inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by Drool » November 19th, 2018, 4:36 pm

They didn't exactly "leave the fold".
On October 1, 2007, Microsoft and Bungie announced that Bungie was splitting off from its parent and becoming a privately held limited liability company named Bungie, LLC.[34][35] As outlined in a deal between the two, Microsoft would retain a minority stake and continue to partner with Bungie on publishing and marketing both Halo and future projects, with the Halo intellectual property belonging to Microsoft.
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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by Gizmo » November 19th, 2018, 6:32 pm

Drool wrote:
November 19th, 2018, 4:36 pm
They didn't exactly "leave the fold".
On October 1, 2007, Microsoft and Bungie announced that Bungie was splitting off from its parent and becoming a privately held limited liability company named Bungie, LLC.[34][35] As outlined in a deal between the two, Microsoft would retain a minority stake and continue to partner with Bungie on publishing and marketing both Halo and future projects, with the Halo intellectual property belonging to Microsoft.
Yeah, I know... but did they not buy back their freedom/autonomy?

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by Drool » November 19th, 2018, 6:41 pm

Your own quote answers your question, dude: "...and still has MS as a minority equity partner." So while they're not wholly owned by Microsoft, MS still has a stake. You don't get to be called a minority equity partner for owning a few penny stocks. Not to mention how MS owns Halo, and that they're beholden to Activision with Destiny 2.

Furthermore, they sold 100M worth of shares and a seat on the board to NetEase, so I wouldn't call them an independent wildcard that ain't gotta answer to no big corporation. To the contrary, I'd saying they're even more shackled than when they were a division of Microsoft.
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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by Gizmo » November 19th, 2018, 8:35 pm

Drool wrote:
November 19th, 2018, 6:41 pm
Furthermore, they sold 100M worth of shares and a seat on the board to NetEase, so I wouldn't call them an independent wildcard that ain't gotta answer to no big corporation. To the contrary, I'd saying they're even more shackled than when they were a division of Microsoft.
That's a great shame. The only thing I want from them is Myth 4.

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by IHaveHugeNick » November 19th, 2018, 9:54 pm

Gizmo wrote:
November 19th, 2018, 4:31 pm
Why did Bungie leave the fold?
They wanted to evolve beyond being a Halo factory and only making sci-shooters, so they bought themselves out of Microsoft, signed up with Activision, became a Destiny factory and will continue making only sci-fi shooters for the foreseeable future.

True story.
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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by svdp » November 20th, 2018, 2:49 am

Really? Did you even fully read what I wrote? MS is 'different'? Talk is cheap. Let's look at what they did in similar situations. I already gave the example of Fable; you might have missed it. There too, they bought it up after fable 3. More than a decade ago. Where is fable 4? No-where to be seen, even after all that time. Where did the company they bought go - since MS let's them do their thing and they remain independent, according to you. Well, they were basically disbanded and are gone, and all core devs from that game are gone, and MS did nothing with the title, except using it as bait every few years with empty promises.

In essence, it was killed off. Even if it's ever revived, the company which made it, and certainly the people who made it, are gone - and thus also the original zeal and vision. And chances are it would become an Xbox exclusive even if they ever made some weak-ass derivate.

Your optimism, thus, is unwarranted, and borders on the naive. In the VAST majority of cases, when a behemot gobbles up a small indie, it NEVER ends well for the small company in the long run.

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by svdp » November 20th, 2018, 6:40 am

IHaveHugeNick wrote:
November 19th, 2018, 9:54 pm
Gizmo wrote:
November 19th, 2018, 4:31 pm
Why did Bungie leave the fold?
They wanted to evolve beyond being a Halo factory and only making sci-shooters, so they bought themselves out of Microsoft, signed up with Activision, became a Destiny factory and will continue making only sci-fi shooters for the foreseeable future.

True story.
Which is real strange, or at least stupid. MS ain't a saint, but Activision has even more bad rap on this front. It's like going from bad to worse, while thinking you're saving yourself. It's difficult to comprehend why so many fall in that trap.

Well... For the money of course, granted, but with some characters (like Fargo) you'd really believe they won't fall for it and are men of character with a vision of independence. And yet, fall they do. Is every goddamn dev like that? I have difficulties believing that. Take Larian and Sven, for instance. He f- would rather go bust than deliver a crappy game, and he learned his lesson with selling his IP to a third party and then be shackled to that party and being obliged to do stuff one doesn't want - and then having to buy your own IP back...

I don't think such a person would fall in the same trap again, because he prioritizes the game. Thus, I think those that cave in, are those where either managers and accountants started ruling the company, or the original dev lost his zeal and spunk and drive to make it on their own.
Last edited by svdp on November 20th, 2018, 8:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by Gillsing » November 20th, 2018, 7:57 am

svdp wrote:
November 20th, 2018, 6:40 am
... but with some characters (like Fargo) yiu'd really believe they won't fall for it and are len of character with a vision of independence. And yet, fall they do. Is every goddamn dev like that?
Maybe he wanted to level up, and wasn't satisfied with making million dollar games with modest graphics, and wanted to make multi-million dollar games with fancy-schmancy graphics? But then the crowdfunding didn't turn out to be as sustainable as he hoped, and with the writing on the wall it was either sending all his people into unemployment, or biting the bullet and do what's necessary for the real people in the real world? I mean, if it was up to me, I'd rather keep things small and sustainable, but I'm not the one making games. And if I were making games, I wouldn't be making games where characters level up. And then no one would love my games. Because everyone wants to level up.

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by demeisen » November 20th, 2018, 8:42 am

I cannot speak to the credibility of this source, but this article makes the following claim about the InXile purchase (emphasis is mine):
According to inXile on Twitter, the company plans on “keeping our backer commitments” in regards to those two projects, so fans don’t have to worry about those projects now being Microsoft-exclusive.

That being said, any future projects from inXile Entertainment will only come to PC or Microsoft consoles.
They don't present a source for the claim about future projects, however.

Do we have even a single example of a game studio purchased by Microsoft who continued to release games through DRM-free distribution channels, and on non-MS platforms, not for games already in progress at the time of acquisition but for new development? Given how popular GOG is as a release channel among indie studios, and how there are almost no MS-owned studio games releasing on there, it seems unlikely that MS likes to adopt a hands off approach.

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by IHaveHugeNick » November 20th, 2018, 8:54 am

svdp wrote:
November 20th, 2018, 2:49 am
Really? Did you even fully read what I wrote? MS is 'different'? Talk is cheap. Let's look at what they did in similar situations. I already gave the example of Fable; you might have missed it. There too, they bought it up after fable 3. More than a decade ago. Where is fable 4? No-where to be seen, even after all that time. Where did the company they bought go - since MS let's them do their thing and they remain independent, according to you. Well, they were basically disbanded and are gone, and all core devs from that game are gone, and MS did nothing with the title, except using it as bait every few years with empty promises.

In essence, it was killed off. Even if it's ever revived, the company which made it, and certainly the people who made it, are gone - and thus also the original zeal and vision. And chances are it would become an Xbox exclusive even if they ever made some weak-ass derivate.

Your optimism, thus, is unwarranted, and borders on the naive. In the VAST majority of cases, when a behemot gobbles up a small indie, it NEVER ends well for the small company in the long run.
Why are you lying and inventing fake stories that never happened? All of this is wrong.

1. Microsoft didn't buy Lionhead after Fable 3. They bought it before Fable 2, and Lionhead went on to create several Fable titles.

2. Microsoft saved Lionhead from bankruptcy during the development of the first Fable.
Most of the people interviewed who worked on Fable credit Microsoft with saving the project. The company did not interfere with the design of the game. Rather, it offered support, resources and production assistance.

"We got proper resources," McCormack remembers. "We went from a team of about 15 in Godalming, to a team of about 90. Lionhead just went, this is the game, and Microsoft went, here's the money, and it just went, boof."
Microsoft sent a crack team of engineers and a couple of producers over to help with development. The tech people focused on getting Fable running well on the Xbox. Lionhead had built the game on powerful PCs, but struggled to get it running on the console at a decent framerate.

This engineering hit squad worked day and night, McCormack recalls. "It was partly our fault, but also the Xbox hardware was tricky. And it kept shifting spec, because we were early adopters."
https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2016 ... side-story
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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by shmerl » November 20th, 2018, 9:10 am

demeisen wrote:
November 20th, 2018, 8:42 am
Do we have even a single example of a game studio purchased by Microsoft who continued to release games through DRM-free distribution channels, and on non-MS platforms, not for games already in progress at the time of acquisition but for new development? Given how popular GOG is as a release channel among indie studios, and how there are almost no MS-owned studio games releasing on there, it seems unlikely that MS likes to adopt a hands off approach.
One example where MS continued releasing Linux versions is Mojang / Minecraft. But it's more similar to keeping previous commitments, even though the game got new development. I'm not aware of other such cases, so I wouldn't use the above as a case study.

We'll have to wait and see what will happen to Compulsion, Obsidian and inXile. If they'll stop releasing for Linux and DRM-free, we'll know it was a foul play on MS part. My personal expectations are low, I don't trust MS to do the right thing.

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by svdp » November 20th, 2018, 9:26 am

IHaveHugeNick wrote:
November 20th, 2018, 8:54 am


Why are you lying and inventing fake stories that never happened? [/snip]
Ah, are you one of those? "It wasn't fable 3, it was fable 2! Why are you lying, why are you LYYYYINGG!!??" For f- sake! Stumbling over a detail while I'm trying to get the larger picture across is typical of people not wanting to realize the deeper laying truth. Instead of sweating the details, you tell me then: where IS lionhead, these days? Where IS Fable 4, after more than a decade?

Instead of quoting some snippets that are cherry-picked, why not tell the whole story:

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2016/03/ ... e-legends/


Even a cursory look on wikipedia would have shown you that MS closed down Lionhead, *despite* all their former promises and assurances AND THAT WAS MY POINT. Why the hell should we believe the very same MS now, if they assure us that InXile will remain independent and they won't meddle? Their track-record isn't exactly stellar, on this front!

THAT is the real issue, if you might have missed it.

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by demeisen » November 20th, 2018, 9:27 am

shmerl wrote:
November 20th, 2018, 9:10 am
One example where MS continued releasing Linux versions is Minecraft. But it's a rather special case, since it's a multiplayer game. I'm not aware of other such cases, so I wouldn't use the above as a case study.
Yeah, agreed... I meant newly developed games after MS bought the studio, rather than merely continuing to release Linux or Mac versions of games that were developed before the purchase. I couldn't think of any, but then I don't really keep track. I know they've been buying up a bunch of other indie studios, not just these two.

This kind of gobbling-up feels a lot like what happened when ClearChannel bought up all the indie radio stations and the entire country's OTA radio scene turned into overcommercialized bland top-40 clones. I wish the PC gaming culture could sustain viable mid-sized indie RPG studios, but it seems that either you are going to be a very small 1-5 man shop, or you're going to struggle and have to sell out.
My personal expectations are low, I don't trust MS to do the right thing.
Same here. :(

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by svdp » November 20th, 2018, 9:59 am

demeisen wrote:
November 20th, 2018, 9:27 am
shmerl wrote:
November 20th, 2018, 9:10 am
One example where MS continued releasing Linux versions is Minecraft. But it's a rather special case, since it's a multiplayer game. I'm not aware of other such cases, so I wouldn't use the above as a case study.
Yeah, agreed... I meant newly developed games after MS bought the studio, rather than merely continuing to release Linux or Mac versions of games that were developed before the purchase. I couldn't think of any, but then I don't really keep track. I know they've been buying up a bunch of other indie studios, not just these two.

This kind of gobbling-up feels a lot like what happened when ClearChannel bought up all the indie radio stations and the entire country's OTA radio scene turned into overcommercialized bland top-40 clones. I wish the PC gaming culture could sustain viable mid-sized indie RPG studios, but it seems that either you are going to be a very small 1-5 man shop, or you're going to struggle and have to sell out.
My personal expectations are low, I don't trust MS to do the right thing.
Same here. :(
As do I.

No-one with a grain of intellect and insight would be delusional enough to think otherwise. Imho. There will *always* be meddling and trying to let it do it as the parent company wants.

Which independent indie that got gobbled up, truly remained independent in the long run? None. None at all. It's fiction. It's wishful thinking to believe that just now, in this o-so special and unique case, it'll turn out otherwise. Because MS promised for real, this time!

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by eisberg » November 20th, 2018, 3:16 pm

svdp wrote:
November 20th, 2018, 2:49 am
Really? Did you even fully read what I wrote? MS is 'different'? Talk is cheap. Let's look at what they did in similar situations. I already gave the example of Fable; you might have missed it. There too, they bought it up after fable 3. More than a decade ago. Where is fable 4? No-where to be seen, even after all that time. Where did the company they bought go - since MS let's them do their thing and they remain independent, according to you. Well, they were basically disbanded and are gone, and all core devs from that game are gone, and MS did nothing with the title, except using it as bait every few years with empty promises.

In essence, it was killed off. Even if it's ever revived, the company which made it, and certainly the people who made it, are gone - and thus also the original zeal and vision. And chances are it would become an Xbox exclusive even if they ever made some weak-ass derivate.

Your optimism, thus, is unwarranted, and borders on the naive. In the VAST majority of cases, when a behemot gobbles up a small indie, it NEVER ends well for the small company in the long run.
Except for the fact that these companies able to work independently is a part of their selling contracts. So yes, Microsoft is literally doing something different than what they have done before. So you are incorrect in saying the optimism is unwarranted, it would only be unwarranted if the contracts were not done in such a way to allow these developers to continue to make the kind of games they are known/like to make.
What happened in the past with Microsoft doesn't matter, what matters is what they are doing now.

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by shmerl » November 20th, 2018, 4:47 pm

eisberg wrote:
November 20th, 2018, 3:16 pm
it would only be unwarranted if the contracts were not done in such a way to allow these developers to continue to make the kind of games they are known/like to make.
What happened in the past with Microsoft doesn't matter, what matters is what they are doing now.
Yet, inXile said explicitly, they can only guarantee current commitments and it's too early to say about future work. It means it's not in the contract. Ergo, MS can do whatever they want, not inXile.

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by eisberg » November 20th, 2018, 6:42 pm

shmerl wrote:
November 20th, 2018, 4:47 pm
eisberg wrote:
November 20th, 2018, 3:16 pm
it would only be unwarranted if the contracts were not done in such a way to allow these developers to continue to make the kind of games they are known/like to make.
What happened in the past with Microsoft doesn't matter, what matters is what they are doing now.
Yet, inXile said explicitly, they can only guarantee current commitments and it's too early to say about future work. It means it's not in the contract. Ergo, MS can do whatever they want, not inXile.
No, they would say that regardless cause no developer will ever say yes or no to any project that they haven't even started. So yes, inxile, Obsidian, Ninja Theory will be able to make the kind of games they want to make.

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by shmerl » November 20th, 2018, 7:44 pm

eisberg wrote:
November 20th, 2018, 6:42 pm
No, they would say that regardless cause no developer will ever say yes or no to any project that they haven't even started. So yes, inxile, Obsidian, Ninja Theory will be able to make the kind of games they want to make.
Not project, but approach. If they can't say how they are going to release it (i.e. DRM-free, Linux etc.), it means it's not in the contract. Otherwise there is no reason for inXile to say they won't continue their current practices. So again, since it's not in the contract, MS will do whatever they want.

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by eisberg » November 20th, 2018, 10:18 pm

shmerl wrote:
November 20th, 2018, 7:44 pm
eisberg wrote:
November 20th, 2018, 6:42 pm
No, they would say that regardless cause no developer will ever say yes or no to any project that they haven't even started. So yes, inxile, Obsidian, Ninja Theory will be able to make the kind of games they want to make.
Not project, but approach. If they can't say how they are going to release it (i.e. DRM-free, Linux etc.), it means it's not in the contract. Otherwise there is no reason for inXile to say they won't continue their current practices. So again, since it's not in the contract, MS will do whatever they want.
Incorrect. I have seen other developers, independent ones, that have basically said the same thing when asked about future projects. None of them were going to make a commitment or promise for projects that are not even in progress, even if they feel they will keep everything the same, they do not commit to anything for future projects because anything can change.

And again;
Its in the contract that they can continue to make the kind of games they want to make, for what they are known to make. It being DRM free/Linux, ect have nothing to do with that. The only important part is they can keep on making the kind of games they are known to make.

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Re: inXile Entertainment joins Microsoft Studios

Post by svdp » November 21st, 2018, 1:57 am

eisberg wrote:
November 20th, 2018, 3:16 pm

What happened in the past with Microsoft doesn't matter, what matters is what they are doing now.
Famous last words. ;-)

I'm always amazed by the naivety of some people in this regard. The historic evidence of the contrary may be overwhelming, yet there is still that urge for wishful thinking. "All such take-overs of little indies with all mega-corps even with assured and promised independence never held up in the long run, but THIS time is different! Now, in this unique case, MS has not only promised, but they will keep their promise for once! So let's go with the 'Believe as I say, not as I do'-approach!"

Man...

It's very, very simple in its basics: they own the IP now, so they can ALWAYS decide what happens with it. "Independence", promised contractual or not, has no sway in that. If MS say: we want you to do this and that, and Fargo says 'no', and MS says: 'yes', then Fargo and his crew will have to do it, or risk being 'laid off'. Is it stipulated in the contract they can never be discharged, fired or 'laid off'? I highly doubt it. So MS is their boss, and they decide. Period.

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