Forums

Topic: Which Studios Should Microsoft Acquire Next?

Posts 61 to 80 of 121

KilloWertz

The only way I think these acquisitions end up being good is if they continue to target companies that are being run extremely poor like Activision and Konami and turn them back around. Then, contrary to what some are saying, it wouldn't be bad for the industry really.

It would be a bit ironic given how poorly Microsoft managed some of their acquisitions in the past like Rare, but it does seem like Microsoft has learned from past mistakes in that regard. If we get IPs revived that should have never died off and Call of Duty to be more than just a yearly cash cow that's a shell of it's former self, then I'd say bring it on.

Obviously my vote for the next one would be Konami.

Edited on by KilloWertz

PSN ID/Xbox Live Gamertag: KilloWertz
Switch Friend Code: SW-6448-2688-7386

Gamer83

@Ralizah
It's crazy. I remember a time when Konami was right up there in my favorites along with Nintendo, Sega and Capcom. It really is sad what happened to that company.

Edited on by Gamer83

Gamer83

Gamer83

@KilloWertz
I still don't fully blame MS for Rare. It did manage things poorly but I think Rare was on the decline before MS acquired it. Didn't seem like Nintendo was heartbroken at all to give up the part ownership it had.

Gamer83

Ralizah

Removed - inappropriate

Nintendo Switch FC: SW-2726-5961-1794

isturbo1984

In terms of the best fit, I'm still of the mind that WB is the best choice. Even more so than Activision, as massive as it was. For a lot of reasons, but most significantly for Travelers Tales and the exclusive rights to the Lego franchise in the game space (which comes with TT). TT Games is vastly underrated imo, and the prospect of Lego Halo or Lego Gears done with the same style and reverence to the upcoming SW Skywalker Saga would be nothing short of amazing.

@Gamer83
I disagree. Their last game with Nintendo is one of the best game releases imo, which is Star Fox Adventures. There is always some layoffs and shifting around whenever any company buys out another company, but enough to affect the overall chops of the studio? I always thought it was pretty clear Nintendo has a prejudice against Western companies. Which exists, see Square-Enix and how they have handled their Western devs.

"The Skeleton King, secret, post-credits 'true' final boss"
-Eldin Ring leaks

BAMozzy

I think Rare and numerous other 'casualties' of the 'pre-Game Pass' era are as a Consequence of the leadership, the 'side project' gaming was at MS and their Business model. When its based on Commercial success, commercial viability etc, then its a different ball game. Fable Legends probably wouldn't of been cancelled if Game Pass existed but with 'poor' XB1 sales at the time and lack of interest, the chances it sells enough to be 'successful' - especially a online game dependent on player base - that becomes too 'financially' risky to continue. Scalebound too may not of been cancelled but another year or two of 'funding' to get it ready to release on a platform struggling to sell may never of sold enough to recover costs.

With Game Pass, they need at least 1 'Big' Game every month to bring Subscribers in and then keep them Subscribed for 'next' month's big release and the next. Therefore it makes much more sense if EVERY studio is working on their own games. Ninja Theory pimped out the majority of their workforce to fund a small team making Hellblade - now they are ALL working on the Projects they are passionate about. Obsidian struggled with funding on Outer Worlds - now able to make Outer Worlds 2, Avowed etc - games they wanted, Double Fine, Compulsion, Undead Labs etc bought to make their 'own' games in their own 'style'.

When 'sales' aren't the 'dictator' of what projects get made/cancelled etc, that gives creative freedom to make the games the Studio's are passionate about. They aren't going to be 'mediocre' or just 'average' games but games that people want to play because the 'metric' isn't how many 'sales' it made, its how many people 'played', how much did they enjoy the experience and more importantly are they staying Subscribed to Game Pass and are our Subscription numbers growing.

As a result of this 'different' model and the 'need' to have as many studio's as possible making games for Game Pass - needing at least 12 big new releases a year - although also have Xbox Publishing as well and can always talk to other Publishers to negotiate multi-platform Day 1 Game Pass releases to fill in the gaps. That means MS need to foster creative freedom and EVERY studio working on their OWN projects - collaborating only to ensure that knowledge and experience is shared and each studio is fully supported to realise their ambition as quickly and smoothly as possible.

As for which Studio, or 'collection' of Studio's should MS target next. Warner Bros could be a 'great' target because those Studio's are all well respected and make 'great' games - however, they don't own many IP's as they are mostly 'film' licences which probably won't come with the deal. However, I think 'EA' would be the perfect 'next' acquisition from MS - owning ME, Dragonage, Titanfall, Battlefield and most importantly, EA Sports (Fifa) would be a MASSIVE statement of intent from MS. It would be the purchase that forces Sony and Nintendo to relent and put Game Pass on their Platform to 'boost' their Library of games so that MS can say their Games are available EVERYWHERE because Game Pass exists EVERYWHERE. It already exists everywhere except Playstation/Nintendo hardware so those gamers can play on their iOS/Android Phones with their Playstation/Nintendo controller - nothing MS owned if buying a Series S/X or owning a Windows PC is too much for them to cope with.

The loss of CoD revenue will 'hit' Sony - although CoD really can't continue the 'annual' cycle and the Community really unhappy with the state of new games anyway as Activision have milked it for all they can and Activisions crumbling reputation leading to more and more boycotting. So even if MS hadn't stepped in, things would change. Acquiring EA and Fifa though would be that 'nail' in the coffin that I think would literally force Sony/Nintendo into allowing Game Pass on their Platform. Its what MS wants MORE than 'Exclusives' for Xbox Consoles.

I see arguments about Why Sony/MS won't want their games on the others platform because then they 'won't' sell hardware - Why buy a Series X when Game Pass is on PS5 and Sony's has 'Exclusives' only on PS - well because on PS, all those Game Pass games (apart from maybe 'legacy' games CoD:Vanguard, CoD:ColdWar etc, Skyrim, Doom, Doom Eternal etc which all had PS ports) will have to 'stream' at 1080/60 because no Native Playstation Port exists to run them 'locally' on PS. So whilst you could play a 'new' Crash/Spyro game on PS5, streamed at 1080/60, its available at up to 4k/120 on Series X. Playstation could do something similar with Spartacus so Xbox owners could 'stream' Spider-Man, Wolverine etc at 1080/60 but PS5 owners can download and play at up to 4k/120 so a 'reason' to buy the Hardware.

Therefore, I think MS would want EA next if they have the chance. Going after Japanese studio's/publishers for Japanese style games could be a 'good' move but forming Partnerships with those Companies and giving them the 'reach' MS has - especially if Game Pass numbers in Japan climb above the number of PS/Nintendo hardware in Japan so can reach 'more' Japanese gamers, may well be 'good' enough for now. Ubisoft too have had 'bad' press, fought off aggressive take-overs etc and has 'great' IP's too so I could see them targetted too but I think EA would literally force Sony's hand into allowing Game Pass and maybe Ubisoft would push Nintendo more.

Of course there could be 'opportunities' to acquire some other Studio's to bring into their portfolio - some independent studio's they see as a 'perfect' fit to their plans - Studio's with their own 'unique' style or brand of gaming. 'FromSoftware is a 'perfect' example whose portfolio of games are all 'uniquely' FromSoftware games - as is Bethesda who make 'Bethesda' games or Arcane, or Double Fine. Not saying they will buy FromSoftware - but that's the 'type' of Studio they will want. IP's are some of the 'biggest' assets too which probably rules out WB - at least until they feel they have enough IP's that those Studio's 'could' work on if they don't have a 'new' IP idea of their own after making DC/Harry Potter etc games. EA would come with 'incredible' IP's and most importantly, a suite of 'Sports' games inc Fifa. Therefore, with MS's close partnership and supporting PC where EA are also 'Strong' (C&C, RPG's etc) that would give them an 'edge' too there...

A pessimist is just an optimist with experience!

Why can't life be like gaming? Why can't I restart from an earlier checkpoint??

Feel free to add me but please send a message so I know where you know me from...

Xbox Gamertag: bamozzy

LtSarge

Xbox users have been getting creative over at Twitter:

Untitled
Untitled
Untitled

While Take-Two's IPs are appealing, such as GTA, Borderlands, BioShock, Mafia and so on, the thing is that Microsoft doesn't really need more Western games. Not to mention that Rockstar is only a shell of its former self. The last original game they released was Red Dead Redemption 2 back in 2018, and before that it was GTA 5 in 2013 if I'm not mistaken. God knows when we're going to get the next GTA. Right now, Microsoft needs studios that can deliver games relatively quickly in order to bolster Game Pass.

Which is why the other two companies, Capcom and Square Enix, are more appealing. And I mean, just look at the banners. So many great franchises! It's going to be interesting to see if Sony or Microsoft will acquire Square Enix because I think it's inevitable at this point.

LtSarge

BAMozzy

@LtSarge I know those Japanese studio's have great IP's and would be 'excellent' acquisitions for MS - especially to get a 'bigger' foot hold in Japan, but I think if they acquired EA and 'Fifa', the other massive seller on Playstation, that could really push Sony into allowing Game Pass on their hardware. EA also do a few PC games too so beneficial to Game Pass for PC. Imagine the IP's that could be exclusive, Battlefield, Fifa, Madden, Mass Effect, Titanfall, Dragonage, the Sims, Dead Space etc...

I also think that a Purchase of EA would have a 'bigger' impact on Sony who probably have 'long' term deals with Square that MS would honour and it doesn't seem like Capcom have many Studio's working on games based on how few Capcom releases we get - but a lot of great IP's so would that really 'benefit' more than an EA? I think EA would put much more 'pressure' on Sony to allow MS to put Game Pass on PS. MS ultimately want their games 'EVERYWHERE' and 'Exclusive' to Game Pass (which sounds a bit Contradictory) but right now, they are 'Exclusive' to Game Pass and 'Available' everywhere Game Pass exists. Phil doesn't keep saying 'Exclusive' to Xbox', its Exclusive to platforms that 'support' Game Pass. Of course if Game Pass were to come to Sony, that wouldn't mean that PS5 is 'better' than a Series S to play 'Starfield' for example because on Series S, you'll be able to 'download' and play the game locally on the hardware to get 1440p where as the PS5 could only 'stream' it at 1080p because 'no' native PS5 port of that game would exist.

TakeTwo have some great games and we all know that GTA5 is a 'massive' selling game -but its not about 'sales' really anymore with Game Pass. If people sign up to Game Pass to play GTA6 for example, then it probably won't be the 'biggest' selling game of the year. It will be some other multi-platform published game that doesn't release on Game Pass so everyone has to buy therefore, it will probably be the biggest selling.

Game Pass isn't about the 'commercial' success of a game. To be 'successful', it has to be 'player' focussed first and foremost because the 'objective' is to make games that people want to play so much that they would subscribe to Game Pass. The player enjoyment and engagement is much more important than sales data (look at Cyberpunk - commercially successful!). Not only do you 'need' great games to get people in, you need great games EVERY month to keep them Subscribed. Therefore its not about how 'commercially' successful they are but about how many people played it, how engaged they were, are they staying Subscribed and are our Subscriptions growing.

Its not about buying 'IP's' or necessarily 'Commercial' success stories like CoD but buying 'studio's' with their own ideas, their own style or characteristics etc to make the games they want. Every current studio at MS has their own projects and 'own' style. The Initiative and Playground may have Perfect Dark & Fable but both are 'new' studio's. Playground created a '2nd' Studio to work on an Open World RPG so 'new' and had only done 'Racing' games before so I can understand them taking those 'beloved' IP's and bringing their 'own' identity to those games. 343 is 'halo', Coalition is Gears so have their 'unique' style too. Ninja Theory have their 'own' thing with Hellblade and Project Mara, Compulsion, Undead Labs, Mojang, Rare, Obsidian, inXile etc - all doing their 'own' thing, making the games they want. The Zenimax deal is a 'perfect' fit too as their studio's also retain their 'own' identity and style. Bethesda, Arcane, Tango, Machine, ID etc all make their own 'style' of games. An Arcane game is 'recognisable' from a Bethesda or ID game so they will 'slot' into the Game Pass/MS model easily.

A/B may well be more problematic with those studio's all pushed into CoD, but ultimately, they will all have their own 'identity' making their own style of games for Game Pass. One studio may well end up as 'the' CoD Studio (like Mojang is for Minecraft) or maybe they create a 'new' CoD studio from those IW, Treyarch, Sledgehammer etc studio's that wish to carry on making CoD but the rest will be encouraged and helped to make their own game and if their 'ideas' are a good fit for an 'existing' IP that MS own, they can use it if it helps them have a 'focussed' direction but equally, if they have their own ideas for a 'new' IP, they'll be supported to do that too.

WB wouldn't come with DC/Harry Potter etc licenses, but their Studio's have great reputations so could be a 'better' buy than a publisher with a lot of IP's but 'few' studio's. Game Pass requires big 'new' games - at least 12 a year/1 a month and having more Studio's, even if they have to make their 'own' new IP, is better than having a lot of IP's but not enough Studio's to make the games.

I think if MS can force Nintendo/Sony to support Game Pass, they instantly have significantly higher reach in Japan too. Look at sales of Switch and PS5 compared to Xbox. With Nintendo, they have a fantastic, hand held portable gaming system that could stream MANY games it couldn't even play because of hardware limitations and 60fps Doom/Wolfenstein with much better 'visuals' because you're playing the Series X version, super sampled down to 1080/60 and then reduced down to 720p on the screen so looks and runs significantly 'better' on Game Pass - if your Wifi can handle it. Get people 'subscribing' on Nintendo/PS5 in Japan and that instantly improves MS's Japanese 'reach' and opens up conversations amongst Japanese Devs about putting their games into Game Pass to reach 'everyone', not just PS or Nintendo gamers, but everyone worldwide...

A pessimist is just an optimist with experience!

Why can't life be like gaming? Why can't I restart from an earlier checkpoint??

Feel free to add me but please send a message so I know where you know me from...

Xbox Gamertag: bamozzy

Magabro

Microsoft will not make another gigaton acquisition on the same scale as Activision Blizzard (that doesn't rule out a megaton purchase on the scale of Bethesda, though). Buying ABK was an opportunity that only happened because of the massive crisis the company has fallen into. Lawsuits, controversy, games being delayed due to lots of workers leaving, diminishing YoY sales... That led to Activision losing almost half of its value in one year, which created a unique oportunity for an acquisition.

Activision wanted to sell, and that makes things easier. Trying a hostile takeover against a major company that doesn't want to sell would be very controversial and would taint Microsoft's image after they spent the past couple decades trying to repair it.

Maybe Ubisoft could be the next in line for an acquisition, since it's being hit by similar issues as Activision, but I doubt Microsoft would try to acquire the French publisher while Activision's purchase is still being reviewed by the government. That would only increase the fears of a monopoly in the making. And within 12 to 18 months from now, who knows if Ubi will get their act together or be acquired by another big fish?

I think at the moment Microsoft should focus on buying a medium-sized Japanese developer, in order to fill that void in its porfolio or try to get some individual studios to work on specific franchises/genres. Maybe one studio for Killer Instinct, one for Banjo, one for remastering classic games...

Magabro

Xbox Gamertag: Magabro5382

BAMozzy

@Magabro Microsoft are a LONG way from becoming a Monopoly that Governments would need to look at closely. As a 'Gaming' Company, this deal would still leave them behind TenCent and Sony and move MS up to 3rd above Nintendo. However, apart from these '4' companies, there are EA, Ubisoft, Square Enix, Capcom, TakeTwo, Sega, Bandai Namco, Capcom etc as well as numerous others like Facebook, Amazon, Google and of course Steam which has MANY exclusives that never come to Console.

Therefore Gaming is a LONG way from becoming a Monopoly. If MS own the vast majority of Studio's making games and only a 'few' others exist, then I think you can start thinking about Monopolies but in terms of the 'big' picture, its not like only having 3 or 4 Mobile Providers with one trying to buy another - thus 'reducing' the choice and one becoming a 'monopoly'. Just because MS may own the 'biggest' IP in recent years and 'could' make that 'exclusive' to Game Pass, its not stopping ANY other Studio/Publisher from making a multi-platform 'competitor', not stopping Sony from making a competitor etc so 'alternatives' can exist. MS don't own the FPS genre even if they own some of the most popular FPS IP's.

Most of the talk about the 'legality' of the A/B deal has come from 'butt hurt' gamers fearing that their 'beloved' Playstation will now not get their 'beloved' CoD every year. However, all Legal experts and Lawyers say this is so far away from triggering any 'Monopoly' commission because there is still a LOT of competition from other Gaming Publishers The size of all the others significantly outweigh the size of MS's gaming division and in terms of revenue would make them '3rd' behind Sony and TenCent so very unlikely to be 'prevented'.

MS also have $60bn they have to spend by the end of their Fiscal year or end up paying a lot more in Tax. Of course they don't have to invest purely in new Gaming Studio's/Publishers as MS have other interests too but if the right opportunity comes up, I still expect them to take it. We all thought that $7.5bn last year was a lot and that would 'keep' MS quiet for a while to recuperate that money - a year later $70bn on A/B.

I agree, I'd like to see a Capcom, Sega or Bandai Namco purchase because of their IP's and the possibility of gaining more Japanese type games over yet more 'western' games that MS already has well covered with their own franchises. Apart from 'EA Sports' games, MS has FPS's (so don't need Titanfall, Battlefield, Medal of Honour or Battlefront), have RPGs from fantasy to Scifi, (so don't need Dragonage, Mass Effect etc) and with their relatively close partnership anyway, don't 'need' to acquire when Game Pass already offers EA Play.

However, from the perspective of 'Game Pass', EA makes more sense because of EA Sports/Fifa, impact of that globally, the number of Studio's that would bring in to make their 'own' games, and pressure that could exert on both Sony & Nintendo to try and get Game Pass on their hardware. As good as RE its not as if these games are coming yearly, accounting for a large chunk of revenue to Sony. They aren't exactly releasing a 'lot' of games every year so buying Capcom for 'IP's' predominantly isn't going to benefit Game Pass 'long term' as MS still need Studio's making those games. I don't really know how many actual Studio's Capcom or Square have.

I think that an 'EA' would get MS where they 'want' to be quicker than other purchases. They 'want' their games available EVERYWHERE Game Pass exists and right now, the only place they can't reach is the Sony Playstation and Nintendo Switch platforms. If you game on Mobile/tablet or PC (as the majority do), Game Pass is available. The Series S/X will get 'native' game support as its a MS platform but Game Pass and 'next gen' games can be played on Last Gen consoles and PC/Laptop's those games would never 'release' or work well on. I think that 'EA' particularly EA Sports (Fifa/Madden etc) would be the deal that gets Sony to allow Game Pass on their platform.

That could lead to a Capcom/Bandai Namco/Sega purchase or at the very least a much better partnership with those Japanese Publishers. Knowing their games will still be 'playable' on Switch/Playstation- the 'dominant' console hardware in Japan as well as Xbox hardware, PC & Mobile would be much more appealing than just 'Xbox' with its comparatively low Japanese reach.

For Switch, Game Pass could be a 'Godsend' to both Nintendo and MS. For Nintendo, it gives them a much bigger library of games and games that essentially look and run a damn site better than they do natively. Take Doom or Wolfenstein with all those visual concessions as well as limited to 30fps but with Game Pass could stream Series X visuals super sampled down to 1080p (docked - 720p portable mode) and 60fps. For MS, it obviously benefits them too by having more 'reach' and a 'dedicated' Portable Gaming platform for Game Pass which would help Nintendo sell more 'Switch' too.

Its NOT about keeping games Exclusively away from Playstation/Nintendo - Maybe not 'every' IP will be available on GP for PS5/Switch - the likes of Halo/Forza/Gears etc but games like new Crash/Spyro/CoD from A/B, New Doom, Quake, Elder Scrolls from Zenimax - as well as ALL those 'old' multi-platform releases could be on Game Pass - its about making Game Pass available 'EVERYWHERE' So people EVERYWHERE can play the Games they want on the Hardware they have and to do that, they have to get Sony/Nintendo to agree to allow them to put Game Pass on their hardware.

Convincing Sony/Nintendo to do that maybe isn't 'easy' when they think about the way their 'revenue' works and 'selling' subscriptions, not that you have to do it through Sony's Store so don't get 'revenue' that way, isn't a 'convincing' argument when CoD and Fifa both sell so well. Of course Sony's PS5 has its own USP's anyway - their First Party Studio's, their IP's and critically acclaimed games 'ONLY' on Playstation (same as Nintendo with their games) will see Sony still be strong and successful. Both Switch and PS5 have other USP's not available from 'Microsoft' hardware too - Switch is that 'hybrid' hand-held console that allows you to play 'anywhere' and Sony's hardware will have Virtual Reality (PSVR2) so offer 'unique' console Experiences you won't get on Xbox so both will be fine and by having Game Pass, more Competitive too. Without it, it becomes All those 'exclusives' on Xbox as the only Game Pass platform vs those on PS5 vs Switch Exclusives but with SOME IPs playable through Game Pass on PS5, you aren't missing out so much so may opt for PS5+Game Pass instead of Xbox+Game Pass...

Edited on by BAMozzy

A pessimist is just an optimist with experience!

Why can't life be like gaming? Why can't I restart from an earlier checkpoint??

Feel free to add me but please send a message so I know where you know me from...

Xbox Gamertag: bamozzy

K1LLEGAL

@LtSarge I mean each of those banners is glorious but that Square Enix one 👌🔥…

However I really can see Sony purchasing them. Unfortunate for Xbox but they just seem to have such a close relationship. Seemed like it was going well for Xbox + SE though with DQXI, Builders 2, Octopath, and the Final Fantasy/KH games on gamepass. But that all seems to have lost momentum a bit.

Also surprised that Take 2 banner doesn’t have Borderlands representing. Or does Gearbox (Under Embracer group) own those?

Edited on by K1LLEGAL

https://youtube.com/channel/UCD-3o2EEiJcF3KpTxgD97EQ

https://www.instagram.com/thelovelysnack/

LtSarge

@K1LLEGAL I do think a lot more people would be happier with Sony buying Square Enix, even if that means their franchises would be limited to PS5 compared to Xbox, PC and Cloud with Microsoft. But the fact that the PlayStation division has become more "Westernised" has made me think that Sony might not even care about Square Enix to begin with.

I think 2K owns Borderlands, so it could've been included in the banner. But I think the person who made it was basing it off Microsoft's banners. The Activision Blizzard one for example doesn't have Crash or Spyro in it, but Candy Crush is up there, probably because it's more popular. Take-Two franchises like NBA 2K is more popular than Borderlands, so I guess that's why they chose it.

Edited on by LtSarge

LtSarge

KilloWertz

@LtSarge PlayStation is still very close with Square Enix though, paying twice for timed exclusivity for Final Fantasy 7 Remake and a 2 year window for Forspoken. It is true that they are more Western focused now, but they don't see likely to forget about Square Enix anytime soon.

PSN ID/Xbox Live Gamertag: KilloWertz
Switch Friend Code: SW-6448-2688-7386

Bolt_Strike

BAMozzy wrote:

@Magabro Microsoft are a LONG way from becoming a Monopoly that Governments would need to look at closely. As a 'Gaming' Company, this deal would still leave them behind TenCent and Sony and move MS up to 3rd above Nintendo. However, apart from these '4' companies, there are EA, Ubisoft, Square Enix, Capcom, TakeTwo, Sega, Bandai Namco, Capcom etc as well as numerous others like Facebook, Amazon, Google and of course Steam which has MANY exclusives that never come to Console.

That's... not a lot of developers, certainly much less than there were 10+ years ago. MS could probably buy all of them in about 5-10 years if they wanted. That still wouldn't quite be a monopoly, but that would make it an oligopoly with the concept of a third party studio being almost nonexistent though, and that's a dangerous precedent for the industry. Not technically a monopoly but that would create a similar feeling and tactics can easily lead to that kind of environment.

Honestly it would be better for the whole industry if Microsoft just made their own freaking IPs instead of just buying other companies' IPs. In addition to the monopoly/oligopoly concerns, it's not really good for Microsoft either to just buy up IPs. If the IPs or developers don't really fit Microsoft's culture then they'd end up ruining them, this is what happened with Rare and now they're sitting on most of their IPs because they wouldn't let Rare be Rare. The same thing could happen with Bethesda and Activision/Blizzard. It'd be better for Microsoft to build up their IPs and developers that fit the culture of both the company and its fans.

Bolt_Strike

BomberBlur07

I don't want them to buy Capcom, their games are good when they are multiplatform. SqEnix, Konami or Sega would be cool though.

Edited on by BomberBlur07

BomberBlur07

K1LLEGAL

Konami is that one company that actually needs to be bought. If Microsoft doesn’t do it; I wouldn’t blame Sony at all for picking them up. As long as whoever acquires them actually uses the IP.

https://youtube.com/channel/UCD-3o2EEiJcF3KpTxgD97EQ

https://www.instagram.com/thelovelysnack/

BAMozzy

@Bolt_Strike It costs a lot more in time and money building up a 'new' Studio from scratch. You can't just open a premise 'somewhere' as a 'new' Studio with all 'new' gear for developers to come in and start creating games and expect to recruit a 'full' team from scratch and get them 'making' games. It takes months and months. They actually did 'create' a 'new' Studio - the Initiative though and still waiting to see 'anything' from them, and even hear Crystal Dynamics have been 'pulled in' to help.

What happened with Rare, or ANY studio at MS before 'Phil Spencers' reign and the switch from Side project console focussed gaming that MS was to the Game Pass Focussed fully backed by MS it is now is a legacy of that 'management' and approach of that time. Under Game Pass, there is NO way Fable Legends gets cancelled but it was because of 'escalating costs, poor XB1 sales and low interest which 'combined' makes it too risky to make because it may not 'sell' enough to the 'small' XB1 community to justify continuing - Same with Scalebound (predict it to sell a 'few' million to the 'few' XB1 customers - not enough to cover the 'extra' cost to finish development.

Under the 'old' (or Traditional) Console format where 'Sales' are important, that can stifle creative freedom (as we see across the industry). The studio's have 'creative' ideas but the Publisher wants the projects that will sell the most - hence Sequels, hence reboots, spin-offs, huge 'licences' or 'trend' games. Much easy to sell a 'new' game with a 'familiar' name (Marvel, Star Wars, Assassins Creed, CoD, Halo, Forza etc) and/or try and jump on the latest trends (Battle Royale). If a publisher doesn't feel that idea/project is going to be financially beneficial or too risky they won't greenlight it or 'cancel' (look at Days Gone 2) and that is essentially why Activision ended up with basically every studio working on CoD because their own projects were not as 'financially' rewarding to the Publisher. Excellent Crash remaster, not as 'commercially' successful as CoD so put that Studio into making sure CoD releases on schedule every year instead. Activision was 'extreme' but that's the way 'success' is 'measured' - in Sales. CoD is the 'best' game because it sells the most blah, blah, blah. Sales have little bearing on the quality or enjoyment of a 'game' - look at how Critically and/or publicly acclaimed games sell, Cyberpunk was a 'very successful' game.

Under Game Pass, the metrics are 'very different'. Its not about how well a game sells as its not really being 'sold' - its about player engagement, how many 'new' subs joined this month to play these games, how engaged were they? Did they play an hour, 10, 100hrs? Are they staying Subscribed? Ot puts the entire focus on Player 'engagement' instead of 'Sales'. As for 'creative freedom for 'EVERY' studio, Game Pass offers that - they can take the 'experimental' financially risky option, put it on Game Pass and see if people 'enjoyed' it and want 'more'. What matters most is that 'EVERY' studio is 'supported' to make the games they want to make so that Game Pass has as many 'new' games coming as possible so they don't need to go to 'other' publishers to get 'big' new releases into Game Pass to fill in gaps.

Ideally, Game Pass requires at least 12 games a year, at least 1 every month that not only 'brings' in new Subscribers every month, but also keeps existing Subscribers every month. They don't want you to subscribe for a 'month or two', play some games, cancel for months until there is another 'game' or two, they want to 'keep' you subscribed with 'new' games. With 30+ studio's, that's 30+ games. Every studio has its 'own' identity to. Bethesda, Arcane, Double Fine, Obsidian, Ninja Theory etc are 'all' making their 'own' games in their 'own' style because that's what MS, under Phil Spencer and the Game Pass model wants and 'needs'.

No way Sea of Thieves would of been a 'success' without Game Pass. Having to rely on Sales would of been a 'Flop' because I doubt more than a couple of million at best would of 'bought' Sea of Thieves and as its community dwindled, the game would have died. Under Game Pass, people tried it, enjoy it and has been played by over 23m players. MS were 'happy' if Sea of Thieves never 'sold' a single copy as long as Game Pass grows and those Game Pass players are 'happy' with their range and variety of games.

Its a completely different model - not based on 'commercial' success as the 'sales' to non-subscribers are more 'bonus' figures on top. Its based on giving individual studio's a platform to make the games they want and to reach gamers 'everywhere' (except Playstation/Switch platforms as they 'refuse' to allow Game Pass). Ideally, every studio would be making a 'new' game for Game Pass on their own but if they need 'help/expertise' from the vast array of talent, they have 'support' to. Games can't be 'mediocre' either as that won't pull people in and keep them subscribed...

What this means is that studio's like Rare or 'Toys for Bob', High Moon etc, Studio's that have become a
shadow of their 'former' selves will be able to have that 'creative' freedom to make the 'games' they are passionate about. They want you to be 'excited' for the 'new' game from Rare, from Bethesda, from Double Fine, from Beenox etc just like being excited for a new Naughty Dog, Guerilla etc.

If you look at 'EVERY' Studio MS now owns, the games those 'studio's' are making, MS's own 'mission' statement and values and how everything they have said and done is all geared towards 'individual' studio's with their 'own' culture/identity, making games for the 'gamer' (as its all about bringing 'gamers' into Game Pass and 'keeping' them subscribed with great games) without the pressure of 'commercial' success (have to sell 10m copies to be a 'success').

343 make Halo, Coalition - Gears, Turn 10 - Forza Sim, Mojang - Minecraft, Bethesda - Starfield, ES6, Arcane - Redfall, Deathloop, Undead Labs - State of Decay, Rare - Sea of Thieves, Everwild etc. Ninja Theory had to pimp out most of their studio staff so they could 'fund' their passion project - Hellblade, now under MS, they are ALL working on their passion project(s), Hellblade 2 and Project Mara - Games that are 'Ninja Theory' games. Obsidian struggled to get adequate funding and support for Outer Worlds but under MS, can now make Avowed and Outer Worlds 2. InXile, Compulsion, Double Fine, Tango, ID, Machine games etc all have their 'own' studio identity and all making their 'own' games. Playground wanted to start a 2nd studio to make a 'new' open world RPG, MS acquired them, helped them build up their 2nd studio and 'offered' them Fable to give them a focussed direction. The Initiative, a new studio, may of taken Perfect Dark because the IP helps them too. In both cases, its 'new' studio's (I know Playground aren't new as such but their 2nd studio is and their first is known for Racing games) so having 'old' IP's attached to these raises the excitement and hype. A new open world RPG at a time when RPG's are everywhere, from a studio known for racing - not much hype/excitement, make that RPG a return to Fable and instant Hype. Same with Perfect Dark.

Anyway, the entire 'point' of Game Pass is to give 'individual' studio's a LOT more 'creative freedom' to make the games they want, not creatively stifled because of the 'need 'to be Sales successes and for us, the consumer, as many 'great' games as they can every month. If MS can't make '12' great games a month (not crunching or pushing out mediocre releases) then they have 'Xbox Publishing' to bring projects other publishers wouldn't green light because of 'commercial viability' from 3rd Party Studios - like Contraband by Avalanche and maybe that Kojima project that has been rumoured for quite some time now. Failing that, MS then have to approach 3rd Party Publishers to negotiate deals to put their games on Game Pass day1 (MLB, Outriders etc) to fill in gaps they can't fill themselves. Therefore, MS want 'individual' studio's ALL making their own games so they don't need to negotiate with others to have a big game coming to Game Pass every month...

You can't 'judge' MS on things they did 'under' different management with 'different' business models determining decisions. Its only 'recently' that MS stopped treating the 'Xbox' as some 'little side project' for a 'small' community of 'gamers' to MS are 'fully' committed to Gaming and the massive Community and leading entertainment medium Gaming is now. That alone changes things a LOT, then couple that with the Game Pass model that removes 'commercial' viability to allow creative freedom and a more player focussed metric that puts much more emphasis on having great individual 'games' over 2 or 3 big selling games a year. Activision 'dried' up creatively and output wise because CoD made 'more' money than any other game so to 'keep' milking it, keep churning out 'new game after new game', those studio's got swallowed up. Why make a new High Moon game when High Moon can help make CoD come out every year and make more money than if we 'miss' the annual release but release more games. Game Pass is literally the antithesis of A/B.

Game Pass is a Developer and Player focused platform. For the Developer, it gives them creative freedom to make the games they want and a large player base on 'any' platform (except PS/Switch) that have no 'barrier' to try their games. The only metrics that matter are 'player focussed' - how many tried, how many played through or dropped out after an hour, did Subscription numbers 'grow' are Gamers 'happy' with the quality of the games, are people staying Subbed. MS wants 'every' studio, making the 'games' they want not 4 or 5 studio's working on 1 game. Because of this, I am no longer concerned about Rare, although do realise that 'decisions' made under different management and business models have left Rare as a 'different' studio to what they were and may take time for 'new' Rare to get back to the Status they once commanded - and to do that, they need to make 'new' games that people love consistently and that takes 'time' as Sea of Thieves was the First Day1 Game Pass 1st Party release (with over 23m people that have played so a 'success'), its not exactly a 'lot' to judge on yet. Maybe in 10yrs, people may look back and say Rare are 'back' but with the Game Pass model still relatively 'new', and games taking 'years' (especially with the last couple of years impacting development), its going to take 'time' to see the 'full' picture but even now, you can see a 'pattern' emerging as more and more studio's complete their legacy games from prior to acquisition purchase, to becoming an 'independent' Xbox Studio making their 'own' game for Xbox Game Pass and that 'wealth' of talent/resources to call upon if help/support is needed to realise that ambition

A pessimist is just an optimist with experience!

Why can't life be like gaming? Why can't I restart from an earlier checkpoint??

Feel free to add me but please send a message so I know where you know me from...

Xbox Gamertag: bamozzy

BomberBlur07

@K1LLEGAL Yeah, I wouldn't mind Sony or Nintendo buying Konami, they just need to be bought and fixed ASAP.

BomberBlur07

LtSarge

So I want to flip things around and ask you guys: do you think one of the companies outside of the big three will acquire a major publisher soon and if so, who will be the first one? For example, Facebook, Apple, Google, Amazon, Netflix and so on.

With the rumour that Apple is poaching Xbox engineers and that EA will be the next publisher to be acquired, with one of the potential suitors being Apple, I do think Apple might be the first one outside of the big three to make a major acquisition and possibly even acquire EA.

The reason why I bring up this topic is because it would be interesting to see people's reactions when it's not Microsoft making a huge acquisition and instead a company that they have zero interest in.

Edited on by LtSarge

LtSarge

LtSarge

So today we found out that Sega is exiting the arcade business and I remember there were discussions about a year ago that Sega had financial problems and we were talking about it here how it could be acquired by Microsoft. The problem though was that it was still in the arcade business back then but now that they're leaving it, I wonder if an acquisition is looking more likely now.

I know that Sega isn't as attractive for Microsoft as Square Enix and Capcom, but if it's the only one of the three that is looking to be sold, then this would be a good opportunity for Microsoft to acquire it.

Looking at the IPs and studios, Microsoft would be getting some pretty good ones. Sega obviously has Sonic, as well as Yakuza, Judgment, Persona and Shin Megami Tensei, which would be great Japanese franchises to add to Game Pass. They also have some great studios like Creative Assembly and Relic Entertainment, who work on strategy games like Total War and Company of Heroes respectively. I also didn't realise that Relic worked together with Xbox Game Studios' World's Edge in order to develop Age of Empires IV, so it would make a lot of sense for Microsoft to acquire Sega in order to secure another studio for Age of Empires. Sega also has Football Manager, which I know a lot of people here likes. Moreover, it seems that Atlus has been working a long time with Vanillaware to publish their games like Dragon's Crown and 13 Sentinels. If Microsoft could somehow secure Vanillaware as well (since they're independent) or at least let Atlus continue publish their titles but on Xbox this time, there would be even more great Japanese titles to add to Game Pass.

Not to mention all the classic Sega IPs that Microsoft might bring back, such as Nights, Jet Set Radio, Golden Axe, Shinobi, Shining Force and so on. Imagine if Microsoft owned Banjo-Kazooie, Conker, Crash, Spyro AND Sonic. They honestly wouldn't need more platformers at that point.

The key takeaway from a Sega acquisition is that Microsoft would be able to revive so many dormant IPs that are simply being wasted right now because Sega doesn't have anyone to work on them. Although we have seen IPs that have been outsourced, such as Streets of Rage, Alex Kidd and even Shenmue. So clearly, Sega wants them to be used.

Having thought about this more, I honestly think Sega would also be a great fit for Xbox Game Studios. Not to mention that Microsoft has been primarily choosing publishers recently who have been experiencing issues of some kind. ZeniMax had financial problems, Activision Blizzard has been in many scandals as of late, and Sega might also have financial issues. So it does make a lot of sense for Microsoft to acquire them given this pattern.

Edited on by LtSarge

LtSarge

Please login or sign up to reply to this topic