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MGS' General Manager on What the Future Holds


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#1 Xbox-Scene

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 06:09 PM

MGS' General Manager on What the Future Holds
Posted by XanTium | November 10 12:09 EST | News Category: Xbox360
 
From developmag.com:


Bungie jumped, Bizarre was bought, and Bioware went to EA. If you believe the pundits, the past month has been tumultuous and troublesome for Microsoft Game Studios' as its development partners go elsewhere. But MGS general manager Phil Spencer would beg to differ...

* What does the Bungie move say about Microsoft's attitude towards acquisitions - are you moving away from them?
* There's really no formula we're running at Redmond saying how many in-house or independents we want to have. It's on a case-by-case basis and looking at the kinds of games or relationships we want to have. If a studio came to us today with an idea we'd talk to them about what they want to get out of the idea, what we as a publisher want out of it, and then build the business relationship between the two to make sure we both get what we want. I remember about five years ago I was sat in Las Vegas with Epic about a game called 'Warfare' - which turned into Gears of War - and talking about our relationship, and working out that relationship from the beginning to make sure that the end result was something we'd both be happy with. So that's one example which has been fruitful but doesn't mean we have to own them. Of course there are partners like Rare or Lionhead, a more recent acquisition, were you end up at a different result but still have the same great relationship.

* But with the Bioware, Bizarre and Bungie news, many have speculated that it's a sign of weakness on MGS' part. One news site said the foundation of Microsoft Game Studios seems to be "built on quicksand".
* I will say - and I mean it respectfully - that I find it all a little humorous. I don't think people sometimes completely understand the relationship between a publisher and a developer. But I know what our relationships with our partners are, and I know the collaboration. I think speculation is fine - it's good to have smart people talking about what's going on. But I think this time next year, when we're sat here talking about a great Banjo game or a great Fable game, or other upcoming games, it will all be a distant memory. I understand the speculation - but quicksand in our foundations? No way.


Full Interview: developmag.com






#2 HotKnife420

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 05:59 PM

About halfway through reading this, I discovered that MGS wasn't abbreviating Metal Gear Solid, but rather Microsoft Game Studios.... who EVER calls them MGS (rhetoric)?

#3 JCDenton@AS

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 06:00 PM

i dont get it... So is there going to be halo for the ps3?

#4 metalcoat

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 06:14 PM

No halo for ps3, microsoft still owns the rights to halo and that will never change, basically its just so bungie can get more profits from the games they make.

#5 88 Ecko Unltd 88

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 06:23 PM

i think they made a mistake of droping bungi but thats M$ dry.gif

#6 Mattssogay

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 06:56 PM

QUOTE(88 Ecko Unltd 88 @ Nov 10 2007, 01:59 PM) View Post

i think they made a mistake of droping bungi but thats M$ dry.gif



They didn't drop bungie...bungie is still hard at work on the next game set in the halo universe (Collaboration with Peter Jackson)

Also microsoft still retains first refusal to any games bungie produces. If bungie makes something else amazing or not they get first crack at it.

It seems to make sense on both sides microsoft gets to publish bungies games. And bungie gets whatever freedoms were not disclosed in their agreement.


#7 bucko

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 07:40 PM

QUOTE(HotKnife420 @ Nov 10 2007, 05:35 PM) View Post

About halfway through reading this, I discovered that MGS wasn't abbreviating Metal Gear Solid, but rather Microsoft Game Studios.... who EVER calls them MGS (rhetoric)?


It's always been MGS.. huh.gif

#8 Ken_D

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 08:57 PM

I've been disappointed that MS hasn't pushed Rare more. Rare, at it's peak, was shoving out 3-4 top-tier games a year for the Nintendo platforms, a lot of them real classics (GoldenEye, Conker's BFD, Diddy Kong Racing), yet it's post-MGS output has been disappointing:

- A watered down conversion of Conker
- PDZ, great multi-player but abysmal single player, especially for anyone who (like me) loved the N64 original.
- Viva Piņata, fantastic title that no-one bought as it was marketed as a kiddy game.
- Kameo, nice graphics, mediocre gameplay.

MS paid megabucks for Rare, if I were them I'd be give the Project Managers at Rare a kick up the arse and get them back on form. There's a lot riding on Banjo Threeie imho.




#9 ninjashoes

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 09:31 PM

lol I thought it was Metal Gear Solid for 360 also lol

#10 88 Ecko Unltd 88

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 09:53 PM

i agree with Ken_D Rare produced some great games in the past.. especially Conker on N64 i was hooked for years

#11 irnchriz

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 01:06 AM

I think Microsft took these studios on board to bolster the initial games line-up for the xbox consoles and then the 360. They funded them and provided them with the tools to get the job done. Bungie, Bioware and Bizarre have grown and no longer need to be funded by Microsoft. These developers are now fully experienced with the 360 hardware (and PC of course) and this leads to reduced development time and lower production costs.

For the main franchises such as Halo and PGR, these are owned by microsoft so they won't be wandering off to PS3 or Wii. Lionhead and Rare have yet to prove themselves on the 360. Rare has churned out stuff that could easily have been released on the original xbox and has yet to produce a proper next gen title but Microsoft must be looking at a proper Perfect Dark sequel and more importantly a Banjo Kazooie game which will fill the platformer gap. Lionhead are attempting to grow the successful Fable franchise and are spending a considerable time in doing so. For this they need stability and finance, Microsoft provides this. If Rare and Lionheads next titles are a huge hit then I could see them heading on the road to independence.

Overall I think that Microsoft will continue to bring dev teams on board where there is a need to support potential AAA titles for the 360 that would not be financially feasible for a smaller or independent studio and where these will be big franchises for the 360's future

Edited by irnchriz, 11 November 2007 - 01:07 AM.


#12 Verity

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 03:36 AM

Running a game studio is hard work, on top of everything else which Microsoft does with the Xbox. And running several studios can really be asking for trouble. With the investment cost of a Hi-Def game these days, just one poorly received title can bankrupt a studio or even a publisher. Not that Microsoft specifically could go bankrupt, but more losses for the already money losing Games Division certainly doesn't help.

Microsoft is best at making and selling development tools. Early on, they had to buy some game dev houses to make sure top-notch titles were produced for the (at the time) new Xbox. I'm pretty sure that they don't really want to be in the hardware building business either, but it seemed the best way to shove their way into the consumer gaming business. Plus, they get licensing fees for every game disc. Anyway, my point is that now Xbox is a serious and established force in the gaming market and they no longer need to hang onto all these extra studios.

With the chance to start turning a profit in the Games Division let those studios go. Get them off the MS ledger books. Let them sink or swim on their own, while MS continues to provide them all the best dev system around so they want to keep making Xbox games. And Microsoft gets to collect license fees from any discs they produce without the continuing costs of "investment" in all those game studios.

Edited by Verity, 11 November 2007 - 03:39 AM.


#13 prodyg

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 01:05 PM

QUOTE(Ken_D @ Nov 10 2007, 10:33 PM) View Post

I've been disappointed that MS hasn't pushed Rare more. Rare, at it's peak, was shoving out 3-4 top-tier games a year for the Nintendo platforms, a lot of them real classics (GoldenEye, Conker's BFD, Diddy Kong Racing), yet it's post-MGS output has been disappointing:

- A watered down conversion of Conker
- PDZ, great multi-player but abysmal single player, especially for anyone who (like me) loved the N64 original.
- Viva Piņata, fantastic title that no-one bought as it was marketed as a kiddy game.
- Kameo, nice graphics, mediocre gameplay.

MS paid megabucks for Rare, if I were them I'd be give the Project Managers at Rare a kick up the arse and get them back on form. There's a lot riding on Banjo Threeie imho.

I cant be the only one that loves kameo! uhh.gif

i personally thought that kameo and viva pinata were very impressive titles.

I dont think rare has been a bad as ppl make them out to be, and MS needs them now more than ever. If they want to create family titles and attract a new audience RARE is the company to do it.




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