If there's been one common complaint against Xbox, it's the lack of story-driven experiences. As PlayStation delivers titles such as God of War and Uncharted, our community has shouted out for more. It seems the feedback is being heard, as Xbox boss Phil Spencer says there are more in the pipeline than ever in the history of Xbox.
Speaking to The Guardian, Spencer was asked whether there is room for more "traditional forms of narrative games" on Xbox. In response, he claimed that there's "more of those now than [there's ever] been in the history of Xbox", adding that "if it works, [they] get value out of bringing players into the ecosystem."
“I think we’re probably building more of those now than we’ve been in the history of Xbox. Platform holders, whether that platform is subscription or a hardware device or a store, are actively investing in new and probably more risky things, because, if it works, we get value out of bringing players into the ecosystem.”
Matt Booty, the head of Xbox Game Studios, added to this by explaining that developers "don’t have any direction or mandate that says every game has to be an ongoing, sustained game".
Instead, games are judged on a case-by-case basis. Xbox knows that teams such as Double Fine wouldn't be likely to operate by developing a project that runs on for multiple seasons and years, for example.
“We don’t have any direction or mandate that says every game has to be an ongoing, sustained game. Take [surrealist platforming game] Psychonauts: there might be a Psychonauts 3, but I’m not going to tell [designer] Tim Schafer to go make it. Knowing the history of games that he makes, I don’t think he’s going to be making a game that has seasons and goes on for five years.
“Sea of Thieves has longevity and we’re going to have Halo multiplayer start to be based around seasons, but Compulsion Games, our studio in Montreal, weren’t told to go build something that’s going to have seasons or six pieces of DLC or something. Tell Me Why was an important story for us to get out there, but there is no mandate that they’ve got to go figure out how to do seasons for that game.”
Spencer has previously said that Xbox's aim is to "become a strong global brand in all markets" over the next few years, but the team is more focused on building player engagement rather than relying on console sales.
There are already quite a few single-player focused titles in the pipeline for Xbox, such as Psychonauts 2, Senua's Saga: Hellblade II, and Starfield. The brand has an exciting future ahead, and it's good to see the perspective is focused on bringing a variety of different experiences to players through Xbox Game Pass.
Are you happy to see more narrative driven experiences come to Xbox? Let us know in the comments below.