistically put into a game, so games that spend too long in active development have usually seen several pivots or even complete reboots. The exceptions would be if they were actively developing a new/practically new engine alongside the game to realize their next gen visions, or if it was only being worked on by a small core team for most of that time and a big team for the last three years or so, or both I suppose.

Again though, I hope you're right and that it is a masterpiece. We'll see, hopefully this year.
Starfield is a whole new game universe. Look at how fleshed out the lore is on The Elder Scrolls, for Starfield to even come close to that a core group has probably spent years on the universe and lore alone, but you’re right it’s likely only a small part of the team.
 
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12Dannu123

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Game Pass model will no doubt be the biggest disruptive business model to the gaming industry so far. Xbox division is currently in a loss leader mode to aggressively grow the business, and that model is something Sony, Nintendo, EA, Ubisoft cannot do at a large scale needed to sustain a subscription service like Game Pass long enough. It's no wonder EA and potentially Ubisoft are joining Game Pass and Sony being slow in Cloud Gaming.
 
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Mistershine.

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https://seekingalpha.com/article/43...interactive-entertainment-virtual?part=single (interview with Tim Stuart CFO 'Xbox division')

Reading between the lines he sort of did :



My emphasis - I read "first" as timed exclusivity, "better.." as exclusive content or other tweeks

But (earlier in the interview) :


(My emphasis again) idk what that means - but at minimum is doesn't rule out total exclusivity .. ?


..

afaik It's not illegal for them to state their intentions ..what is illegal to give instructions to Zenimax employees before the deal has been cleared.

quote (Phil Spencer)


(My emphasis) That doesn't prevent them from saying exactly what they want to do (if they chose to).
I read it as allowing preexisting games to continue being sold on platforms they've already released on, but they may reconsider and delist from PS and Nintendo stores.
 
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