Microsoft: We’ll See More User Generated Content in Games Going Forward

Xbox Game Studios user generated content

Speaking to the Guardian in an interview published today, Microsoft executives Phil Spencer and Matt Booty discussed a number of topics including the ever-growing importance of user generated content (UGC) in games going forward.

Microsoft's Head of Gaming Phil Spencer said:

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Microsoft has been a creator-led company from the beginning. I mean, on DOS, anybody could build an app – you were a game publisher if you had a compiler and a floppy drive. You just built your game, copied it over to a floppy, put it in a Ziploc and you’re selling; you’re a game publisher. I like that access and I want to get back to that as an industry.

Xbox Game Studios Head Matt Booty added:

I think we will see a lot of games start to include things that are based around scripting and the ability to add to the game. With Forza Horizon 5, we added the ability to design challenges and obstacle courses. We’ve had Halo Forge, which lets you design your own multiplayer levels. In Flight Simulator, that activity is a lot more sophisticated. So I think we’ll see that going forward, where people just have an expectation that they can do more through scripting and mods. And certainly, with the addition of Bethesda to the Xbox family, they’ve got a long history of understanding how mods work – we’ve seen that with Skyrim.

Hopefully, this renewed focus on user generated content will also soon translate into improved modding capabilities for PC games downloaded via the Microsoft Store and/or Xbox Game Pass. To this day, this remains arguably the biggest drawback of Microsoft's PC gaming store when compared to Valve's Steam and the possibilities offered by Steam Workshop, still the gold standard when it comes to sharing and distributing user generated content for PC games.

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