Avalanche defends Xbox One reveal

Christofer Sundberg backs Microsoft's strategy for the new machine

Avalanche Studios' founder and chief creative officer has come out in support of Microsoft's Xbox One reveal this month, which faced some criticisms over its focus on television and sports, rather than games.

"Microsoft has said that it wants to make the Xbox One an entertainment center," Christofer Sundberg told Edge.

"If it was dubbed the ultimate gaming machine at this point, Microsoft would lose the attention of general media. This way, they are grabbing mainstream attention first and can focus entirely on gamers at E3. After that they'll have both in their grasp. The Xbox is and has always been a gaming platform, and I don't see that changing with the Xbox One."

He also praised the connected nature of the machine and the potential that leant to open world games, something Avalanche specialises in with titles like Just Cause 2, and that the player data gathered from online features would help the studio shape future games.

Sundberg was also complimentary of the Kinect, especially in regards to his hopes for making a more family friendly title.

"I have dreamt of making an open-world/sandbox game for kids for many years and in that case I can see a strong support for the Kinect enhancing the experience, while I have a hard time making a perfect fit with some of our games in development at the moment."

More stories

Xbox CFO expects supply chain issues to continue through 2022

Tim Stuart said that things "could remain rocky," including during the holiday season

By Marie Dealessandri

Xbox Game Pass to add game demos and streaming for owned titles this year

Microsoft will pay developers for demos and share performance stats, also bringing Xbox app for cloud gaming to Samsung TVs

By James Batchelor

Latest comments (12)

Kevin Patterson musician 9 years ago
Christofer, I can appreciate your opinion, but I have to say I disagree.

There is nothing wrong with a console that has a lot going for it media wise, but when a new console's reveal is TV, TV, TV, Sports, sports, sports, COD, COD, DOG, COD, it's a let down. I am not sure who the reveal was actually for. The people watching the reveal are going to be gamers mostly, and they want to see a gamer focus. If they did a Late night with Jimmy Fallon kind of thing, then showing all those media functions would make much more sense.

I'm not saying that the Xbox one is bad, I'm just saying the reveal was a wasted opportunity. There was negativity towards the Xbox 720 in the gaming community before the reveal, and then after the reveal it was much worse. MS could have and should have been more clear on what they were going to do and not do, and come out with a gaming focused message.

I'm not even going to comment on why gamers were so enraged regarding the after reveal comments and non-statements, I think everyone knows those by now. I hope MS redeems itself at E3, I am an Xbox fan, and want them to be successful but they need to listen to their fans. For the first time in a few console generations, their will quite a power difference and feature difference between the different consoles. this could be a gen where many people own multiple consoles again.

Edit - I meant to say that I love the idea of that open sandbox game for kids, or even just a nice non violent game. Just Cause 2 was a great game, love to see you guys make a kid friendly title.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Kevin Patterson on 31st May 2013 5:13pm

2Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Jim Perry Programmer, head geek of indie studio Mach X Games 9 years ago
I am not sure who the reveal was actually for
The reveal was for the non-gaming press and market. The industry reveal would be E3, as it always has been. I still think they could have focused on the gaming aspect a bit more by cutting fluff, but that's just me.
2Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Spencer Franklin Concept Artist 9 years ago
@Kevin Patterson
"when a new console's reveal is TV, TV, TV, Sports, sports, sports, COD, COD, DOG, COD, it's a let down."
I see what you did there, lol

On topic, I have to disagree with Christopher as well. Microsoft seems intent on this machine being a media station, that can ALSO play games... Not about it being a serious gaming system. and honestly, that's fine if that's the direction they want to go, But I don't feel that that is to the benefit of what was (is?) their core audience. And seems Sony is jumping on this (as they should), and now putting themselves at the other end by restating the PS4's commitment to games and gamers, by being a gaming system first and foremost...that can also do other things.

Seems the XBone is intent on becoming a tool for big brother to invade my home, what with the always online, mandatory Kinect and such. I just want to play games, same as I have been since my Atari 2600... If i want any of that other invasive stuff, I'd like it on my own terms, not theirs.
5Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Show all comments (12)
I am saddened by those executives in the consumer game scene that have not read (or ignore) the detailed treatise from the MS team about how they want to win "the living room" and feel that a media station (one stop game, media player and set-top box) is their obvious path.

It will be uncomfortable when MS abandons its 'close' relationship with certain publishers and studios as their focus on what Kevin entitled their new "TV, TV, TV, Sports, sports, sports..." path. And I do not think any brown-nosing with lessen the abandonment! You may have noticed a slow response from the magazine publishing teams to announce the first 'official' Xbone game mag.

Guys, the party is over - console game publishing has proven too volatile to place all the eggs in that basket. Also the failure of in-game advertising removed a possible revenue stream from the table. Sports and TV offers a great secondary stream, link this to locking the system down to only playing MS's tune on used games and regional exclusivity and we see a system that cant fail... the Titanic of consoles!
3Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.9 years ago
On top of all that has already been said, anyone else notice that they want to do a kids game and yet are targeting an MS console for that? Aren't these the same guys that returned their Wii U SDK because they couldn't figure out what to do with it and they couldn't find Nintendo's phone number?
7Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 9 years ago
So its not just me.... things are really that bad with microsoft... You got a few people stepping up to defend them. Why does microsoft need to be defended? This just sustains the fact that the XboxOne reveal really was that bad.
7Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Spencer Franklin Concept Artist 9 years ago
Between this article, and the regular posts of another of this studios employees..seems they are all in with Microsoft on this. I hope they have a plan B if this fails, cause god knows I am hoping for this idea to fall flat on it's face.
2Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 9 years ago
Somebody please remind me which non-gaming features the Xbox One reveal promoted to non-gaming people?

The fact that you can use the console as a voice command remote?
A few Internet gimmicks for which everybody who is into them already has a device for?
Yet another way to place a phone (Skype) call?
The announcement of a new token TV show which would not survive four weeks on any real network?

Sorry, but for your non-gaming habits, the XBO does not really add much the PS3 and 360 don't have already. Then consider the fact that common interface cards do the decoding in Europe, not external receivers, hence you add even more riddles to this box. Looking at the event without the pre-hype excitement, you can't help but laugh at it at any turn. It is like some TV executive told Microsoft: "sure, we will show your reveal live, but only if you make it look as if TV still mattered".

The event was followed up by no date, no price, no territories, and a lot of information which made people angry. Then no response was given to set things straight.

In short, this event cannot be defended. Show it to you non-gaming family members, see if they pre-order. I dare you. If MS went out and made a statement that they wanted to become your premium HD-IPTV provider on the ISP of your choice, then hell yeah. Sorry MS, but this was a trainwreck only its mother can (and does) love.
9Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
James Prendergast Process Specialist 9 years ago
@Jim Perry: The non-gaming market were, by definition, not paying attention to a game console reveal :)
8Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Stephan Schwabe Multichannelmanagement, Telefonica9 years ago
My PC is in the first place a gaming mashine. I can do other things with it but i brought it to play high end games. The same is for a console. I like to watch youtube on my wii U, via the browser, but i broght the WiiU to play games. Who ever made this conference lost the touch with the consumers.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Adam Campbell Product Manager, Azoomee9 years ago
I almost feel sorry for Microsoft, because I didn't think this was as dire as many are making out. Perhaps a few lessons in 'managing expectations' will be in order.

Just a simple note that the conference would be to reveal the new console's form factor and the 'new and exciting' multimedia features would have been reasonable preparation. Then a clear note beforehand that games will be the focus of E3, as the 'biggest and best' platform to show off what they have in store.
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Nick McCrea Gentleman, Pocket Starship9 years ago
Klaus is dead right. Even if you judge the reveal purely in the light of it being a play for a non-core audience, it's still a huge failure.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.