Phil Spencer and Matt Booty predict that game development will expand worldwide in the near future, and Xbox Games Studios wants to be in the mix.
In a recent talk with The Guardian, Xbox heads Phil Spencer and Matt Booty stated that the publisher’s development efforts will likely expand to India, Africa, and South America in the coming years. Xbox Game Studios has heavily expanded at the start of the Series X generation thanks to its merger with Bethesda and its acquisition of Double Fine, Ninja Theory, and Obsidian among others. With so many internal studios under its belt, Xbox has turned the narrative around regarding its first-party output, although many big releases like Halo Infinite and Hellblade 2 are still to come.
In the meantime, Xbox has focused its efforts on bolstering Xbox Game Pass, a subscription service where players get access to all of Xbox’s first-party games as well as prominent third-party titles. 2021 has seen several blockbuster releases on the service, including this year’s entry in Sony’s MLB The Show series. With the release of Halo Infinite at the end of the year, that focus will shift slightly to 2022’s potential. If all goes well, it should be a year packed with Microsoft-developed games like Avowed, Redfall, and Starfield. After that, the company hopes to keep up production with multiple blockbusters every year, and that may require acquiring even more studios for the Xbox Games Studios family.
In an interview with The Guardian, Phil Spencer reiterated that Xbox was likely to purchase more studios in the future, and specified that one of them could be in parts of the world not currently associated with game development. Thanks to the wide accessibility of game engines and other tools, Spencer predicts that studios in India, Africa, South America, and more could spring up in “the next three to five years.” The article also goes in-depth on Xbox’s dedication to variety in the games it publishes. Phil Spencer makes it clear that they’re not interested in a model that purely pumps out service games at the expense of single-player stories and other forms of entertainment. Speaking about single-player games, Spencer even says that Xbox is building more games like that than ever before in the history of the publisher.
Matt Booty agrees with Spencer’s assessment, stating the vision is for Xbox to have large studios in at least one of those regions. Furthermore, Booty doesn’t want the studio to be a support staff for bigger titles, a subtle jab at organizations like Ubisoft that can have five to six teams working on one project. Booty wants studios building games that are catered towards the player base of the region where these studios are located, opening up new and exciting possibilities.
It’s clear that Xbox has a focus on blockbuster releases after a muted generation of less than exciting titles. It’s an exciting message, but one that has felt stalled because of the industry-wide delays throughout 2020. It seems that everyone is waiting for Halo Infinite’s release later this year for the real party to begin, but current Series X owners have more to look forward to. With Microsoft Flight Simulator and Psychonauts 2 on the horizon, Game Pass will have plenty of new blood throughout the rest of the year.
Source: The Guardian
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