I really see it that same way.Which studios are you talking about?
Turn 10? They've been excellent. To date their only mistake was Forza 7, and even then it was a fantastic release.
343? Every game they've released is a top selling, very well critically received game. They are slower than expected on their first Halo that's a service as a game and also happened to be the most ambitious Halo campaign ever designed with tons of new, never before seen additions, including an actual open world in the campaign?
DoubleFine? They just delivered a multiple GOTY awarded and winning game in Psychonauts 2 that everybody at the studio said was made better thanks to Microsoft's acquisition.
Undead Labs has given amazing support to State of Decay 2 over the years. Them having development challenges with their most ambitious game yet, a big move towards a AAA title, also isn't anything that spells trouble or doom for them either. Every team is known to have its issues.
Rare? You may not be a fan of what they've made, but Sea of Thieves is their most successful game ever, and is a huge hit for them on Xbox and PC in places like steam. So they possibly rebooted Everwild. Stuff happens, doesn't mean it can't still be a great game from them.
Playgrounds? They've been firing on all cylinders since they first worked with Microsoft and delivered their biggest hit yet with Forza Horizon 5. They're making Fable. They've never made an RPG before, so of course that would be a challenge. I don't see the issue here.
InXile? They delivered an incredible game in Wasteland 3, a highly well received game that the studio said they were able to make way better thanks to being acquired by Microsoft.
Coalition? Come on, they've been as excellent for Microsoft as a studio can be.
Obsidian? Grounded has been a great title for them, very popular, very loved, they've released top tier DLC for The Outer Worlds since being with Microsoft, they're making Avowed, they're making The Outer Worlds 2. They've been a very efficient dev for Microsoft.
So what's really left to criticize? The newest studio that has never made a game before and needed to build up a studio operation? Aka The Initiative? I don't see a problem. They had creative differences with some of the team on the direction they wanted to go, and now they have a AAA development partner in Crystal Dynamics to make the game with.
They got compulsion games, they're making something new, remains to be seen what.
Age of Empires was a critical and commercial success.
Flight Sim was received very well.
Gears Tactics was received well.
Ninja Theory - looks like they could be putting together something very special over there with Hellblade 2. Can't wait to see it. When you take a step back from the console wars, you realize that there is nothing remotely alarming coming from Xbox Game Studios other than all studios are busy on lots of projects and had to make adjustments to their creative process during a global pandemic. A work from home policy couldn't have been easy for many of them, so of course it impacted a number of things. Xbox Game Studios weren't the only ones who have been affected.
Everything from WB games has seen delays from Gotham Knights, to Hogwarts Legacy to Suicide Squad. God of War was originally announced as a 2021 game and still has no release date for this year. I mean, we can do this all day. Games take time, there's nothing to worry about anywhere. 343i on the Halo side of things are working on their game and will deliver the content as they can deliver it. If people can't wait for them to do so, they can move on to other things. Xbox Game Studios is being held to an absurd standard considering they just came off a year where they were the best publisher of the year with the highest ever recorded average score.
There's quite literally nothing to worry about unless people think studios needing time to develop ambitious titles is a problem.
Coming from where Xbox has come, it's amazing to see what they have put together since what, 2018?
Sure, 343 isn't the most amazing studio when it comes to graphics. They have had their trials and tribulations but Halo Infinate was an excellent game. Make no bones about it, the gaming media were wanting to smash Halo in their reviews. I think alot of them wanted it to be a dud. But it wasn't a dud. It was a really good game. It reclaimed that Halo gameplay and feel better than I thought they would.
The Initiative was always going to be a hard graft. To set up a brand new studio, from scratch, is ridiculous hard. To do that during Covid is even harder.
Many have said, and I agree with them, that there was too many chiefs and not enough Indians. They poached some of the best talent in the industry and brought them together. They would have all had their own views and ideas, and then you have Gallagher who at the end if the day is the boss. He obviously pulled rank and did what he thought he had to do which was to bring CD into the mix. The talent that came across to The Initiative felt that their ideas wernt getting heard and so they went to other companies. The idea of poaching the best in the industry and forming one super studio sounds amazing, until you have to deal with all the egos and different cultures.
The same thing would have happened if any other company had of done the same thing.
So, the Initiative move on, the game will get made, Crystal Dynamics is an excellent studio, and the industry is screaming out for talent so the guys who left will get snapped up by other companies and will also move on.
There is a reason that MS is buying studios now as opposed to setting more up from scratch. You don't see Sony setting up many AAA studios from scratch nowadays, they are also buying existing companies.