Overall outcome of titles all play into effect based on not only the team behind the game, but also other parties that are involved with the project as well. Primarily, where the funding comes from that makes the game a reality is typically one of the larger outside entities that plays a role in games when shooting for a release date.
But when the publisher gets too involved with a project, this typically results with said game to underperform from lack of time to work and polish which then follows with the game slumping in both sales as well as reception. And as we have witnessed time and time again this generation especially, publishers have become more involved when instead of letting the developer work the game to its full potential.
Xbox Head Phil Spencer made this apparent in a recent interview with Kotaku recently as he is aware of how the larger party affects the ‘finished product’. The outlet when questioning the decision for a new Forza title being absent at this year’s press conference, Spencer replied that the show only focused on titles arriving in the coming year. Despite the game receiving a annual release juggling between the Motorsport and Horizon iterations of the franchise, neither were present at the event.
It was nice—and this hasn’t always been the case with our first-party line-up—where we’ve had the ability to not show everything all the time.
The discussion then turns to how games are finalized from the pressure that blankets on top of the developers in the following question: Spencer reflects on previous projects that released and emphasizes the “quality of first-party is important.” “We did reach a time in our first party where the number of games and studios that we actually had and were investing in put a lot of pressure on everything that we were doing.”
Spencer continues on to explain that set deadlines were “difficult” to meet when trying to forgather the high expectations of their titles for the platform. Ultimately being impossible to have too much weight on the developer’s shoulders while schilling out high-quality titles. Though Spencer does not directly label the games as under-performing, he does imply that the titles could have done better if exploring their full capabilities.
Spencer is already showing the new developer-friendly initiative with the recently acquired Double Fine Productions. As previously reported, Tim Schafer explains that Microsoft does not intervene and gives developers more freedom to work on their games to their full potential.