We’ve been waiting for 2020 to fully kick into gear and it seems we’re now getting to that point. After Sony announced yesterday that they would once again not be attending E3, Phil Spencer took to Twitter to re-affirm their commitment to E3 and their fanbase:
Our team is hard at work on E3, we look forward to sharing with all who love to play what's ahead for us. Our artform has consistently been propelled by the cross-section of creativity and technical progress. 2020 is a milestone year in that journey for Team Xbox. #XboxE3 #E32020
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) January 14, 2020
As we mentioned in this week’s Bitcast, along these same lines we really wanted Sony to be there if for no other reason than for the fans.
But outside of E3 planning, many are anxiously awaiting news on new titles from the now extensive first party development group at Xbox. Speaking with Stevivor, Spencer gives us some insight into the Xbox team’s current thinking.
“We’ve moved from acquisition mode to execution mode,” Spencer continued. “[We are] sitting here with 15 plus studios working on games. But it’s not about a logo parade, or ‘look at who we acquired this week’, but really about what games [the studios] are going to go build.
“I do think that a strong, growing first-party is definitely part of our strategy,” he concluded. “I’d love to see us continue to get new storytellers with new points of view into our first-party portfolio.”
As has been mentioned before, Xbox is open to expanding their geographic diversity among studios as well.
“We’re always open,” Spencer said when asked if he was still interested in acquiring new developers. “I liked the geographic diversity that we’ve been growing with our studios. If you look at Asia, we don’t have any first party studios in Asia. I think that’s an opportunity for us.”
What’s also exciting, is that with 15 studios and financial security, he expects creativity to increase with what would normally be considered “riskier” titles.
“It’s really what creative studios will do — they’ll usually find a small group that wants to go off and try something different. It’s funny with Ninja Theory, because my first game with Nina [Kristensen] and Tameem [Antoniades, co-founders of the studio] was Kung Fu Chaos on the original Xbox. I see similarities between Kung Fu Chaos and what Bleeding Edge is.”
“The ability to give studios financial stability so they can experiment with new things, absolutely, is one of the things that Matt [Booty, head of Xbox Game Studios] and the team brings,” he said.
“Because you have enough studios and enough rolling business, it’s not make or break for every experiment that a studio takes. We should be able to take some risks.”
It’s great to hear some more insight into what the Xbox team is planning and what we can expect as the new studios get ramped up. Obviously many are hoping to see a much more extensive lineup of first party titles in the Series X’s lifespan when compared to the Xbox One. If there’s one thing we consistently applaud Xbox on, it’s their communication which has improved ten-fold since the beginning of the generation.