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Default Microsoft - Phil Spencer interview on First Party Games and Monetisation

October 29th, 2020, 03:05
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.
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October 29th, 2020, 10:10
That was a well-done interview. "The Microsoft thinking" has become a whole lot healthier during the last decade…I hope the trend continues
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October 29th, 2020, 16:32
Translated the title for you: Microsoft - Phil Spencer interview on First Party Games and Money Laundering.
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SSI Gold Box-style game, we are working on.
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October 29th, 2020, 17:05
Long time reader of the site and recent member.
Dropped Frames (Gaming Podcast) on Twitch interviewed Phil. Great interview.
I'm not sure if links are allowed or if my account has enough usage to.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcgOloVN-xk
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