While I don’t usually jump into PlayStation VS Xbox or consoles VS PC debate but today I’ll make an exception. My readers will know that I am a preacher of debating games rather than the machine you play them on.
We all share one common passion, video games. Every week we spend hours playing, writing or reading about games and with every new announcement, we get highly excited. I have been a gamer for almost 15 years now and apart from it being my passion, I am lucky enough to have a job where I can discuss and promote video games.
Something that has really concerned me over the years is the increasing amount of intolerance some of us have for opinions and views of our fellow gamers.
PlayStation VS Xbox is one of the topics that often catches my eye. Admittedly, I am a fan of PlayStation games but in no way, I cross the line to reach the “fanboy” zone. Of course, Microsoft has some amazing products to offer but through this article we will discuss how the company hardly invests in studios, in fact, it often ends up ruining them.
We will also discuss an argument often presented by Xbox fans, “PlayStation has no Games.”
Microsoft collaborated with and acquired many different studios but the company never managed to make something of its investments. Rare is one example, Microsoft acquired the studio back in 2002 and soon after the studio went downhill. In 2015, Rare was working on flop Kinect projects.
It was sad to see the studio that gave us Conker, Donkey Kong Country, Banjo-Koozie, and many other games work on such projects. Key developers left Rare to pursue other opportunities. For over a decade, Rare was merely a shell of its former self but thankfully, Sea of Thieves may prove to be the revival of Rare.
When you think of First Party studios of Microsoft, there are hardly any. The company survives by outsourcing IPs or collaborating with them for timed exclusive content.
It is rare to see MS invest in new IPs but admittedly, yes, under the leadership with Phil Spencer things are changing. We are seeing the dawn of a new Microsoft but the company still has a long way to go when it comes to investing in first party studios and quality new IPs.
Gears of War, Forza, and Halo are the three leading IPs from Microsoft and we are yet to see a New IP that blows us away. ReCore was mediocre but we do have high hopes from Sea of Thieves.
Another more recent example is Lionhead, the studio was working on an intriguing game called Fable Legends. The game was canceled close to its beta test and Microsoft shut down the studio.
Bungie was a major studio for Microsoft but they left and never looked back.
Meanwhile, PlayStation has a healthy relationship with not only 2nd and third party developers but it also has a strong first party studio system.
Sony First Party Studios
- Guerrilla Games – Horizon Zero Dawn
- Sony Santa Monica – God of War 4
- Naughty Dog – The Last of Us Part 2, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
- Polyphony Digital – Gran Turismo
- Guerilla Cambridge – RIGS: Mechanized Combat, Rumored New IP
- Sucker Punch – New PS4 Project
- Media Molecule – Dreams
- San Diego Studios – MLB The Show 17, Drawn to Death collaboration
- Bend Studios – Days Gone
- London Studios – VR WORLDS, Rumored New VR Game
- Japan Studio – Gravity Rush 2, Knack 2, Deep Down collaboration
- Pixelopus – New Studio
- North West Studio – VR Game in Development
- XDEV – collaborates with independent development studios in Europe for PlayStation exclusive content
- Evolution Studios – Closed
- Big Big Studios – Closed
- Studio Liverpool – Closed
- 989 Studios – Closed
- Zipper Interactive – Closed
- Contrail – Closed
Partnerships and Collaborations
- Insomniac Games – Spider PS4 (Exclusive)
- Kojima Productions – Death Stranding (PS4 Exclusive)
- Quantic Dream – Detroit: Become Human (PS4 Exclusive)
- The Bartlet Jones Supernatural Detective Agency – Drawn to Death, F2P Arena Shooter
- Wild Sheep Studios – WILD (PS4 Exclusive)
- Housemarque – Materfall ( PS4 Exclusive)
- Impulse Gear – Farpoint (PS4 Exclusive)
- From Software – Rumored Bloodborne Sequel
These were the games for PlayStation and studios that are working with and for Sony.
Microsoft First Party Studios
- Rare – Sea of Thieves
- Mojang – Major player in Microsoft’s Hololens plans
- 343 Industries – Halo Wars 2
- The Coalition – No New IPs in Development
- Turn 10 – Forza Horizon 3
- Good Science Studio – MIA
- Microsoft Studios LEAP – MIA
- Microsoft Studios Platform Next – MIA
- BigPark Studios – MIA
- Decisive Games – Rumored to be working on Age of Empires
- Aces Studio – Defunct
- Digital Anvil – Defunct
- FASA Studio – Defunct
- Lionhead – Defunct
- Microsoft Game Studios Japan – Defunct
- Press Play – Defunct
- XNS Sport – Defunct
Partnerships and Collaborations
- Square Enix – Shadow of the Tomb Raider (TBC)
- Undead Labs – State of Decay 2 (Xbox One, Windows)
- Iron Galaxy – Killer Instinct (Xbox One, Windows)
- ReAgent Games – Crackdown 3 (Xbox One, Windows)
- Platinum Games – Scalebound (Xbox One, Windows)
- Studio MDHR – Cuphead (Xbox One, Windows)
- Remedy Entertainment – Alan Wake 2 (Rumored)
It is evident that Microsoft struggles with first party studios and quality exclusives. Gears of War 4, ReCore, Halo 5 turned out to be underwhelming. PlayStation 4 and PlayStation brand as a whole have better quality exclusives, the quality which not many Microsoft games match.
Thankfully, like I mentioned above, things are changing and we have high hopes from Sea of Thieves and Scalebound. Phil Spencer’s leadership is taking Xbox in the right direction. The only thing Microsoft needs to do is focus more on its first party studios.
Moreover, most of its games are not exactly “Xbox” exclusives and are planned for PC release. So technically, PlayStation is in the lead when it comes to exclusive games.
Targeting PC is an excellent strategy from Microsoft but it needs to rethink its UWP.
Do think PlayStation 4 has no games? Or is it Xbox One that lacks quality exclusives and first party support? Let us know in the comments below.