Ori Dev Says Microsoft Wants Gaming Without Boundaries But Has ‘Artificial Barriers’ Against Rival Platforms
Thomas Mahler, creative director of Moon Studios, has taken a dig at Phil Spencer. The creative director claims that one of the reasons his new game has been funded by Private Division and not Microsoft is because that’s the only way it will be on all platforms. It all comes in reference to Bungie’s famous on-the-go conversation, a topic that conveniently came to the fore just days after the release of Halo Infinite.
“As a developer working for a platform owner, you’re obviously going to limit yourself to what benefits the platform owner the most. I think Bungie was interested in creating their own platform, a game that people can play everywhere, on all systems, something where players are globally connected to each other. No boundaries. That would never be possible with Microsoft, even today. Would it be okay for Microsoft to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on a game that the developer also wants to port to Playstation 5, so everyone can play together? I have my doubts.”
Mahler made his comments in response to an Axios interview with Xbox boss Phil Spencer, in which the executive claimed that today’s Microsoft would have been able to retain Halo developer Bungie, who parted ways with Microsoft in 2007. Mahler believes Spencer doesn’t understand that Bungie wanted to split because they wanted to make games for everyone. Microsoft, on the other hand, has a vision of unrestricted gaming that doesn’t match its actions.
“I think Microsoft is in this weird ‘between a rock and a hard place’ position where they’re saying that this is the vision that they want to see happening in the future, no artificial walls, no boundaries, but then they’re not necessarily acting accordingly, I think mostly because the other parties aren’t playing along,” Mahler said. “Microsoft would probably keep going into this direction if other parties would participate, as in, if Nintendo/Sony would allow some of their games to be playable on Xbox, but that’s just not where the industry is at this point. These corporations still very much believe in walled gardens and are scared of change… so be it.”