Microsoft’s Phil Spencer thinks real-time strategy games will see a resurgence on this generation of consoles

The Head of Xbox also drops some hints about Microsoft’s E3 press conference.

Head of Xbox Phil Spencer answered questions from fans on his Twitter last night and revealed some interesting clues as to what Microsoft is preparing for this year’s E3 and beyond.

One fan asked him “which now-marginalized genres do you think might see a resurgence this gen?” To which Spencer responded “RTS on console.” This is particularly interesting since we recently learned via a job listing on Microsoft’s careers page that Microsoft Studios is looking for someone "to help build and lead the team for a new AAA title within an established and well-loved strategy game franchise."

As we noted when we first learned the news, Age of Empires and Halo Wars are two RTS franchises that fit that description well. Spencer also told IGN earlier this year that he thought the original Halo Wars, which was exclusive to Xbox 360, was fun and expressed interest in seeing a new one. He also suggested it was possible that such a game could be developed internally due to there not being many "great RTS developers out there anymore."

Some other interesting things Spencer said:

With E3 2014 nearly upon us, GameSpot has everything you need to know about the show.

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer. You can follow him on Twitter @emanuelmaiberg and Google+.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

See more coverage of E3 2014 →

Written By

Discussion

419 comments
oflow
oflow

Please bring back Starfleet Armada to next gen.

Dream-on-stereo
Dream-on-stereo

Many,many learned to play RTS games with controler ,why some people can't , i think they don't want to learn, it's easy!!! dedicate some time it is easy!

GamezMk
GamezMk

From the moment I read about his favored game being Halo 2, paired with the rumors of a Halo 2 Anniversary coming this year (or 1-4 Halo pack) for Xbox One, it just feels like such an obvious marketing ploy, a preparation for an upcoming announcement for his fanboys. "Oh he enjoys Halo 2, how neat" - "Oh, Halo 2 Anniversary was announced!" - "Oh, and remember, it's Phil's favorite game, too! Imagine how good this game will be for those of us that haven't played it yet!", etc.

zombiewarrior07
zombiewarrior07

Command and Conquer Tiberium wars was pretty awesome on the 360, so I think its a common myth to say that RTS will NEVER work on consoles.

gamefreak215jd
gamefreak215jd

Are they crazy?RTS is meant for PC not consoles.Any ways I'm certain I won't miss anything,cause obviously they'd dumb it down to the point of irrelevance.

ratchet200
ratchet200

Microsoft is making progress on an Xbox One controller for PC.


Does this mean that the current Xbox One controllers wont work on PC? Was this how it was last gen? I always thought the Xbox 360 controllers worked regardless of what model they were.

TheWatcher000
TheWatcher000

So, this means you are going to make the XBlah compatible with a keyoard and mouse?


Because that is the ONLY way your latest verbal diarrhea has even the remotest chance in hell of happening.

gothmog56
gothmog56

wow that is a kiss of death now,ms supporting  rts games.

Gallowhand
Gallowhand

I know that Larian studios appeared on a list of developers bringing their games to Xbox One, so I wonder if they will port Dragon Commander over to the platform, because that game is essentially an RTS.

Pewbert
Pewbert

These are not things he is interested in, these are things he is told to say. He is a spokesman for a huge corporate company that has no place for things like personal opinions. Every word he ever says is carefully scripted.

gregrout
gregrout

Rise Of Nations remake already... 

atopp399
atopp399

RTS game on a console?  BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHA!

eternaldragoonx
eternaldragoonx

Halo Wars was a fantastic RTS on console. You morons are so stupid. God I hate this community.

TheJamin
TheJamin

Oh, so keyboard and mouse support is coming? *face palm*

blackothh
blackothh

Unless they figure out some revolutionary way to do better controls, then RTS games on console will never be popular.

HaloinventedFPS
HaloinventedFPS

Very disappointing, pretty much confirms the new RTS MS is making is just going to be Halo Wars 2 & it's going to bomb just as bad as 1 because RTS doesn't work on consoles

timmerous
timmerous

Have Microsoft completely lost touch with their audience? With all of their turnarounds I thought they might now listen to the people who buy their products and try to keep them happy, but now they are making statements about RTS games which are historically, for good reason, the realm of PC gaming. Maybe they are going to try to pass off something like Natural Selection as an RTS, otherwise they are smoking the same stuff that led to kinect and DRM policies seeming like good ideas to sell their console.

jack00
jack00

RTS + controller pad = Bad RTS.

daikkenaurora12
daikkenaurora12

Yet MS keeps trying to pump out more FPS games.  Makes sense.  (nope)

Darkmoone1
Darkmoone1

Personally, nothing beats the mouse and keyboard when it comes to strategy games.

Jawehawk-DK
Jawehawk-DK

I love RTS games, but I too don't see this working on consoles. For me, it's kind of like howr racing games work better on consoles. Espicially if you don't have a wheel.

Vojtass
Vojtass

It won't work, because for RTS you need fast and extremely precise controller. Mouse and keyboard duo is simply unbeatable. RTS on gamepad is just a torture. 


Besides MS, you destroyed own PC gaming department, you profane one of the finest PC IPs (e.g. Age of Empires, Flight Simulator). Go to hell!

slme
slme

you can bring Ensemble back, MS.

Shin_Gallon
Shin_Gallon

Because when I think "great way to play RTS" I certainly think "gamepad" instead of mouse/keyboard. Yup...

everbodypanic
everbodypanic

For there to be a "resurgence", there must have been a "surge" beforehand. And last I checked, RTS have never "surged" on consoles. PCs? Sure. Consoles? No. 


The console generation died after the PS2 because Microsoft has been trying to force PC games down console gamer's throats, and Sony is dumb enough to follow. The PS3 and Xbox 360 had double the market life, yet could barely sell HALF of what the PS2 sold. That says a lot.


If I want to play a PC game, then i'll play it on the PC. Microsoft needs to GTFO of the console business.

k41m
k41m

I really hope so.

ooblah10
ooblah10

Halo wars was heaps fun, hopefully we see a second

Foppe
Foppe

@Dream-on-stereo No matter how good you are, you will get your ass wiped by somebody using a mouse.

grognard66
grognard66

@eternaldragoonx Agreed.  Halo Wars showed how an RTS designed from the ground up could work on a console.  It's true that a traditional RTS ported to consoles is a disaster, but that doesn't mean you can't make a fun RTS on a console at all.


Add in Kinect voice commands and many of the traditional hurdles can be overcome.

dlCHIEF58
dlCHIEF58

@blackothh  

There is - Kinect. Always thought this was a missed opportunity among developers. Black & White 3 with Kinect controls would be awesome. 

phbz
phbz

@Shin_Gallon  When I think on a great way to play FPS I don´t think "gamepad" instead of mouse/keyboard. Still lots of people play their FPS on gamepads. 


And for consumers it´s only great news that more games, and genres, are coming to their console. If the games are bad, though luck for developers and publishers, if they end up being good, well... good for all parts involved, including us. 

gothmog56
gothmog56

@grognard66  kinect is dead,didn't get the memo?took them 2 years to figure it out.

blackothh
blackothh

@dlCHIEF5

I picture people yelling commands at the tv lol 

Vojtass
Vojtass

@Dream-on-stereo @jack00  Uhh yeah, I heard that once, when I was playing Wolfenstein 3D with joystick. Guess what - joysticks suck in FPS'. And so gamepads in RTS'.

gothmog56
gothmog56

@Tigerbite2 @blackothh  build (background time for school), building school please wait.yes than you expect people to buy a kinect to play a game?kinect was and has been dead for years. no one made games for it,cause more people did NOT have one.the ps camera was better and its just an addon.

kinect is just another thing to break.

blackothh
blackothh

@Tigerbite2 @blackothhThere may not be yelling at first, but I feel like it would escalate to that over time due to excitement or frustration of units picking bad pathfinding lol.

Tigerbite2
Tigerbite2

@blackothh No need to yell and you could multi task fairly quickly.  "Build <building name>" then use your controller to place it.  Then with building units it would be that much quicker.  Wouldn't even need to find the buildling.  "Build <#> <unit>"  BAM.  They're building.

However, controlling the units still might not be optimal XD