The State of Xbox Game Studios, Bethesda Softworks, and Activision Blizzard King: A breakdown of all the Confirmed Projects, Leaks, and Rumors

SSfox

Member
Must tell a lot about my tastes in gaming that even after these acquisitions, my most anticipated Xbox exclusives are Ori 3 and Tunic.
I only bought Crash and Overwatch as Acti games in the last 10 years, even Overwatch i didn't play it that much it fun but nothing crazy, what was appealing mostly was great cast of character and the art direction. I also played a bit Diablo 3 and other no big deal imo games.

That being said, even if i or you don't care much about Acti, Market wise, it's still big lost that their games won't come on playstation and nintendo in the future. If Sony will keep letting this happen we are in big danger, tomorrow if MS buy Sega and Capcom or others playstation fans that loves PS mostly for their Japanese games are gonna get fucked hardcore and at that point all you will be able to do is cry hard for 5 weeks then go sell you playstation and buy Xbox + Gamepass.
 
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Clear

Member
I only bought Crash and Overwatch as Acti games in the last 10 years, even Overwatch i didn't play it that much it fun but nothing crazy, what was appealing mostly was great cast of character and the art direction. I also played a bit Diablo 3 and other no big deal imo games.

That being said, even if i or you don't care much about Acti, Market wise, it's still big lost that their games won't come on playstation and nintendo in the future. If Sony will keep letting this happen we are in big danger, tomorrow if MS buy Sega and Capcom or others playstation fans that loves PS mostly for their Japanese games are gonna get fucked hardcore and at that point all you will be able to do is cry hard for 5 weeks then go sell you playstation and buy Xbox + Gamepass.

The main danger as I see it is that they have a lot of titles in the same genres - lots of FPS and WRPGs specifically. This is really dangerous as they are going to find themselves being compared internally and as a result will be pressured to differentiate themselves. This can turn into development hell as projects get rebooted in order to get out of each other's way.

The biggest issue creatively with mass consolidation is that everyone falls under the same planning umbrella. No publisher/platform holder is looking to compete against itself, especially when it comes to very big and expensive projects. This has a cost, and the way I see it, the sheer number of studios that are getting shoe-horned into MGS is inevitably going to prove massively problematic in the short to mid-term. Especially when MS has quite a poor track-record of keeping heavily corporate steered projects and franchises on track.
 

Ozriel

Member
The main danger as I see it is that they have a lot of titles in the same genres - lots of FPS and WRPGs specifically. This is really dangerous as they are going to find themselves being compared internally and as a result will be pressured to differentiate themselves. This can turn into development hell as projects get rebooted in order to get out of each other's way.

Sony first party games heavily focused on cinematic, third person AAA games and they seemed to have managed it without internal cut-throat stuff and 'development hell'.
Heck, even a weird studio like activision had three teams taking turns to make COD games and they still managed to avoid development hell.
This reads like needless fearmongering from you.

The biggest issue creatively with mass consolidation is that everyone falls under the same planning umbrella. No publisher/platform holder is looking to compete against itself, especially when it comes to very big and expensive projects. This has a cost, and the way I see it, the sheer number of studios that are getting shoe-horned into MGS is inevitably going to prove massively problematic in the short to mid-term. Especially when MS has quite a poor track-record of keeping heavily corporate steered projects and franchises on track.

The danger of deliberately focusing on the negatives to paint a narrative.
Coalition have had zero management issues, delivering games efficiently and at a high quality. Turn 10 churned out racing games every two years or so, and each one surpassing their main rival in critical reception. Playground games handled the Forza Horizon franchise as solidly as you can expect. No issues with Mojang, Ninja theory et al.

'poor track record' indeed, as if all their studios had the same travails 343i had.


If Embracer and Tencent can manage their massive studio list without imploding, then Microsoft should be just fine.
 

Clear

Member
Sony first party games heavily focused on cinematic, third person AAA games and they seemed to have managed it without internal cut-throat stuff and 'development hell'.
Heck, even a weird studio like activision had three teams taking turns to make COD games and they still managed to avoid development hell.
This reads like needless fearmongering from you.

Sonys current balance took years to achieve. Early on, they had all the same issues I described and things did not go smoothly. For example Studio London's Eight Days was put on hold and then cancelled because it was too close to Uncharted. Perceived cross-over between WipeOut and Motorstorm led to the demise of Studio Liverpool, because they couldn't get anything greenlit. Same deal recently with Japan Studio.


The danger of deliberately focusing on the negatives to paint a narrative.
Coalition have had zero management issues, delivering games efficiently and at a high quality. Turn 10 churned out racing games every two years or so, and each one surpassing their main rival in critical reception. Playground games handled the Forza Horizon franchise as solidly as you can expect. No issues with Mojang, Ninja theory et al.

'poor track record' indeed, as if all their studios had the same travails 343i had.

Fable was run into the ground, and the last iteration cancelled. The new version is being handled by a new, second Playground studio with zero experience of the genre despite them having multiple new studios far better suited to that type of project. Rare has struggled consistently outside of SoT and Everwild shows that problems are still there. How about The Initiative's continued inability to get anything out the door and needing external |(third party) help now on the Perfect Dark reboot, that sure sounds like solid management. Crackdown was being positioned as an additional tentpole franchise before entering years of dev hell, after being tied to corporate strategy. Same deal with the collapse of Lionhead and Milo/Projecr Dimitri.

Basically when it comes to MGS, if the studio was allowed to make the same title over and over, things have gone mostly alright. But new IP's or studios pivoting to new directions... not good.

If Embracer and Tencent can manage their massive studio list without imploding, then Microsoft should be just fine.

Project size/cost matters, and the effects take several years to really show themselves. Consolidation always leads to losses and shutterings and it doesn't matter who does it because the fundamental business logic is always to cut under-performing units. Especially if the owner entity gets to keep any IP acquired then there's less motivation to reform and persevere with an unproductive studio than simply to shut it down and try again elsewhere.

It doesn't matter who it is! The same story always repeats itself.
 
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Riky

MSFT$
The old way of Studio X getting closed down because one game failed to sell doesn't really apply to the Gamepass future. It's about keeping people subscribed and you need a steady flow of content and content that keeps certain parts of the userbase constantly engaged to make it work.
All this fake concern is quite hilarious.
 
Looking on this thread you'd think Sony gamers only play third person action adventure.

That list is diverse as hell but 'lol none of those games interest me' seems to be a common sentence to say, now they can't say "Xbox has no games". Whilst I really do like Sonys first party output (they do third person platformers games extreeeeemly well) they could diversify a little
 
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DaGwaphics

Member
No doubt XGS output for 2022 is their weakest when comparing to the avalanche of first-party games they have in the future, but there's plenty 2022 indie and third-party games to look forward to and whether they come from first-party or not, for consumers, I don't think it's as troublesome as some people make it out to be.

If they get Forza and Starfield out the door in the same year, that's a strong year for XGS. Historically, we haven't always gotten two major releases from them. With RedFall and Death Loop mixed in, GP is looking set for 2022. No complaints from me.

No doubt the future will be even better, but that's just icing on the cake.
 

The_Mike

I cry about SonyGaf from my chair in Redmond, WA
I find amazing that Microsoft can’t make a single game that entices me to buy their console. Tastes and all that.
Sounds like your taste in gaming is sorted by exclusives and not genres.
Looking on this thread you'd think Sony gamers only play third person action adventure.

That list is diverse as hell but 'lol none of those games interest me' seems to be a common sentence to say, now they can't say "Xbox has no games". Whilst I really do like Sonys first party output (they do third person platformers games extreeeeemly well) they could diversify a little
Well people who used the "Xbox has no games" wasn't talking about genres, so maybe there's just not enough third person games on xbox to justify the purchase of the console.

Fanboys will always find a way.
 
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The_Mike

I cry about SonyGaf from my chair in Redmond, WA
Hum, I didn’t know Dragon Quest XI was an exclusive game.
Is Yakuza exclusive too?
Not everything is console war. Not everyone has to like what you like. MS makes good games, they’re just not for me.
Point taken, just seems to be a very niche taste if there's none of the genres to like.

Don't get me wrong, it's personally fine not to enjoy their games, or like them, it's just there's so huge diversity in their catalogue.
 
I'm not even sure I should bother entertaining you with a proper reply, the tag below your username, shows it would be a waste a time. :)
What am I saying that's not true? People aren't celebrating Xbox having more games by buying Bethesda and Activision, it's PlayStation having fewer games.

It's the same for people wanting Sony or Microsoft to buy Capcom. They wouldn't give anyone more access to extra franchises, it would simply remove those franchises from others.
 
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MonarchJT

Banned
What am I saying that's not true? People aren't celebrating Xbox having more games by buying Bethesda and Activision, it's PlayStation having fewer games.

It's the same for people wanting Sony or Microsoft to buy Capcom. They wouldn't give anyone more access to extra franchises, it would simply remove those franchises from others.
before for Xbox and ps5 gamers
Death loop 59.99
Fifa 69.99
Cod 69.99/81
Startfield 69.99
Wolfenstein 69.99

(I can go on and on for a long time)
Today for Xbox gamers
Eveything for 9.99

It's not that hard people are celebrating an objective and undeniable huge economic advantage ..plus the fact that their platform will be more optimized
 
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Riky

MSFT$
When studios have new management and are producing games for a different sales format then the choices of what gets greenlighted and the structure of the games changes, Microsoft owning the studios will mean that different decisions are taken from the old management.
So no it's not just the same situation but games removed from other platforms.

This will be most obvious with Activision I think and how the line up gets diversified with the studios not all working on one franchise. Everything we see new from them that isn't Call Of Duty will be a direct result of the Microsoft acquisition.
 

anthony2690

Gold Member
What am I saying that's not true? People aren't celebrating Xbox having more games by buying Bethesda and Activision, it's PlayStation having fewer games.

It's the same for people wanting Sony or Microsoft to buy Capcom. They wouldn't give anyone more access to extra franchises, it would simply remove those franchises from others.

Have you tagged the wrong person? Or have you just showed me why I said responding to you with a real response was a waste of time?

This is what I said:

"How am I meant to play all these games....

I won't be able to keep up man."

For some weird reason you've brought up Sony Playstation, that has nothing to do with the thread or my response.

There is a little service called game pass, that I have a subscription too, there is a lot of titles I am actually looking forward too, first, second and third party games that will come to the service day one.

Now the question isn't, can I afford to buy all these games, it's how do I make time to play all the ones that take my interest.

I can see why you have the tag under your name now though. :)
 
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Ozriel

Member
Sonys current balance took years to achieve. Early on, they had all the same issues I described and things did not go smoothly. For example Studio London's Eight Days was put on hold and then cancelled because it was too close to Uncharted. Perceived cross-over between WipeOut and Motorstorm led to the demise of Studio Liverpool, because they couldn't get anything greenlit. Same deal recently with Japan Studio.

This is incorrect.
Eight Days was canceled in pre-production stage so Sony could devote more resources to other projects. Yoshida also said the lack of an online mode - at a time when Sony wanted online games - was a key reason. Studio Liverpool were a pricey, AAA studio that commanded high salaries and made games that didn't sell well enough. Again, resources were re-allocated.


Fable was run into the ground, and the last iteration cancelled.

Completely irrelevant to this conversation, since we're having a discussion around the Phil Spencer led Xbox/MGS


Fable was run into the ground, and the last iteration cancelled. The new version is being handled by a new, second Playground studio with zero experience of the genre despite them having multiple new studios far better suited to that type of project.

That's NOT how this works. Studios make pitches, the publisher reviews, weighs the pitch and decides to greenlight. By the time Fable was greenlit for Playground games around 2017, they were probably the best studio in the MS first party pool for such an undertaking.
'Zero experience' means nothing. Guerilla Games had NEVER made a non-FPS 3D game prior to Horizon Zero Dawn. Playground games themselves were only founded in 2009 and yet they make the best racing games on the planet, surpassing the veterans at Polyphony and Turn 10 in critical reception.

Going with an award winning, british studio for a 'british' franchise is the opposite of mismanagement.


Rare has struggled consistently outside of SoT and Everwild shows that problems are still there.

Under Phil Spencer, Rare hasn't 'struggled consistently' in the slightest. Not only did they get SoT out on time, they've stuck to a very commendable cadence of updates and added content that's pushed it into becoming the well regarded MP staple it is today. Development challenges exist for Everwild, but that's no indication of mismanagement. Development can be rocky.


How about The Initiative's continued inability to get anything out the door and needing external |(third party) help now on the Perfect Dark reboot, that sure sounds like solid management.

This is the clearest evidence here that you're woefully misinformed. Microsoft set up The Initiative to make Perfect Dark the way they're making it right now. It's deliberately set up as a small team of highly experienced folks for pre-production and planning stage, then a studio contracted in to build the game to their vision.
When Phil Spencer set them up, he specifically announced that they're going to be making games in different, unique ways. And that's pretty much what they're doing.

'needing external help'? How uninformed can you be? Imagine claiming a studio that was set up in 2018 is 'unable to get anything out of the door' :)


Crackdown was being positioned as an additional tentpole franchise before entering years of dev hell, after being tied to corporate strategy. Same deal with the collapse of Lionhead and Milo/Projecr Dimitri.

Again, with the focus on the outliers and issues pre-Spencer. Why?


Basically when it comes to MGS, if the studio was allowed to make the same title over and over, things have gone mostly alright. But new IP's or studios pivoting to new directions... not good.

Eh. Coalition et al delivered Gears Tactics. MS worked with Asobo to deliver Flight Sim. Sea of Thieves turned out fine. All indications from Twitter chatter suggests a smooth development cycle for Fable. Double Fine, Ninja Theory, Obsidian are actually full of praise for Microsoft's relaxed, hands-off approach.


Project size/cost matters, and the effects take several years to really show themselves. Consolidation always leads to losses and shutterings and it doesn't matter who does it because the fundamental business logic is always to cut under-performing units. Especially if the owner entity gets to keep any IP acquired then there's less motivation to reform and persevere with an unproductive studio than simply to shut it down and try again elsewhere.

It doesn't matter who it is! The same story always repeats itself.


Good thing the output from these studios are heading to Gamepass, so their performance at retail is secondary...as long as the games are quality themselves. Microsoft is acquiring talent, and gaming is now a tentpole for the Microsoft business. They will not lack for resources.

Thanks to the surplus of unused IP in the company, there's options for studios to pivot if need be.
 

Ozriel

Member
Hum, I didn’t know Dragon Quest XI was an exclusive game.
Is Yakuza exclusive too?
Not everything is console war. Not everyone has to like what you like. MS makes good games, they’re just not for me.

ironically, both Dragon Quest XI and the Yakuza series are on Gamepass.

The old way of Studio X getting closed down because one game failed to sell doesn't really apply to the Gamepass future. It's about keeping people subscribed and you need a steady flow of content and content that keeps certain parts of the userbase constantly engaged to make it work.
All this fake concern is quite hilarious.

Well said.
 

Fredrik

Gold Member
Must tell a lot about my tastes in gaming that even after these acquisitions, my most anticipated Xbox exclusives are Ori 3 and Tunic.
I doubt that Ori 3 will ever happen. Moon went away to make another game with Private Division as publisher. They usually take their sweet time making games too, if MS manage to lure them back and contract them for a third Ori it will release way into next generation.

There is a minor possibility that MS will try to get another dev to do something with the Ori IP but I can’t see it being a metroidvania. To get the same quality they would need to hire Team Cherry (Hollow Knight) or Mercury Steam (Metroid Dread) but even then the cinematics will take a serious nosedive and it wouldn’t feel like the same game.
 
I am assuming he meant "as a GAMEPASS user, how am I meant to play all these games....
I won't be able to keep up man."

I'm in the same boat. There is so much good stuff coming to Gamepass I can't even play all the things I want
That's true. I've always bought everything I wanted to play, but if they're on GamePass, that's a benefit.
 

Fredrik

Gold Member
I'm sure they'll make another Metroidvania, but it'll probably be multiplat considering the rantings of one of the devs on REE. I don't think they own the Ori IP, so I'm sure it'll be something new.
MS owns the Ori IP. Moon is making an action adventure iirc, not a metroidvania, another metroidvania of the same quality from them would realistically arrive 2027 at the earliest considering we don’t even have a release window for their current project. I love their metroidvania games and it’s my favorite genre but they took a wrong path imo, I’m not sitting down to wait on anything in that genre from them for now. Silksong is my next desire.
 
Nope, I don't think it is.

Well, if not, they should find some loose change under their couch and buy them. Their games would be great consistent additions to GamePass.

I liked Ori and the Blind Forrest, but Will of the Wisps was a huge improvement and my favorite metroidvania after Hollow Knight. I'd love to see what they could accomplish on their next iteration.
 

Clear

Member
This is incorrect.
Eight Days was canceled in pre-production stage so Sony could devote more resources to other projects. Yoshida also said the lack of an online mode - at a time when Sony wanted online games - was a key reason. Studio Liverpool were a pricey, AAA studio that commanded high salaries and made games that didn't sell well enough. Again, resources were re-allocated.

How many people on that team do you know personally? Because that's the version I got from the horses mouth as it were.
And where was Uncharted's online mode? (released in Nov 2017 a whole 7 months before the Studio London project was cancelled).

As to Studio Liverpool, do you want me to reel off the names of projects that spent in, in some cases, YEARS of pre-prod without much in the way of creative direction and zero chance of getting greenlit? Want to talk to me about Combat Games, the initial re-thinks of Shadow Of The Beast, B-Boyz?
Again. I know people personally.

Yes resources were re-allocated to Evo in Warrington, mainly to work around consultation periods for mass layoffs... and what happened to Evo hmmm.


Completely irrelevant to this conversation, since we're having a discussion around the Phil Spencer led Xbox/MGS

You don't get to dictate the parameters of public discussion.

That's NOT how this works. Studios make pitches, the publisher reviews, weighs the pitch and decides to greenlight. By the time Fable was greenlit for Playground games around 2017, they were probably the best studio in the MS first party pool for such an undertaking.

Dude, I've pitched literally dozens of projects over the years. I know how the system works.


'Zero experience' means nothing. Guerilla Games had NEVER made a non-FPS 3D game prior to Horizon Zero Dawn. Playground games themselves were only founded in 2009 and yet they make the best racing games on the planet, surpassing the veterans at Polyphony and Turn 10 in critical reception.

It means a lot. Not only do you need to hire, but you then need to integrate all the new hires into a functional team. Until you have a group that's been working together for some time, you're still on the learning curve. And no, Playground do not count because it was formed around a core of ex-Codies staff, just down the road in Leamington. Most of all making a racing game is comparatively easy compared to creating a RPG, the former is mostly code and art, the design part is mainly about tuning and structure, whereas with the latter there are shit-ton of other plates to keep spinning. Climax discovered this the hard way when they went from mostly racing titles to making Sudeki back in the early oughts.

Speaking of Climax, there's another cautionary tale about over-aggressive expansion, but I'll save that for another day.

Going with an award winning, british studio for a 'british' franchise is the opposite of mismanagement.

Its a freshly created spin-off. So no.

Under Phil Spencer, Rare hasn't 'struggled consistently' in the slightest. Not only did they get SoT out on time, they've stuck to a very commendable cadence of updates and added content that's pushed it into becoming the well regarded MP staple it is today. Development challenges exist for Everwild, but that's no indication of mismanagement. Development can be rocky.

Stop making excuses for your preciouses. Delays are delays, and noone outside the studio gives a shit as to the exact reason why unless it fits into their rhetorical narrative.


This is the clearest evidence here that you're woefully misinformed. Microsoft set up The Initiative to make Perfect Dark the way they're making it right now. It's deliberately set up as a small team of highly experienced folks for pre-production and planning stage, then a studio contracted in to build the game to their vision.
When Phil Spencer set them up, he specifically announced that they're going to be making games in different, unique ways. And that's pretty much what they're doing.

Pffft, yeah right. 3 years to put out a CG trailer says they are going through the sort of growing pains I described. The "best" people tend to have the biggest "opinions", you can't magically create a studio culture.


'needing external help'? How uninformed can you be? Imagine claiming a studio that was set up in 2018 is 'unable to get anything out of the door' :)

From my persective in terms of output they are precisely where Black Tusk was. Remember them?

Again, with the focus on the outliers and issues pre-Spencer. Why?

Pre-Spencer? The problems were at the worst when good old Phil was most directly involved in development.

Eh. Coalition et al delivered Gears Tactics. MS worked with Asobo to deliver Flight Sim. Sea of Thieves turned out fine. All indications from Twitter chatter suggests a smooth development cycle for Fable. Double Fine, Ninja Theory, Obsidian are actually full of praise for Microsoft's relaxed, hands-off approach.

Yeah, lets see how relaxed and hands off they are as the newer, more valuable acquisitions like those part of Zenimax and ABK start taking their spots and they start falling down the pecking order!


Good thing the output from these studios are heading to Gamepass, so their performance at retail is secondary...as long as the games are quality themselves. Microsoft is acquiring talent, and gaming is now a tentpole for the Microsoft business. They will not lack for resources.

Thanks to the surplus of unused IP in the company, there's options for studios to pivot if need be.

Doesn't matter. Performance is always metricized and low return units get disbanded or reorganized. The amount of available resources is irrelevent because its about efficiency and ROI.

20+ Years in the business says I know more than you.
 
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