Matt Booty: Xbox is Taking Off; Great Games in the Next Year

The head of content and studios for Xbox then went on to hint at what led to the closure of Tango Gameworks, but we continue to hear highly evasive reactions from Xbox management on this point.


Booty was heard on Variety’s Strictly Business podcast, where he said that Microsoft is preparing an excellent lineup of games for this fall and next spring, which could be good again with the Xbox Games Showcase planned for next June. “This was our first opportunity for all of our studios to really come together in one moment. Some of the critical mass that we had, some of the excitement about the number of games that we were able to show is really a reflection of this being the first time that our teams have been able to come together. We’re also starting to get into the rhythm that we’ve always strived for, and that’s really our commitment to our players, to deliver a much more consistent cadence of games on a more predictable schedule. We really started building out our Xbox Studios portfolio in earnest in 2018, then we had the wonderful ZeniMax/Bethesda acquisition, and then last fall we brought Activision/Blizzard/King on board. But it’s taken a while to get all of that up to speed. I feel like we are starting to hit our stride now.

One of the things that I’m encouraged by is that I’m looking forward to the future of next year where we’ll be able to hopefully have a great lineup and a great showcase next June. We have a pretty big lineup in the fall and the spring, and we want to make sure that every game has a place and an opportunity to shine. […] The other thing is that we really want to make sure that when we announce a date that we’re committed to it. Certainly within a year, within six months, we want to be much better at making sure that we’re really living up to it, that we’re holding ourselves accountable to it. Games, like a lot of entertainment, the further out you get, the harder it is to predict an actual date. We just want to have the integrity that if something is further out than a year, we’re not trying to create a false perception of when we can deliver the game. On the other hand, the closer we get, we really want to be accountable to our fans and accountable to the industry about when we’re going to be able to ship,” Booty said.

Avowed doesn’t have an official release date, but it was leaked on Obsidian’s blog. Other fall games include the indie Towerborne, followed by Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024, Ara: History Untold, and Age of Mythology: Retold in early September. Those are the Xbox Game Studios titles, but under Bethesda, Indiana Jones and the Great Circle is due this year, while under Activision Blizzard King, Diablo IV: Vessel of Hatred, World of Warcraft: The War Within, and Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 between August and October. DOOM 2016 and DOOM Eternal both came out in the first half of the year, so the new installment, as well as South of Midnight, will likely arrive in the spring. The Fable reboot is rumored to be coming in the fall, and Gears of War: E-Day before that. Clockwork Revolution from InXile Entertainment hasn’t shown up this year, but we might see it at Gamescom.

Booty declined to give specific details about the studio closures out of respect for the people involved, but admitted that Hi-Fi Rush had done well: “I think the thing to keep in mind is that for us, it’s as much a forward looking situation as it is looking back at a particular game… There are a lot of things that go into the success of a game. What kind of leadership do you have? What kind of creative leadership do you have? Is the team the same team that shipped something successful before? And we have to look at all of those things together and then ask ourselves, are we set up for success going forward? And while there may have been factors and situations that led to success in the past, they may not all be in place when you look at what you’re doing going forward.”

A typical PR response, but he was referring to the fact that Tango Gameworks’ management changed last year after studio founder Shinji Mikami left the team.

Source: WCCFTech, Gamesindustry, Variety

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