Head of Xbox Studios Matt Booty was recently on the Game Informer show to talk about his role as the head of Xbox studios. He talked about what his job entails, first party studios, and the future of the company. He also gave some of his reactions to seeing Halo Infinite and shared two details.
He said how 343 was “thinking of expanding the world.” He wouldn’t go as far as to say sandbox, but noted that there’s “more things to explore”.
The second thing he noted was that “it’s been cool to see them get back to some of the shape language and design language of some of the earlier halo’s… at once it feels more modern and more clean, but I also think there are stronger echoes back to the roots of halo.” He also noted that it could be said that Halo 5’s visuals design wise could be called a little “busy.”
What he said isn’t necessarily new, but it’s interesting to hear some new context. Based on the little we know, it would be safe to assume that this will probably be the most ambitious Halo ever. Halo Infinite gives the impression that this game will be more open, expansive than ever. Some of the trailers and details we have been given gives us the impression they want the game to be impressive in its scale.
On the visuals, it’s a good thing that Microsoft seems to realize that Halo 5 was a little busy design wise. Halo 5 isn’t a bad looking game, as I noted in a previous article, in fact fidelity wise it looks great. But in terms of visual design, art style, and overall aesthetic, the game just looked too complicated. There was almost too much happening on the screen.
The previous Halo games nailed their look, and it’s really promising that Infinite seems to be inspired by those games in terms of visual design.
There’s a ton more in the interview, including an overview of other first party’s, the future of Xbox, and more. If you want to check that out, and get the quotes on Halo in context, make sure to check out the video below.
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Finally watched the 30 minute interview segment on Game Informer with Matt Booty. The Halo Infinite info sounds great and the idea coming from the Game Informer interviewer about XCloud being on Xbox 360 was a great idea and I wonder if that would actually happen. The info about them wanting to get Undead Labs to an AAA level sounds great but the still wanting to see them working on State of Decay for the next decade, not so much. If they get elevated to the AAA level, they should have two teams if they decide to keep State of Decay around for a decade.
The biggest news and for me, disappointment came in regards to Ninja Theory. Booty talks about Hellblade and that while it was a 15 or so hour game, it was of high quality which I agree with since I did play and complete it but if it means for them to keep doing that, that’s what they will do and he then mentioned Game Pass in connection with it to where it feels like every studio acquisition outside of Playground Games was solely for the purpose of meeting a quota of content for Game Pass which to means, shorter 15 or so hour games at an AA level on a two year development cycle.
Simply not happy with that because it’s like, what’s the point of acquiring all these studios if they don’t elevated to the AAA level, especially Ninja Theory because outside of Playground, Ninja Theory should have been elevated to AAA day one. They’re simply too talented a studio to keep at the 80 or so people mark. They should be 200+ and working on next gen AAA games that are simply past the 15 hour or so linear type games.
Other than that, the news about possibly allowing future titles on Sony and/or Nintendo platforms is 50/50 for me. On one hand, what’s the point in acquiring these studios if they’re still be releasing games on the competing consoles which honestly, makes no sense to me because it’s almost like, you know you can’t beat Sony/Nintendo so why both trying? On the other hand, for a game like The Outer Worlds which is going to be on all three consoles, I can see if/when there’s a sequel that it goes on the other platforms as well.
Simply torn in this regard because I know why Microsoft/Spencer/Booty want to put their first party titles on other platforms while still getting all the licensing fees from having third party games go on Xbox as well as the money brought in by Gold/Game Pass/etc. but at the same time, as someone who owns all three consoles, if you’re not giving me exclusive games and content that I can’t play anywhere else, why would I buy into your eco-system?
At this point, im just hoping that Gears 5 is an excellent game and better than Gears 4. Next gen wise, just have to wait and see how it all plays out.