Phil Spencer Comments on Developer Acquisitions and PC Gaming Plans

AlphaAtlas

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Microsoft recently acquired the long-running RPG developers Obsidian and inXile, and, given Microsoft's track record with acquisitions and PC titles in general, many fans were justifiably worried about what that means for either studio. But, in a recent interview with PC Gamer, Microsoft's Phil Spencer not only seemed cognizant of these concerns, but did his best to quell them. He said that it's "up to the studios to decide what platforms to make games for," and that he doesn't expect either to shift their focus away from PCs. Overall, it looks like both developers have plenty of leeway to make whatever they want, which mirriors what both studios have been loudly telling the public ever since they were acquired by Microsoft. Additionally, PC Gamer asked if gamers can expect Xbox games to show up on Windows, or if Microsoft Store games will ever show up on Steam. He said "It's a good question and something we've spent a lot of time thinking through. I expect us to share more details on our plans here soon." As they often have in the past, Microsoft repeatedly promised to do right by PC gamers this time around, but only time will tell if they follow up on that promise.

"While we are proud of our PC gaming heritage, we've made some mistakes along our journey. We know we have to move forward, informed by our past, with the unique wants, needs and challenges of the PC player at the center of decisions we make. I know we've talked quite a bit over time about what we want to deliver for the player on PC, but at E3 this year, and throughout 2019, you'll begin to see where we've been investing to deliver across Store, services, in Windows and in great games. It's just the beginning."
 

oldmanbal

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I honestly get these two devs conflated every time I see their names. Why couldn't they just have merged XBOX BE DAMNED!
 

ianken

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Phil is great. Too bad his boss done't give a shit about consumer computing in any way. Xbox is the last bastion of cool stuff for regular people to use that Microsoft has.

The rest is focused on selling cloud AI bullshit to corporate users, which is a growth area, but doing so at the neglect of regular end users.
 
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Zarathustra[H]

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Hmm. So Obsidian developed Fallout New Vegas, but nothing else I've heard of.

I haven't heard of anything at all on Inxel's list.

What stuff of theirs is good?
 

Derangel

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The biggest thing I want, that probably won't happen, is for MS to release games outside of the Windows 10 Store. They don't have to do Steam, toss them on Epic for all I care, but the Windows Store is garbage and drives people away from these games. By all means, keep Game Pass to the Windows Store but giving people better options to purchase the games would be good for customers.

Hmm. So Obsidian developed Fallout New Vegas, but nothing else I've heard of.

I haven't heard of anything at all on Inxel's list.

What stuff of theirs is good?

For Obsidian:

Knights of the Old Republic 2 is mostly excellent. The game was rushed to hell by LucasArts but it is still worth playing, seek out the Sith Lords Restored Content mod if you do.

Tyranny is a really neat, though not perfect, old-school style CRPG with a consequence system that actually feels like it makes a difference. It has a really neat world and story set-up, though it doesn't entirely fulfill all of it's potential.

Pillars of Eternity 1 and 2 are old-school style CRPGs, in the vein of the Baldur's Gate games from the 90s. They're good. Go play them.

South Park Stick of Truth. A game in the vein of a JRPG, with South Park humor and storytelling. Well worth checking out if you like that kind of humor.

For inExile:

Wasteland 2. Very old-school style CRPG. A sequel to the original Wasteland, the game that Fallout borrowed a lot of ideas from. Its excellent and well worth playing.

Torment is a spiritual successor to Planescape: Torment. I've heard some mixed things about it, but it seems worth checking out for the right price.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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The biggest thing I want, that probably won't happen, is for MS to release games outside of the Windows 10 Store. They don't have to do Steam, toss them on Epic for all I care, but the Windows Store is garbage and drives people away from these games. By all means, keep Game Pass to the Windows Store but giving people better options to purchase the games would be good for customers


Ugh, yeah. No matter what happens I will not use the Windows store. I'd sooner pass on titles, even if I were excited about them (and the upcoming Outer Worlds looks promising) just like how I am currently passing on Metro Exodus.

I remember how horrific of an experience GFWL was and I just don't trust Microsoft.

That, and I also run Windows on local accounts only, and refuse to sign up for a Microsoft account.

I want Microsofts grubby little cloud hands off of my computer.

Not only do I not (since ~2003) own any games that require me to install anything other than Steam or GoG, I also do not buy any titles that require me to have any account with any other service.

I'm looking at you Ubisoft/Uplay.

I will not create accounts anywhere. In this era of loosy goosy data sharing it is in everyone's best interest to minimize the number of accounts and apps they use.

So even if I buy something in Steam or GoG, if upon launch it requires me to sign up with some other service, I'm requesting an immediate refund.
 
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Hmm. So Obsidian developed Fallout New Vegas, but nothing else I've heard of.

I haven't heard of anything at all on Inxel's list.

What stuff of theirs is good?

WHat????????????????????????????????? Ok let me take this from the top Obsidian is what was left of the people from Black Isle Entertainment, before that they were known as Interplay Entertainment, which are the original creators of Fallout, InXile is Interplay Entertainment(what was renamed after the bankruptcy) this essentially is a parent merger,

They have a magnanimous impact on the gaming industry with games like -

Battlechess, Neuromancer, Planescape Torment, Messiah, Fallout 1+2+BoS , Icewind dale 1+2, Balder'sGate(co developed), KOTOR 2, Neverwinter Nights 2, Alpha Protocol, Fallout New Vegas, South park stick of truth, Pillars of eternity, Bard's Tale, Hunted the demon Forge, Wasteland 2+3. coming soon the outer worlds.

I mean did you live in a cave since the 90's, because if you gamed at all during the 90's and early millennium, these guys were at the forefront of the RPG scene, Interplay itself as a publisher was so huge and released a ridiculous amount of games that were popular and pushed gaming to new levels.
 

Derangel

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Lol. He says that every year.

And every year they've made changes and, slowly, improved things. His bosses likely forcing them to use the Windows Store hurts, but it isn't something you can blame the Xbox Division for.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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WHat????????????????????????????????? Ok let me take this from the top Obsidian is what was left of the people from Black Isle Entertainment, before that they were known as Interplay Entertainment, which are the original creators of Fallout, InXile is Interplay Entertainment(what was renamed after the bankruptcy) this essentially is a parent merger,

They have a magnanimous impact on the gaming industry with games like -

Battlechess, Neuromancer, Planescape Torment, Messiah, Fallout 1+2+BoS , Icewind dale 1+2, Balder'sGate(co developed), KOTOR 2, Neverwinter Nights 2, Alpha Protocol, Fallout New Vegas, South park stick of truth, Pillars of eternity, Bard's Tale, Hunted the demon Forge, Wasteland 2+3. coming soon the outer worlds.

I mean did you live in a cave since the 90's, because if you gamed at all during the 90's and early millennium, these guys were at the forefront of the RPG scene, Interplay itself as a publisher was so huge and released a ridiculous amount of games that were popular and pushed gaming to new levels.

Well, I did kind of retreat into a cave for a while from 1996 to 1999. I was in an intense IB highschool program and didn't really have time for anything else but my studies during those years. (Except for when I played through HL1 one summer)

That said, while I have been into PC games since the late 80's I was never really into the RPG genre and always hated everything fantasy themed. I'll do sci-fi, but start mentioning orcs, wizards, paladins and elves and my brain checks out in 5 seconds flat.

First time I started getting into RPG style games was when they crossed over into FPS titles, like with Deus Ex in 2000.

Actually, if we consider Wing Commander Privateer to be an RPG, I also thoroughly enjoyed that in ~1994 I think, but the point is, RPG's were never really my scene.

I never played the Isometric Fallout games. I enjoyed 3, NV and 4, but only started playing 3 in like 2012 or so with the others following.

Of the other names in your list, I recognize the Balder's gate name, but never played it. I also recognize the name Neuromancer, but that's probably from William Gibsons novel, not from any game.

We all had our different games in time. My 90's PC titles were dominated by first person shooters (Doom/Quake/Half-Life, etc.) and space flight Sims (X-Wing, Tie Fighter, Privateer, etc.) as well as Sid Meier's Civilization. I never touched any early RPG games.
 
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"The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works."
-Gordon Gekko, 1987

Buckle up rpg fans. Name one time that the infusion of big developer cash into a beloved studio or franchise resulted in a better product for the fan. First comes feature creep, then blown deadlines, followed by corporate oversight, firings and then a rushed product. Then comes the crowd funding to start the cycle over.
 

odditory

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And every year they've made changes and, slowly, improved things. His bosses likely forcing them to use the Windows Store hurts, but it isn't something you can blame the Xbox Division for.

Noted, but I'm very sure that Phil Spencer has enough juice that if he genuinely wanted to create more platform parity between Xbox and WIndows, it would have happened. Halo 5 would have been available to Windows gamers from day one, and the pseudo-Xbox half measures that are happening now on Windows 10 wouldn't have had to wait until these moments of desperation -- where its only happening because they lost this gen to Sony and the Windows 10 store hasn't caught on.
 
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Derangel

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Noted, but I'm very sure that Phil Spencer has enough juice that if he genuinely wanted to create more platform parity between PC and WIndows, it would have happened. Halo 5 would have been available to Windows gamers from day one, and the pseudo-Xbox half measures that are happening now on Windows 10 wouldn't have had to wait until these moments of desperation -- where its only happening because they lost this gen to Sony and the Windows 10 store hasn't caught on.

With how poorly the Xbox is doing I doubt he has that much pull with his bosses right now. Plus MS really wants the Store to succeed. Though with the rumors of Game Pass going to Switch and, potentially, PS4 it might be a sign of MS loosenig their strings a bit. Something to keep in mind though, Spencer is only leading the division because the Xbox is doing so poorly. They got rid of the former head and brought Spencer back in after the disastrous reveal and launch.
 
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Well, I did kind of retreat into a cave for a while from 1996 to 1999. I was in an intense IB highschool program and didn't really have time for anything else but my studies during those years. (Except for when I played through HL1 one summer)

That said, while I have been into PC games since the late 80's I was never really into the RPG genre and always hated everything fantasy themed. I'll do sci-fi, but start mentioning orcs, wizards, paladins and elves and my brain checks out in 5 seconds flat.

First time I started getting into RPG style games was when they crossed over into FPS titles, like with Deus Ex in 2000.

Actually, if we consider Wing Commander Privateer to be an RPG, I also thoroughly enjoyed that in ~1994 I think, but the point is, RPG's were never really my scene.

I never played the Isometric Fallout games. I enjoyed 3, NV and 4, but only started playing 3 in like 2012 or so with the others following.

Of the other names in your list, I recognize the Balder's gate name, but never played it. I also recognize the name Neuromancer, but that's probably from William Gibsons novel, not from any game.

We all had our different games in time. My 90's PC titles were dominated by first person shooters (Doom/Quake/Half-Life, etc.) and space flight Sims (X-Wing, Tie Fighter, Privateer, etc.) as well as Sid Meier's Civilization. I never touched any early RPG games.

Ah, damn honestly you did miss some really great games, even before those guys the Strategic simulations based on D&D franchise was fantastic, personally I graduated in 2000 from a high ranking Catholic School where basically an A- put you at 3/4 of the way down in class ranks, I had college level Anatomy 201 in my sophomore year, even playing sports year around I couldn't help but get some downtime sparringly to rest the mind and body with a bit of gaming, ironically I gamed more my first 2 years of college when they decided they wouldn't let me test out of classes, and it was all rehash of HS, I'd simply show up for the class and leave if there was nothing new to learn. So I got bored and took extra classes doing a dual major. Grad school was a different story almost forgot how to study for something hard and new.
 

lostin3d

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Ever since this the Bard's Tale updates have pretty much stopped. I heavily looked forward to the newest for over a year and performance wise the game is still a mess. 1990/early 2000's graphics that needs a 2080TI to hit 4k/60fps and a slew of other issues. They were fixing things at a good pace prior to the buy-out and then after maybe 1 or 2 updates and nothing. This ranks as one of my biggest game purchases of 2018.
 

Astral Abyss

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So, let me see if I got this right... InXile went independent and was supposedly making the games they always wanted to make, without the limitations and agenda of a big publisher overlord. And now? ...they're suddenly happy to be a minion of the big publisher overlord.

Did I get the gist of it?
 
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Falkentyne

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WHat????????????????????????????????? Ok let me take this from the top Obsidian is what was left of the people from Black Isle Entertainment, before that they were known as Interplay Entertainment, which are the original creators of Fallout, InXile is Interplay Entertainment(what was renamed after the bankruptcy) this essentially is a parent merger,

They have a magnanimous impact on the gaming industry with games like -

Battlechess, Neuromancer, Planescape Torment, Messiah, Fallout 1+2+BoS , Icewind dale 1+2, Balder'sGate(co developed), KOTOR 2, Neverwinter Nights 2, Alpha Protocol, Fallout New Vegas, South park stick of truth, Pillars of eternity, Bard's Tale, Hunted the demon Forge, Wasteland 2+3. coming soon the outer worlds.

I mean did you live in a cave since the 90's, because if you gamed at all during the 90's and early millennium, these guys were at the forefront of the RPG scene, Interplay itself as a publisher was so huge and released a ridiculous amount of games that were popular and pushed gaming to new levels.

How did you forget Descent 2 and Dragon Wars?
 

horse

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So, let me see if I got this right... InXile went independent and was supposedly making the games they always wanted to make, without the limitations and agenda of a big publisher overlord. And now? ...they're suddenly happy to be a minion of the big publisher overlord.

Did I get the gist of it?
Wasteland 3 to be a windows store exclusive too, right? If that's the case, guess I wont be playing it
 
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