inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by Drool » November 16th, 2018, 4:35 pm

shmerl wrote:
November 16th, 2018, 12:05 pm
Steam is still not DRM-free, since according to their TOS you can't just go around backing up your games and then re-installing them from your own backups.
...and? Nobody said Steam was DRM-free. The statement was that already installed games could be played when you weren't connected to the internet.

You know what happened to my Origin account when their login server was down? My library was empty. Even single player games installed on my own machine couldn't be accessed, let alone played.
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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by waltc » November 17th, 2018, 8:51 am

shmerl wrote:
November 12th, 2018, 1:49 pm
waltc wrote:
November 12th, 2018, 1:31 pm
as mentioned, all current gaming consoles are x86 AMD these days--and so the need for a cross-platform 3D API is simply not what it used to be. Squeaky API gets the grease, and Microsoft lays on the grease thick for its D3d developer tools. That is the reason D3d is ubiquitous, imo. Can you blame developers? I surely can't.
Not sure what you mean. There is not only non x86 hardware (ARM for instance), but more importantly there are non MS operating systems for x86 (Linux is the biggest). DirectX is useless outside of MS without API translation and that always reduces performance. Saying that DX is cross platform is like saying that ActiveX is, and you can always just use IE instead of any other browser.

And yes, you can criticize developers for falling for this lock-in and perpetuating it. Tools are a matter of habit. MS tools aren't a lot better, but what people are hooked on looks better than anything, that's natural.
The following is strictly my own opinion, not to be confused with absolute recall...;)

What I meant was simply that the hardware running OS X, Linux, Windows, and of course both major console brands today, is x86. ARM is fine for low power mobile/embedded work, but "x86" (a technical misnomer, I know..;)) is far and away more powerful for the grunt work needed in substantial games today. The beauty of ARM is its power consumption for mobile/embedded; the beauty of x86 from AMD/Intel is raw performance, imo. As far as OSes are concerned, OS X is a tiny slice of the market using a fairly outdated version of OpenGL (last I looked), Linux is splintered into many derivatives and is primarily used for server & business uses today--of them all only Windows offers gaming developers a comprehensive set of API tools and support, AFAIK. IMO, it's the relentless, consistent support of D3d over the last ~18+ years that has made it the choice of game developers. Can you imagine your average OS X/Windows user today trying to set up a game to run on a Linux distro? I absolutely cannot...;)

I can remember when every game I owned was a GLIDE game--every single one. GLIDE pre-dates D3d by a few years, actually. Before D3d was, there was GLIDE (a 3dfx custom offshoot of OpenGL). In the late 90's there was wide speculation that Microsoft was going to choose GLIDE as its official Windows 3d API--but, of course, that never happened. Microsoft decided to go with it's own D3d API, instead--and it took a few more years before D3d reached parity with Glide 3.x, after which 3dfx decided it no longer needed to support its own GLIDE API and it could go with D3d, instead. Why? Because of nVidia, and because D3d, unlike GLIDE, was hardware agnostic. 3dfx then promptly mismanaged itself into oblivion, was sucked into the gaping maw of nVidia, and later even huge OpenGL proponents like John Carmack dropped OpenGL in favor of D3d for his primary development platform. The rest is history. OpenGL was also hardware agnostic and also cross-platform to an extent. But the old ARB Committee--sort of a joke, actually, moved like molasses even when simply trying to officially mirror whatever features the latest version of D3d was offering--and developer tools were abysmal at that time. Hardware-specific, proprietary extensions--a nVidia idea, of course--didn't help, either. So although OpenGL started off with a bang in terms of developer interest it soon dropped far behind D3d in several ways, imo.

Developers have to make two key considerations, imo: which 3d API to support in terms of their primary, money-making market, along with which primary OS their products will support. For 3d games, for most AAA developers, the only viable choice is Windows/D3d, for all of the obvious reasons.

API selection for developers has almost nothing to do with flag-waving and cheerleading. It's simply a fundamental, practical consideration for them if their goal is to get as much ROI as possible on the time and money they spend developing their games. "Hating Microsoft" unfortunately puts little money in game developer's pockets..;) I didn't mean to imply that there was anything "inferior" about Vulkan (the OpenGL Phoenix from the ashes...;)) because there isn't. Vulkan is very nice, actually. And it's cross platform, too! But in this age in which the Windows 3d-gaming market has grown so large that some D3d-specific titles sell 500,000-5,000,000 copies in the first week of availability, developers often choose to develop for Windows first and everything or anything else, later, if at all. It's simply practicality, imo. Game devs have to eat, too...;)

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by Spectralshade » November 17th, 2018, 11:25 am

Gizmo wrote:
November 16th, 2018, 10:13 am
If I wanted to, I could download my entire game library and disconnect the net connection and still be able to play my game collection.
Try that sometime. Block Steam from the Internet, and rate your experience after a while. ;)
I said it because I already did in the past.
At one point I had a prolonged electricity shortage in my house that lasted little over a month. This reduced my playing in that period to on my laptop and the games I had already installed at that time on steam.

I had no issues with it (only issue I had was needing to visit a friendly neighbor for power for my laptop every now and then ;) )

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by shmerl » November 17th, 2018, 4:37 pm

Drool wrote:
November 16th, 2018, 4:35 pm
...and? Nobody said Steam was DRM-free. The statement was that already installed games could be played when you weren't connected to the internet.
OK, so it's not DRM-free, that was the main point. It looked like some above were disputing that.

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by shmerl » November 17th, 2018, 5:01 pm

of them all only Windows offers gaming developers a comprehensive set of API tools and support, AFAIK.
Not sure about macOS (I don't think it's really suitable for gaming anyway, simply because Apple don't care about such use case), but Linux offers developers a comprehensive set of APIs for gaming needs, from graphics (Vulkan the modern way, OpenGL the legacy way) to input and sound. Things today are not like two decades ago. The only thing that's currently in rapid change is VR/AR, but it's not any different and chaotic now on Windows as well. Luckily unlike with graphics, even lock-in proponents aren't messing things up for developers, but are participating in OpenXR initiative. Not sure what prevents them from stopping their jerk behavior with graphics, and doing the same by supporting Vulkan on their systems.
waltc wrote:
November 17th, 2018, 8:51 am
Can you imagine your average OS X/Windows user today trying to set up a game to run on a Linux distro? I absolutely cannot...;)
Not any less than that user setting it up on Windows. Major gaming stores like Steam and GOG (as well as Humble and itch.io) offer Linux games. Steam in their transparent client installation way (not any different from Windows) and GOG in their standalone installer way, also quite easy to use. Besides, various Linux gaming communities are also helping newcomers if they have questions about setup and configuration. You can find many Windows gamers switching to Linux these days. Just check common Linux gaming communities. For example:

* https://www.gamingonlinux.com
* https://www.reddit.com/r/linux_gaming

More advanced users are also often using Wine to run Windows games on Linux (Steam also made it easy and transparent now with their Proton fork of Wine). So not only I can imagine that, I witness this all the time.
For 3d games, for most AAA developers, the only viable choice is Windows/D3d, for all of the obvious reasons.
Not anymore. Vulkan has a strong industry backing and MS can't stop that. Their only remaining leverage is not allowing using Vulkan on Xbox or pushing garbage like UWP which prevents using Vulkan. From technical perspective, their DX12 lock-in doesn't offer any advantages.

Here is an interesting video, about Vulkan work done for actual major gaming studios which make huge budget games.

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by IHaveHugeNick » November 17th, 2018, 6:15 pm

Steam is nowhere near a viable platform for offline gaming. Offline mode is can be hugely problematic depending on the game, offline installations from a physical copy often don't work and even if they did, they'd be useless because there's no packages for offline patching. For all purposes it's an always-online service that allows you to be disconnected temporarily.

As for impending arrival of Year of Linux of Desktop (tm) and imminent doom for Microsoft, I think I'm being stalked, because I keep hearing these prophecies ever since I installed my first Slackware from a floppy disk in 1994. It must be the same guy who follows me on the internet.
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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by Woolfe » November 17th, 2018, 6:28 pm

IHaveHugeNick wrote:
November 17th, 2018, 6:15 pm
As for impending arrival of Year of Linux of Desktop (tm) and imminent doom for Microsoft, I think I'm being stalked, because I keep hearing these prophecies ever since I installed my first Slackware from a floppy disk in 1994. It must be the same guy who follows me on the internet.
Yeah the closest we came to that was at the height of the consoles wars, where Microsoft were favouring the Xbox over the PC. But even then. PC was still growing so it would only have foundered had MS deliberately sabotaged their OS. Which they didn't do.

I'd love to see Linux be a better gaming platform. But it isn't going to happen while MS are still easier to work with.
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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by Drool » November 17th, 2018, 6:46 pm

IHaveHugeNick wrote:
November 17th, 2018, 6:15 pm
Offline mode is can be hugely problematic depending on the game
Sounds more like that's on the game manufacturer then on Steam.
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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by Woolfe » November 17th, 2018, 7:55 pm

Drool wrote:
November 17th, 2018, 6:46 pm
IHaveHugeNick wrote:
November 17th, 2018, 6:15 pm
Offline mode is can be hugely problematic depending on the game
Sounds more like that's on the game manufacturer then on Steam.
YEP... as I said earlier, it depends on the game dev. Some of them even have offline patching as well.
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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by shmerl » November 17th, 2018, 8:24 pm

IHaveHugeNick wrote:
November 17th, 2018, 6:15 pm
As for impending arrival of Year of Linux of Desktop (tm) and imminent doom for Microsoft, I think I'm being stalked, because I keep hearing these prophecies ever since I installed my first Slackware from a floppy disk in 1994. It must be the same guy who follows me on the internet.
I doubt Windows will be gone as a gaming platform. But you have missed the point, that Linux has already become one and it's only growing (in number of gamers, games and developers making them).

Of course developments like this one with MS buying out major Linux supporting studios (inXile and Obsidian as well as Compulsion Games) is a setback, but it's not going to stop the growth.

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by IHaveHugeNick » November 17th, 2018, 9:07 pm

Woolfe wrote:
November 17th, 2018, 6:28 pm
IHaveHugeNick wrote:
November 17th, 2018, 6:15 pm
As for impending arrival of Year of Linux of Desktop (tm) and imminent doom for Microsoft, I think I'm being stalked, because I keep hearing these prophecies ever since I installed my first Slackware from a floppy disk in 1994. It must be the same guy who follows me on the internet.
Yeah the closest we came to that was at the height of the consoles wars, where Microsoft were favoring the Xbox over the PC. But even then. PC was still growing so it would only have foundered had MS deliberately sabotaged their OS. Which they didn't do.

I'd love to see Linux be a better gaming platform. But it isn't going to happen while MS are still easier to work with.
Yup, back when Microsoft abandoned PC gaming for Xbox and Vista turned out to be a trainwreck, I really thought Linux was really going to happen as a consumer OS. But then entire reason why Microsoft is in the gaming business is to prevent exactly that scenario from happening.

I remember this interview with people who made the original Xbox.

They were tasked with preparing a plan how to enter the console market. They make the plan, show it to the board and the meeting is a complete disaster. They have to compete against 200 million Playstations so entering console market is going to cost endless billions and still have extremely low chances of success. Gates and Ballmer are furious and about to leave the room. Then somebody says, the number of Playstation users is 200 million and it's only going to grow. Eventually Sony will leverage those users to compete with Windows on PC market.

Gates thinks for 2 minutes, and says, you have unlimited resources, go make us a console.

That's the strategy Microsoft have and they've been using it for 20 years. I wouldn't be surprised if their renewed interest in making PC games is simply the response to the Khronos Group forming up.
Woolfe wrote:
November 17th, 2018, 7:55 pm
Drool wrote:
November 17th, 2018, 6:46 pm
IHaveHugeNick wrote:
November 17th, 2018, 6:15 pm
Offline mode is can be hugely problematic depending on the game
Sounds more like that's on the game manufacturer then on Steam.
YEP... as I said earlier, it depends on the game dev. Some of them even have offline patching as well.
I know it's on game manufacturer, but the point remains the same. A genuine offline gaming platform wouldn't leave it to developers, they would enforce that offline mode has to work, offline patching has to work and offline installation has to work. Steam isn't doing that.
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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by pica » November 18th, 2018, 11:56 am

..so we can say goodbye to PS4 version of Bards tale 4?

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by phimseto » November 19th, 2018, 6:21 am


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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by undecaf » November 19th, 2018, 7:24 am

phimseto wrote:
November 19th, 2018, 6:21 am
Some more details provided here: https://www.eurogamer.net/amp/2018-11-1 ... ssion=true
I would've asked how the partnership affects the design philosophy since XBOX will probably be one of the main focuses from now on and audience accordingly?

Becuase, you know... You don't see much cRPG's that are turnbased or ones that use RNG for skillchekcs, or with a design for larger skillsets and features that cover more than just the obvious coming from bigger publishers. There are no innovation and building upon that kind of older school design when everything gets overstreamlined and simplified and the RPG mechanics stripped away from not distrubing the "action" experience, and ultmately, every "RPG" - if you can even call them that anymore - nowadays is a copy of an army of others just like it, all fighting over the same piece of cake. And nobody dares to be different because it's a bigger risk to the money men than following a popular mold.
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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by shmerl » November 19th, 2018, 10:25 am

phimseto wrote:
November 19th, 2018, 6:21 am
Some more details provided here: https://www.eurogamer.net/amp/2018-11-1 ... ssion=true
Not much there to answer difficult questions related to MS changing direction. What will happen to future games (not current commitments)? Nothing about DRM-free and Linux releases there. The interviewer was mostly concerned with PS4 release of currently WIP games.

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by svdp » November 19th, 2018, 10:50 am

I"m very skeptical of this.

"All of us at inXile are pretty excited."

Well, no doubt you're excited by the buckload of money you no doubt will be getting, but wasn't that exactly what Fargo was going *against* in his promo-vids with the boy (his son, I believe)? Where he was snarkling the big companies and their managers and CEO's that don't know shit of gaming? Being proud of an independent indie game-developper.

But lo and behold, 3 rather successful games further (thanks to kickstarter-backers, not MS or other big business!) and there is already a sell-out.

I have ZERO confidence in the PC general claim of 'diversification' of MS. I think deep down, no-one believes that, not even Fargo and the people at Inxile. Is it mentioned in the buying-contract with MS the games you make will never be Xbox exclusive? You have hard assurances, on paper, that you can continue to do things as you do now, regardless if you're successful or not with the next few games?

I think this very doubtful. When push comes to shove - and EVERYONE knows this - it's the guy(s) with the money and who owns the IP that has the last word. Really: everyone knows this is the case, always.

MS is a glutton. It gobbles up other companies, but doesn't really care. Look at Fable: another game from an Indie they bought and then just let it whither away and die. Only to bait now and then after a decade. MS is like EA: nothing good can come of it. And EA follows the same principle: buy up stuff, and screw it over (Command&Conquer, anyone?).

I find this sort of thing so deplorable. Why not continue on your own? It was going reasonably well, no? Why not try to become a big name yourself, while staying true to your foundations? I fear this age of game-developers devouring: so many sell out, just to get the quick bucks. and what happens to them? Look at Blizzard, for Christ's sake, and the latest debacle they had with Diablo. Speak of loosing touch with your core fanbase... And when did that happen? Right. After they let them be bought by activision. And they had all the 'assurances' as well, that would stay an independent part.

If this keeps up, you'll end up with 3-4 gigantic game-developer companies that have eaten all the rest up, and are so big and unwieldy, they loose touch with what they should be doing, don't care about the fans anymore - except as cash milking machines , and let great game-titles die because of lack of vision. Innovation is the first thing to go when managers start ruling the game-company, instead of those making the actual game.

One may be happy in the short run, and money-wise you're better off, no doubt. But mark my words: this is the beginning of the demise for Inxile and its particular way of doing things, with games that may not have been perfect, but funny and novel, with their own style. Thinking you'll remain masters of your own fate, when you're bought up by such a mastadon, is delusional. And it's happening more and more. And every time I see it, it gives a pang, because I know things will get worse from now on. In a while, there will be no more indie-games with any important titles left, because all will be gone, and new start-ups can't put up with the enormous resources it needs to make a game with the same impact as, say, 20 years ago.

As long as you have good, well-known titles as a franchise, you can make it, so why not try to get larger yourself - slowly but surely - so you can make AAA games eventually, but not fall in the trap of EA and Activision?

But what am I complaining about after the facts? It's too late by now. Yet another one sold out. Why do so little game-houses have so little backbone? How long will this self-endoresed, self-mutilating butchery go on from the indie-houses? I know money is important, but can't you just make it on your own?

Ah, fuck, I'm so disappointed. And I know what's going to happen next, in the long run. In the best case, Bard's tale 5 will be a thirteen-in-a-dozen 'please-all-crowd' RPG-fastfood, where no-one from the original crew is involved in anymore, and in the worst, it'll just be hold back indefinitely in a limbo-state, and whither away, apart from some mobile-game derivative with micro-transactions. :-(

I know this is not the Political Correct happy news show and congrats that is expected, but I'm saying it like it is. I don't feel like upholding some fake illusion, even if that's more comfortable. I'll say it straight out, and the future will prove me right, just as the history of similar buy-ups has proven it. Nothing. Ever. Comes. Good. Of. It. Not for the game's novelty, style and essence, anyway. And thus not for its future.
Last edited by svdp on November 20th, 2018, 2:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by eisberg » November 19th, 2018, 2:08 pm

svdp wrote:
November 19th, 2018, 10:50 am
I"m very skeptical of this.

"All of us at inXile are pretty excited."

Well, no doubt you're excited by the buckload of money you no doubt will be getting, but wasn't that exactly what Fargo was going *against* in his promo-vids with the boy (his son, I believe)? Where he was snarkling the big companies and their managers and CEO's that don't know shit of gaming? Being proud of an independent indie game-developper.

But lo and behold, 3 rather successful games further (thanks to kickstarter-backers, not MS or other big business!) and there is already a sell-out.

I have ZERO confidence in the PC general claim of 'diversification' of MS. I think deep down, no-one believes that, not even Fargo and the people at Inxile. Is it mentioned in the buying-contract with MS the games you make will never be Xbox exclusive? You have hard assurances, on paper, that you can continue to do things as you do now, regardless if you're successful or not with the next few games?

I think this very doubtful. When push comes to shove - and EVERYONE knows this - it's the guy(s) with the money and who owns the IP that has the last word. Really: everyone knows this is the case, always.

MS is a glutton. It gobbles up other companies, but doesn't really care. Look at Fable: another game from an Indie they bought and then just let it whither away and die. Only to bait now and then after a decade. MS is like EA: nothing good can come of it. And EA follows the same principle: buy up stuff, and screw it over (Command&Conquer, anyone?).

I find this sort of thing so deplorable. Why not continue on your own? It was going reasonably well, no? Why not try to become a big name yourself, while staying true to your foundations? I fear this age of game-developers devouring: so many sell out, just to get the quick bucks. and what happens to them? Look at Blizzard, for Christ's sake, and the latest debacle they had with Diablo. Speak of loosing touch with your core fanbase... And when did that happen? Right. After they let them be bought by activision. And they had all the 'assurances' as well, that would stay an independent part.

If this keeps up, you'll end up with 3-4 gigantic game-developer companies that have eaten all the rest up, and are so big and unwieldy, they loose touch with what they should be doing, don't care about the fans anymore - except as cash milking machines , and let great game-titles die because of lack of vision. Innovation is the first thing to go when managers start ruling the game-company, instead of those making the actual game.

One may be happy in the short run, and money-wise you're better off, no doubt. But mark my words: this is the beginning of the demise for Inxile and it's particular way of doing things, with games that may not have been perfect, but funny and novel, with their own style. Thinking you'll remain masters of your own fate, when you're bought up by such a mastadon, is delusional. And it's happening more and more. And every time I see it, it gives a pang, because I know things will get worse from now on. In a while, there will be no more indie-games with any important titles left, because all will be gone, and new start-ups can't put up with the enormous resources it needs to make a game with the same impact as, say, 20 years ago.

As long as you have good titles, you can make it, so why not try to get larger yourself - slowly but surely - so you can make AAA games eventually, but not fall in the trap of EA and Activision?

But what am I complaining about? It's too late by now. Yet another one sold out. Why do so little game-houses have so little backbone? How long will this self-endoresed, self-mutilating butchery go on from the indie-houses? I know money is important, but can't you just make it on your own?

Ah, fuck, I'm so disappointing. And I know what's going to happen next, in the long run. In the best case, Bard's tale 5 will be a thirteen-in-a-dozen 'please-all' RPG-fastfood, where no-one from the original crew is involved in anymore, and in the worst, it'll just be hold back indefinitely in a limbo-state, and whither away, apart from some mobile-game derivative with micro-transactions. :-(

I know this is not the Political correct happy news show and congrats that is expected, but I'm saying it like it is. I don't feel like upholding some fake illusion, even if that's more comfortable. I'll say it straight out, and the future will prove me right, just as the history of similar buy-ups has proven it. Nothing. Ever. Comes. Good. Of. It. Not for the game's novelty, style and essence, anyway. And thus not for it's future.

Edit: I posted this before, but I don't see it shown on the forum?

The difference is, Microsoft is not acting like the publishers that Fargo mocked in his video. Microsoft is buying up these small indie developers and then letting them continue like they were still small indie developers making the kind of games they want to make.

Microsoft is doing something different that didn't exist when those Fargo videos were made.

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by Drool » November 19th, 2018, 2:15 pm

eisberg wrote:
November 19th, 2018, 2:08 pm
The difference is, Microsoft is not acting like the publishers that Fargo mocked in his video. Microsoft is buying up these small indie developers and then letting them continue like they were still small indie developers making the kind of games they want to make.
Well, in theory. Even an extremely optimistic viewpoint would still be wait and see.
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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by shmerl » November 19th, 2018, 2:34 pm

eisberg wrote:
November 19th, 2018, 2:08 pm
The difference is, Microsoft is not acting like the publishers that Fargo mocked in his video. Microsoft is buying up these small indie developers and then letting them continue like they were still small indie developers making the kind of games they want to make.

Microsoft is doing something different that didn't exist when those Fargo videos were made.

That remains to be seen. So far MS hasn't proven to be acting good and given their past reputation, there are many reasons to expect problems. Claims of being different are cheap, but we'll have to wait for actions.

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by Gizmo » November 19th, 2018, 4:31 pm

Why did Bungie leave the fold?

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