Microsoft Studios head: 'It's really important to think about the longevity of a game'

MCV’s latest issue captures a chat with new Microsoft Studios head Matt Booty ahead of his E3 debut in the role.
"It’s really difficult for anybody to think about making a large scale triple-A game these days without having in mind a content and service plan that goes one to two years into the future out of the gate.”

- Microsoft Studios head Matt Booty explains the studio's position on 'games as a service' titles.

The newly appointed head of Microsoft Studios, Matt Booty, says that audiences seem to be clamoring for more social, community-driven games, something that naturally leads into developing games as an ongoing service.

This all comes from a recent conversation with MCV published in its June issue. In that chat, Booty explains that he doesn’t believe that the rise of games as a service necessarily detracts from “single-player, narrative, cinematic” games, but that it is important for the game industry to move in tandem with player interests and trends.

"There will always be single-player games with maybe 20 to 30 hours of gameplay," says Booty. "We love those kinds of games and there’s a place for those, but it’s also certainly the case with the focus on watching, streaming, broadcast, and esports that it’s really important to think about the longevity of a game."

The Microsoft Studios head also notes here that games as a service titles work well for companies like Microsoft, allowing them to promote their own services like the streaming platform Mixer or the pay-per-month game library Game Pass by launching engaging games like Sea of Thieves, which arrived on the Game Pass service the day of its launch. 

"With games being as large as they are, with the move to games as an ongoing service...It is difficult to pivot quickly and try to chase after trends that might happen even on the scale of a year. In business terms a year can be a long time, but development time being three to four years these days, that's the span we need to think about,” continued Booty. "We've got to get our strategic long-term bets, our game development cycles and the things our players like to do in sync. And that will set us up for success.”

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