Swedish development studio MachineGames is among those that have recently been acquired by Microsoft as part of the Zenimax/Bethesda deal. Known for the latest series of games in the Wolfenstein franchise, MachineGames had a few of its developers talk to the official Bethesda blog as they look to the future. It sounds like Gameplay Director Fredrik Ljungdahl is very excited about being part of Microsoft.
Games, games, and more games! I also think being part of Microsoft will help us make even greater games in the future. They have a huge number of knowledgeable people, great developers, tech solutions and hardware.
Talking about the possibilities of next-generation hardware, a couple of MachineGames developers focused on the built-in SSD as a key point.
Jim Kjellin, Chief Technology Officer: One of the key items that's coming in the immediate future is the general availability of really fast storage. You've always been able to buy decently fast storage for your PC, but it will become standard in the next generation consoles.
This allows us to change how we think about game design. The historical issue of having to wait for loading to finish or artificially slowing the pacing before you can do major changes to the player experience will be a thing of the past.
John Jennings, Production Director: I absolutely agree with Jim. With these super fast SSDs, we don't need to consider ways of entertaining the gamer while the levels load any longer! Allowing for bigger worlds and letting players jump around seamlessly within them are going to provide some exciting new experiences. I'm really looking forwards to that.
Lastly, Jennings also commented on the most recent game released by MachineGames, Wolfenstein: Youngblood. That game definitely wasn't well-received as the previous ones, which may be because it had a different structure and included cooperative multiplayer, something the studio had never done before.
Our first foray into multiplayer with Youngblood helped us learn a lot from both a gameplay and from a technical perspective. Understanding that "doing the technical learning at the same time as doing the gameplay learning" may be too much of a challenge is possibly one of our biggest takeaways, and it’s one we won't need to go through a second time in multiplayer development.
A third mainline Wolfenstein entry has been confirmed to be in the works. There's no ETA yet, but it could be released next year going by the usual timetable of MachineGames.