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Microsoft Games - All News

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Monday - January 18, 2021
Monday - November 16, 2020
Monday - November 09, 2020
Thursday - October 29, 2020
Monday - September 21, 2020
Wednesday - November 20, 2019
Monday - November 12, 2018
Sunday - November 11, 2018
Monday - October 23, 2017
Thursday - September 10, 2015
Wednesday - December 02, 2009
Thursday - November 12, 2009
Monday - March 10, 2008
Box Art

Monday - January 18, 2021

RPGWatch Feature - 60 Days of Microsoft Game Pass

by Myrthos, 18:05

Forgottenlor checked out Microsoft Game Pass, spent some time playing games and came back to tell us about his experience.

I have tried all sorts of game platforms. Paradox’s Gamersgate was my first digital platform, which I tried out because I was disenchanted with the AAA roleplaying games on the PC in 2011 and was looking for something different. In 2013 I bought my first Steam game, a rather mediocre rpg called Aarklash: Legacy, which I couldn’t get anywhere else. Since then, I’ve bought games on GOG, Origin, Uplay, and the Epic store, resenting each additional launcher I had to install, but not enough to pass up a good deal on a game I really wanted to play. One thing I had been considering awhile was the Microsoft Game Pass. The primary game I wanted to play was The Outer Words. In November, I looked at the platform and saw they had a lot of other games on my Steam Wishlist, including A Plague Tale: Innocence, Mutant Year Zero, Age of Wonders: Planetfall, Bloodstained:Ritual of the Night, Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age, and No Man’s Sky. Buying all those titles would have cost me a small fortune. So, I took the plunge in November and gave the Game Pass a try.

Monday - November 16, 2020

Microsoft - Best Version (Bethesda Games) on our Platforms

by Silver, 20:46

PC Gamer reports that Microsoft will not make Bethesda games exclusive to Xbox yet but will offer the best version of them.

Speaking at the Jefferies Interactive Entertainment conference, Xbox chief financial officer Tim Stuart talked about the company's plans of growing their customer base, especially following its large acquisition of Bethesda. A transcription of the whole talk is available at Seeking Alpha. When asked whether the strategy going forth would be to make Bethesda games Xbox- and PC-exclusive or whether Microsoft would still support cross-platform play, Stuart said Microsoft doesn't have intentions "of just pulling all of Bethesda content out of Sony or Nintendo or otherwise."

"We highly encourage cross-platform play, simply from this landscape of, if it's good for the gaming ecosystem, it's good for us, classic rising tide lifts all boats," Stuart said. Instead, Microsoft's plan is to offer the best possible experience with a Bethesda game on its own platforms.

[...]

Monday - November 09, 2020

Microsoft - Looking to Buy a Japanese Studio

by Silver, 05:34

PC Gamer reports that Microsoft is looking to buy a Japanese Studio.

Fresh from acquiring Bethesda, Microsoft are apparently in talks to buy some studios in Japan, Bloomberg have reported: "Several Japan-based game developers, from small to big, said [Microsoft] had approached them about buying their businesses." The developers in question wished to remain anonymous, but this gels with a statement Xbox head Phil Spencer made last year, that "it would be nice if we found an Asian studio, in particular a Japanese studio".

[...]

Thursday - October 29, 2020

Microsoft - Phil Spencer interview on First Party Games and Monetisation

by Silver, 01:05

Gamereactor interviewed Phil Spencer about first party games, monetisation and game development.

Before the first round of purchasing studios - what made you get up one morning and say; "we need more studios, we need more first-party games"?

If I think back during the early Xbox One years and even late in the 360 years, at this time we as a company didn't invest enough in our creative capabilities with our studios, and it showed. Now, the thing with game production is that it takes a lot of time, so if you underinvest it actually doesn't show up next year or even in the next two years. It's maybe three, four, or five years down the road.

I had this feeling or belief that we were underinvesting and I was head of first-party, so I felt it directly. I wanted to invest more, and we weren't able to. So when I got into this job, I needed to put the business in a good space while getting the support of the company. And then we built a business model that prioritised investing in content knowing that we would have to invest early and wait a while for those investments to pay off.

But there wasn't kind of a "one morning." It was something that I felt, as I said through the late 360 and early Xbox One years, it just took us a little time to get into a position to find the right partners and get the support from the company. But I'm incredibly excited. Now with ZeniMax we're coming up on 23 first-party studios and an amazing line-up. So I'm feeling very good with the support we have.

[...]

The same can be said for games with an inherent online focus, or even Live Service titles. Do you have a certain strategy as to how many projects at any given times are strictly single-player, or strictly multiplayer, or is it more fluid than that?

Yeah, it's totally up to each studio, and I know some people that, when they've looked at the model around Game Pass, have assumed that Game Pass is actually a better model, if there's more Games-as-a-Service games in the subscription. I actually argue the opposite and believe the opposite. The last thing I want in Game Pass is that there's one game that everybody is playing forever, that's not a gaming content subscription, that's a one-game subscription, that's WoW, right? So for us, having games in the subscription that have a beginning, middle, and end, and then they go on to play the next game, maybe those are single-player narrative-driven games, I just finished Tell Me Why, an amazing game from DontNod, those games can be really strong for us in the subscription. In many ways, they're actually better than one or two games that are soaking up all the engagement in the subscription. I want a long tail of a lot of games that people are playing, and I think the diversity of online multiplayer versus single-player, we have to support the diversity there, and that's my goal. If anything I'd like to see more single-player games from our first-party, just because that over time we've kind of grown organically to be more multiplayer-driven as an organisation.

Monday - September 21, 2020

Microsoft - Buys Zenimax/Bethesda

by Hiddenx, 14:26

According to Jason Schreier Microsoft is planning to buy Zenimax/Behesda for $7.5 billion.

Thanks Pongo!

Wednesday - November 20, 2019

Microsoft Games - Prioritising RPGs

by Silver, 10:42

GamePressure reports on comments made by Phil Spencer, who said 'Microsoft will prioritise RPGs' at the recent XO19 event.

At the X019 event, where Microsoft shared its future plans, youtube's Xbox On channel team took Phil Spencer, the "face" of Xbox, to the table. According to him, RPGs are now a priority for the Redmond giant. Like he said:

"Obviously, first-person and third-person shooters have been strong but it's nice with Outer Worlds coming out, Wasteland. I think RPG's an area that we purposly focused on and want it to do more."

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[...]

Monday - November 12, 2018

Microsoft - Is Buying Credibility

by Silver, 23:11

PCGamesN analyses why Microsoft bought InXile and Obsidian.

Even so, the news might seem unnerving from the outside. The reason Microsoft needs to go on a buying spree is, to put it frankly, because it’s killed too many of its best studios. Lionhead, Ensemble, and Freelancer’s Digital Anvil all fell to its hammer, while the likes of Rare appeared to lose their identity to corporate culture – at least until Sea of Thieves crested the wave. Another concern, too, is that Microsoft has gained a reputation as a meddler. Ex-Lionhead staff shared stories of projects ending up in development hell because of multiple mandated pivots to take advantage of Microsoft’s latest scheme – be it cloud gaming, second screen technology, or Kinect.

[...]

Sunday - November 11, 2018

Microsoft - Acquires Obsidian and InXile

by Hiddenx, 01:14

IGN reports:

Microsoft Acquires Obsidian Entertainment and InXile

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Monday - October 23, 2017

Microsoft Games - Shadowrun Plans

by Hiddenx, 20:17

TGG reports that Microsoft is considering to make a Shadowrun game:

Microsoft considers a next-gen Shadowrun game; show your support! – Interview with Producer Dan Connery

I honestly didn’t see this interview coming, because the announcement of the next-gen Shadowrun proposal to Microsoft came out of nowhere. Nevertheless, it’s very much true. So I talked to Daniel Connery (the leader of the Dragonpunk team) for quite some time today, and while I was doing so, I soon realized that it would be much better if I turned Connery’s answers into an interview instead of an article (thus the interview that you got infront of you right now). So without further ado, please enjoy our interview with Dan Connery =) (and don’t forget to check out the “Dragonpunk: Tribe of Gods” mod for “ARK: Survival Evolved”!).

Robin TGG:
I think we better set the record straight from the very start to avoid any potential misunderstandings or such. So is it correct that you want to make a remake of the original Shadowrun game? Or is it a new nextgen “Shadowrun” title that you aim to develop? Furthermore, what kind of an game will it be?

Connery:
Sorry for the confusion, but no. We want to create a next-gen Shadowrun platform to allow traditional, new, and mod campaigns. For example, there would be no reason why you couldn’t remake the old games as a mod, just like they’re doing with the SNES game in Shadowrun Returns. There are always challenges with next-gen modding, but as Modders ourselves for the last three years, we know exactly how to handle that!

It would be an Action-RPG/Multiple player title, of course! Like the RPG glory days of Mass Effect with multiplayer elements like Destiny.

[...]

Thanks Farflame!

Thursday - September 10, 2015

Microsoft Games - Xbox Live Indie Program Canceled

by Myrthos, 12:52

Microsoft is canceling the Xbox Live Indie Games program. Apparently getting indie game developers to develop for the Xbox didn't work out to well for Microsoft.

At Xbox, we have seen firsthand the magic that independent developers can bring to gamers worldwide. The reception to ID@Xbox on Xbox One has been fantastic, with more than 1,000 developers with kits in hand working on the next generation of games for Xbox One and Windows 10. As much as we are excited about what is ahead, it is important to us that we acknowledge and celebrate the path it took to get here – while taking the next step forward together with the community.

Today we communicated to developers that we’re beginning the sunsetting process for the XNA Creator’s Club and Xbox Live Indie Games (XBLIG) on Xbox 360. We’re working to ensure the process is as smooth as possible and to minimize any impact for developers who are still working on XBLIG games for Xbox 360.

  • As of today, we’ve stop taking new subscriptions or membership renewals, but we’ll ensure that current members who are still working on games have any memberships that expire “topped off” until September 9, 2016. After that date we’ll no longer allow new games to be published. All creators with a valid subscription as of today will receive a free lifetime Windows Developer account (normally $99).
  • In September 2017, we’ll stop selling XBLIG games, close the store and pay out all money earned by developers. Of course, players will still be able to re-download games they own and continue to play the games they own.
  • Longer term, over the next two years we’ll be working with game conservationists and creators to preserve the legacy of XBLIG content. We look forward to sharing more details in the future.

XBLIG is where many great developers got their start, and “diversity” doesn’t even begin to describe the incredible variety of games that creators made on XBLIG. So seeing the end come into view is definitely bittersweet. But it’s also a great time to reflect on the legacy of XBLIG. Not just what it accomplished, but how far the game industry has come in the nine years since the first beta of XNA Game Studio was released in August 2006.

Wednesday - December 02, 2009

Microsoft Games - New Cases for Xbox 360 Games

by Aries100, 17:42

A short article over at www.destructoid.com tells about Microsoft joining the people that want to protect the environment.  New cases, lighter than the older ones, for the for Xbox 360 games have been made.

The new cases are supposed to be more environmentally friendly (eyeroll) and have also been made lighter to reduce shipping weight. They were designed by Viva Group in order to better perform according to Walmart's "packaging scorecard" initiative -- a scheme that aims to reduce packaging materials by 5% before 2013.

Do you think this is a good thing? Or is this just a marketing ploy?

Thursday - November 12, 2009

Microsoft Games - Project Natal release details - Xbox 360

by Aries100, 18:52

MCV has learned that Project Natal, the Xbox 360 device for controller free gaming, will probably be released in Noveber 2010. From their sources they have also learned that the device will seel for 80 US dollars (£50) and that 14 games are being made for the device.

Microsoft sees this as a way to lengthen the current Xbox 360's life:

Natal will arrive almost five years to the day after the Xbox 360 and is perceived by many, Microsoft included, as a way to lengthen the lifespan of the hardware without resorting to a new console launch. 

Source: Shack News

Monday - March 10, 2008

Microsoft Games - Games for Windows Interview @ Eurogamer

by Magerette, 17:26

Eurogamer  has posted an interview with Microsoft's Kevin Unangst, senior global director of Games for Windows, on the state of the Games for Windows initiative, Windows Live, the PC Gaming Alliance and how things have fared in GfW's first year of operation:

Eurogamer: Let's talk about Games for Windows Live specifically. What's next for the service?

Kevin Unangst: We'll continue to invest in it. We've heard about a lot of things poeple want, things like digital distribution. At the end of the day our goal is to be the best PC online service for gaming. We've learned a lot this year and we're listening to developers.

Eurogamer: What about Cliff Bleszinkski's recent observation that PC gaming is in "disarray"? How do you respond to that?

Kevin Unangst: That's an easy judgment to make if you're just looking at US retail sales. If you look at where the growth is, there are more gamers on Windows than any other platform. There's more money spent on Windows games than any other platform. PC games outsold Wii games and PS3 games in 2007 worldwide. The growth of casual and digital distribution is huge.

I do think that, as much as I'm proud of what we've done over the last year, the industry needed to get together and be more focused on communicating those messages. PC gaming's not dying because US retailers are selling 7 per cent less games than they did the year before...

Eurogamer: Is that why you've teamed up with Intel, AMD, Nvidia and others to form the PC Gaming Alliance?

Kevin Unangst: The PC Gaming Alliance is a consortium where we can get together to set the facts straight, and have a forum to address things like piracy - which frankly is a really tough issue on the PC compared to the console... We'll have a unified voice worldwide.

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