Xbox Studio Boss Matt Booty talks Halo, Starfield and Xbox in 2023 | Friends Per Second Podcast

CamHostage

Member
I really dont understand this. Coalition was their one productive studio pumping out games every 3 years. Now they have turned them into a support studio helping Epic ship Matrix on Series S, helping Undead labs, and even Halo Infinite. Like WTF, hire some animators, no?

Teams assisting other teams is good for the team, not just the groups they assist.

For one thing, it keeps manpower occupied. Not all of staff in these groups at that time (when they contracted to help on Matrix and UE5 optimization and other projects, or even when they did their Alpha Point UE5 demo) would have been loaded with projects at the time, since Gear 5 XB Series / Hivebusters had come to the end of their development. Game development staffing is an upside-down pyramid, with the foundation typically built on a small creative team designing and prototyping and then more and more gets stacked on top of that as the project fills out. Depending on where their next project was/is in development, those people might not have had things to do on it yet, and it's better to loan them then to have them puttering. (The alternative can be DLC, which has been a replacement in A/B Project structure for many companies, for better or worse, but Gears 5 has already come and gone on DLC.)

Also, tech intelligence learned through working on projects is not time wasted. Having been part of a major project made with UE5, that will help their next project, which undoubtedly will be on UE5. The little bit of manpower they lent to Epic will come back with answers to problems Coalition will have in the future. Similarly, keeping active with Undead Labs (even if it's just animation, and even if Undead is not at the same level as Coalition on animation technology; we'll see if State of Decay 3 is a breakthrough for them but in general I don't think it's an insult to say Coalition is at an elite in XGS over most of its siblings,) lets them try things which may be important for their project, or better yet may train some manpower who might need to come over to Coalition when the favor needs to be cashed in on their next project.

Remember that The Coalition is a studio that makes its games the "real" way, even in UE5. They're not pulling assets off Marketplace and dropping Metahumans into environments (though those can be part of their workflow too.) Coalition is making their games in-house with its own tech built on top of UE, optimized for maximum performance and fidelity capable with their skills and tech. Look at Alpha Point; this took them several months to make (they showed it in July 2021, and had been working on it since before even UE5 builds came out, prototyped in UE4 in anticipation.) They used Lumen and Nanite and Metahuman and other aspects of UE5 as a starting point, not as the tech ready-to-go, and they pulled a lot of aspects out (particularly Metahuman, which they only use portions of in their final model) or rerigged things that they didn't like. And all they got out of it was this little 1-minute project of a fly-through and a character model. It seems small, but it's an exercise that will enhance their stamina for the future, and so will assisting other teams. They've got to get the basics down pat, and they've want to run into the problems now that will affect their project far down the road.



It's all a juggle, and for sure I can see that concern about taking on other people's problems when the priority should be on their own work. I too want "more" Coalition games, not "some" Coalition games and then more other games made with Coalition's help. However, flexibility and collaboration in the office all contributes to a better office. It's the Big Brother/Big Sister program, everybody gets something.
 
Last edited:

GHG

Member
Bigger the team working on a game, harder to ship it.

And people want to trust them with what they will do after acquiring big publishers?

Developers won't be allowed to make a singular focused 20 hour experience cause they'll have to force some sorta weekly bs reason to jump back in or attach a season pass for absolutely no reason.

Ding Ding Ding. Seasons, weekly events and a whole lot of FOMO.

It's either that or they need to have a solid schedule of at least 1 big single player game a month in order to keep people subscribed. Don't see that happening any time soon so the tried and tested GAAS model is what it will be.
 

adamsapple

Or is it just one of Phil's balls in my throat?
I couldn’t imagine this would apply for all games though right?

Elder Scrolls should still be a single player only game.

Of course it will, all the bigger games are expected to sell a decent chunk at retail as well, not to mention that they are also present on other storefronts like Steam.

The Retail model is still the biggest revenue point for them.
 

DeepEnigma

Gold Member
Anyone with a brain should've been able to understand this was the case. Essentially every 1st party game will be built around the GaaS model and will suffer cause of it.

Developers won't be allowed to make a singular focused 20 hour experience cause they'll have to force some sorta weekly bs reason to jump back in or attach a season pass for absolutely no reason.
And people want to trust them with what they will do after acquiring big publishers?



Ding Ding Ding. Seasons, weekly events and a whole lot of FOMO.

It's either that or they need to have a solid schedule of at least 1 big single player game a month in order to keep people subscribed. Don't see that happening any time soon so the tried and tested GAAS model is what it will be.
Or sell you DLC on a game you're just renting. Both Sony and MS have been doing this.

Base games go up, DLC not included in hopes for a smaller buy-in with new life in the revenue stream.
 

feynoob

Member
I couldn’t imagine this would apply for all games though right?

Elder Scrolls should still be a single player only game.
It just the usual games, which can be monitized. Games like forza, gears and halo.

The rest dont have that ability, since mtx requires games with community and long term replayability.

Skyrim and other RPG games dont have that. Since they are SP, and dont have MP mode.
 

Panajev2001a

GAF's Pleasant Genius
Negative sides of Gamepass in Matt Booty's opinion: game design is inherently tied to business model
The Office Thank You GIF
 

James Sawyer Ford

Gold Member
Sony studios help other studios all the time, praised as a big brain move. The most technically impressive studio MS has does the same for MS, and its indicative of the other teams being bad.

GAF really is full of the best and brightest.

Sony does not have anywhere near the extent of outsourcing that is being employed with Crystal Dynamics.

You are talking about 100+ developers from an outside studio focusing on building the game. When Sony outsources, it is not generally for design oriented work.

There's a huge distinction there
 

DeepEnigma

Gold Member
Someone in the company had the balls, er, Booty to say it.

Then again, Phil Spencer laid the soft segway for him in the interview last week saying they are reaching peak saturation on Game Pass subs and are seeing a focus on F2P. In so many words.

Gatcha, gatcha, gatcha!
 
Last edited:
Negative sides of Gamepass in Matt Booty's opinion: game design is inherently tied to business model

Ok this makes sense, Matt Booty is a plant send in to destroy Xbox, it explains the delays and the lack of effort he is putting in to get studios to release games on schedule. How else would he use this old talking point with no evidence? The games are made, then put on gamepass, they aren't made because of gamepass.
 

Panajev2001a

GAF's Pleasant Genius
same but i don't think Gamepass is slowing/speeding that up for the industry as a whole and also don't believe that Single player games without MTX are going to disappear.

The idea that Gamepass is going to lead to just MTX/GAAS feels a bit hard to put together with MS buying Double Fine and releasing Pentiment.
It is accelerating it for every gamer that thinks games’ prices should be lower and lower. If people become less and less willing to pay $20-30-40-…-69 for a game and the perceived value of games keeps dropping… well, look at mobile platforms. It is not like we have never seen this happening before…
 
Sony does not have anywhere near the extent of outsourcing that is being employed with Crystal Dynamics.

You are talking about 100+ developers from an outside studio focusing on building the game. When Sony outsources, it is not generally for design oriented work.

There's a huge distinction there
We were talking about The Coalition, not Crystal Dynamics. This should have been clear.
 

Panajev2001a

GAF's Pleasant Genius
I'm still confused why Crystal Dynamics had 100 employees just sitting around... they just launched a Marvel GAAS, and a messy one at that, why was everybody lounging around at the foosball table waiting for work instead of cracking down on CD's big nightmare project?
No, but they were likely doing some pre-production work the company was happy to replace with sure and well paid contracting work.
 
I’m always surprised by some of MS titles, like Grounded and Sea of Thieves. I feel like I almost never hear about them and I have no interest in them myself, yet they always have a very large user base and seem very popular.

Must be pretty cool for the team behind Grounded, I read somewhere it was a very small team who worked on it.

Finished Grounded yesterday.

Credits were pretty long. 14 people from Obsidian maybe but a lot of outsource studios as well.

And it shows in the game as well. Not a small production.
 

feynoob

Member
It is accelerating it for every gamer that thinks games’ prices should be lower and lower. If people become less and less willing to pay $20-30-40-…-69 for a game and the perceived value of games keeps dropping… well, look at mobile platforms. It is not like we have never seen this happening before…
Itsnt about the price.

We have games with full price, that is filled with mtx (Forza and Grand tourismo) who use their extra contents to charge insane amount of money, Sport games (fifa, madden) with lootboxes, in order to encourage users to spend alot of money, Shooter games(cod) who uses cosmetic and season passes.

Its already here. Gamepass just introduces you to alot of userbase, just like how f2p attracts gamers who dont want to spend alot of money. They are just the result of those practices.
 
Last edited:

Panajev2001a

GAF's Pleasant Genius
Itsnt about the price.

We have games with full price, that is filled with mtx (Forza and Grand tourismo) who use their extra contents to charge insane amount of money, Sport games (fifa, madden) with lootboxes, in order to encourage users to spend alot of money, Shooter games(cod) who uses cosmetic and season passes.

Its already here. Gamepass just introduces you to alot of userbase, just like how f2p attracts gamers who dont want to spend alot of money. They are just the result of those practices.
I think price has a good part of play about it too… tether switch from making money on sale and making money once the player started using the content is big. That is the F2P trap coupled with the engagement / keep people subbed one fused together.
 

NickFire

Member
Really? But we have plenty of experts here who saying that these things are not connected
I got no problem with wishful thinking. But I'll never understand how anyone thought there wouldn't be a catch or back end. Companies chase scale for money. They do not chase scale to be nice guys.

On a different note, this is the second recent interview by high up fellas where things were said that people did not want to hear (see Phil talk about price increases, etc.). That is kind of wild in and of itself. Considering how calculated these companies are, it seems they are trying to soften the landing of some soon to come news IMO.

Of course it will, all the bigger games are expected to sell a decent chunk at retail as well, not to mention that they are also present on other storefronts like Steam.

The Retail model is still the biggest revenue point for them.

Wait, are we already moving past scale? How did we circle back to retail as the best hope for single player experiences before the big games even came out?????
 

reksveks

Member
Sony does not have anywhere near the extent of outsourcing that is being employed with Crystal Dynamics.

You are talking about 100+ developers from an outside studio focusing on building the game. When Sony outsources, it is not generally for design oriented work.

There's a huge distinction there
Sony smartly built and bought support studio's. It's a real failing on MS's part.
 

Jinzo Prime

Member
They literally made an entire game from scratch in 3 years. Took them just over 2 years to make Gears 4 after Phil cancelled their new IP.
Which is why Rod Furgguson should be head of Xbox Game Studios. He knows how to ship GAMES.


And, he was brought into Blizzard to get Diablo 4 shipped, so after the acquisition, Microsoft... you know what to do.
 
Last edited:

feynoob

Member
I think price has a good part of play about it too… tether switch from making money on sale and making money once the player started using the content is big. That is the F2P trap coupled with the engagement / keep people subbed one fused together.
It essentially introduces games, which has mtx already to people, who arent willing to buy the game.
You are kinda supporting my point.

Those games already has mtx in mind, and is expensive in the first place. So gamepass delivers those games to user. But those mtx are already part of the game.

Its like me renting you a water dispenser, while you have to buy the water bottle and the cup. Essentially, I am saving you from spending alot of money on the water dispenser, but you are shouldering the rest.
 

Panajev2001a

GAF's Pleasant Genius
It essentially introduces games, which has mtx already to people, who arent willing to buy the game.
You are kinda supporting my point.

Those games already has mtx in mind, and is expensive in the first place. So gamepass delivers those games to user. But those mtx are already part of the game.

Its like me renting you a water dispenser, while you have to buy the water bottle and the cup. Essentially, I am saving you from spending alot of money on the water dispenser, but you are shouldering the rest.
I think we are talking over each other.

A model like GamePass encourages IMHO a loss in perceived value which further pushes the publishers to use the same tactics F2P games uses to make money post sale. Game design is affected by the user perceived value erosion.
 

Roberts

Member
The last time I checked most of the upcoming Xbox games are single player games or at least games that you can also enjoy playing alone (Redfall). Obviously some of them will have DLCs (like Wasteland 3) and some will have mtx (like FH5) but they are in no way standing in a way of you enjoying a full (narrative or otherwise) experience. Do you really think they will just stop making games like this all of a sudden?
 

feynoob

Member
I think we are talking over each other.

A model like GamePass encourages IMHO a loss in perceived value which further pushes the publishers to use the same tactics F2P games uses to make money post sale. Game design is affected by the user perceived value erosion.
The model already exist. It targets those who can afford to spend. Especially those who buy it day1.

Gamepass is for those who cant afford those games. Those people who generally buy those games, when its cheap.

2 different audience.
 

adamsapple

Or is it just one of Phil's balls in my throat?
Wait, are we already moving past scale? How did we circle back to retail as the best hope for single player experiences before the big games even came out?????

I don't know what this means, the games still need to sell at retail. Game Pass shouldn't compromise the vision for a 100 hour RPG that's available on multiple formats outside of game pass as wel.l.
 
Last edited:

Thirty7ven

Sony make cringe trainers.
I want an apology from everyone who called me a troll for saying this the last two years.

Anybody with a brain. Subscription services, specially ones at the price of gamepass need a constant stream of content.

It was easy to fill it up with big games at the end of last gen but now? Publishers start asking more and more money, and their reliance on first party increases all the more. Problem is how do you keep the ball rolling when big budget games take 4 to 5 years to make?

It’s as if most people have no clue how making tv shows and movies can take 1 to 2 years once production starts. Netflix debuted almost 400 original shows last year, let that sink in.
 
Last edited:

Gavon West

Member
Sony does not have anywhere near the extent of outsourcing that is being employed with Crystal Dynamics.

You are talking about 100+ developers from an outside studio focusing on building the game. When Sony outsources, it is not generally for design oriented work.

There's a huge distinction there
You have any links to back up what you're saying here? Or you just pulling shit from your ass? As I've read, Sony devs assist other devs under the Sony umbrella. As I understand it, it happens more often than not.
 

Panajev2001a

GAF's Pleasant Genius
The model already exist. It targets those who can afford to spend. Especially those who buy it day1.

Gamepass is for those who cant afford those games. Those people who generally buy those games, when its cheap.

2 different audience.
Of course the model exists, GamePass did not invent it :LOL:.

GamePass is about adding that audience you mention while trying to shift the rules of a market they never quite dominated no matter the money they poured into it. GamePass is about trying to get people subscribed long term to your multi device service and focus away from purchasing games and content like well you also do not do on Netflix.

The result is similar: some of the people that used to buy games stop and wait for the content to come from the subscription or wait for further discounts than they used to. Race to the bottom ensues if there is critical mass.
 
He was talking as well about the rise of F2P games and not just Gamepass; i suspect many here haven't listened to it (1hr2min in). Also calls Gamepass additive.

Additive is the new Adjective, and that's the new noun on schoolhouse rock, because he's just a Phil. He hasn't been passed by congress yet so that's why the Phil hasn't been signed to give you games in 2022.
 
They still got guys like Major Nelson, Aaron greenberg and matt booty? They seriously need some fresh faces. Not the same guys that were around during the xbox one reveal.
 

Thirty7ven

Sony make cringe trainers.
The result is similar: some of the people that used to buy games stop and wait for the content to come from the subscription or wait for further discounts than they used to. Race to the bottom ensues if there is critical mass.

There’s also a lack of commitment when you play a game. If I buy Plague Tale Requiem maybe I give it quite a few hours before deciding whether I will finish it or not, but gamepass? I’ve done enough trials on gamepass and ps premium to know that when it’s so easy to drop a game, I do it.

First hour needs to be very strong when you are dealing with games on a subscription. Devs might jump on the whole amount of players that tried the game, but it really doesn’t tell us much about how successful the game is with its audience. It’s the same with tv shows that get dropped by audiences after minutes.

But when I buy a movie ticket? I sit my ass till the end.
 
Last edited:

feynoob

Member
Of course the model exists, GamePass did not invent it :LOL:.

GamePass is about adding that audience you mention while trying to shift the rules of a market they never quite dominated no matter the money they poured into it. GamePass is about trying to get people subscribed long term to your multi device service and focus away from purchasing games and content like well you also do not do on Netflix.

The result is similar: some of the people that used to buy games stop and wait for the content to come from the subscription or wait for further discounts than they used to. Race to the bottom ensues if there is critical mass.
You are right about gamepass, in that its targeted towards audience who buy used games from gamestop.

But the first model is what MS, Sony and others are racing for, Plus f2p model.

The people who spend more money on mtx, are those who can afford day1 sales. We call them whales. They are the same people who contribute the most in f2p games. They are the people who dont mind spending $100 like its normal thing. Those people have no use for subscription services.
 
The result is similar: some of the people that used to buy games stop and wait for the content to come from the subscription or wait for further discounts than they used to. Race to the bottom ensues if there is critical mass.
What is to stop any customer from simply waiting till a game hits a sub service before playing a title anyway even on PlayStation?

I have no idea what 'race to the bottom' means but if it relates to game quality why would people remaine subscribed to a service with horrible games on it? There aren't many ways to stay subscribed to Game pass outside of the conversion deal and that is at a discount. If people don't like the games on the service they will unsub like what PS+ recently went through.

MS has an incentive to keep quality titles on the service if they want people to stay subscribed. The idea that the games will all become horrible and people will remain subbed is fiction. That also implies that those same horrible titles will be sold at retail too threatening the entire business. I don't think people thought this all the way through.
 

MarkMe2525

Member
Did you mean to quote the OP instead of a reaction to the OP?

To your point, Matt Booty did not say: "Negative sides of Gamepass in Matt Booty's opinion: game design is inherently tied to business model" at al.

Here is what he said, timestamped:

Yes I did tbh. He was referring to the nuances of adding games with different business models to gamepass
 

Ozriel

Member
Sony does not have anywhere near the extent of outsourcing that is being employed with Crystal Dynamics.

You are talking about 100+ developers from an outside studio focusing on building the game. When Sony outsources, it is not generally for design oriented work.

There's a huge distinction there


The person you're responding to is talking about Coalition's support for other MS studios in Unreal Engine.

Not sure why you've brought up Crystal Dynamics.
 

fermcr

Member
Imagine if these motherfuckers didn't buy Bethesda; they'd have nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Motherfuckers?... at least be impartial when trying to make a point. Your Sony fanboyism is showing. * facepalm *

If Sony hadn't aquired all those 3rd party studios in their gaming division, what would they have?
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom