The XBOX One

That’s what the Coalition was supposed to be before MS bought the Gears IP and rebranded the studio and made them a factory.

The Coalition wasn’t formed from nothing though - they started out making Facebook games, then made Microsoft Flight, then became The Coalition and were put on Gears after Microsoft acquired the IP, along with Rod Fergusson from Epic.

The Initiative is literally being staffed up from dust with people from a bunch of the biggest names in the business. And their first game will probably have a budget in excess of $150-200 million dollars, based on who they are hiring, and the types of games they’re known for.

I think Respawn is the closest thing I could even think of, but even they were formed by the heads of Infinity Ward, and a bunch of defectors from Infinity Ward that came with them.

That lineage is a little weird. At least according to Wikipedia everyone was fired before it was “renamed” Black Tusk and they started staffing up as a AAA new IP dev. I’d count it because the Initiative is basically the same idea as Black Tusk was pitched to be before the Gears IP stuff happened, and I’m not sure there’s much connection between it and the Zipline/MS Flight stuff other than physical office space.

The only studios I’m excited about that Xbox acquired are InXile, Obsidian and The Initiative. The former 2 because I’m a big fan of old school RPGs, and the latter because of the sheer talent and potential to make some AAAA exclusives for once besides Gears, Halo, and Forza.

Playground (makers of Forza Horizon) have also established a second team, that is widely rumoured to be making a next-gen Fable game.

Honestly, I think the only studio I’m not really hyped about, is Undead Labs, because I don’t care about State of Decay, and their name alone means they are probably going to be focused on zombie games, which I’m utterly bored of.

Compulsion Games made We Happy Few, which certainly interested me in terms of it’s politics and aesthetic, but the game itself was half-baked. I’m certainly interested to see what they can do with the full backing of a major publisher.

And Ninja Theory, because of course.

Hmm, I wasn’t aware of everyone being fired. Though it still technically doesn’t fall under my original criterion, because they went on to make a sequel to an established series, not a brand new IP, which is presumably what The Initiative are working on (I don’t think you’re luring people away from Rockstar or Sony Santa Monica with the promise of making a Perfect Dark sequel or something).

By the same token, this is why I didn’t include 343 Industries - a new AAA studio founded by Microsoft, but to steward another established franchise.

I played SoD2 last month and was surprised how janky and limited it felt this far after release.

I would have thought they could match up with Dead Rising series by now with MS’s level of resources.

They weren’t owned by Microsoft for the development of that game - the purchase announcement came a few months after the game was released. It’s also not a full $60 priced game, if I remember correctly.

I don’t think Microsoft intends to make every studio they bought into a large, AAA studio, so it’s entirely possible they intend to just keep chugging along making their little zombie games. Likewise, I don’t expect a studio like Double Fine to double in size or something either.

Hahaha. I love this. Because of their name they will forever be forced to make games about the Undead. Just like Double Fine will forever be forced to make games that are better than just fine.

I’m most excited about Double Fine myself, though Obsidian is a close second.

Fair enough. I suspect I’m not the only person who unfairly elevates their expectations of a MS acquisition.

I mean, there’s nothing to say they couldn’t change their name tomorrow, but “Undead” kinda suggests a specific area of focus, unlike “Double Fine”.

I’m interested to see what Double Fine do with a solid financial partner, but I really hope they aim big again, like they did with Brutal Legend - even developing their own engine for that game.

Much though I love Double Fine, Microsoft would be kind of insane to throw money at them

Gears 5 is gold!

I had a lot of fun with the Technical Test, even though I normally don’t play multiplayer much these days. Hope the co-op PVE is just as good.

Aw crap, I downloaded the Technical Test, but totally forgot to play it. I’ll have to remember to uninstall that one of these days. I wish things like that would get automatically uninstalled.

Sure, but that wasn’t the plan when it was Black Tusk. They lured away a bunch of top talent originally, too, and got as far as showing a teaser for Shanghai Heist at E3 before being retasked. We don’t know what will actually come out of the Initiative yet, either.

Hey, Slay The Spire was relaxed today for Xbox, and included on Game Pass. I’ve been wanting to check it out for a while.

Microsoft has announced an upcoming [email protected] open house, so if you’re in the area you can RSVP and check out some upcoming games. But the article includes an announcement of some new games coming to Xbox as well:

Thanks - that looks really cool. I’ll probably go.

So I’ve been clicking on the Games With Gold tab every day, waiting for Forza 6, even though I could just look at the date and realize it’s not time yet. But today I searched for Forza 6 and it’s available for free now, finally. Yay!

And I noticed that there’s an add-on bundle that’s normally $100. This contains the VIP pass, all the car packs, the Nascar Expansion, the Porsche expansion, everything ever released for the game. And it’s currently on sale for $5. So I couldn’t pass that up. Bought.