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IGN: Microsoft putting together a "AAAA" game studio

Kerlurk

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May 1, 2020
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Has anyone at MS actually said this "AAAA" thing besides that job ad that started it all? lol, honest question

This is IGN repeating the "AAAA" thing they saw in a job ad for The Initiative years ago as far as I can tell.. no one at MS, outside of whomever wrote the text for that job ad years ago uses AAAA as far as I can tell.

Probably was an accidental extra "A" added in that job listing, and then IGN going to town with it.

Oh no! Sony counter with producing a studio that's going to make a "AAAAA" title!
 
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Apr 19, 2019
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Away with the fairies
Chill bro, Xbone definitely had a problem.
Imo 360 was fine vs PS3. 360 fell off at the tail end thanks to Matrick going all in with non-gamer motion sensing jazz, and that is how Xbone became Xbone....
Then let's discuss the problem and solutions to it, rather than carrying out Phil-atio on the xbox execs.

Matrick did ruin it, there's no doubt, but 'Phil' has done jack shit during his reign, other than send out confusing, flip-floppy messages.
 

ipukespiders

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Dr Bass

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Man, the flow of BS never ends. I know this is supposedly from IGN, but I wonder if MS planted the seed "Psst, we are working on AAAA games now."

Maybe not, because that's a bit conspiratorial but the unending bull coming from Microsoft these days with a distinct lack of actual games is unprecedented. It's like being in the gym and being unable to even bench press the bar, then getting up and stating to everyone around them "Yeah, I'm doing reps of 300 now."

I mean, wtf is going on over there.
 
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brokenduck

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Dec 20, 2018
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So 343i should be gone pretty soon. However doubt MS can fix what happened in 343i, these people they hire aren’t really top talents either, the marvel avengers game also suffers from development hell with a lackluster beta.

if that’s the quality of talent they are looking for, why not just go to Eastern Europe and got the same level of talent 1/3 the cost, at least investors will be happier with more profits on their earnings report.
 
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itsjustJEFF

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Apr 12, 2018
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Whoa! What would a AAAA game even look like. I mean what does that even mean?!? What would make something a AAAA game 🤔 Budget? Studio size? Review Scores?

Is there any game, this generation, that could be considered a "AAAA" game?
 

GymWolf

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AAAA means more money\manpower\time available than rockstar\ND\ubisoft that are considered only AAA.

Big if true.

 
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longdi

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Then let's discuss the problem and solutions to it, rather than carrying out Phil-atio on the xbox execs.

Matrick did ruin it, there's no doubt, but 'Phil' has done jack shit during his reign, other than send out confusing, flip-floppy messages.

Except for games output, Phil has done everything that is needed to return Xbox to its root, power of X etc.

Yes 1st party output seems an achilles heel for Phil, im not sure why? Probably it is something harder to direct than hardware and networking side. You are dealing with people in the creativity sector, you want to believe giving them more freedom is needed. 🤷‍♀️
 

BlueXImpulse

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Whoa! What would a AAAA game even look like. I mean what does that even mean?!? What would make something a AAAA game 🤔 Budget? Studio size? Review Scores?

Is there any game, this generation, that could be considered a "AAAA" game?

GTA, COD, Fortnite or Pokemon if we're talking about marketing power/sales. Games of that standard.
 

splattered

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Feb 8, 2012
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"Give them some time" "Never heard that before"

Works for Sony but not Microsoft?

Sony has had solid teams and their games in the pipeline longer than Microsoft's recent round of new game startups and studio acquisitions. Sony is afforded the time to create great games but Microsoft should not?
 
Apr 19, 2019
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Away with the fairies
Except for games output, Phil has done everything that is needed to return Xbox to its root, power of X etc.

Yes 1st party output seems an achilles heel for Phil, im not sure why? Probably it is something harder to direct than hardware and networking side. You are dealing with people in the creativity sector, you want to believe giving them more freedom is needed. 🤷‍♀️

There is serious incongruence at the xbox division. The X and the original Elite controller are amazing piece of kit. The size of the X, for the power it puts out, is godly and that controller? Best one ever made, hands down. It's a work of pure genius.

The games though? :messenger_grimmacing_
What teams other than 343 are having issues? Go ahead, I'll wait.

All of the ones who haven't put out a game all gen? Ninja theory having their game cancelled, whoever was responsible for the laughably bad Crackdown 3? The coalition seem to be wobbling a bit. Gears 4 was the greatest torch-carrying of a franchise i've ever witnessed. They fucking nailed it, 100%. Gear 5 though? Crapfest.

Outside of that we have, Ryse, sunset overdrive, sea of thieves, ori and i can't think of any more exclusives? I know there are some, but i'm drawing a blank

Playground games should be the MS equivilent of SWWS, as Playground are one of the best, most consistent, most reliable devs in the industry to date. Going this route, MS could return to the days where they used '2nd party' devs to create exclusives for the Xbox. It worked perfectly for 10 years, i've no idea why they changed it
 

zwiggelbig

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Apr 6, 2017
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such fucking bullshit with their AAA
CDProject red is just a normal AAA studio who does not use crazy budgets for their titles yet are going to deliver amazing quality with their newest cyberpunk game.
And they wont have just a good game they wil also have good writing in it lol
 

Aceofspades

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Phil undoing the barren years of Matrick
He has to start, and start he did in 2018.
Give them some time, impressive cast he has poached! :messenger_bicep:

The barren years of Mattrick had more games than now also MS was more focused with clear messaging, they were laser focused on Kinect and they supported that . Also he resigned in 2014 and since then we have no idea what Phil is doing, no games, no clear vision, empty promises... etc
 

Nameless

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You tell me
Perfect Dark doesn't justify an "AAAA" budget without a drastic reimagining of premise & game design, but ok.

I also don't expect MS to dump this much resources in a game without major GAAS component. That's not necessarily a pejorative, but looking at the service game landscape it's not exactly something to do cartwheels over, either.
 

MarkMe2525

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Maybe they should concentrate on their current teams' output first. Walk before run.
At least they are making moves. If current teams aren't putting out quality, then they already have other teams in the pipeline. Putting together a studio is a gamble in itself. It's smart for MS not to put all their eggs in only a few baskets.
 
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longdi

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The barren years of Mattrick had more games than now also MS was more focused with clear messaging, they were laser focused on Kinect and they supported that . Also he resigned in 2014 and since then we have no idea what Phil is doing, no games, no clear vision, empty promises... etc

While the games output are not up to hardcore gamers standards...fair point.

But no clear vision? What kind of 'a vision'?

I see Xbox under Phil as a core gaming console, that aims to draw in players new and old.
From there, build an ecosystem that the players will enjoy and continue gaming on it on Windows, on Android, as wide net as possible.
What more you need?

Unlike Mattrick, who did not focus on games, but wanted gimmicks for soccer mums, wanted the HBO ESPN hillbilly crowd, biting for every non-gamer pie he can think of. 🤷‍♀️
 
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Jtibh

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Reinventing the gaming industry i see.


Should we find another hobby till then?
I hate fishing and the cold.
Any ideas?
 
Apr 19, 2019
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Away with the fairies
At least they are making moves. If current teams aren't putting out quality, then they already have other teams in the pipeline. Putting together a studio is a gamble in itself. It's smart for MS not to put all their eggs in only a few baskets.
Fair point is fair.

Better to keep building studios than sat on their arse and do nothing. I can get behind that.
 

jaysius

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Makes a game, let us decide the quality when we're playing it.

This is worse than all those "GAME OF THE YEAR" editions that didn't even come close to a game of the month.
 
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IntentionalPun

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The actual original job ad said “experience shipping high quality titles at AAAA standards”, and that's where IGN keeps getting this AAAA thing...

So the AAAA studios here are the ones The Initiative hired people from... according to some guy who wrote a job ad years ago lol
 
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May 8, 2020
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Good for enthusiasm. A lot of talent already there on the top echelons. For a AAAA title aka Naughty Dog, Santa Monica caliber type game they'll need way way more developers than they have now. We talking 200+ minimum and you're still looking @ at least a 3 year dev cycle. Considering they're not that size as of this moment we looking into late 2024 territory. That is, if AAAA is truly their goal and not AAA shine with AA scope.
 
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longdi

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Lets not forget, Playstation was known as the Gran Turismo console from PS1 to late PS3 era.
Us old school gamers were more than happy to buy Nintendo and Sega consoles, on the strength of their first party offerings.
For PS, it was all about the third parties...

It took PS3 troubled launch, when Kaz took over, amongst things he changed, he decided to consolidate and invest in first parties.
The results finally happens in mid-life of PS4, when Sony first party studios generated big hits, in review scores and sales and acclaimation....

Building a first party stable is not as simple friends..
 
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Aceofspades

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But no clear vision? What kind of 'a vision'?

They are scrambling and their PR and communications are pretty horrible with mixed messages. One day they say "we don't believe in generations" the other day "we will cut off Xbone support in 2022.." then Phil comes with his quote about we don't care about console sold, and then start pushing for Gamepass" and you can find more examples of these contradictory statements coming from MS.

Add to that the abysmal 1st party output since 2009, they had entire generation with bad output and still they got caught not ready for next gen meanwhile Sony was producing a GOTY after GOTY every year and they are still supporting PS4 to this day and still managed to be more prepared for next gen.

Its a classic example of good management and bad one, Its mindboggling to me how much free pass Phill Spencer get here.
 
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Elder Legend

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Not sure why people are acting like cry babies. A new studio is in the works for more games that you all been bitching about and wanting MS to start acting.

Oh I am sorry that game development and studio set ups don't happen overnight. Bet you if this was a Sony article stating "PS Studio creates new game studio for new IPs" the thread would be filled with "Omg, why MS not do this ? OMG, this is why I love PlayStation" or "This is why PS is always king" lol hypocrites. I am so happy I get to enjoy both of my new toys later this holiday season without any hate or dislike for either of these companies. I feel sorry for you, you must hate video games really this much, please quit this hobby, you are not worthy of it fellas.

But hey, what do I now... its not like I work with some of the biggest game publishers or developers the last 7 years and run a company.
 
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longdi

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They are scrambling and their PR and communications are pretty horrible with mixed messages. One day they say "we don't believe in generations" the other day "we will cut off Xbone support in 2022.." then Phil comes with his quote about we don't care about console sold, and then start pushing for Gamepass" and you can find more examples of these contradictory statements coming from MS.

what? I didnt get those memo?
Mixed messages or people just paraphrasing incorrectly to stoke the flamming?
 

Abear21

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Apr 11, 2020
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Always so much talk and confidence backed by zero show or go. To be considered AAAA would mean transcending normal game design/graphics/technology.

Flight Simulator is the only game out I can think of that somewhat fits this criteria, but they ignore it for Xbox. Go figure.
 
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GHG

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"Give them some time" "Never heard that before"

Works for Sony but not Microsoft?

Sony has had solid teams and their games in the pipeline longer than Microsoft's recent round of new game startups and studio acquisitions. Sony is afforded the time to create great games but Microsoft should not?

I'm sorry, are Microsoft new to the industry?

Is this Xbox's first baby steps?
 

MarkMe2525

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This is always great but I think using terms like "AAAA" is setting then up for failure right away. They are already setting the expectations extremely high and the studio isn't even put together yet.

For example, whatever comes from The Initiative will not meet the hype already surrounding it. Not because they are going to be a bad studio(I think they are going to be amazing), but because the hype train is already full speed ahead and they don't even have a game announced yet.
I agree with you. Some people are of the mindset to set extremely high expectations to get the most out of your team. I always felt that approach leads to great short term results but quicker burnout.
 
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