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Spencer: I'd Hesitate to Look for a Studio That's Only Capable of Developing Games on One Device

Phil Spencer said he'd hesitate to look for a studio that's only capable of developing games on one device as today the business has shifted from per device to per user, as demonstrated by Fortnite.

He also talked about the synergy between Project xCloud and Xbox Game Pass and how both factored into the increased investment in first party studios.

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Jackhass8d ago

Well, most of the third parties he's snapping up should have multi-plat experience, so it ought to work out!

Obscure_Observer8d ago (Edited 8d ago )

More acquisitions on the horizon according to Krobrille!

Xbox E3 2019 is gonna be the best yet! :)

execution178d ago

What makes you think they're going to have exclusives come out next year?

WombBat8d ago

Xbox will fail again next generation if they don't stop porting all their games to PC. For PC gamers, its fantastic. But for their Xbox console business, it makes no sense.

SpineSaw8d ago

"Xbox 2019 is gonna be the best yet"
I agree if you like mobile games. That's where the money is at nowadays and someone gotta make them mobile games for Microsoft. Looks like they have the studios to do that now.

JesusBuiltmyHotrod8d ago

lol cause games only take 6 months to make right?

darx8d ago

Who knows more Wombat or MS execs?

starchild7d ago

@WombBat

That's a complete load of bunk. The vast majority of people who make a big deal about exclusivity in that way are FANBOYS, plain and simple. The only ones who think it's a bad thing that Microsoft puts their games on both Xbox and PC are either Sony fanboys who try to spin it into something negative or Xbox fanboys who somehow think it weakens those games as ammo against other platforms. Everyone else either doesn't care or thinks it's a great thing.

And let's just drop this game of pretend so many on this site are fond of, whereby they make it sound like they all have gaming PCs and PS4s. Well, as someone who actually does do most of my gaming on PC (and owns a PS4 on the side) I know for a fact that that is pure nonsense. Every time I say something positive about the PC on this site I get downvoted into oblivion. So just quit pretending. The majority of the users of this site are single console fanboys who have nothing but disdain for any other platform. Most of the people saying that crap won't be able to get those games either way because they don't own a decent PC nor Xbox.

The truth is, most actual PC gamers I talk to in real life think it's a great thing that Microsoft puts their games on our preferred platform. We have complaints about the current state of the Windows store and would generally prefer to have those games available on Steam, but it's still much better than not getting those games on the PC at all.

PC gamers, when we decide to get a console at all, usually only use it to play the small handful of exclusives that appeal to us. For me, that amounts to one or two games a year that I buy for my PS4. Everything else I play on my PC. So, yes, it's true that Sony might get more console hardware sales from PC gamers, but that's literally the only difference. Microsoft allows me to buy their games directly, while Sony just makes me buy a redundant piece of hardware to do so (redundant in the sense that it doesn't do anything that my PC can't already do better). How is that something to be celebrated?

No, Microsoft's problem this generation was not that they put their games on both Xbox and PC. That's fake news. The real issue is simply that they didn't have enough unique content period.

I predict that if Microsoft start releasing more high quality exclusive games for PC and Xbox you will see both platforms benefit. Xbox will do much much better against Playstation regardless of whether Microsoft's exclusives are also available on PC. They just need more high quality exclusives. The core console gaming demographic is comprised of people who only game on consoles and only decide between different consoles based on price, where their friends game, ecosystem, features, and exclusive games that aren't available on other consoles.

WombBat7d ago (Edited 7d ago )

@ darx
Im not the exec that lost them this generation. Look at all the blunders they had: always online, no resale, underpowered console, lack of exclusives, overpricing, dumb name (Xbox One). Took them this long to figure out they were heading in the wrong direction.

@starchild
You admit that is will lose them console sales. You yourself have a PS4 and not an Xbox, why? I didn't spin it into a good or bad thing, im just stating why they will lose.

starchild7d ago

@WombBat

Yes, Sony's business practices do sell more console units to PC gamers and, yes, I own a PS4 and not an Xbox. I already stated those things. The main points I'm making are:

1. Console sales are not the end all be all. What these companies want (and what they make the majority of their money from) is for you to buy into their ecosystem in a significant way. PC gamers generally don't do that. We buy the console and a small handful of exclusives and that's it.

It has been a well known fact that the platform holders make most of their money from licensing fees, online fees and by selling content on their stores. This is why consoles are often sold at a loss or at very close to cost. They don't make their money directly from the consoles sold but rather from the software and services.

If PC gamers like myself buy a handful of exclusives from Sony and a handful of exclusives from Microsoft and the only difference is that I had to buy a console from Sony to play their games I'm sorry but there's no way that that amounts to a significant difference in revenue.

In fact, given that Microsoft has the opportunity to reach a whole bunch of PC gamers that would never bother spending several hundred dollars to play a handful of games means that Microsoft can sell games to a large segment of the PC gaming market that Sony just can't reach at all. Not to mention PC gamers buy all of our games digitally and the percentage of revenue is higher for Microsoft than it would be selling a physical disc at retail where there are more people sharing the pie.

So, overall, Microsoft selling their games on both PC and Xbox is not a net negative in a business sense. It's a net positive, despite what fanatics on the internet otherwise claim. Especially when you factor in the fact that Microsoft has a vested interest in seeing both PC and Xbox flourish.

2. The more important point from a gamer perspective is, Microsoft is allowing a wider range of gamers to be able to play their games and giving more options as to where and how we can play them. This is something that can only be celebrated. The fact that some fanboys flip it around and attempt to convince people that it's a good thing to have to buy an extra piece of redundant hardware to play a relatively small number of games is simply asinine.

WombBat7d ago

@starchild

Yes, console manufacturers make most of their money from the software sales. Sony sold 85 million consoles so far with 564 million in software sales versus Microsoft's 39 million consoles sold with 256 million in software sales.

starchild7d ago

Yes and what does that have to do with what I said? We all know Sony sold twice as much this generation. But, again, that has more to do with the fact that they released more high quality exclusives, stronger brand recognition, and a cheaper price for a while.

The problem isn't that Microsoft released their games on PC too, the problem is they didn't release enough good games overall. That, along with several other missteps at the beginning of the generation set them off on the wrong foot and despite some good changes they've made it hasn't been enough to allow them to catch up to Sony.

But I still maintain that if they start releasing a higher number of good exclusives next generation they will do much much better against Sony and it won't really matter if those games are released for PC too. In the console market they will still have all the ammo they need.

But that part remains to be seen. All I'm saying is that it doesn't hurt their gaming business overall to release their games on PC and if anything it probably helps. More importantly, it's good for gamers. And as a gamer that's what I really care about at the end of the day.

+ Show (7) more repliesLast reply 7d ago
Vandamme218d ago

Phil Spencer: i’d hesitate to look for a studio that’s only capable of developing flops on one device.

Prubar8d ago (Edited 8d ago )

Pfffffff look at this comment with its likes to dislikes and tell me this site isn’t biased lol. Such a negative site.

ConsoleGamer7d ago (Edited 7d ago )

@vandamme

Great, you and the ones who agreed with that hateful comment hurt prubar's feelings. Doesn't matter if it is the truth, apologize to him!

neutralgamer19928d ago

Just please don't make all studios do games as service and instead try to appease all gamers. Single player and MP

ILostMyMind8d ago

"as today the business has shifted from per device to per user"

....... Phil Spencer

7d ago
Muzikguy7d ago (Edited 7d ago )

Spencer’s isn’t being very smart here. No studio is only capable of developing on one device. It’s more a choice.

@darx

Good question. Do you believe everything an exec says? Over the years I’ve learned not to

3-4-57d ago

In the end Microsoft makes more money if their Microsoft 3rd party bought up studio game is also on the PS5 and Nintendo Switch if possible.

Obviously like Mario & Zelda/pokemon stay on Nintendo consoles.....Halo and forza and stuff will stay exclusive to Xbox, but some of these studios will be making games for all which will increase revenue and get the return they are looking for on their investment that much sooner.

Also looks more attractive to shareholders as well to know they could potentially dip into 3 markets rather than just one.

It's a fine balance but all 3 seem to be good at it.

rainslacker7d ago

If a developer can only develop on one platform, it's likely due to resources, rather than ability. Game engines nowadays make porting pretty easy, and overall, the actual optimization code for unique platforms is about the same, with there just being changes to certain system calls for the low level coding.

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 7d ago
THC CELL8d ago

Yawn dose this guy not bore you lot.

Glad sony hire in New talent not dying talent

King_Noctis8d ago (Edited 8d ago )

And I’m glad MS saves those studios from closure.

And you don’t have to click the link and comment if he bores you. Just ignore the article, its easy.

bluefox7558d ago (Edited 8d ago )

Saves? Like they did with Rare? MS destroys studios, not save them.

Obscure_Observer8d ago

@bluefox755

Yeah, well... we heard from fanboys that Phil Spencer would shut down RARE after SoT, because the idiots belived that the game would flop hard.

They must be feeling pretty dumb right now, since RARE is currently developing a new IP. ;)

timotim8d ago

@Blue

Mojang is stronger than it has ever been. Stop bringing up deals that happened over a decade ago...how bout something a little more recent huh?

Phil Spencer wasn't in charge of Xbox back then when they acquired Rare...in fact, Xbox wasn't even its own division back then like it is now. All these things play a part in your culture...Phil and Satya have a much better gaming culture today than Microsoft had back in 2003 when they bought Rare...

neutralgamer19928d ago

Sea of thieves isn't something to be proud of so that's a wrong game to try to win an argument

Otherwise agree with you let's give these new studios time under ms before judging on past failures or successes

DragonbornZ8d ago

"Sea of thieves isn't something to be proud of..."
Damn, disrespectful as hell.

Unreal018d ago

Obscure

Lol. Sea of Thieves was terrible.

King_Noctis8d ago

@TheSensibleOne

We are talking about studio. Is Scalebound a new studio that I had never heard of?

nowitzki20048d ago (Edited 8d ago )

Did he really try to use SOT to win an argument for Rare? SOT is a job. Its like going to work, how many of us love going to work?? lol

RIP Rare. My favorite studio in 90s.

yomfweeee7d ago

Obscure, SOT didn't flop hard? LOL

DragonbornZ7d ago

@yomfweeee
Uh no it didn't. Like, holy shit lol. It's not lighting the world on fire, but they've far succeeded their sales targets, it's surpassed 5 mil unique players, and they've been adding content with more to follow.

It's wild how whatever echo chamber some limit themselves to can make it seem thing x is in the bottom of the bargain bin when in reality it's actually doing decently well.

Goldby7d ago

@Dragon

5 million players, but how many actually purchased the game...

DragonbornZ7d ago

@Goldby
Phil: "Gamepass increases sales/revenue"

Rare: "Sea of Thieves greatly surpasses sales target"

Rare: "Sea of Thieves also has passed 5 million players"

Goldby: "But how many people actually spent the money to by the game?"

Boi

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MajorLazer8d ago

You don't have to click on the MS articles. Then again, where else would you bitch & moan about a rival company you have no interest in

Zeref8d ago

lol so much hate xD

Have you stopped to think that maybe he gets a lot of interviews because people like hearing what he has to say?

andibandit8d ago (Edited 8d ago )

"Glad sony hire in New talent not dying talent"

Oh I get it, you mean like:
Guerrilla Cambridge
Evolution Studios
Zipper Interactive
Studio Liverpool
SuperBot Entertainment
Incognito Entertainment

SierraGuy7d ago

Sony leads by example.

Talk is cheap.

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FallenAngel19848d ago

But many studios do their best when focusing on one platform

timotim8d ago

UWP allows for devs to focus on making the game and deploying that game on multiple platforms. Look at Forza Horizon 4 (rated 92 on meta), it released on both console and PC, but they didn't have to make the game twice or do a lot of work on multiple platforms, they focused on making the game great and the APIs allow them to target more than one device. This is working smarter, not harder.

LucasRuinedChildhood8d ago

Is the fact that Fortnite was ported mobile not the implication here though?

timotim8d ago

@Lucas

Well, I don't think you will see Halo Infinite ported to mobile if that's what you're asking haha. What Phil is saying here is that he is choosing studios that have history in both console and PC because Microsoft has a gaming platform in both sectors. That makes sense for their devs to be able to speak the language their audience. UWP is allowing all their studios to deploy on PC and console relatively easy, but if you don't understand your target audience, you can necessarily make a game they will want to play. InXile and Obsidian...even NT has history with releasing games on both.

ShadowWolf7127d ago

...
.exe files work on multiple platforms too, that doesn't mean they're optimized for each platform.

rainslacker7d ago

Forza doesn't use UWP for any of its game code. UWP is highly inefficient for a game on that level. It may use UWP for the build, to put in DRM.

They don't make the same game twice, but they do have two separate builds. Actually three if you include the base X1/S in the mix, as its a different set up at many levels above the APU. There will still be optimization between all those three builds though. Or at least there should be, because the PC and Console versions of DX aren't directly compatible on the low level side of things, and UWP doesn't currently offer low level functionality. DirectX does make a lot of the porting easier however.

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ziggurcat8d ago

Ok, but what about studios you can show enough confidence in to let them make more than one IP?

Obscure_Observer8d ago

@ziggurcat

Playground (RPG), Rare (Multiple New IPs), Ninja Theory (I doubt their next game is gonna be Hellblade 2)

NarutoFox8d ago

I don't know about Rare just yet. They use to be my favorite studio back in the day but they're recent games have been a let down. I'm gonna do a wait and see approach with them.

BeardedDrachen7d ago

Obscure, NT said they want to more more games similar to Hellblade... prepare for $40 ‘one and dones’ from them.

Obscure_Observer7d ago

@BeardedDrachen

"Obscure, NT said they want to more more games similar to Hellblade... prepare for $40 ‘one and dones’ from them."

"Similar" is the key word. Besides, that´s what i´m expecting from them. More new awesome IPs. ;)

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darthv727d ago

Yeah... how about that. PD is capable of doing more than GT games. i don't know if they choose to do them or if Sony has forced them to do them but they made at least two different games in the past (omega boost and tourist trophy). Only recently did Guerilla switch from making killzone games to something new otherwise they would be likely on the next killzone now.

Although.... maybe its more about the platform holder having the confidence in the studio with one IP because they are so passionate about it and improving each iteration.

Did you ever think about that?

rainslacker7d ago

The director and producer of GT is pretty much all about making GT. I doubt Sony is forcing them to do it. more like enabling his obsession.

Sony's been allowing some freedom to devs for a while now. Driveclub, Horizon, TLOU, a complete rethinking on GOW...although that one is up for debate on if Sony forced it.

XiNatsuDragnel8d ago (Edited 8d ago )

But Phil PC doesn't count as one device though!? What are you talking about??

CaptainCook8d ago

Microsoft owns Windows 10, Xbox One, Mixed Reality etc..

Goldby7d ago

they don't own mixed reality

CaptainCook7d ago

@Goldby

Microsoft created Mixed Reality that's only available on Microsoft's platform.

Razzer8d ago

Spencer is referring to non-Microsoft devices like Android. It is in the article.