Microsoft’s Loftis Feels Great About First Party Output, Says Sea of Thieves Will Be A Scene Changer


Microsoft has been criticized by Xbox fans for the relative lack of first party exclusives and this topic was evidently going to be brought up again now that they're about to ship the Xbox One X console (November 7th, $499).

With less than a month to go on the launch date, GameInformer had a chance to interview Shannon Loftis, general manager of Microsoft's Global Games Publishing, who reckons that there's a great amount of first-party output and productivity from Microsoft's internal studios.

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My role is to work with partner studios. We refer to it as first-party development: Age of Empires is obviously our property and it’s a first-party effort, and Crackdown is a first-party development effort.

I can only speak from my perspective. My charter has actually expanded significantly in the last several years, so I am pursuing multiple markets, multiple platforms, with the Age of Empires and Rise of Nations work, and the sky’s the limit really... it’s sort of intentional for me to expand our partnership relationships, so I feel great about the output and productivity of our internal studios.

I mean, Minecraft is in a continuous innovation cycle, and Sea of Thieves I think is going to be a real scene-changer. When it comes to the general public across the board, Turn 10 I think is probably one of the best studios in the entire world, just in terms of continuously creating and recreating games that define the racing genre. I think we have a great amount of first-party output.

Loftis also pointed out that Rare's Sea of Thieves, due to launch in early 2018 for Windows 10 PC and Xbox One, could be a real "scene-changer".

The shared world pirate themed game will feature cross-play; in fact, Rare recently confirmed they balanced gunplay with that in mind.