View Full Version : MGS' General Manager on What the Future Holds

November 11th, 2007, 20:02
Bungie jumped, Bizarre was bought, and Bioware went to EA. If you believe the pundits, the past month has been tumultuous and troublesome for Microsoft Game Studios' as its development partners go elsewhere. But MGS general manager Phil Spencer would beg to differ...

* What does the Bungie move say about Microsoft's attitude towards acquisitions - are you moving away from them?
* There's really no formula we're running at Redmond saying how many in-house or independents we want to have. It's on a case-by-case basis and looking at the kinds of games or relationships we want to have. If a studio came to us today with an idea we'd talk to them about what they want to get out of the idea, what we as a publisher want out of it, and then build the business relationship between the two to make sure we both get what we want. I remember about five years ago I was sat in Las Vegas with Epic about a game called 'Warfare' - which turned into Gears of War - and talking about our relationship, and working out that relationship from the beginning to make sure that the end result was something we'd both be happy with. So that's one example which has been fruitful but doesn't mean we have to own them. Of course there are partners like Rare or Lionhead, a more recent acquisition, were you end up at a different result but still have the same great relationship.

* But with the Bioware, Bizarre and Bungie news, many have speculated that it's a sign of weakness on MGS' part. One news site said the foundation of Microsoft Game Studios seems to be "built on quicksand".
* I will say - and I mean it respectfully - that I find it all a little humorous. I don't think people sometimes completely understand the relationship between a publisher and a developer. But I know what our relationships with our partners are, and I know the collaboration. I think speculation is fine - it's good to have smart people talking about what's going on. But I think this time next year, when we're sat here talking about a great Banjo game or a great Fable game, or other upcoming games, it will all be a distant memory. I understand the speculation - but quicksand in our foundations? No way.