Microsoft’s Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer admits that Xbox needs an action adventure game like Sony and Naughty Dog’s Uncharted Franchise, and he hopes Crystal Dynamics’ Rise of the Tomb Raider Xbox exclusive deal will do that for now.
Speaking with Eurogamer, Spencer was asked if Square Enix and Microsoft’s deal was an answer to Uncharted 4, he replied: “Totally. I’m a big fan of Uncharted and I wish we had an action adventure game of that ilk.
We’ve started some, and we’ve looked at them. But we don’t have one today of that quality. This is an opportunity.”
He adds, “People push me as the content guy, shouldn’t it all be about the content you’re building? I want to own all of the hits on our platform.
Well, not all of them – that’s too much. But I want to have a stable of hits on our platform that we own.
Absolutely. That’s fundamental to us having a successful platform. When a unique opportunity comes up, I’ve got to go look at that. And this was a unique opportunity.”
He goes on, “People have asked me before about IP we own, and they’ll say, you own all the IP you publish.
I’m explicit about it: that’s a goal but there will be situations where we don’t, and we’ve talked about those. Ryse is a situation where we don’t own the IP.
But yeah, when you think about our portfolio, if it was a sci-fi shooter, I probably wouldn’t do that! I’ve got one of those! Or if it’s a Gears competitor, or a Forza competitor, there are things I wouldn’t go after.
But this is one that clearly fit in our portfolio really well. That’s definitely part of the analysis. I want to be a good partner.
I wouldn’t be a good partner to Crystal and Square if I had a game I thought was directly competitive with this in the timeframe, and I didn’t.”
He said, “The games business today is an expensive business to be in. If you’re going to build shows like this, and IP and marketing budgets, in certain instances a partnership is a good way for a publisher to find a way to get to the level they think they need to break out.
Just look at this year and the October lineup. It’s crazy. If you’re one of the people who wants to make noise around the game you have, there are opportunities out there to partner with platform holders, with sponsorships and other things to make it big.
This was one of those opportunities for Crystal and Square, and I think it can help take Tomb Raider and make it even bigger. We want it to be big, given what we have coming to the Xbox in the way it is.”
“I knew there would be some push back when we came out. Certain people won’t believe this: it doesn’t come from an evil space.
It comes from a space where there’s an opportunity that maps really well with what we need in terms of the genre, and a partner that’s looking for a partnership.
Other people can do the deal, but it was a deal that fit well with us. And I think it could help the franchise in the long run and help Crystal and Square and us,” Spencer added.
So its Rise of Tomb Raider will vs Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End in Holiday 2015 season.
Rise of the Tomb Raider is due for holiday 2015 release.
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