As was reported by Bloomberg around two hours ago, Phil Spencer has revealed a bit more of Microsoft’s road-map for Xbox’s near future. It seems Microsoft is going back to opening and buying new game studios for renewed in house development.
Prior to and even during Phil’s time as the head of all things Xbox related, Microsoft has opted to shut down partner studios. The most famous (for me at least) case of this is Lionhead Studios, of course. Lionhead’s circumstances were chronicled here in what remains my favorite video game news article of all time.
That said, I feel Phil has lead Xbox in a positive direction and if bringing some studios under Microsoft’s umbrella secures excellent gaming opportunities for the future, then I’m all for it. Certainly, it’s demonstrable that studios brought under the larger game company umbrellas (Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo) and given both proper funding and creative license develop some of the most memorable and notable games out there. Halo, Gears of War, God of War, Uncharted, Bloodborne, Zelda, Mario….these are just a few examples of games or IP’s being published with console exclusivity that were better off for having done so.
There was also mention of an Xbox streaming service in the near future in the article, by the way…
Anyway, here are some quotes I’ve cherry picked from the Bloomberg article:
“We need to grow, and I look forward to doing that,” Spencer said. “Our ability to go create content has to be one of our strengths. We haven’t always invested at the same level. We’ve gone through ups and downs in the investment.” Microsoft on Tuesday will start selling the Xbox One X, a high-end console targeted at hard-core gamers.
While software and services are becoming more important, the console isn’t near death yet. It’s still best for gamer enthusiasts and the top games, and will remain so for quite some time. But Microsoft will probably debut a streaming service that doesn’t require a console for some types of content in the next three years, Spencer said. A 2012 trial of such a service inside the company was too costly and never made it to the market, but Microsoft’s progress in Azure cloud services over the past few years is changing the economics and quality level, he said.