Xbox is still working on rebooting some of its classic series, like Perfect Dark and Fable, and has acknowledged how another stumbled along the way with infinity halo.
In an interview with the friends per second podcast, Xbox Game Studios boss Matt Booty touched on some of the long-missing reboots, explaining timelines, partnerships, and roadblocks. When he was asked about Perfect Dark and leadership changes about the project, the head of Xbox explained partnership with Crystal Dynamics.
Booty referred to developer The Initiative and Crystal Dynamics’ efforts on Perfect Dark as “joint development” and made it clear that they are an “equal partner in development”. In other words, Crystal Dynamics is not on board just for the outsourcing of assets or other parts of the project.
“There haven’t been as many leadership changes as building a studio,” Booty said. “I think one of the most difficult things in recent years has been to finish a great game on the scale of Halo or Battlefield in the conditions that we have had.”
Those conditions Booty is referring to are changes in studio work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Xbox boss noted that they have tried several new methods around workflow and attracting talent since it started. He also stated that this kind of “strict co-development” is something we will see more of in the future.
The best video game remakes
When asked about Fable, GameSpot noted Booty’s praise for developer Playground Games. It’s a studio known primarily for its racing titles, like the Forza Horizon series, but the Xbox boss noted that Playground brings “great craftsmanship, high quality, and great attention to detail” to projects. He said the team had “a particular passion for intellectual property” and that they “understand what the heart and soul of Fable is about and how they can present it for today’s sensibilities.”
Polygon also noted Booty’s openness about infinity halo and its hiccups at launch and during the update cycle. He likened Halo Infinite’s difficulties to the “classic runner’s mistake of tripping and stumbling across the finish line,” also due primarily to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Booty acknowledged the challenges around sudden remote work, hybrid work, figuring out how to adapt, and team size during the pandemic, calling it a “worst-case condition for trying to make the games.” He praised the team for making it and shipping it, acknowledging that some of those struggles became more apparent in Halo Infinite’s long-term content plan, where Booty says Xbox “fell short.”
Developer 343 has struggled to meet several update targets for new features in Halo Infinite, including delays for Forge mode and finally, cancel split screen co-op entirely.
From the interview with Booty, it appears that the Halo Infinite team has new post-launch plans and a game plan for future updates. Halo Infinite is big winter update launches tomorrow, November 8.
Andrea Shearon is a freelance contributor for IGN who covers gaming and entertainment. She has worn several hats during her seven-year career in the games industry, with signings to Fanbyte, USA Today’s FTW, TheGamer, VG247, and RPG Site. Find her on Twitter (@Maajora) or the Materia Possessions podcast which talks about FFXIV, RPGs, and any series involving giant robots.
Leave a Comment