There's nothing like a bit of controversy to warm us up on a miserable Saturday morning - and we've got a steaming dollop of it courtesy of Xbox CFO Dennis Durkin. He claims that Microsoft's first-party output is "superior" to Sony's and Nintendo's... despite the fact that they've let countless studios slip through their fingers. Crytek almost joined the fold last month - and Bungie has said their goodbyes to both Microsoft and the Halo franchise. It's an interesting story, a volatile claim and we've got the whole thing below.
Speaking to IndustryGamers, Durkin argues that first party exclusives need to be judged in terms of retail performance, praising the likes of Forza and Fable for pulling in the punters and preorders. It's all about the monetization, baby.
I would ask you to go and look at some of your data just to compare first party performance over the course of this lifecycle, because I think our first party performance in terms of quality bars and units per title this shift has been superior to our competition's.
You can’t dispute titles like Forza, which has consistently come out on a repeated cadence and sold multi-million units. You can’t dispute things like Fable, which again, on a very consistent pace, has come out and sold two and three million units a pop.
And now new titles, like Kinect Sports, which has come out and sold over three million units. So we are, not only building existing IP and incubating around titles like Halo and others, but really building new IP in new areas. And that's going to be core to us... to build those experiences and monetise those.
Good sales, then. But if you're looking for quality as well as quantity, it's interesting that Microsoft Games Studios rank score an aggregate 75% on Metacritic. Compared to Nintendo's 77% and Sony's 73%. I hate to use Metacritic to prove a point, but where I come from, we call that second place.
Does Microsoft have the best first party output? Does Forza, Halo and Gears trump Mario, Uncharted and Killzone? Have your say in the comments!