Speaking to The Guardian, Matt Booty, Head of Xbox Game Studios revealed that under Microsoft, every game doesn’t have to be a near infinite live service game.
While Minecraft, Sea of Thieves, and Forza Horizon 4 have all been undoubtedly successful with their long line of updates keeping player counts high over time, Matt Booty revealed that these successes doesn’t mean there’s a formula developers have to follow at Xbox Game Studios.
“We don’t have any direction or mandate that says every game has to be an ongoing, sustained game,” Booty explained, using Psychonauts as an example. “Take Psychonauts: there might be a Psychonauts 3, but I’m not going to tell Tim Schafer to go make it. Knowing the history of games that he makes, I don’t think he’s going to be making a game that has seasons and goes on for five years.”
There are of course games that fit a live service model such as Sea of Thieves and the upcoming Halo Infinite multiplayer Booty explained. While Halo multiplayer being “based around seasons” may work for Halo, it’s a different approach for each game.
“Compulsion Games, our studio in Montreal, weren’t told to go build something that’s going to have seasons or six pieces of DLC or something,” Booty went on to say, explaining that for Xbox, “Tell Me Why was an important story for us to get out there, but there is no mandate that they’ve got to go figure out how to do seasons for that game.”
With Xbox planning to release a brand new first-party game each quarter, not every one of them can be a live service smash hit that’ll be around for years to come, even if that style of game is profitable. Thankfully with this approach, we’ll still be able to see a lot of variety from Xbox in the years to come.