Microsoft has $1 billion for exclusive Xbox One titles

Don Mattrick: "I think, candidly, people are way, way under-indexing how hard we're punching"

Microsoft is ready to invest around $1 billion in the development of exclusive games for the Xbox One.

That's according to a report from Official Xbox Magazine, in which Don Mattrick and Phil Spencer discuss Microsoft's strategy for first-party development. The entertainment focus of the Xbox One reveal event led to widespread accusations that the company had neglected the gamers on which its business is built. However, Mattrick believes that the breadth of the Xbox One offering has been under-estimated.

"We just ran through our [release slate] and counted the number of exclusives, and looked at the amount of money that we're spending and the deals that we have, exclusive windows and [things to create differentiation]," he said.

"I think, candidly, people are way, way under-indexing how hard we're punching."

Even before the event, Microsoft pressed the idea that its E3 presentation would be focused on games, but it did reveal that it has 15 exclusive games ready for the Xbox One's first year, including 8 new IPs.

"There are great hits, there's innovation, and there are world class creators plugged in," Mattrick continued. "You know, I keep track of it all, and I hope everyone here does - we kind of look back at all the different years and at what we shipped, how many units have sold. There's a lot of hyperbole about things, but I think we're going to deliver."

The doubt surrounding Microsoft's core game strategy is just one of many pressing issues to be addressed at E3. So far, the company's messaging around controversial topics like the Xbox One's online requirements and its approach to used games has been confusing, with senior executives occasionally contradicting one another when speaking to the press.

Microsoft's E3 press conference will be take place on June 10, 2013.

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Latest comments (20)

Craig Burkey Software Engineer 7 years ago
Again American Billion, aren't the big budget games pushing the ~$100m mark already so that fits with the 15 exclusive games quote
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Adam Campbell Product Manager, Azoomee7 years ago
That's a great figure by any means.

But just so long as it isn't wasted on over-budgeted titles, over-marketing or expensive 3rd party publisher deals (especially for exclusive DLC). If one was economical with this amount of money, the number of great games that could be created is phenomenal.
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Luis E Alvarado Studying Mobile Development B.S., Full Sail University7 years ago
OH! So that is where the XBOX Live sub money went into... Yay, I guess...
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Show all comments (20)
Aleksi Ranta Category Management Project Manager 7 years ago
Its not about the money, its not about the tech as such, its not all about the exclusives, its not about any of that...
What this Xbone reveal is (was) all about was making the FIRST impression. And like we all know, first impressions last.
its mindboggling in a way that big companies with communication specialists working for them are not able to create a positive buzz around, especially after, their products annoucements. People should be positively having questions, "wow, how does that work? How is that even possible?" and so on.
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You'd think for all these big releases, they do a limited rehearsal to a unsuspecting get the demographic message right
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David Serrano Freelancer 6 years ago
@Aleksi Ranta

I think much of the negative buzz is the result of the product not making sense to many people. Microsoft claimed the XBO will replace your cable provider's box (for those who are forced to use them), yet the device doesn't have a Smart Card slot. And without a Smart Card, the XBO can't function as a cable box or as a DVR. You'll still need a cable box to decode the incoming signal, you'll still need a DVR with Smart Card tech to record shows. So the XBO doesn't contain the one feature which would have made the "all in one" concept make sense.
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Kelly Flock consultant 6 years ago
For XBO to be all in one Microsoft has to partner with cable and satellite providers. It's not exciting that you can stream Netflix. If you could record Netflix or Hulu or other internet video suppliers onto XBO as you can with a PC that's a positive move. I believe the games will be fantastic. I'm less optimistic about the television controls. Sony could incorporate most of those features into their television displays at any time, and in fact it's surprising their sets don't routinely come with Skype cameras and microphones built in. I'm also not sure I want my television watching me. Too much like Person of Interest.
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David Spender Lead Programmer 6 years ago
Given that xbox division has lost billions of dollars over its lifespan, is Microsoft intending to maintain that status-quo even with this next generation in order to gain dominance in the living room or are they actually intending this thing to make a profit?

I see Microsoft being very upset at losing in the mobile space to Apple/Google and fighting to do anything it takes to gain control of 'smart-home' market which will be exploding in the near future.
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Colin Payne game designer; artist 6 years ago
Its not the power of the punch that matters though. Its accuracy that's important - and so far they seem way off target.
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Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 6 years ago
Well if you cant beat 'em, buy 'em!!!!
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Tim Carter Designer - Writer - Producer 6 years ago
They have the money, but to a publisher managing a small game takes just as much work as managing a large game. So it takes 100 times the work to give $1 million to 100 game companies than to give $100 million to 1 established big box game company.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 6 years ago
"We just ran through our [release slate] and counted the number of exclusives, and looked at the amount of money that we're spending and the deals that we have, exclusive windows and [things to create differentiation]," he said.

"I think, candidly, people are way, way under-indexing how hard we're punching."
Here's a punch back. Here we go again. How about sharing that list of exclusives you're so sure will make us all forget last week's event? No wonder there's an earthquake happening online in the Xbox community. Secret this, secret that, "Oh, wait 'til you seeeee what we're gonna-gonna do!" This isn't grade school, folks. You want the money? Tell us something that's not going to be another "just you wait!" forecast...

Oh, that's right. E3. E3. E3. E3... Well, it better be a great E3, as it'll be the last straw for some formerly hardcore fans otherwise...
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Axel Cushing Freelance Writer 6 years ago
It's not how hard you're punching, Don. It's where you're punching, and the prevailing sentiment seems to be that it's off-limits according to Marquis of Queensbury rules.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Axel Cushing on 29th May 2013 11:47pm

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Robin Clarke Producer, AppyNation Ltd6 years ago
Don Mattrick, a proud record store owner, shelves stacked high with glossy prog rock triple-albums the weekend Never Mind The Bollocks comes out.

Surely, SURELY nobody can be this oblivious to how the industry has changed in the last decade?

Throwing money and clout at trying to keep a technologically outmoded model alive can only end badly.
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Paul Jace Merchandiser 6 years ago
Adam is correct, this is a great figure for exclusive games no matter which way you look at it. But one thing I would add to your wasted list is "timed-exclusives" . I get it for certain indie games and even DLC for COD games. But I've always felt that money would be better spent on non-timed exclusives. I remember hearing they paid Rockstar $25-$50 million for all the GTA IV DLC being time-exclusive. Thats great and all but it would have seemed like a much better deal if they got some exclusive DLC that none of the other systems received.

According to Mattrick this $1 billion covers both but I hope the ratio of exclusives to timed-exclusives is heavily in the favor of non-timed exclusives.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Jace on 30th May 2013 2:08am

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Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd6 years ago
The figure means nothing, it's how you spend it. As has been pointed out, Microsoft will spend some of this on timed exclusives, early DLC, and massively overbudget AAA games. It's cool to hear, I guess, but the proof is in the pudding, so to speak. I'm not buying any game system on the promise of how much money is being spent on exclusives. I'll buy it when (if) those exclusives materialize and are of quality and interest.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 6 years ago
@Paul: And the hi-larious thing is... with timed content as noted above, it sells well enough, but I've been seeing evidence of some gamers fed up with tactic who are simply waiting it out for the inevitable Game of the Year edition thanks packs it all in for a better price point..

In short, those 8 Xbox One exclusives had better be the best games ever made for a new-gen console, is all I'm saying...
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Paul Jace Merchandiser 6 years ago
@Greg--Not only do gamers wait for the GOTY editions(for their consoles timed exclusive games) but the gamers on the competing systems who have to wait for the time-exclusive period to end usually get bonus content. Off the top of my head Deadly Premonition and Snipers: Ghost Warrior came to the PS3 roughly a year after the 360 releases with extra content. On the flip side, Joe Danger came to XBLA a year and a half after PSN with extra content.

I don't know about you but if giving the choice of getting timed-exclusive content for my platform of choice first or getting that same time-exclusive content a year(or more) later with additional bonus content I will choose the latter everytime.

Like I said before, I really hope they didn't spend a significant amount of that $1 billion on timed-exclusives.
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Christopher Bowen Editor in Chief, Gaming Bus6 years ago
Frankly, I don't care how hard they're punching. If the only thing they can talk about is "we're going to buy our way to exclusivity and force our robot recording brain into your house because you'll have no alternative", they can take that potent right hand wherever they want because I won't be engaging.

Once again, Don Mattrick comes off as a smug, arrogant prick who's basic attitude is :"screw you, you'll buy it anyway". Take it easy, champ. Why don't you stop talking for a little while.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 6 years ago
@Paul: Funny you should mention Deadly Premonition: TDC. That was my unofficial game of the month in May, the new DLC comes out tomorrow and there's more next week, so yeah - I'm all over that and have dragged in a few friends as well.

As for MS... Well, they're down to 7 "big" new IP exclusives to grab people, as Disney's announcement of Fantasia: Music Evolved just made my head spin in the wrong direction. OK, it will sell like hotcakes to Harmonix' fan base who buy in, but this being a 360 and XBO game means one SKU will do better than the other, I bet...
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