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Opinion News Todd Howard: Next generation is about bringing access to games easily to everybody, no matter where they're or what what devices they play.

May 8, 2020
Source: https://www.gamesindustry.biz/artic...ward-the-next-generation-is-about-access?s=09

Todd Howard did a recent interview with Game Industry Biz where he laid out his philosophy for next-gen, and how his vision blended with Microsoft's in their new partnership. He talked on a variety of topics. Here are some of his answers to particular topics. The interview is somewhat extensive.

On what gauges success and the next-generation:
"I don't think there's one way, and there never should be one way, of gauging success," he says. "Going back to TV and movies, there are certain ones of those that are going to go to the theatre -- things like Avengers. Then they're going to come to rental, and eventually to some sort of subscription or streaming service. And then there are the ones that go straight to television and have ads, and they're successful that way.
"My hope -- and you're seeing it happen, which gives me great joy -- is that all of those avenues are starting to be successful. It's the subscription and streaming ones that gaming hasn't had, and it's coming now and very quickly being proven successful, but that doesn't mean the other ones should or will go away.

"The next generation, the next five or ten years, is really about bringing access to games very easily to everybody, no matter where they are in the world or what devices they like to play."
On Industry consolidation:
"I don't know that it portends some other big consolidation. In other industries, that happens from time to time," he says. "All of the games I've done we've partnered with Microsoft in some way. So as we come to Starfield and Elder Scrolls 6, I guess this is partnering in a bigger way."
On working with Microsoft and their philosophy:
"[Microsoft is] very creator-driven, we're still going to get to be who we are. We're a subsidiary, but we're still running our games and pushing everything the way that we have.

"We felt very strongly about their view of access; games for everybody that we can bring to anybody regardless of where they are, what devices they're playing on. We're very, very passionate about that, and at the end of the day we're convinced we'll make better products and get them to more people easily by being part of Xbox as opposed to being just a third party."

On Gamepass:
"Game Pass and things like it allow titles to be successful where the economics of the business, and having to sell things at retail to sell X amount of copies... That works against some games. Just like in other avenues -- let's take television or movies. Certain types of comedies or big budget dramas went away. TV went to the cheapest thing they could make for a long time, reality television, which I could equate to a free-to-play match-three game. What brings eyeballs? What's cheap? Right, let's get it out.

"Subscriptions came along and now you see the quality and investment in dramas or historical fiction series. That's where creators are able to go and create these things people want and it makes sense for everybody: the people paying the bills, the people creating it and the people consuming it. That's what we see happening with games with things like Game Pass.

"The IPs you mentioned -- I can't speak to the ones I don't personally work on -- or even other people's... But take classic adventure games, they now have real life inside a service like that. Those are games that really don't make a lot of economic sense at $60, or maybe even at $30 if someone's going to play it for five or six hours, but in a system like that it makes complete sense. It drives a lot of people saying 'Hey, I got to experience that and I wouldn't have any other way,' and the creators got to make it without the burden of 'Will this be successful? Will we get to make another one?'

"I'm extremely optimistic about what something like Game Pass brings, not just to people playing it but to creators being unbridled in terms of what they can create."

On hearing the news about the MS acquisition:

"Once the shock wore off, there was just huge excitement given the relationship we've had [with Microsoft] and what the road looks like ahead -- not just for us but the gaming industry," he says of the internal reaction to the news.
"We're very much aligned, and have been for a long time, with the same vision as to where gaming is going and how we can be ambassadors and drive that forward."
On the community reaction to the acquisition:
"I grossly underestimated the impact in the larger gaming community," he says. "I was naively surprised at how big it landed and what it meant in the larger context of games, but I was happy with the feedback we saw. A lot of people saw it as a big positive thing, the same way we do."


Can he swing from a thread? Take a look overhead / Hey, there, there goes the Spider-Man
Sep 24, 2005
Sea lab
Cloud streaming on phones will bring MS 1st party games to everyone. Great that everyone will have the option to play if they want.