Heavenly Sword dev on Xbox One: "It's completely the wrong direction"

Ninja Theory cofounder says Microsoft's focus on TV for next-generation console is problematic, but believes consoles will remain popular for 5-10 more years.

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Ninja Theory (Heavenly Sword, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, DmC: Devil May Cry) cofounder Tameem Antoniades did not hold back when speaking his mind about the Xbox One at the Slush conference in Helsinki recently, saying Microsoft is moving in the wrong direction with its next-generation console.

“So you heard the Xbox One announcement? TV, TV, TV. That couldn’t be further from the truth; it’s completely the wrong direction," Antoniades said, as reported by Edge. "It does seem like, despite the best intentions of Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, they’ve still got too much momentum to steer.”

He was also critical of the AAA business model, saying the barriers to entry for $60 games is too high for many new developers.

“The AAA games console model is a little bit broken," Antoniades said. "The platform holders control the platform and the distribution, the publishers control the marketing and the funding.” He also said for developers, creating a 15-hour AAA game is "crushing" and it "constrains creativity."

Antoniades spoke more positively about Valve's upcoming line of Steam Machines, which he said is most likely to disrupt traditional gaming if executed properly.

“One platform that does seem to be going in the right direction is the Steam Box. It’s an open development platform, fully digital and a media server, will doubtless integrate with mobile and tablets, and includes all the flexible pricing included from Steam," he said. "If I was to make a bet, I’d say that the Steam Box has the capacity to disrupt before mobile does. There are still technical limitations on mobile--bandwidth for streaming, processing and battery power that will just hold it back for a few years. After a few years, I fully expect mobile devices to be the dominant form.”

Home consoles like the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 aren't going away anytime soon, Antoniades made clear. He said if Microsoft and Sony can incorporate lessons from mobile platforms, then traditional platforms will remain popular for the next decade.

“It’s not all doom and gloom for consoles. If they embrace some of those lessons, we will get there. I think consoles will be the main hub of entertainment for the next 5-10 years," Antoniades said. "To do that, they do have to adapt to what mobile is leading. They have to be fully digital open platforms, media servers for all their entertainment and integration with mobile.”

Discussion

333 comments
orthodox1976
orthodox1976

Thanks for the worst Devil May Cry in the whole series, Tameem. I mean c'mon... the Unreal Engine for a DMC? What the f*ck were you thinking?

They will probably start putting the console hardware directly into HDTVs after this generation is over. Then you can just download games right to the TV, which will essentially be a PC/TV. 

ohjtbehaaave
ohjtbehaaave

Who gives a shit what he thinks about Xbox1… get working on a Heavenly Sword sequel for PS4 already son!!!  Long overdue!

AncientDozer
AncientDozer

It wasn't "Tv, Tv, Tv". I don't know why people think this.

Considering Microsoft had TWO press conferences, one would think everyone could see "we do a lot of games and we do a lot of other stuff". But no, we see one whiff of something not-gaming and we freak out.  Well, old guard so-called "hardcores" freak out.

I talked to some guy about what the Xbox One could do, not even trying to push it. Hell, I didn't even start the conversation and I didn't even push pro Xbox agenda. He straight up said what they were doing was cool and that it'd be a great centerpiece in the living room. Being able to jump from game to TV and back. So on and so forth. The point to this story is that there ARE people interested and excited about this functionality.

mbloof
mbloof

While I'm not really quite sure why or if I should value this guys opinion in the 1st place only time will tell if MS got the XB1 right or not.

Fun little time wasters in the mobile space might sell well when the title is a "big hit" but the space is to crowded with junk and scams to be able to focus the market attention on the hand full of quality titles that may exist - besides when you take "micro transactions" out of the model and add the bazillion different devices (resolutions+hardware) to support and lack of battery life the 3DS and even Vita are more viable options.

I've likely installed and then quickly deleted more titles on ether iOS or Android than I've purchased for all my portable gaming hardware or my PS3 and PC combined.

monks-1138
monks-1138

Fortunately Ninja Theory righted their own ship and gave us DMC and Enslaved, cuz Heavenly Sword was garbage.

SingletreeAve
SingletreeAve

Ninja Theory was originally Just Add Monsters and made Kung Fu Chaos for the original Xbox.  One of the best games nobody played.  It's dripping with attitude and humor, and possibly the best couch co-op  I ever played.

Kevin75
Kevin75

Mobile is not doing well and like a facebook reality is setting in for developers that went chasing the easy dollar. It doesn't exist. The Mobile market is full of thieves and it's hard to advertise your product (so I read) and while a few can make money the rest can't and are moving back toward consoles and PC. With the introduction of Android powered gaming devicies the mobile market may see a large desertion in favor of these platforms, by gamers anyway. And always remember the lesson that Nintendo Learned. The Causal market will move on. They did so from the Wii and they did so from Facebook. I wouldn't be a long term business model on the causal market.

Another big issue that will probably kill the mobile market is the health risks that cell phones pose. While not a major issue yet Health Insurance companies consider cell phones to be the next aspestos and cigarettes. When this becomes main stay news which just like the previous two major health hazards it will, you'll see the mobile market nose dive. I'm not exagerating this issue, France is already moving away from Wifi in their schools and Cell Phone companies are quietly putting legal disclaimers in their disclaimers saying you can't sue them for the cancer their phone gives you.

So when this guy says Mobile is going to stay I don't have a clue what he's talking about. Seems more like a fantasy or dream. In the future I do see more mobile platforms for gaming like augmented reality devices, but as more people do their shopping from home on the internet one has to wonder how long mobile will be trendy.

charlieholmes
charlieholmes

Some of what he says makes sense to me but who in the hell here thinks mobile is going to dominate ever! I can't get into any mobile game. They're way too shallow, too small a screen even if you have an IPad, and the controls suck big time! These people think that because some will buy several $1 or F2P apps, that the masses really prefer mobile over console or PC, give me a break! You're out of your frigging mind! None of it appeals to me and believe me, I've tried. It's like loving and playing chess but then trying to go back and enjoy a quick game of Tic-Tac-Toe, you can't do it! It's mind-numbingly too simple and dumb.

daviz88
daviz88

forget xbox and give us HEAVENLY SWORD

brxricano
brxricano

Padding Enslaved's gameplay? COMPLETELY THE WRONG DIRECTION.

91210user
91210user

What does Ninja Theory know? I'm British and Americans lead some of the world best concept and sell them profitability. I'm glad Microsoft are trying to hint out that there a bigger world out there instead of an Xbox. Ninja Theory simply trying to cash in onto the hype with there childish statements and they should grow up. Maybe join Microsoft like Rare did to see how it feels, not just sit there watching the world at large!

sleepingzzz
sleepingzzz

Yeah, these devs sure know what gamers want.  All of their games are crap and they ruined Devil May Cry by giving us exactly what we don't want.  How about they STFU.

skunkpants
skunkpants

Right, because Heavenly Sword is so memorable...

redder1111
redder1111

Heavenly Sword dev on Xbox One: "It's completely the wrong direction" 

- yeah, just like what you assholes call DMC !

Spectralfire0
Spectralfire0

So right about the first half until mobile gaming is mentioned. No one wants to play GTA5 on their phone.

noandno
noandno

The thumbnail looks like somebody forgot his pants

renerak
renerak

So many attention whores, they are not getting coverage so babble something about nex-gen and they get to be hot topic. To be fair he did have a few sensible points, a few.

And about steam box....., it will probably fail, as linux is a horrible choice for an OS, they should have made a custom OS instead of the underperforming linux. And it doesn't give acces to games(as much as I hate to admit) as much as windows.

AluminumAndroid
AluminumAndroid

Steam offers most of the games found on consoles, plus an enormous library of games not found on consoles. The choice is easy for me this generation.

accretia27
accretia27

I'm confused. Are steam box a console or a beefed up pc or is it something else?

nomad4ever
nomad4ever

He is right, consoles are just closed boxes. No innovation going on there. Steambox is looking great and mobile technology is becoming better and better everyday. Consoles will die in next 5 years.

Gazdakka
Gazdakka

Firstly, I was under the impression that he's dissing all three consoles, not just the XBox.

Secondly, it's too bad all three of those games cited under your name sucked, right Tameem? Think mobile gaming will somehow give you a better crack at it? I think not.

I don't care for mobile gaming. If they somehow adopt a dull FOV Oculus Rift and more practical controls then it's a possibility, but until then I'm not interested in playing on a tinier screen with smaller controls. Portability loses out to immersion in my book.

IronKid89
IronKid89

You guys kinda miss  the big picture. The future is mobile gaming for sure but not in the sence of playing Angry Birds and all that crap....  As a hardcore PC gamer I would love to have a mobile that Does everything my PC does + more. Just Imagine you can take your PC everywhere with you and play all those "serious" games whenever and wherever you like. And keyboarb + mouse/controller, streaming to tv etc. Are trivial and solvable drawbacks in the future IMO.  PC's will be only for servers and console will be mostly cable boxes.

Falconoffury
Falconoffury

If all digital was really the future of gaming, then Microsoft would have had very few complainers about their digital policies for the Xbox One. People want physical media. It's that simple.

toffifee
toffifee

@monks-1138 I loved Heavenly Sword. I find it much more entertaining than GoW 3.

DoogyDonDoogy
DoogyDonDoogy

@charlieholmes Couldn't agree more, the mobile lineup of games is weak and geared more toward the casual crowd. You have to search long and hard for a good platformer or a game thats not abc simple

Kevin75
Kevin75

@91210user Rare was bought out and did not join willingly. Most of Rare's staff decided to leave Rare after the buy out rather than have their standards lowered and creativity suppressed.

Microsoft abandoned the gaming market and went for the smart home market, just like they abandoned the gaming market on the PC in favor of the tablet market. What they forget is that the gaming market drives both markets, since gamers will own whatever OS and Console offers them the best gaming experience. Sony knew this, and said we are first and foremost a gaming machine. Meanwhile in the background Sony is preparing their own TV streaming service, they already integrated tons of media aps onto the playstation 4. In short Sony captured their part of the market by simply getting their system into people's home by selling it cheap (at a loss) something Microsoft refused to do, and then implement smart home features.

Both companies have the same ambition, Sony simply executed a better strategy and had better PR despite the shills online.

RabbiSchmuley
RabbiSchmuley

@91210user  Hey, that's a soft spot. MS destroyed RARE, one of the best from the 90's and early 2000's.

You're missing the British way.

akuya32
akuya32

@skunkpants I enjoyed Heavenly Sword. That game was awesome. Short but awesome. 

shadow580
shadow580

@renerak I am going to make you eat your own words. You might not like Linux for a number of reason but it's very clear you know nothing about how popular it really is and why it is used in the first place. Btw, I don't use Linux myself.

 Here is a quote from wikipedia: 

''Linux was originally developed as a free operating system for Intel x86-based personal computers. It has since been ported to more computer hardware platforms than any other operating system. It is a leading operating system on servers and other big iron systems such as mainframe computers and supercomputers:[18][19][20] as of June 2013, more than 95% of the world's 500 fastest supercomputers run some variant of Linux,[21] including all the 44 fastest.[22] Linux also runs on embedded systems (devices where the operating system is typically built into the firmware and highly tailored to the system) such as mobile phones,[23] tablet computers, network routers, building automation controls, televisions[24][25] and video game consoles; the Android system in wide use on mobile devices is built on the Linux kernel.''

Did you catch that? The games that you run on your Android Phone are running on the Linux kernel. It's perfectly capable of running games. The army uses Linux. Why? Because it's that good.

eddieham13
eddieham13

@renerak Linux underperforms? Since when? Good job you don't work in any big tech companies.

GIF
GIF

@renerak I agree on all points. If the Steambox was a Windows machine, I'd be all over it so I could play PC Games and draw with Photoshop on it running a Titan card.

KiraDEATHNOTE
KiraDEATHNOTE

@AluminumAndroid  

key word most*

There games on PlayStation that you can only play on PlayStation.  Some indie games that I rather play on PlayStation systems (like the vita).  PS4 and a PC is the choice for me.

ps3gamer1234
ps3gamer1234

@AluminumAndroid I like No More Room in Hell.

pug987
pug987

@accretia27 It's a PC. It will be packaged as a console and it will be made as a PC alternative for living room gaming. It will have a custom Linux - based operating system by Valve but it seems you will be able to put windows on it, or any other PC OS, if you want to.  It will also have a controller that is supposed to be the closest we have ever been to mouse and keyboard precision using a controller but you'll probably be able to hook any PC game-pad, including the Xbox360 controller.

Total_mischief
Total_mischief

@Gazdakka Too bad those three games sucked ? Now you have your own opinion, but the general consensus is that they were all very good games with an average score of 80+, with the exception of Heavenly Sword which sits on a nice 79. Both professional reviewers and the community have rated them to be solid games. That makes your second point rather irrelevant.

TehUndeadHorror
TehUndeadHorror

@Falconoffury Eh, for PC I get most of my games from gog.com, Humble Bundle or Steam and my music from Bandcamp. Physical is still good for consoles because you can resell the copy or let your friends borrow it. If physical media has an advantage it'll stick, but unfortunately for PC it's less and less relevant due to online platforms restricting that (starting with serial keys waaay back). I do like the idea of sharing digital games though, which will likely replace physical media eventually.

Digital isn't all bad, as long as they let us do with it what we like. But until the industry realises that not everyone is a pirate, they're going to keep restricting online content.

QuadThumbs
QuadThumbs

@Falconoffury I think it is all about personal preference.  I personally will never buy another physical DVD movie again.  I own about 900 DVD's and it takes up almost 3 Book shelves.  For the last 3 years I've gotten almost all my movies digitally and will probably never buy a physical movie again.  Even with the 900+ DVD's I only watch from my digital collection which is about 700GB of HDD space.  And with Wi-Fi  every TV in my house is networked.  I do the same with my music.  Now I still buy most of my games by the disc and the only reason for that is because I buy old games at gamestop for cheaper than the digital copy cost.  But I much prefer my digital game library over my Physical disc library any day. I just wish Xbox had a section in the My Games section that listed all the games you've purchased digitally that are NOT currently installed. It sucks to try and remember the games you had to uninstall due to HDD space.  So IMO digital is much better!!!!!

91210user
91210user

@Kevin75 @91210user  

I'm not going to deny that Rare former employees left! Even so, Microsoft will always give Rare the chance to make a better game. I think it's a bit unfair that Microsoft gets blamed for Rare's poor quality of games. Answer this question. Who else was going to pick Rare up? Considering that Sony is the biggest competitor to Nintendo on their home turf!  Nintendo didn't want them and why do you think Sony never picked them up?

renerak
renerak

@shadow580 Yes, I ate my words and they were very tasty, what I wanted to do was edit the comment into "underwhelming" (as in the pathetic number of games that run on it) instead of "underperforming" (which I was very and mistakingly wrong about) but unfortunatly the piece of shit gamespot doesn't allow to edit comments.

Gazdakka
Gazdakka

And yet Heavenly Sword - for all its hype - has not spawned any sequels or legacy. It was no Lair, but it sure wasn't a runaway success either.

I can't say much about Enslaved. It was an okay game, overshadowed by better games. But DmC performed well under Capcom's expectations. It's one of several games under their brand that has put them into financial difficulties for faring poorly.

Unless Ninja Theory has been sorely misjudged three times in a row, something's wrong with this picture. So let's clarify: none of those games have taken off anywhere, and in the console market potential sequels are the name of the game. Hell, we might even see a Prince of Persia pulled on DmC at this point (i,e: Ditching the new Prince in favour of the preferred old one).

Ben1125
Ben1125

@TehUndeadHorror @Falconoffury I can totally see a lot of the reservations people had about the XBox's original focus on digital gaming. In my personal situation, it would have been great. I liked the idea of the digital sharing they were going to introduce. I wish they could have reworked it to be a little more lax than to scrap it altogether.

TehUndeadHorror
TehUndeadHorror

@Ben1125 @TehUndeadHorror @Falconoffury Yeah. They had some horrible marketing though. Microsoft have always had horrible marketing. I really think they need to completely replace their marketing team. I mean, they announced the Xbox One, at a gaming convention, then talked of every other feature but gaming. They didn't tell us why the 24 hour online check would be an advantage to us. They just did everything wrong. If they'd connected it all together into digital gaming, and why digital gaming was an advantage, I feel it wouldn't have been as big a backlash as it was.

Really, all they needed was an offline mode and their problems would have been fixed.