Spencer: If Anything, I’d Like to See More Single Player Games from Our Xbox Game Studios
With the recent announcement of Bethesda's acquisition, Microsoft bolstered its roster of Xbox Game Studios to a grand total of 23 first-party developers, a massive jump from the meager 8 studios that the company had before its acquisition spree began back in 2018.
After all these acquisitions, some gamers were worried that Microsoft would turn these studios to the games-as-a-service (GaaS) market, but that's not going to be the case at all. In fact, in a newly published interview with Gamereactor, Microsoft's head of Gaming Phil Spencer said if anything, he'd like to see more single player games from his Xbox Game Studios.
[...] I know some people that, when they've looked at the model around Game Pass, have assumed that Game Pass is actually a better model, if there's more Games-as-a-Service games in the subscription. I actually argue the opposite and believe the opposite. The last thing I want in Game Pass is that there's one game that everybody is playing forever, that's not a gaming content subscription, that's a one-game subscription, that's WoW, right? So for us, having games in the subscription that have a beginning, middle, and end, and then they go on to play the next game, maybe those are single-player narrative-driven games, I just finished Tell Me Why, an amazing game from DontNod, those games can be really strong for us in the subscription. In many ways, they're actually better than one or two games that are soaking up all the engagement in the subscription. I want a long tail of a lot of games that people are playing, and I think the diversity of online multiplayer versus single-player, we have to support the diversity there, and that's my goal. If anything I'd like to see more single-player games from our first-party, just because that over time we've kind of grown organically to be more multiplayer-driven as an organisation.
That's an interesting take from Spencer, but one that definitely makes sense given the focus on the Xbox Game Pass subscription service and the current orientation of many Xbox Game Studios who've made fortunes with single player titles over the years.