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Microsoft's E3 2018 Xbox Strategy: If You Can't Beat 'Em, Buy 'Em

CNET: "The lack of exclusives is a problem for Xbox One, but Microsoft is trying a time-honored technique: It's pulling out the "moneyhat."
Not only getting ‎exclusivity, but also ‎investing in a long-term plan for next generation because Microsoft may have more exciting places to put those games than the Xbox One, anyhow."‎

Christopher7d ago

Crass, crass, crass.

"Microsoft needs to invest in studios!"

*buys studios*

"Psh, look at those guys just buying their way to victory."

AspiringProGenji7d ago (Edited 7d ago )

Buying a stablished 3rd party studio is a loss for gamers on other consoles, but I guess Ninja Theory needed a publisher or else... I rather than than getting closed. Let’s see what they can do now.

Christopher7d ago (Edited 7d ago )

Only one was established third-party and put out games on platforms other than PC/Xbox. The rest weren't and this doesn't change the landscape at all.

As for that one, they've obviously decided that it's better to get the backing of Microsoft for their future than to continue the way they have. If you like the games they put out, you know where to go. It's not like they own the IPs for all but one of the games they've developed. Those IPs can still be utilized by their IP holders.

crazyCoconuts7d ago

@Christopher
I agree... Seems to me acquiring studios that were previously just putting out Xbox titles cause MS payed them to do so is a difference mostly in semantics. Same guys, same output.

nommers6d ago

Looking at MSs handling of studios it’s a loss for everyone.

SpringHeeledJack6d ago (Edited 6d ago )

Ninja theory was only saying a while ago they prefer to be independent and don't need a publisher. Microsoft did the usual of buying up competition instead of developing 5 brand new studios from the ground up.

Just like Rare and Nokia they will be run into the ground. It's not new studios MS need, it's a culture change.

MuddyWaters6d ago

Naughty Dog used to be third party but was also bought by Sony but I take it that's different because of reasons.

arkard6d ago

@muddywaters Naughty Dog was making playstation exclusives. It's the equivalent of Microsoft buying Playground games. Yes they were "independent" but they were only making games for the company they got bought by.

S2Killinit6d ago

well, Microsoft did buy their way into the industry to begin with, and they been doing it ever since, how else can they go without not creating their own studios for so long. So this is expected. Microsoft does cannibalize on the industry.

PrematuaProcrastin8a6d ago

You mean like Sony bought Nd? Or numerous other of their first party studios? The hypocrisy on this site is unbelievable. The Sony conference had nothing new of note.

leoms6d ago

They will now be shutdown by MS, lol

GameNameFame6d ago

Didnt MS turned golden studio such as Rare into one of the worst developers?

Both Halo and Gears of War no longer score 90s on metacritic. Its basically average games now.

someone726d ago (Edited 6d ago )

I see this as a positive thing. These studios will have better access to resources than before(aside from playground who could always do whatever they wanted really) Maybe we will even seem some AAA games come out of the other devs.

And for those saying MS ruins studios, that's utter BS. All first parties open and shut studios. MS is no different. As for the examples given, they also show an egregious lack of understanding.

Rare was a dying studio with limited remaining talent when acquired and has in my opinion, done some good stuff. MS did not kill them.

Nokia was also a sunsetting company with little forward momentum. They only bought a segment, and actually didnt do too bad with it as they obtained a lot of patents. Nokia was then infused with cash which allowed them to focus on more profitable segments until they had recovered enough to make a proper play.

Adding to this, we can look at bungie and what they have done post MS ownership. Lets see...loot boxes...loot boxes, and more loot boxes. Redundant content and an mmo version of halo. (ie. destiny) Id argue that they have underwhelmed at best since going "independent".

Finally, bringing up Naughty dog as an example, my personal favorite ND game wasnt even a sony title, its way of the warrior on the 3DO. Certainly a better title than their newer works.(and yes, this last comment is highly highly subjective, but as I dont really care for 3rd person action games, its true for me.)

+ Show (8) more repliesLast reply 6d ago
SpaceRanger7d ago

The only people telling them to invest in studios were their own fanbase after realizing year after year that there is a clear and steady lack of games.

Christopher7d ago

Far from true. Fans of all types have been decrying Microsoft's lack of studios and investment in them for years now. I believe that's a truly disingenuous statement you've just made.

SpaceRanger7d ago

@Christopher

Yet cherry picking statements from random comments seen over the whole gen has more value?

Christopher7d ago

Cherry picking random comments?

Hey, how about this, how about professional analysts?

https://www.polygon.com/201...

How about Phil himself?

https://www.windowscentral....

More Phil?

https://www.bloomberg.com/n...

And no one has ever written about Microsoft buying major studios to account for their lack of games?

https://www.polygon.com/201...

Septic7d ago

"The only people telling them to invest in studios were their own fanbase "

You must be joking surely? Xbox was getting it from all angles regarding investment in studios. That's as disingenuous statement as they come.

I could show you comments from here alone from Sony fans on the point.

gangsta_red6d ago

Wow, the tunnel vision some people suddenly get is incredible.

SpaceRanger6d ago

@Septic

They got it from all angles yet their fanbase, including Phil and team, had been pushing the buying of studios since most of this gen.

@Red
Tunnel vision? Your comment has no relatable connection to what’s being discussed. Please stop trolling.

slate916d ago

My goodness, SpaceRanger is a special kind of bias. The type you try to throw into a fire and burn but it comes out shinning and refined. The type that say the sky isn't blue because they've invested in the color red. My goodneh' boh you shoh is unique.

Kribwalker6d ago

lol, you obviously haven’t been reading the comments on this site if you say the only people that talked about them investing in first party were their own fan base. It’s really quite laughable

The Wood6d ago

Not having that. You've got it the wrong way around ranger. It was the butt of the joke/criticism to take the piss out of or point out ms's lack of quality studios especially from ps fans like myself. . Everyone outside of x Ville could see the deficiency. Many of the less level headed Xbox fans were claiming everything was rosy. . . .. . Bs apologists just defending their purchase but over time the level headed Xbox fans were voicing their concerns or openly demanding more from ms.

Well done to those guys. Apologists get nothing done and if ms stayed listening to them they'd be even further behind than they are now.

rainslacker6d ago (Edited 6d ago )

I think Xbox fans were saying they needed to invest in new studios, but indeed some Sony fan boys used that as a criticism against MS, and used it as a crux for their argument that MS wasn't investing in first party.

If one were invested enough in a platform to comment on such a thing, why wouldn't they want their console maker of choice investing in more games for them to play? It was only the Xbox fan boys who really acted like everything was great over at MS first party studios, and MS was providing plentiful quality output. Now I see some of these same fan boys acting like MS was always doing this, and that all the prior criticism is now rendered moot because MS finally started doing what people have been saying they need to do for a few years now, and their competition has been doing for a couple decades now.

Zeref6d ago (Edited 6d ago )

so what you're saying is nobody cared about their lack of games?

mandingo6d ago

Yet every sony fan boy has said xbox has no games they need new studios and ips smh

UltraNova5d ago

Everyone was saying that MS needs to invest in 1st party, me included why? Cause its the damn truth. It was only certain MS fans on the other hand that denied it and insisted that multiplatform games were more than enough or pretended that the power of the Kraken.., ehm the X is the only thing that mattered...oh the Irony....

The funny thing is that the same people pulled their heads out the ground now simply because MS promised games are coming. (Keywords: MS+promises) Well they are coming, as in not here, nor this year amd perhaps not even next, so moral of the story here is that MS fans never ever learn.

+ Show (10) more repliesLast reply 5d ago
SpaceRanger6d ago

My question is, of those that you listed (which are credible sources), how many of those exact journalists followed up and said “they’re buying their way to victory”? Maybe they all did, haven’t seen it myself.

That’s my point.

Also.. most of those links support my initial comment as well. We all had been hearing this from Phil, his team and the fanbase since early in this gen.

Christopher6d ago (Edited 6d ago )

If this author is writing from a solitary confinement cell in prison and doesn't read news about which they themselves are paid to write about, maybe you would have a point. But they don't, they write for a major online publication and are fully aware of Microsoft's business and what people have been complaining about. They are making a statement knowing more than I do about the industry, at least I hope that's the case as I don't write for the industry.

And don't you dare try to say that Phil saying something, to which everyone else will repeat as news, somehow discounts analysts and journalists saying similar let alone that people here have said it for years.

You truly are being disingenuous in this conversation. You're ignoring facts.

SpaceRanger6d ago

I am saying that the push has literally been led by MS in “listening to its fans”, we ALL saw that yesterday. And I think we’re all smart enough to know that it’s a small portion of gamers that flop the way you’ve described it in your initial comment.

And I never said it discounts anything? Add analysts to my above comment as well if you’d like. And keep loosely throwing the word “disingenuous” around. Doesn’t change the fact that not everyone who suggested MS should buy studios is switching their tune. Your comment is just as disingenuous as mine by your standards.

For me, the more studios CREATED the better.

ShottyatLaw6d ago

Then you should be pleased with The Initiative, no?

They should be creating AND buying studios. After all, that is what led Sony to the top. Looks like they're on the right track.

MuddyWaters6d ago (Edited 6d ago )

"For me, the more studios CREATED the better."

You are being disingenuous, nobody is going to say boo if Sony buys Sucker Punch or Quantic Dream or acquired Naughty Dog when they too were independent. Two of the studios Microsoft got already had close/exclusive relations, one is a brand new studio created and the other two needed financial support so they can stay afloat.

You don't like Microsoft and likely never will and now you like them even less for having studios that have games you might be interested in. Oh well!

Kiwi666d ago

So lets see if I understand this, you say that it's only people from the Xbox side who have been saying that MS needs more studios, so does that mean that all those PS fans who also said it but in a fanboy way were actually Xbox fans or is this your way to play the innocent card

gamer78045d ago

Sorry but buying or creating studios all. Cost money, you have to invest if you want victory....

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 5d ago
Rude-ro6d ago

Where is the ”victory”?
I mean, per history, this is not the first time Microsoft has done this and all the studios or developer they have acquired before has turned how?
Ha! I would be more nervous for those developers.. working for Microsoft has been more like the madden cover curse than anything else.
Hope it pans out.

Goldby6d ago

Well hopefully because they announced it on stage, they are treated better than previous teams, and allowed the freedom developers need to strive.

Rude-ro6d ago

Key word there Goldby ... “hopefully”.
And yes, hopefully. Time will tell.

rainslacker6d ago

That's a possibility, but at the same time, it doesn't do well to continue to criticize MS for not building it's 1st party when they actually start doing so. They should be encouraged when they do what people say they want them to do, not continue to have criticism lobbed at them. It does no one any good to keep a company in an eternal state of "damned if you do, damned if you don't".

Praise the good, criticize the bad. But for the time being, there is nothing to say that MS will squander their new resources or investments. One can speculate about much of what we will see first from some of these studios, but MS may have different plans and we could be wrong. Or we could be right, and perhaps MS may actually be looking at cultivating a creative environment. I know its hard to imagine with their penchant for talking up GaaS, and talking down SP games as of late, but it's OK to give them a bit of benefit of the doubt. People can always call them out later if they look like they're screwing it up.

Rude-ro6d ago

@rainslacker
You can praise positives..
But putting your trust hopes high are another thing.
It has been 7 years of lies, or fluff, goalposts, and all sorts of things when comes to Microsoft and their console...
People have a right to state their cautions as well as praise.
Like the 2billion dollar investment claim in 2014... of which led to.. purchasing other developers currently and that’s it...
Just saying..
I will praise when they deliver, not the pr beforehand or from marketing partners/gaming media.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 6d ago
Skankinruby6d ago

Blah blah freaking blah, quit sugarcoating the same pathetic business tactic Microsoft has used from day one. Moneyhatting is all Microsoft knows how to do in this industry. When people say to get more studios they aren't encouraging this pathetic behavior of buying out existing ones they saying to put some damn effort into their xbox division. And don't throw out silly words like 'victory', it makes it that much more obvious how much you are fluffing this ultimately shallow E3 they once again had.

aconnellan6d ago

I guess you were also this upset when Sony bought Naughty Dog, right? or what if they bought Insomniac? Would that be moneyhatting too, or a good investment?

Snakeking336d ago

They only really bought 1 studio the other 3 was only making games for them anyway and what game did ninja theory make that they can milk anyway

MIDNIGHT 216d ago

agreed and the title should have been Microsoft listened and delivered what 15 to 18 exclusives plus acquired 5 now in house studios with absolute creative freedom ,this is actually a real big positive ! plus this all translated to . . . . yea the game pass aswell so all those studios pumping out entertainment to the game pass adds even more value to the big picture also .

rainslacker6d ago

By my count, they had 5 big exclusives, and the term is dodgy since they'll all release on PC. I don't care about the PC release part so much though. But they certainly didn't have 15 exclusives by any metric. They had 15 "world premieres". A couple of them for games which have already been released....so MS used the term world premier with very liberal interpretation.

trooper_6d ago

Is there something wrong with creating their own studios as well?

Christopher6d ago (Edited 6d ago )

They just did that as well. Along with the Gears team growing to work on three different titles. Let alone one of the studios they bought were only producing Microsoft IPs, so were already partial internal studios that can now grow as well, right?

trooper_6d ago

Well hopefully actual games come from it.

gangsta_red6d ago

"Well hopefully actual games come from it."

I was hoping actual strawberry cream puffs would come from it....but that's just me. But if I'm not mistaken these studios will actually be making games.

Kribwalker6d ago

yea they did create a studio as well, but getting studios that are already up and running and making games will save time over starting from scratch

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RauLeCreuset6d ago

Let's stop with the MS can't win for trying arguments. The negativity attached to MS is self inflicted. The damage they've done to their brand is grievous and not easily rectified, if it can be rectified. We're talking about a company that spent an entire generation, in which they released two $500 dollar systems, stringing consumers along. "Wait until E3" has subtly become "wait until next gen." Not everyone is going to be as easily won over. Mileage will vary among the great spectrum of opinions that reside on the internet. Some people feel that MS' exclusive problem is more of a culture problem than a problem of acquiring studios. It's not like they've been dropping hits, but just don't have the studios to keep them coming consistently. Do you have any evidence that the author of this piece previously complained that MS needs to invest in more studios, or at the very least someone from that site making that complaint?

gangsta_red6d ago

"The negativity attached to MS is self inflicted"

The problem is when when does this negativity clear itself. It's pretty obvious that MS has listened to the majority of criticisms over the course of those 5 years.

They fixed those 500 dollar systems and actually released consoles that were fair priced for what they were doing.

The whole "wait for E3" we have gotten games announced and shown at every one and for this one announced 5 new studios which was one of the main complaints. Lets not even mention BC, Game Pass, Gifting, digital sharing, crossplay with Switch and other gamer friendly options and features.

So even with MS fixing their image when are we going to stop with the "MS deserves the negativity" comments, because at this point it really does feel like some people are reaching deep just to stay mad at the competition.

The point here is MS is investing in more studios and yet we still have the author complaining about it.

Christopher6d ago

Microsoft did this to themselves, therefore when they take great efforts to show how they will correct their issues, we should still criticize them for it.

Makes sense to me.

Bobafret6d ago

So does a scenario exist where you would at least stop bitching? Because less of you is what Microsoft threads needs.

RauLeCreuset6d ago

@Bobafret

Less of you is what gamers need if you really want to go there. My comment didn't attack you or anyone else here, but if you really want to go there, it's defensive comments like yours that enable MS to take an entire gen off.

@Gagnsta_red

The negativity clears itself when they prove themselves. It's that simple. Consistent delivery is what it's about. They didn't fix "those 500 dollar systems." You speak as though the X was some kind of free upgrade or replacement for the original Xbox. They sold one $500 machine denying the power difference with PS4 and hyping things like the cloud, then sold another to deliver what they failed to with the first while hyping a focus on exclusives that now seems to have spilled over to next gen.

@Christopher

You appear to have an affinity for strawman arguments. You want to try that again, this time engaging with my actual argument instead of the one you made up for convenience? Perhaps that's the whole disconnect here. Not everyone views this as MS showing how they will correct their efforts. Pulling out the money hat isn't new, or particularly impressive when forced to by years of neglect. I'm not even talking about taking a stance for or against the practice. I'm just saying for a lot of people it's nothing new and isn't proof that MS has fixed its exclusives problem. They sold you on tomorrow, again.

Do you have evidence of this author, or at the least this publication, criticizing MS for not having enough studios? You forgot to address that while addressing the strawman argument you made up.

antz11046d ago

Should we really be bringing up console prices when Sony was selling one last gen for $600? I'm just saying in the game scheme of it all price isn't really where they went wrong.

RauLeCreuset6d ago

"Should we really be bringing up console prices when Sony was selling one last gen for $600?"

You need to go back and read my comment more carefully if what you took from that is it's bad to charge $500 for a console. Sony released a $600 console and despite the rough start delivered. MS sold two $500 consoles in one gen stringing people along with a tomorrow that never comes.

rainslacker6d ago (Edited 6d ago )

@gangsta

"The problem is when when does this negativity clear itself"

Well, outside those that will always be negative no matter what, it'll probably clear itself when they actually start delivering. MS has said a lot of things this gen, so it's hard to just accept that everything is rosy now because they brought or created new studios. People can appreciate results, but they aren't going to get hyped from a company which has under-delivered in their view for the past 4 years.

However, given that they are at least doing what people want them to do, that should be encouraged, and maybe give them a bit of time to actually deliver those results. It doesn't change how people feel about MS in general though until they deliver....so the antagonism is going to remain for a while.

Just trying to be a realist here.

antz11046d ago

@Raul, no I read yours just fine. I think you may want to go back and re-read mine. I was getting at the fact that the Xbox One and One X are solid consoles that have a ton of potential and they keep getting held back by poor decisions on Microsoft's part. Price point has nothing to do with that, so if we're throwing out numbers that don't matter I'll bring up the 12 year olds system that cost more than any console to date.

RauLeCreuset6d ago

@antz

You can't really be having this difficult a time with this. Really. Just stop. It's basic reading comprehension. The gripe wasn't that a manufacturer would charge $500 dollars for a system. The gripe is that they didn't deliver on those systems they charged $500 for.

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OffRoadKing6d ago

Big difference in investing in their own first party or creating new first party studios and buying up established multiplat developers. Microsoft is crass indeed.

"If you like the games they put out, you know where to go", yeah PC.

You're right about one thing, other than Ninja these acquisitions change nothing for Microsoft.

Christopher6d ago

All I'm hearing is "I can't admit that Microsoft is doing anything right, I just need to find a reason to complain about them by moving goal posts."

Kribwalker6d ago

well a brand new studio based on story driven games added to the other acquisitions does show that these things will change for microsoft. 😉

OffRoadKing6d ago

If that's all you're hearing its because that's what you choose to hear and that's your problem not mine.

XtreemGamer6d ago

Stop the struggle... you are defending MS like crazy. Studios under MS are dying,thats the sad truth.

Christopher6d ago

I'm not defending Microsoft's past actions, I'm also not ignoring what they are doing. I'm also not being a hypocrite and ignoring when they make moves to do exactly what people have asked them to do.

Big difference.

RauLeCreuset6d ago

@Christopher

Many people have said they need to stop talking, stop promising, and deliver. They have not delivered. You buy into the promise of tomorrow despite claiming not to be ignoring MS' past actions. You want to do that? You want to go out on faith one more time rather than wait for a consistently delivered strong exclusive lineup? Cool. Do you. But stop acting like anyone remaining rightfully skeptical is being a hypocrite when they aren't overly impressed by MS making one move they should have made years ago while still not delivering the actual product.

RandoCommenter6d ago

So true.