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Post-Sony's PS Conference, Does Microsoft Lack An IP/Char With Enough Mass-Market/Mainstream Appeal?

Does Microsoft need to focus more on big-brand character-driven content (single-player or not)?

  • Yes

    Votes: 152 42.3%
  • No

    Votes: 121 33.7%
  • Unsure

    Votes: 21 5.8%
  • Doesn't Really Matter

    Votes: 65 18.1%

  • Total voters
  • Poll closed .


OP if my mainstream appeal, you mean something like Spiderman, that cannot be achieved via only games.

That guy is in comics, tv shows, super hit movies AND video games.

These game characters like Master Chief and Kretos will have to go beyond video games.

And while Master Chief has other media, none of that stands on its own. They all tie into video games. We are yet to have comics or tv shows starring him that anyone can watch (outside of Halo fans).
I can get behind this sentiment. Spider-Man wasn't made a household name due to PlayStation games. Disney and Marvel made the property huge. Sony doesn't even own the IP the way Nintendo owns Mario or MS owns Master Chief.

To the greater point I don't think MS needs major mascot characters. They need to continue to deliver with their services and game genre diversity something Sony really lacks. Make as many quality games across major genres and make those games easy to access by not requiring gamers to buy specific hardware. I'm glad MS is doing something different than the Japanese game makers.
I think MS has dropped the ball on iconic characters. Or maybe they don't care that much to have them.

Master Chief is still very recognizable, but not as big as he (and Halo) used to be around Halo 3/Halo Reach. Hype was crazy back then.
I'm old enough to remember Marcus Fenix and Gears being more popular than Uncharted/Drake, at least in the US. Gears was crazy hyped back then too. Hell, GOW started being used more for Gears than God of War at one point in this very forum. Now he's based on Dave Bautista....
With the acquisition of Bethesda they inherited the Indiana Jones license who is an iconic character. I believe once that expires they won't renew.
They also were never able to capitalize in some recognizable characters they inherited from Rare.

I actually talked to someone a couple of years back who used to work at Microsoft Game Studios during the 360 days and I was asking him why MS doesn't try to license KOTOR to bring it back. He mentioned that leadership at the studio was very much against the idea of licensing IPs. They want to fully own the IPs if they are going to spend $$ on developing and marketing it. 3rd party moneyhats were okay when he was there, but obviously that seems to have changed from the 360 days.


You lost me the moment you said point people towards the order and tomorrow children. If you think quality isn't and hasn't been the primary issue for Xbox since the middle of the 360 generation then you're a lost soul.

Good luck with your gaming endeavours.


Gold Member
After almost two decades of superhero spam I vomit just by seeing Marvel logo, enough is enough. The only way I'd be interested in a popular comic character is if it was a rated M game full of gore and violence, like Spawn, Punisher, Volverine, Venom/Carnage, Deadpool, The Darkness etc.

All those pussy-ass heroes in tight latex suits who get bitch-slapped over and over until the very final fight where they pull out the exact same stunt they've been trying the whole time and now it suddenly works is such a dumb concept for me, so long story short if a gaming studio has to waste 4-6 years dev time for something like that, then no thanks.


Starfield -

Hellbade II -

Fable III -

Everwild -

Avowed -

Redfall -

The Ascent (more create your own) -

Bright Memory Infinite -

CrossfireX -

State of Decay 3 -

Xbox has plenty in the bag and more due for short-mid term releases.
No wonder why Micrososft does not get access to the gamers


MS has no license shining outside video game media. They need that if they hope to eat part of casual people currently buying PS (and this is a big part , i think more than half of them)
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Gold Member
I agree with regard to elder scrolls, but isn't fallout kind of on the rocks? I got the impression the fan base liked 3 better than 4 and 4 better than 76... Also both of those games won't really have much in the way of mascot appeal because they feature customizable player characters. Maybe Doom guy, Steve from Minecraft, Banjo Kazooie, the character from The Gunk, (or after next Wednesday, Sonic) might do the trick if they start to push them that way.
The Fallout franchise is bigger than a dud or two, but I agree it's been down hill for a while. The higgest praise I can give F4 is that it has some of my favorite companions in any game series.

Edit: They don't need mascots in and of em self when they get out new Fallout and TES franchises.
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You’ve backed up exactly what I’ve said, apart from I didn’t realise Spider-Man had reached the 20m mark. So thank you for that.

Have you even read that God of War link? :messenger_tears_of_joy: It only confirms an estimate based on the franchises total sales. But guess what, we don’t know how many copies God of War 3 Remastered sold, so we can’t extrapolate how many copies GoW 2018 sold from that.

Not exactly. You said:
Only 4 of Sony developed PS4 games got close to or exceeded 10 million copies sold
There is no "coming close to". 4 titles have already exceeded 10 million copies:
  1. Spider-Man
  2. God of War
  3. Horizon Zero Dawn
  4. Uncharted 4
  5. TLOU Remastered (PS4) also sold 14+ million copies on PS4, by the way. I didn't mention it though.
; Uncharted 4, God of War, Horizon and Spider-Man. No others (apart from TLoU Remastered) have even exceeded 7 million.
  • Gran Turismo Sport had sold 8 million copies two years ago.
  • By now, both Ghost of Tsushima and Spider-Man Miles Morales would have exceeded 7 million copies. Same for TLOU 2.
None of their games have exceeded 20 million sales, something that Nintendo is currently doing for fun.
  • Both Spider-Man and God of War have sold over 20 million copies.
    • And there is no argument about God of War. Before the 2018 GoW release, the franchise had sold 30 million copies. It's now at 51 million copies sold. That means GoW 2018 sold ~21 million copies. And even that was 12 months ago.


Gold Member
Not exactly. You said:

There is no "coming close to". 4 titles have already exceeded 10 million copies:
  1. Spider-Man
  2. God of War
  3. Horizon Zero Dawn
  4. Uncharted 4
  5. TLOU Remastered (PS4) also sold 14+ million copies on PS4, by the way. I didn't mention it though.

  • Gran Turismo Sport had sold 8 million copies two years ago.
  • By now, both Ghost of Tsushima and Spider-Man Miles Morales would have exceeded 7 million copies. Same for TLOU 2.

  • Both Spider-Man and God of War have sold over 20 million copies.
    • And there is no argument about God of War. Before the 2018 GoW release, the franchise had sold 30 million copies. It's now at 51 million copies sold. That means GoW 2018 sold ~21 million copies. And even that was 12 months ago.
There is no "coming close to". OR EXCEEDING the others are not close to 10m. It’s not difficult to understand. I mentioned TLOU Remastered so no need for you to repeat I suppose.

That’s a whole load of opinion re: Gran Tursimo, GoT and God of War so yeah, n or fact.
I thought you were talking about games, then I saw it was about comic books.

I don't need a mascot at the grocery store, sports game, or in a video game. It looks like you do, and I hope they all make it to your birthday party this year.
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You people need to stop this shit. Sony has nothing to show but expansions to PS4 games.

I believe Microsoft will be the one delivering true next gen experiences to the surprise of everyone.

Spiderman 2 and wolverine are PS5 only. Naughty Dog's new iP is PS5 only, Cory Barlogs new game is PS5 only. Returnal is PS5 only, Ratchet is PS5 only. Demons souls is PS5 only.

The sad thing is Spiderman 2 will be out before any of Microsoft's first party. Only studio I know works pretty fast is Coalition and Obsidian. I can see avowed coming out in 2023.


No because Sony’s line up has to all fit a certain genre. I like Microsoft’s diversity way more.

Biggest uneducated crock a shit I ever heard.

At least know wtf your talking about.

How are all the wacky VR titles Sony makes fitting certain genre's? I know exactly what your trying to say like ver other person who says Sony only makes third person/over the shoulder games.

Yet no one includes the 100's of titles Sony funds and produces for VR and PS4. So games from illfonic, Pixelopus, Media molecule fit the so called mold right?

Sony doesnt just fund giant AAA games you know that right?
I think you guys are putting way too much importance on licensed games. This is like saying that SQEX is going to overtake Activision because they have Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy.

I think at the moment, MS seems more unknown and experimental than Sony right now. I feel like they're more willing to try AA titles, and niche genres. Kind of seems like they're purposely not going for the same kind of one-size-fits-all approach to mainstream mass market games.

Sony has some of the best dev teams around, and that's why Spider Man worked. It's less to do with the IP, and more to do with the fact that it was just a well made game. I do think the Marvel gaming pool is going to turn out to be a whole lot shallower than people expect, and I've said so in a few other threads. The last significantly interesting advancement in super hero gaming was Arkham Asylum in 2009. Since then, WB basically copy and pasted the same gameplay template 3 more times. Insomniac copy and pasted the same gameplay template from that as well, while adding some great web swinging. Gotham Knights will copy it again. We have yet to see the actual bones of this genre and core gameplay depth actually expanded for the last 12 years. Miles M already felt a little stale to me personally, so I am just saying that the well will dry up eventually and people will lose interest. Suicide Squad is the first real indication that we may get a new idea from the people who started this whole thing, and there's a huge chance it'll just be similar to Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy and not be that great.

TLDR: you guys are putting way too much importance on licensed games. Their popularity is fleeting.
How does Sony make up for for the big western RPG onslaught that will be coming from Microsoft or are we pretending that those games don’t mean anything now ?


I always thought that Sony lacked an ip character with enough mass market mainstream appeal.

Spiderman the video game character is something on loan form marvel. Nathan and kratos aren't that mainstream compared to halo and mario. Just think about all of the shirts and toys for halo around compared to god of war or uncharted. I've been thinking that Sony needed to work on making some of their characters beloved nostalgic characters. I always thought it was weird that Sony was like one of the few Japanese companies that doesn't have like a mascot like characters. You have Ryu or dante for capcom plus mega man, konami has metal gear solid and contra, nintendo is just ridiculous, sega has sonic, square enix has cloud, sephiroth , and tomb raider and for Sony does anyone outside of gamers know kratos or nathan.
Biggest uneducated crock a shit I ever heard.

At least know wtf your talking about.

How are all the wacky VR titles Sony makes fitting certain genre's? I know exactly what your trying to say like ver other person who says Sony only makes third person/over the shoulder games.

Yet no one includes the 100's of titles Sony funds and produces for VR and PS4. So games from illfonic, Pixelopus, Media molecule fit the so called mold right?

Sony doesnt just fund giant AAA games you know that right?
He's right. Sony is all about single player melodramatic games.
A well-written OP, thicc_girls_are_teh_best thicc_girls_are_teh_best , I agree with your well-reasoned points and your conclusions and I agree that MS needs iconic characters/IP.

Or at least to make Halo relevant again. And all that needs is for them to produce a single new top-tier mainline entry for the series.

If I was MS, I would gut 343i and hire in known notable talent from across the industry to reinvigorate the Halo team.

Halo is their best bet. It's a franchise with history, with promise and amazing narrative potential (that even Bungie arguably failed to fully exploit in the games).

I've been saying it for years, but a full-on expansive Halo WRPG would be mind-blowing. And now with the Obsidian and Bethesda purchases, they have both the WRPG and FPS chops to deliver that.

I'd put machine games on it for the FPS mechanics (with ID Software helping) and have Obsidian build out the RPG-side of things. How could it not be one of the greatest games of all time and completely reinvigorate the Halo series?


One of the green rats
I’m interested to see if the yes votes on this poll match the number of A votes on the conference thread.
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If those PlayStation games releases this year then you may have a point... Nope, they dont

Thread /

Microsoft also has Indiana Jones that's in early development.

Big budget Starfield releases next year and more first party games

We don't even know if Indiana Jones is Xbox/PC-exclusive yet. Given the announcement timing and just the tone of the thread I think it should be, but we literally don't know yet.

This has never been about saying Master Chief doesn't have brand power or influence on cultural mindshare, he obviously does. However it can't be denied that power has diminished some over the years due to inconsistency in quality of various Halo titles since the Bungie era.

MS understands that which is why they got Staten back. Without him it's possible Halo Infinite would've been continuing the downward trend but now with him present there's a strong chance that trend can be reversed.

Halo is irrelevant, didn't you get the memo?

C'mon you know that's not what I'm saying here bro xD

When you read a lot, you also tend to read faster then most... lol

To Op's point I don't personally believe Microsoft needs to do anything to compete with Sony in this area as of right now Microsoft needs to be competing with themselves to actually allow their development teams that have creative freedom and creating new intellectual property to bring in new consumers regardless if that is superhero or otherwise you also need to take into consideration it's not like Spider-Man has always been the success to argue PlayStation always needed it to move units or something weird like that so yes Spider-Man doing something crazy like 20 million units definitely helped the PlayStation 4 sales but I would argue the fact that Sony was publishing it and Insomniac was developing it is key to why the game was so massively successful because consumers trust that combination.

Because you have to ask yourself why did the other Spider-Man games not movie even a fraction of that? It's not like Spider-Man just recently became a big property it is always been a very massive IP one could argue if it was multi-platform prior to this how come it was not moving even more Monster units?

So what this means is simply taking a popular franchise and putting money behind it doesn't necessarily mean it's going to do Spider-Man numbers because lots of Publishers had control over the Spider-Man license and failed to move those type of numbers so I don't believe simply just having the property magically make some money lol

Even funnier is the idea of this mass-market appeal concept I would argue Master Chief is a bigger figure than some of the Sony franchises that move even bigger numbers than Halo you need to understand being recognizable and people having your attention doesn't always mean they have your respect and doesn't always mean they're going to purchase the game I would argue that's like trying to fucking say something dumb like people all over the world recognize Pac-Man so what you're telling me is Pac-Man's going to move Call of Duty numbers? So right now the recognizability of a Halo is not necessarily translating into it beating Battlefield or Call of Duty or anything like that those days are long over and do the property has recognizable imagery a lot of that isn't translating into gangbuster sales it's simply trying to live off of The Nostalgia of yesteryear and I believe it's a bad idea for Microsoft to put all their money behind such a concept when the shit literally has not fucking work for them for several Generations now move the fuck on put the money into a different property and allow Halo to Simply Be A once-in-a-generation type deal.

So I don't really believe this as much to do with mass-market appeal as much as it has to do with that Sony has built up deep trust with the consumer. This trust is so deep that it doesn't actually matter what property it is simply knowing that Sony's publishing and one of their teams are working on it is enough to get people excited look at how hype people are of the Wolverine game it's not like we never fucking got a game like that before it's that we've never had the combination of Sony publishing as well as Insomniac making the game there's a difference.

Consumers understand this and it's why I always believed it was a better idea for Sony to focus on supporting their development team instead of trying to just live off of a few intellectual properties because ultimately it is the trust of that development team that allows consumers to purchase new properties confidently without feeling like they only need one property here or there it's why that Community easily takes new intellectual properties because we're fucking used to it by now.

So in my opinion that is something Microsoft needs to do because whenever they're bringing out new properties a lot of us feel there hesitation to put a big budget behind it, or a trusted team.

I have nothing against Perfect Dark or even the new Fable game that's coming out but to me it sounds like even the money Microsoft is willing to put behind properties only seems to be something they're going to do with a established properties. It should not take development teams already working on new intellectual properties in Microsoft purchasing them for them to fucking support new intellectual properties...

My God why did it really take several generations of these guys are losing to realize they need new intellectual properties of the AAA variety? Lol

So I'm not going to go as far as to agree with anything like mass-market appeal at the end of the day Microsoft has a reputation of starting the generation very strong with lots of promises and then basically just giving you the same exact properties like clockwork and anything new that they bring out is going to be double A or pretty small or not that interesting or not with one of their top teams or something like this and I believe the community feels this.

Imagine if Electronic Arts kept telling you they loved new intellectual property and every single time they told you this they just talked about that A Way Out game lol

It comes across as a complete hollow gesture that's trying to run on semantics. So I think the direction Microsoft is going in right now is the correct one and I believe they're going to do just fine but ultimately I believe they just need new AAA intellectual property like clockwork for the Gaming Community to trust them long-term with new properties and that's about it.

When they're able to do that for a few Generations like clockwork then we could talk about what they would do with a superhero franchise because to be honest with you that is what's going to get people excited not that Microsoft is doing it but that the Microsoft we know that can deliver solid games regardless of development team is doing it.... that's why the community was excited about Insomniac doing Spider-Man and Sony publishing.

That combination has a history of delivering now Microsoft needs to build that trust in order for the same excitement to ever be had with such a concept. Sony has focus on their TEAMS that makes you a fan of the teams ablitiy to make a new IP and Sony's trust to fully fund it no different then the other IP they did prior if not even more funding. So because of this, we feel when Sony puts out a new IP, we know they will put money behind it, we know their teams will treat it as a new series if need be and that at any time, a series can come out by them that moves monster units.

Before OP get mad at this tree, you make one, prepare to get it how you give it lol

Its only fair.

I'm not mad, in fact I think you made you some strong points here. MS really dropped the ball last gen in terms of investing in new AAA IP. Yeah they got games like Sunset Overdrive and Quantum Break, but did NOTHING with them after the first installments, pretty much dooming the IP to obscurity, when they had potential to grow if cultivated properly through a sequel. They cancelled Scalebound outright, which was a massive blow in terms of their perception at a time PS4 was really cementing it and Sony's strength in the market, and they even cancelled the remake for Phantom Dust because the developer wanted to add MORE content to it to make the game more feature-rich (heard Rand Al Thor 19 and Jez Corden talking about it on their podcast).

Combining that with the bad rollout of once-consistently great IP like Halo (MCC) and Crackdown (Crackdown 3), not to mention failing to continue IP like Killer Instinct as long as they should've (letting Sony run away with brand association with the fighting game genre, something they've since solidified further upon) and it's almost too easy to see why Xbox as a brand took such a massive dive in public mindshare and power over the years, and has only just started its long climb out of that hole.

So yeah, they need to do what you are basically suggesting: investment into a consistent string of high-quality, high-profile AAA IP, which they will definitely be doing. I also agree that Sony's success with superhero games isn't just the IP license, my bigger point there tho was that if the quality is already sound and well-known (which in their case, it is), then the brand power of the IP itself becomes magnitudes more effective, and you don't get more well-known than SpiderMan.

Which is what I'm really getting to in terms of the crux of the situation: even accounting for the high quality many of Microsoft's 1P titles will very likely hit over the years to come (and are already hitting if we consider games like Flight Sim, or the Forza series in general, or games like SoT in their current state), do these games have, or will have, a level of quality large enough to overcome the lowered brand power they will have compared to a high-quality SpiderMan game, or a high-quality God of War, a high-quality Wolverine, etc.? That's probably almost virtually impossible, because if those Sony games in particular are at least as strong or stronger than prior entries, that doesn't leave a lot of room to supersede them in raw quality. So hopefully, Microsoft gets their marketing and messaging for those games on-point, because at that point it's the one area they can realistically outdo Sony and bring those high-quality AAA IP releases of theirs to a mindshare presence rivalling or even surpassing Sony's.

And, well, I think our first example of if they can meet that challenge will be with Starfield, in all honesty, which I hope sticks with its release date. It's a new IP, so it doesn't have the brand power on its own of a Horizon or GT7 or Ragnarok, but its developer has a lot of brand power when it comes to WRPGs and a history with that genre going back decades. Microsoft's already positioning it as their next big marquee AAA IP, let's see if they give it the dev resources and marketing presence it deserves.

Microsoft needs critical success in terms of reviews and a string of them, that's what's been Sony's strong suit more than they need a IP that everyone knows.

Yes I agree on that and they've had some critical successes already with Flight Sim, Psychonauts 2 and soon-to-be Forza Horizon 5, but why does that and having IP everyone knows have to be mutually exclusive?

You can have both: Sony has them and Nintendo has them, too. It's only fair to expect Microsoft to have them and in a way they already do when you look at Forza, or Minecraft for example. However, Forza is "just" a "car game" which some have already used to unfairly downplay its excellence, an Minecraft is not seen as a Microsoft IP by and large, but its own thing.

You are essentially asking people which franchise they like.

Xbox people will list Xbox titles and PS people will list PS titles.

Many Xbox players minus maybe one or two games are Xbox players for a reason they dont care about the PS single player exclusives just like PS players minus a game or two don't care about Xbox games.

I don't think it's as simple as that; there's a lot of people who have both systems and probably have a mix of IPs from both they would count among games they like, so I'd like to think it's not as partisan as one camp vs. the other camp.

That said at least on the surface you could say Sony and MS 1P have a lot of diverging points in the type of varieties they encompass, and there's a good chance a lot of gamers as a result swing harder one way or the other. Although at least for a good deal of content that perception difference isn't actually true (i.e it's not like Sony haven't made or published Tearaway, Echochrome, Dreams, Tomorrow Children etc. over the years much in the way Microsoft are co-funding and publishing some of the GamePass indies or have games like Project Spark of their own).

The difference between Sony and Microsoft is that Sony are making the games and Microsoft is just making games. Let me put it in a simple form..

The last of us
God of war
ghost of tsushima
Horizon zero dawn
spider man
Death stranding

There is (are) some(things) connect all of these games together and that would be..

The Characters
A Base for the future


Edit :

It's a personal opinion and that doesn't show that Microsoft has no games, I'm just pointing the issue I see within the Xbox games ( again it's a preference ).

Interesting way to look at it though I think it's selling Microsoft a bit short. You can't look at a game like Forza Horizon 5 and tell me there's no passion there, even if there aren't any strong human/human-like characters at the heart of the game, because they're clearly treating the cars themselves as the characters there. Playground's passion for that game bleeds through and you can easily see it.

At the same time though, maybe with certain other games what you say can be attestable to at least on the surface. Redfall for example, I am still looking forward to the game and think it will be a high-quality release. However I can't help but feel it seems a bit like it's hopping on current market trends and from what little we know so far, feels very thematically similar to two other shooters (Back 4 Blood & Blood Lust) coming around the same time frame.

I'm heavily cutting the game short of its likely real uniqueness there, but it's just to illustrate that on the surface, yeah I can see how your perspective feels more true to certain instances like that one.

Building a franchise let alone creating a mascot is a very tricky thing to do...it requires time, marketing and allowing the devs time to let said franchise grow organically. I always chuckle when a thread for the LOU2 comes up and the usual war begins...I almost always see the defenders shout out "you probably haven't even played the game" when the irony is often the people who are pissed at the sequel are a huge swath of those who LOVED the first game. That's how you know when you have a great IP on your hands when the fans become so passionate at what happens.

Sony has this now, but during the early PS2 days this wasn't always the case, it took time for Kratos, Jack and Daxter, Nathan Drake Sackboy, etc to flourish and become the face of Playstation.

MS already has Master Chief an incredibly recognizable IP/Mascot, but Marcus from GeOW never really took off, Fordza and GT are the cars, so while instantly recognizable they don't have that mass appeal like the aforementioned IPs... With Zenimax, and the giant collective of new 1st party studios their chances go up though lol

I believe that while first party many Bethesda titles will simply be seen by the masses as "now owned by MS" rather than a MS IP...if that makes any sense lol

While right now I would say they're lacking, by the end of the generation I would assume they will have more than a few new IPs that will have that kind of appeal, their own Uncharted, GOW or LBP if you will.

I agree, but my worry is do they realistically have until the end of the generation to establish those types of games (also interesting to throw LBP in there because that series isn't really a high watermark in terms of objective quality or massive sales but it's still beloved by many, bolstered by the strengths of other Sony IP that surround it I'm sure)?

This isn't the same industry as when the PS2 was around; Sony didn't need those faces as much then because market conditions just happened to get them a ton of 3P exclusives with IP that essentially filled in that void for them, even if they got some ports to other platforms. Tekken, Silent Hill, MGS, Final Fantasy, Onimusha, GTA etc. You could say Sony are trying to recreate that by getting some of these big co-marketing and timed exclusivity deals with Final Fantasy XVI or (yet another) GTA 5 remaster.

More importantly tho, we're not seeing the inverse of that effect for Microsoft now; the absolute vast majority of 3P IP are not strongly associated with the Xbox brand, and they aren't getting a lot (or really, any) big 3P AAA games as "virtually exclusive" to them the way the PS2 did, or the 360 did in its time. Its biggest 3P exclusives are seemingly coming from indie devs but while a lot of those games are pretty high-quality they're also not IP with a lot of brand power of their own, no brand legacy or stuff like that, either. In terms of brand power optics, this doesn't benefit Xbox nearly as much as Sony's situation benefited the PS2 in its time.

And that's basically why I asked if Microsoft has enough time to organically build up those new IP to establish enough rapport and brand power of their own, because Sony (or Nintendo) aren't sitting still. They'll have games of overall similar high quality AND a lot of those will be sequels to IP with magnitudes more brand power and cultural mindshare, to boot. Very tough odds for Microsoft to overcome, but they'll have to find a way, and part of that will inevitably have to involve either securing some major AAA timed exclusives (or outright exclusives) of their own, pray that IP they now own like Elder Scrolls or Fallout have new installments sooner rather than later, or securing rights to an existing IP brand with established cultural mindshare among the masses and getting a high-quality game going with them that's absolutely associated with the Xbox brand every step of the way.

Or, preferably, a mix of those three things, but strategic all the same.

Master Chief, Minecraft Steve, Vault Boy, Doom Slayer.

Like, is this thread a joke?

It's definitely not a joke thread, and the point isn't to say those games don't have brand power. But honest question, how many Minecraft players or fans do you think associate Steve as a Microsoft IP character? I'd be surprised if it's any more than 20% of them in total, probably way less.

How many do you think associate Doom Slayer as a Microsoft IP character? Definitely not the majority. Why do you think Microsoft pushed to market their recent E3 as a Microsoft & Bethesda showcase? Because they know they have some serious work to do in order to convince the masses to view those Bethesda IP as Microsoft IP, that's why.

That's what this about, not if those games have brand power or cultural mindshare whatsoever (because they absolutely do).

Elder Legend

Yoir Aee Member
As much as I love Sony’s line up of titles such as Wolverine, Spiderman 2, God of War Ragnarok and Horizon Forbidden West and can'twait to experience them, games such as as Fable, Awoved, Everwild, Forza Horizon 5, State of Decay 3, Perfect Dark, Outer Worlds 2, Hellblade 2 seem way more diverse to me and interesting in rather than the 4 Sony games I've mentioned. Sony still relies too heavily on 3rd person action adventure cinematic storytelling, meanwhile Microsoft has a much larger variety instead of just "cinematic" experiences. Also, I am not a fan of Gran Turismo but thats because I am not into similator type games, and Forza Horizon is an arcade racer


He's right. Sony is all about single player melodramatic games.

Again google is your friend. Blood and truth is a VR shooter in the vein of James bond. Dreams, sackboy, ironman VR game, firewall: zero hour, everybody's golf

They fund a shit tons of games that are not fitting to your so called mold.


Gold Member
It's definitely not a joke thread, and the point isn't to say those games don't have brand power. But honest question, how many Minecraft players or fans do you think associate Steve as a Microsoft IP character? I'd be surprised if it's any more than 20% of them in total, probably way less.

How many do you think associate Doom Slayer as a Microsoft IP character? Definitely not the majority. Why do you think Microsoft pushed to market their recent E3 as a Microsoft & Bethesda showcase? Because they know they have some serious work to do in order to convince the masses to view those Bethesda IP as Microsoft IP, that's why.

I would comfortably say more people now associate Minecraft with Microsoft than those who associate Spider-Man with PlayStation. I have a 13 year old tech head in my family who owns a PS and an Xbox and I had to explain to him that Spider-Man is an exclusive PS game.
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That is exactly my point.

The issue is the delivery… not the talk, marketing or announcements.

They don’t lack IP/chars… they lack delivering… it is the same issue Xbox One had… the uncle Phil forever waiting promises.

They're delivering more games than can be played via Game Pass literally every week and the games on that list are coming too.
You don't seem to have a problem with announcements for 2023 and 2024 so no sure why these are just "talk".


thinks Halo Infinite is a new graphical benchmark
Xbox is still young compared to SONY when I’m doubt feature gears and halo two shooters Sony will never have. I like that they bring Forza to the table also.


Possibly. But I think Spider-Mans success can be mostly attributed to Insomniac Games being the perfect fit in terms of developer.

I’m not sure Machine Games can be considered the perfect fit for Indiana Jones for example, but they might surprise us.
I have no idea why, but Horizon Zero Dawn is classified as Action-RPG.
Horizon isn’t in that same vein as someone who’s played it it’s in the same category as god of war and ghost of tushima. It’s not elder scrolls, fallout, starfeild, avowed, outer worlds, in exile rpg then there’s fable I mean when these games start dropping those are all huge games. Also the revisionist history of acting like master chief is not relevant. I also get the need for new characters and worlds from Microsoft.
That is exactly my point.

The issue is the delivery… not the talk, marketing or announcements.

They don’t lack IP/chars… they lack delivering… it is the same issue Xbox One had… the uncle Phil forever waiting promises.
Phil’s agenda is only starting to come to fruition this year and will be in full force next year let’s not do revisionist history most of the Xbox one stuff was under mattric leadership. Also most of those games aren’t even out yet how can you say they haven’t delivered?
My man Don left in 2014
So you think all the decisions he made ended in 2014? Design decisions about the console that could have went to extra power to probably have games on par with ps4 or better that dogged them the entire generation with resolution gate. Or the bad drm taste that made a lot of Xbox consumers move over to PlayStation or games like quantum break and Ryse that could have been better received without the Kinect design choices. Also if Microsoft had maintained a good will from 360 into the Xbox one and it was more of the same and you could have just carried your library over to the one the landscape will be very different right now. A lot of the first party output from them that fell on deaf ears due to low install base would have been received better and who knows insomniac might have even been Microsoft first party right now. Matrics handprint will be felt for a long time he really regressed the brand after what the 360 did.


MAJOR NOTE: Just gonna remind again this has NOTHING TO DO WITH SOFTWARE QUALITY!!! Anyone who tries twisting it into that is just flat out wrong. If they mention poorly-rated games like Bleeding Edge, just point them to Order 1886 or The Tomorrow Children for Sony equivalents. BOTH companies have plenty of highly-rated 1P games over their respective histories so please, this has NOTHING to do with game scores or ratings!!!

So Sony just had their much-anticipated PS event on Thursday and, some opinions aside, it's been generally very well-received. It was short yet sweet, featured a lot of content, and closed out with a steady stream of impressive first-party content. However, what was most interesting to me what the type of content they closed the event out with, combined with the brand power of that content, and the frankly insane amount of online engagement metrics and mindshare discussion said content has had even outside of gaming-orientated spaces, and that's made me realize something quite potent in Sony's strategy, and something I feel Microsoft needs to address.

Simply put, Sony are being very strategic in building off 1P momentum with characters and IP that have decades-long histories and rapports with legions of fans around the world, are in very good reputable standing, with proven software development entities behind them and benefiting in most cases from trans-media (as in, multi-media) presence that's helped some of those transcend "mere" gaming spaces. If you want a clear example of this look no further than SpiderMan. Arguably THE most popular fictional character in the entire world, regardless of medium, and Sony just so happens to have exclusive access to the best games featuring that character and their universe, made by a studio now synonymous with many as the premier developer of superhero games, Insomniac. And those games, just happen to only be available on their PlayStation platforms, at a time where SpiderMan is also enjoying arguably the most success in terms of superhero films post-Endgame. Simply put, that power combination of IP, character, legacy, nostalgia and quality is very much real and a rare mixture you only see once every so often in the industry.

Nearly 8 million views in only two days. These are Hollywood blockbuster levels of viewer engagement and mindshare impact, no matter how you frame it.

Ragnarok not doing too bad either with 4.5 million views in a couple of days.

Indeed, the only other video game property I can think of that comes close to the cultural mindshare power of SpiderMan is Mario himself, but we're still talking a pretty sizable gap in those terms (maybe not so much in terms of game sales, but that is not the only factor when I discuss cultural mindshare power). And this is where I bring Xbox into the picture. I'll be frank: this has NOTHING to do with terms of absolute quality. There are plenty of high-quality, high-scoring Xbox/Microsoft 1P games, especially of recent with releases like FS 2020, Psychonauts 2 and the soon-to-be Forza Horizon 5. However, let's not beat around the bush: Sony has just as many of such games and some of them, such as the aforementioned SpiderMan or God of War, have vastly more cultural mindshare/brand power than anything Microsoft does, and that's something Microsoft needs to address.

As you can see, Forza Horizon 5 is one of the few MS games with a similar level of cultural mindshare impact, tho I'm not sure how many of the 7.5 million views were within two days' time. As a racing game, it still has the stigma of "just a racing game" to many gamers despite being arguably the best out there.

Before people bring up "But Minecraft!" or "But Sea of Thieves!", let me frame this by responding that the former, by and large, is neither seen by the majority as an "Xbox" or Microsoft branded property, nor are games like Minecraft genuinely shaping the larger meta of gaming discussion within the community or among the larger mainstream audiences. As for Sea of Thieves, well it is definitely a fine quality title these days and very popular on Steam, but it's not within the sphere of a Minecraft, and you'll never see a game like it really shaping meta industry discussion or competing for cultural mindshare with a Mario, God of War, or SpiderMan. Let's just be realistic on that and, again, it's nothing to do inherently with measurable quality in any of what is being discussed here.

So why is it a problem longer term for Microsoft if they persist in lacking such characters or IP that are strongly associated with the Xbox brand? Well, simple: we can see a direct correlation in how Sony having characters and brands like SpiderMan, God of War, Uncharted, TLOU etc. benefits to growth and persistent presence of the PlayStation brand globally. They are even now seemingly building their own gaming equivalent of the MCU film universe, which could be a perfect timing if in case the actual superhero film bubble starts to shrink, but tastes for high-quality superhero content stays or even grows. All of this not only benefits Sony obviously, but also their third-party partners, because a persistently healthy and highly-sized PlayStation brand means a large and health platform ecosystem for third-parties to thrive in, whether that means game sales, DLC/MTX sales or even subscription content models.

Many would argue that Microsoft's most popular character is Master Chief, with the Halo brand being synonymous with Xbox. This is likely true, but it's also true that Master Chief has lost a good deal of his brand power over the years thanks to scattershot quality in multiple post-Bungie Halo releases handled by 343i. This has diminished the brand's selling power as well as cultural mindshare footprint, in the face of competitors not just from Sony, but also Nintendo (the games don't need to be FPS to be competitive in this context), Activision, EA etc. And long-term, THAT MATTERS, because it contributes to acting as a limiting factor for Xbox brand growth REGARDLESS if it's console sales, or services like GamePass which are still largely being fueled by the Xbox fanbase.

And now that leads us to the big question: what can Microsoft do to address this shortcoming? Well, as textbook or a meme this may sound as a response, ultimately it is true: while games like Flight Sim and Forza are arguably among the best of their kind, the reason they do not sway the larger meta and mindshare is because they ultimately feature...inanimate objects. Inanimate objects that lack any type of human element to them, either in terms of being actual, clearly unique/distinct character designs (with stories/worlds to go along with them), or human-like anthropomorphic/cyborg/robot-style characters where the same holds true. One of the biggest reasons Master Chief is Microsoft's most recognizable character brand is because he has a human-like presence, and was established with a strong sci-fi universe and great stories. Unfortunately, that has been compromised thanks to 343i, and the fact his helmet provides very little to no chances of the player to emotively connect with the character through their eyes and facial expressions, is a massive limiting factor.

What Microsoft needs ARE more games with distinctively unique, timeless character designs and either powerful story narratives, lore-dense worlds (in both written/oral myth and visual design) or (preferably) both, that can allow players to personally connect and relate with the avatars they control on a human-like level. Even better if they can pull in doing this with a character that already has some type of established legacy and rapport with audiences at large transcending gaming exclusively, similar to what Sony and Insomniac have pulled off with SpiderMan (this is NOT me advocating for Microsoft to acquire a developer/publisher like WB Games, btw, or even saying they need to license rights to a comic book character to do this. However, those are options available to them if they feel they are worth doing).

Because it's not JUST about the hardware or JUST about the services, or even JUST about the quality of the content, all three of which we can say Microsoft have either generally excelled in or have begun to show serious improvements in over the past few years. Ultimately, those things won't do much if that content doesn't have powerful enough brand power, or lacks characters, worlds and/or stories that can emotionally resonate with players through conveying strong human-like designs/avatars, narratives and qualities. That, combined with masterful marketing, are THE two biggest factors in building up strong cultural mindshare and, if you can dominate the cultural mindshare, you dominate the money, especially if the other things are persistently high-quality.

This is something Sony are demonstrating they understand. It's even something Nintendo are starting to show they understand given the push for Nintendo properties outside of gaming, like the Universal theme park project. It is, however, something I feel Microsoft has NOT demonstrated they understand, and maybe their roots and dominant presence as a business software company are to "blame" here. In any case, it's something I hope they at least realize internally, and are looking to address with their upcoming projects and industry-related moves, because if they fail to do so they will never gain the type of market brand growth they obviously desire, and will definitely not gain the cultural mindshare that would massively benefit the brand's pursuit to larger wealth.

But anyway, I'm interested how the rest of you feel on this? Do you agree with my general point here, or disagree? Do you think this is a pressing subject for Microsoft to take into consideration, or is it just a bunch of hot air over nothing? Sound off and let's have a discussion on it.
Ms need to create more new IPs, they did brilliant with the og xbox, started well on 360 and ended meh and xbox one was extremely poor, one of worsts in any console, i feels this gen will get the ebenefits from afew bethesda games but we wont see that many until the end of this gen or the start of next gen from other studios


I assumed none of the shit you say I aasumed. You're only projecting your own thinking unto me. Like you're the one assuming shit about the previous Spider-Man games (and fatally wrong on top of it, because a very beloved Spider-Man game and considered by many to be the best was a PlayStation game). And the N64 game you bring up? You're laughable dude. Just laughable. People should make rounds laughing on your face at that shit you posted.

Cracking Up Lol GIF
The best Spiderman game was Spiderman 2.

That game is so old yet the web swing mechanics are superior still.
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Phil’s agenda is only starting to come to fruition this year and will be in full force next year let’s not do revisionist history most of the Xbox one stuff was under mattric leadership. Also most of those games aren’t even out yet how can you say they haven’t delivered?
That is what is said since 2015.
The forever waiting promises like I said.

That is the issue I already posted in the first post. MS guys only talks about future over and over again since 2015.

If you think it is a non-issue just because I’m a fanboy then I have nothing to help you guys change the situation and that thread has no purpose at all.
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Just goes to show the level of delusion from some posters :messenger_tears_of_joy:

You pick any random granny of the street and show her:

A picture of Pikachu - there’s a good chance she recognises the character even if she’s never played a Pokémon game.

A picture of Mario - there’s a good chance she recognises the character even if she’s never played a Mario game.

A picture of Minecraft Steve - there’s a good chance she recognises that it’s Minecraft even if shes never played Minecraft.

A picture of Master Chief - there’s a moderate chance that she recognises that he’s a video game character, even if she can’t name the game.

A picture of Link - there’s a moderate chance that she recognises that he’s a video game character, even if she can’t name the game (or thinks that he’s called Zelda).

A picture of Joel, Nate Drake, Aloy, Sackboy and Kratos - she hasn’t got a fucking Scooby-Doo who any of these are (unless she personally owns a PlayStation or spends time on NeoGAF) :messenger_tears_of_joy:

I think the reason the PS fanboys are so desperate about this (even included Spider-Man as their own IP :messenger_tears_of_joy:), is that it’s the last thing Xbox has over them. PS wins the sales wars, PS had more critically exclusive games last gen - I genuinely think it really sticks in all of your craws that Xbox still owns the more recognisable IPs. Your desperately trying to make it seem like Aloy IS A MAINSTREAM ICON because she has stared in one video game that has sold 10m units :messenger_tears_of_joy: absolutely pathetic.

Joel and Nate Drake might be iconic amongst people who play video games, but outside of that arena they are the 2 most generic looking indistinctive white action men you’ll ever see.
She will recognise Pokemon and Mario because they will be things her grandchildren will be playing with. And for better or worse young kids spend time with their grandparents - elder kids and teens and 20s and 30s don't.

I would argue you do not need mass adoption in the kids spectrum to qualify as having a 'mass market' character.

I'd also dispute that a granny would have a moderate chance of identifying Master Chief or Link for that very same reason.

Kratos, Aloy and the like are very distinct characters. Joel and Nate are not. When you look at MS's forthcoming titles there's no distinct characters beyond Hellblade. But having distinct and recognisable characters is one thing, having a good game to back it up is another.
2) I dont understand you naming Sony IP's. Aside from Spiderman what Sony first party character is a household name? Like one that anyone can recognize. That even my uncle can recognize. There is only a few Mario, Sonic, Lara Croft, Pikachu. Most people think Link's name is Zelda.

Hear what you're saying and it's a good point. However it's also like I was saying earlier: 3P brand association (in terms of platform holders) is also a very real thing. Even tho Final Fantasy had prior releases on Nintendo and even Xbox consoles, that brand is virtually associated with Sony dominantly. Tomb Raider? Strongly associated with the PlayStation brand.

Same can be said of many other 3P AAA games too, from Devil May Cry to Persona to GTA to Fortnite, and all of that starts to really add up. So it doesn't even really matter too much if Sony doesn't have the most powerful IP brands in terms of cultural mindshare outside of the SpiderMan games and a few others, because they are strongly associated with a majority of AAA 3P IP anyway.

That's something Microsoft needs to make stronger inroads in, through whatever means necessary (as long as they're legal).

Sega does have 2 very recognizable trans media IP's that are being mistreated or not used at all that MS could grab. Would love to see Double Fine take a crack at Sonic or atleast make the stages for Sonic's friends. Daytona co-developed by Playground games and AM2 with Nagoshi as a producer would be a big name transmedia brand that would make a cultural impact if it had an AAA budget. A Sonic game made by Insomniac with the same production value they put into ratchet and clank and Spiderman would be the highest selling console Sonic game ever. Sega would be a great buy for Sony too.

I'm not gonna get into acquisition talks because that is a dangerous slippery slope, however I'll just say I'm glad there are no signs pointing to SEGA being acquired by anyone right now. They've been doing better as a 3P publisher than some people think or give them credit for, and I think you still get the situation of many of their IP being ignored if they get acquired, anyhow.

A Double Fine-produced 3D Sonic would be awesome tho, they are probably the best developer out there to try it. A new Daytona would probably be a bit redundant tho I do like the idea of Playground doing an official SEGA racer; the recent FH5 gameplay footage gave me some strong glory day arcade-era SEGA racer vibes with the planes and stuff around the courses.

IMO if Microsoft ever wants to become a cultural phenomenum worldwide, they first need to become more aware of the world that surrounds them.

They need to be more subtle and focus more on a broad selection to a worldwide appeal. Some of their recent moves seemed to be in that diretion, but how they handleded it seems that they got everything wrong... crazy.

Some sub 1 million PS games are as important to brand awareness than big blockbusters.

True; I think MS are dropping the ball some on Japanese/Asian content for the platform. Between stuff like FF VII Remake and FF XVI getting big timed exclusive periods with Sony, to still no word on Persona 5 coming to Xbox or GamePass (let alone Persona 6), not getting games like GG Strive or VF5 Ultimate Showdown (or pretty much any Japanese fighting game not SNK) on the platform to the real possibility of not just Project EVE but potentially Black Myth: Wukong or my favorite from Gamescom, DokeV, ending up as PlayStation console exclusives if Sony sweeps them up for co-funding and publishing deals, to not even announcements of co-funding games with companies like SEGA or Koei-Tecmo to bring them exclusively to the Xbox ecosystem like in the OG Xbox days, it just feels like they are paying those type of games lip service.

If their push for Japanese & Asian games and content is simply getting GamePass into those regions with xCloud support, they aren't gonna make much headway IMHO. And those Japanese & Asian style games have obvious appeal globally too, and add some variety to ecosystems. I mean there's still a chance stuff like the Kojima rumors either end up wrong (Xbox--wise) or are super far away with nothing to show or announce officially for a while. That's not really the best feeling for me to have TBH and if stuff like Street Fighter 6 once again go PS exclusive, that just makes it a lot harder for Microsoft to compete in the overall picture and scope of things.

This x2.
Couldn't think of anything less inspiring.

I'm not asking for Microsoft to copy Sony's formula in terms of the specific games. I actually hate TLOU 2 for example, it has one of the sloppiest narratives for a game I've ever seen and in terms of game mechanics did virtually nothing to innovate over the first game.

But in terms of getting character IP with lots of brand power that easily go into spaces other than just gaming, and in turn can be a big benefit to their own platform's mindshare? Yes, why NOT take a page from Sony's book there? They can do that through building up new IP (and actually iterating on them, something they didn't do at all last gen), AND by licensing out exclusives based on globally popular characters or even just characters or properties highly popular in specific regions of the world, but getting a good mix of them.

They don't have to be mutually exclusive things especially for a company with Microsoft's resources.

I think new future iconic characters basically means really good games. I think Microsoft needs really good games and if getting another mascot or two comes out of it...I mean that would be cool.

MS already has some really good games; like was said earlier it's less an argument on game quality and more on just having games with the types of characters, stories and worldbuilding that moves swathes of audiences at a deeper emotional level. Games like Flight Sim and Forza are too mechanical for that to most people (although to plane enthusiasts or car enthusiasts, they're probably like Shakespearian poetry in motion)

If you want to talk about brand recognition for the everyday person (mums, dads, grandmas, little kids) Sony are probably dead last. Spider-Man isn’t their video game IP. Microsoft own Minecraft Steve. Nintendo shit on them both from a great height because they own Mario and Pikachu.

Here's the point, though: how many Minecraft players associate Steve (or Minecraft in general) as a Microsoft brand/IP? It's not nearly as many as you may think and that is part of the problem.

There's just a big difference in what true mass culture appeal is compared to having a big fan base. And there's probably only a dozen or so IPs in the world that can fulfill that criteria in any medium

Spiderman is a hard one because its not Sony's IP and Marvel can change direction any time they feel like it but that's the only one from Sony that could be in that conversation

That's right, and for some of those IP like GTA and COD or Fortnite, how much are we willing to bet that the vast majority default to associating them with PlayStation as PS brands? Sounds like a bet I'd be willing to take, personally.

I mean there are still people who think of Silent Hill, Tomb Raider, Tony Hawk Pro Skater, etc. as Sony IP. Whenever there were rumors of stuff like the PS Classic coming out, most of everyone's picks were games like MGS as if they were Sony IP, when they aren't. But that just shows the power of that brand association that then applies to cultural mindshare.
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