E3 2019: Xbox Aiming To Launch A New First-Party Title Every 3 Months
Microsoft wants to release games faster with Xbox Game Pass.
Microsoft has in the past been criticized for a real or perceived lack of exclusive titles released on a regular basis, but it appears the company is now committed to releasing first-party games on a more regular basis. Xbox Game Studios boss Matt Booty said in an interview that "every three months feels about right" in terms of a cadence for new releases.
He told IGN that titles from studios like Ninja Theory and Double Fine, both of which Microsoft own, spend about two or three years developing new titles, compared to around five or six years for a bigger title like God of War or Red Dead Redemption 2.
Booty says the rough plan is for Microsoft to have new releases from its first-party studios ready for launch about every three months. Like all of Microsoft's first-party games, Xbox Game Pass subscribers will get them at no extra cost.
"So, then if you've got a game [every three months] and you're taking two to three years [to develop them]." Booty continued. "You can kind of back into the math and say, well wow, you probably need somewhere between 10 and 12 studios," Booty explained. "But... making games is not yet a perfect science, right? There's no creative endeavor that is. So there's going to be things that take longer. There's going to be some things that we start and say, 'Hey, great idea, but it just isn't, you know, the Jello doesn't want to set.
"So I think we need some, some buffer in there, right? We'd love to be feeding a high quality game into game pass about every three months."
During its E3 2019 briefing, Microsoft announced it had acquired Brutal Legend and Psychonauts developer Double Fine. Counting this studio, and the Age of Empires studio that was quietly announced at E3, Microsoft now has 15 first-party game studios (one of which is the Games Publishing group).
Microsoft has not published a timeline or schedule for its upcoming releases, and as Booty mentioned, game development is a fluid, ongoing process so things can always change. What we do know is Microsoft's next big first-party release is Gears 5 from The Coalition. Halo Infinite from 343 Industries will follow in Holiday 2020 as a launch title for Scarlett.
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