Microsoft "Investing to Win" in Europe

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Microsoft "Investing to Win" in Europe

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David Gosen, Vice President of Strategic Marketing and Live and Microsoft, has plotted the company's path to Xbox 360 success in Europe.

"Xbox is going to be the platform that wins this hardware generation," declared Gosen on stage at the Gamefest UK conference. His remarks reflect his words from a month ago, when he warned that Microsoft would soon be spending large sums to compete with Sony in Europe, where the PlayStation 3's brand helped it pass Xbox 360 lifetime sales in May, despite Microsoft's year head-start.

Gosen stated, "We're going to invest in more ways than we have before." He listed deals to provide exclusive content for the Xbox Live Marketplace and financial support for third parties in the region.

"We've got two new developer account managers dedicated to Europe, which we've never had before, to really work hand in glove with developers across the whole suite of different size and shape companies in the territory today," he continued.

On backing local third party studios, Microsoft believes that is has "an obligation to all of us to have a good talent strategy."

"We have to grow new talent in the industry. [Our investment and the upcoming Community Games channel] is us supporting the industry, as we know you have to bring talent through," explained Gosen. "It's really difficult today for new developers to break through and for them to get people to look at their games, and it's really difficult once someone has looked at a game to give them access to sell that game on."

Gosen confidently concluded, "We will outsell the PlayStation 3."

Source: Develop Magazine

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Microsoft: Stop treating us like shit and you wont have any need for lovely press announcements.

Jack Sheehan:
Microsoft: Stop treating us like shit and you wont have any need for lovely press announcements.

Why thank you, that's what I wanted to say.

Bah. Companies and their silly wars.

People are going to play what they want to play.

And the Europeans, apparently, don't want to play mindless American patriotism bullshit. Who knew?

(Sorry, I just got off trying to play Splinter Cell, and seeing just how much of this "American Military is great" Tom Clancy bullshit I could take. Even I was suprised at how little I could stomach)

"Xbox is going to be the platform that wins this hardware generation,"

I will believe that when they do these two things.

Actually make a console that doesn't decide to go on "vacation" every three months.

And when you do that piss off into the mountains until you learn how to treat us like people. Not walking wallets

Ya know it wouldn't be so bad if they were just pissing on us, but when they tell you it's raining it gets annoying.

I don't see what all the fuss is about. Microsoft simply said that they were going to invest money into an area they were failing in. It's just being competitive.

The trouble is that the current generation of consoles has been around long enough that we're well past the time for talking. The 360 and Xbox Live are well-established and familiar to gamers, so I think a lot of the impatience arises from a desire for less talk and more action. By now it should be assumed that Microsoft is going to "invest to win," so great, fantastic - how about actually doing it instead of just yammering on about it?

Theres also the fact that its bloody stupid. A games country of origin usually isn't going to affect its reception. As an Australian, the fact that Bioshock and Destroy All Humans were Australian didn't affect my experience, and it probably won't for LA Noire.

Playstation has traditionally dominated Europe; this is significant in it's a large play for one of the places in the world that has traditionally been dominated by PS2's.

I agree games country of origin probably doesn't affect it's reception - but games built with a specific culture or group of people certainly do.

xMacx:
Playstation has traditionally dominated Europe; this is significant in it's a large play for one of the places in the world that has traditionally been dominated by PS2's.

I agree games country of origin probably doesn't affect it's reception - but games built with a specific culture or group of people certainly do.

True, but we live in the 21st century - culture is not restricted by borders anymore.

I would argue that several of the titles shown at E3 this year were developed with Euro markets in mind as much (or more) than the US.

Malygris:
The trouble is that the current generation of consoles has been around long enough that we're well past the time for talking. The 360 and Xbox Live are well-established and familiar to gamers, so I think a lot of the impatience arises from a desire for less talk and more action. By now it should be assumed that Microsoft is going to "invest to win," so great, fantastic - how about actually doing it instead of just yammering on about it?

I think anyone at MS would agree with you. To be fair, this is taken from an interview, not like they held a press conference for it. Someone asked him a question about it.

I would argue that several of the titles shown at E3 this year were developed with Euro markets in mind first.

xMacx:

Malygris:
The trouble is that the current generation of consoles has been around long enough that we're well past the time for talking. The 360 and Xbox Live are well-established and familiar to gamers, so I think a lot of the impatience arises from a desire for less talk and more action. By now it should be assumed that Microsoft is going to "invest to win," so great, fantastic - how about actually doing it instead of just yammering on about it?

I think anyone at MS would agree with you. To be fair, this is taken from an interview, not like they held a press conference for it. Someone asked him a question about it.

I would argue that several of the titles shown at E3 this year were developed with Euro markets in mind first.

....they didn't show anything new at e3 this year. They showed shared titles and more content about Fable II and Gears 2 (Unless you're talking about those half assed ripoffs of Sonys social games....).

Indigo_Dingo:

xMacx:
Playstation has traditionally dominated Europe; this is significant in it's a large play for one of the places in the world that has traditionally been dominated by PS2's.

I agree games country of origin probably doesn't affect it's reception - but games built with a specific culture or group of people certainly do.

True, but we live in the 21st century - culture is not restricted by borders anymore.

Oversimplifying the problem - sounds good, but not actually applicable.

For example: Try talking about the intricacies of Australian rules football outside of Australia. Then consider having a gaming company develop it.

Would you want someone from New York trying to understand the game and develop a version that adequately simulates the real thing in a short period of time, or would you rather have an equally skilled company from New Zealand developing the title?

Now imagine you're the publisher funding the development house. Home grown talent or imported talent? No brainer. Culture has boundaries; they can just be kind of fuzzy from time to time.

Check this out on cultural geography before tossing out ideas like "Culture has no borders."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_geography

And google cultural boundary/cultural boundaries for the application of cultural boundaries in science and sociology. It's contentious, to be sure, but I'd say most critics wouldn't agree with your sentiment.

Indigo_Dingo:

xMacx:

Malygris:
The trouble is that the current generation of consoles has been around long enough that we're well past the time for talking. The 360 and Xbox Live are well-established and familiar to gamers, so I think a lot of the impatience arises from a desire for less talk and more action. By now it should be assumed that Microsoft is going to "invest to win," so great, fantastic - how about actually doing it instead of just yammering on about it?

I think anyone at MS would agree with you. To be fair, this is taken from an interview, not like they held a press conference for it. Someone asked him a question about it.

I would argue that several of the titles shown at E3 this year were developed with Euro markets in mind first.

....they didn't show anything new at e3 this year. They showed shared titles and more content about Fable II and Gears 2 (Unless you're talking about those half assed ripoffs of Sonys social games....).

Who said anything about them showing anything new? That was you, not me. I just said they showed titles developed for a Euro audience in response to the comment about doing something, not talking about it.

xMacx:

Indigo_Dingo:

xMacx:

Malygris:
The trouble is that the current generation of consoles has been around long enough that we're well past the time for talking. The 360 and Xbox Live are well-established and familiar to gamers, so I think a lot of the impatience arises from a desire for less talk and more action. By now it should be assumed that Microsoft is going to "invest to win," so great, fantastic - how about actually doing it instead of just yammering on about it?

I think anyone at MS would agree with you. To be fair, this is taken from an interview, not like they held a press conference for it. Someone asked him a question about it.

I would argue that several of the titles shown at E3 this year were developed with Euro markets in mind first.

....they didn't show anything new at e3 this year. They showed shared titles and more content about Fable II and Gears 2 (Unless you're talking about those half assed ripoffs of Sonys social games....).

Who said anything about them showing anything new? That was you, not me. I just said they showed titles developed for a Euro audience in response to the comment about doing something, not talking about it.

Okay, what titles did they show that seem developed specifically for a Euro Audience.

Indigo_Dingo:
Okay, what titles did they show that seem developed specifically for a Euro Audience.

The ones you said were second rate ripoffs :).

Seriously, you should reply to the first one, Mr. "Culture has no boundaries." That's a much more interesting topic for hijacking a thread.

Exclsuive content, OH, you mean like america and canada get from the rest of the world?

Microsofts priority list:

1>America
2>Cananda
3>Europe<----me
4>Australia

We like you more than Canada :)

xMacx:

Indigo_Dingo:

xMacx:
Playstation has traditionally dominated Europe; this is significant in it's a large play for one of the places in the world that has traditionally been dominated by PS2's.

I agree games country of origin probably doesn't affect it's reception - but games built with a specific culture or group of people certainly do.

True, but we live in the 21st century - culture is not restricted by borders anymore.

Oversimplifying the problem - sounds good, but not actually applicable.

For example: Try talking about the intricacies of Australian rules football outside of Australia. Then consider having a gaming company develop it.

Would you want someone from New York trying to understand the game and develop a version that adequately simulates the real thing in a short period of time, or would you rather have an equally skilled company from New Zealand developing the title?

Now imagine you're the publisher funding the development house. Home grown talent or imported talent? No brainer. Culture has boundaries; they can just be kind of fuzzy from time to time.

Check this out on cultural geography before tossing out ideas like "Culture has no borders."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_geography

And google cultural boundary/cultural boundaries for the application of cultural boundaries in science and sociology. It's contentious, to be sure, but I'd say most critics wouldn't agree with your sentiment.

If I must then I will.

While certain experiences like those might actually be made better if done by local developers, a fair number of the games won't be made better if done by local people. Would Far Cry 2 be better if it were made by African Developers? Probably not, it'd probably be about the same. Most games are pretty much global content, and only stuff like sports would be made better by local developers.

And I don't believe in Cultural Geography, I believe in a rapidly emerging global culture.

Indigo_Dingo:
And I don't believe in Cultural Geography, I believe in a rapidly emerging global culture.

I could believe in Puff the Magic Dragon, but that doesn't exactly make it true. I think I'll align myself with a body of well-established literature versus personal opinion on this one. But hey, that's just me. I've got a 12" of "we are the World" that agrees with you, with a sweet Kenny Rogers solo.

And just to play off of a point - I'd argue that part of what makes games so damn bland these days is the exact position you're taking - that a game about stealth jungle missions would be just as well designed by people who've never seen the inside of a damn jungle than say....jungle guerillas in africa who have actually lived the part.

That's part of why every sewer level looks the same, every jungle level looks the same, every alien spaceship looks the same...they're all programmed by the same guys who are part of the same community who go to the same conferences, etc....in short, your position=FPS mediocrity. Congrats.

I'm all about the globalization - letting some non-anglo cultures develop some scenarios we don't think about. To hell with one worldview - I get enough of one global culture in my games, and that worldview looks ridiculously bland. Bring on the games made by socialists in South America! Bring on the FPS's made by Zulus! Let's get some action made by someone who has a different perspective!

Indigo_Dingo:
And I don't believe in Cultural Geography, I believe in a rapidly emerging global culture.

Also, I'd suggest taking a course in this or at least reading a book on it before you write it off.

If you do, you'll probably realize that an emerging global culture is completely congruent (and a part of) cultural geography. In fact, a branch of cultural geography focuses completely on how cultural innovations like technology spread from one location to the next and become part of a larger group tied by specific innovation. Which you'd probably know..if you knew anything about the subject before speaking on it. I'm just guessing here - feel free to tell me if I'm wrong.

xMacx:

Indigo_Dingo:
And I don't believe in Cultural Geography, I believe in a rapidly emerging global culture.

Also, I'd suggest taking a course in this or at least reading a book on it before you write it off.

If you do, you'll probably realize that an emerging global culture is completely congruent (and a part of) cultural geography. In fact, a branch of cultural geography focuses completely on how cultural innovations like technology spread from one location to the next and become part of a larger group tied by specific innovation. Which you'd probably know..if you knew anything about the subject before speaking on it. I'm just guessing here - feel free to tell me if I'm wrong.

I have taken a course on this at university, my mark was 94%. Its another of those political divisions, like the one between liberalism and Realism (or sanity and paranoia). Some experts believe that cultures will resist the draw towards a global culture, some believe that cultures will resist it. I am with the former. You are obviously with the latter.

But I kinda agree with you to an extent about developers dabbling in areas they have no idea about. I was kinda weirded out when I found out that LA Noire was being made by a group of Sydney based developers called Team Bondi - cause if theres one place in the world that could never be called noire, its Bondi Beach.

I accept my error in judgment - though I'm a little nonplussed by your definition of cultural geography as political divisions (divisions into academic camps, sure, if that's all you meant).

So, umm..just to clear it up..if you believe in the theory of a specific camp of Cultural Geography (which is pretty damn specific), what's up with all the "I don't believe in Cultural Geography?" It sounds like you do - you just subscribe to a particular theory within the field.

My understanding is that the polar views you're talking about have been nonexistent for all practical purposes, with most scholars agreeing that both forces are interdependent and in flux (for all given purposes.) Hell, the last chapter of my text was dedicated to saying the purist view of either side was logically flawed.

xMacx:
I accept my error in judgment - though I'm a little nonplussed by your definition of cultural geography as political divisions (divisions into academic camps, sure, if that's all you meant).

So, umm..just to clear it up..if you believe in the theory of a specific camp of Cultural Geography (which is pretty damn specific), what's up with all the "I don't believe in Cultural Geography?" It sounds like you do - you just subscribe to a particular theory within the field.

My understanding is that the polar views you're talking about have been nonexistent for all practical purposes, with most scholars agreeing that both forces are interdependent and in flux (for all given purposes.) Hell, the last chapter of my text was dedicated to saying the purist view of either side was logically flawed.

Sorry, I was simply saying that it is my belief that the gaming subculture, in and of itself, is unlikely to be affected by this ideal of isolationism that might invade other cultures. While I agree that there are always gonna be some communities that will not be globalised, I feel that the gaming community is not one of them. We were a lifestyle that was born into change - we aren't likely to care about where the content was made, as long as its good.

I wish I remembered the correct terminology of what I'm talking about.

I don't think anybody would disagree with that - though I think you could insert just about anything for "gaming subculture" and that would still be true. What subculture isn't born out of change?

In any case, Hijacking complete! Score!

Right. Now, back to the article.

I'd admire Microsofts optimism, if it wasn't so obviously misplaced. They budgeted on the Ps3 being dead by now - they haven't planned for anything halfway decent and exclusive next year, whereas Sony have only begun to show off what it can do.

I don't know about you two (as I believe we are the last three here) but I kind of want to play a game set on a space ship that has been developed by someone who has actually experienced it.

PS - This conversation has been enthralling to read. Kudos.

CatmanStu:
I don't know about you two (as I believe we are the last three here) but I kind of want to play a game set on a space ship that has been developed by someone who has actually experienced it.

PS - This conversation has been enthralling to read. Kudos.

No offence, but odds are that would be incredibly boring. I don't know if you realise this, but space doesn't have Laser battles and alien civilisations. Its just an empty, unfathomable abyss.

Indigo_Dingo:
Right. Now, back to the article.

I'd admire Microsofts optimism, if it wasn't so obviously misplaced. They budgeted on the Ps3 being dead by now - they haven't planned for anything halfway decent and exclusive next year, whereas Sony have only begun to show off what it can do.

This has provided some amusement - good diversion while I finished a long night of work :X. Thanks!

With that said - I guarantee you MS did not anticipate PS3 being gone by now. Everyone is expecting a long tail to the PS3 (I don't know if there's much other option given it's initial missteps).

While it's tempting to think of titles in terms of counter-programming like TV, more often it's about who you can sign to do good titles in a multi-year time frame. Something slips, you look worse than you did before. Something gets signed that looks really good, all of a sudden you're looking strong again. There's definitely a push to have good titles for the holiday, but there definitely wasn't a plan like "Let's push everything we've got for this one time frame - they'll be done then!!"

Vaguely related note - from purely a gaming standpoint, Christmas 2009 does not currently excite me for any console. It will be interesting to see what happens - perhaps Christmas 2009 is the year of teh suck. Perhaps something amazing will come crawling out of the woodwork. But currently, I can't muster up the energy to care.

CatmanStu:
I don't know about you two (as I believe we are the last three here) but I kind of want to play a game set on a space ship that has been developed by someone who has actually experienced it.

PS - This conversation has been enthralling to read. Kudos.

I got you:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlpIw789EcE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Thf2eoa_og&feature=related

Takin it back to 1994!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Space_Simulator

ok, maybe a semi-serious one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJD8SCclSq0&feature=related

In regards to games developed by diffirent nations you can notice quite a few diffirence between American and European developers. Take the Swedish developers Massive and their game "World in Conflict", the game features an imaginary war between the US and Russia but contains very little American patriotism. Swedes in general don't like American patriotism and that is reflected in the game so that it focuses more on individual soldier.

This might not be a really big example but I think that there is alot of potential for game developers to make games for their own countries. Didn't the developers of S.T.A.L.K.E.R talk about how the game was Russian not just in setting (technically it's set in modern day Ukraine after all) but in character. Another example would be the game Stalin Vs Martins, even if it doesn't look very serious the game seems to be Russians making fun of their history. Fable has typical British humor (the best kind) and let's not mention some Japanese games.

So here to Microsoft for investing in some non-american developers!

xMacx:

Indigo_Dingo:
Right. Now, back to the article.

I'd admire Microsofts optimism, if it wasn't so obviously misplaced. They budgeted on the Ps3 being dead by now - they haven't planned for anything halfway decent and exclusive next year, whereas Sony have only begun to show off what it can do.

This has provided some amusement - good diversion while I finished a long night of work :X. Thanks!

With that said - I guarantee you MS did not anticipate PS3 being gone by now. Everyone is expecting a long tail to the PS3 (I don't know if there's much other option given it's initial missteps).

While it's tempting to think of titles in terms of counter-programming like TV, more often it's about who you can sign to do good titles in a multi-year time frame. Something slips, you look worse than you did before. Something gets signed that looks really good, all of a sudden you're looking strong again. There's definitely a push to have good titles for the holiday, but there definitely wasn't a plan like "Let's push everything we've got for this one time frame - they'll be done then!!"

Vaguely related note - from purely a gaming standpoint, Christmas 2009 does not currently excite me for any console. It will be interesting to see what happens - perhaps Christmas 2009 is the year of teh suck. Perhaps something amazing will come crawling out of the woodwork. But currently, I can't muster up the energy to care.

Yeah, I'm just saying that Microsoft don't really have any strong exclusives next year. This shows a real error of judgement on their part.

And I think GOW III might be a Christmas 2009 release. They might release a teaser where Kratos kills Santa. It'd be awesome.

I think that since Microsoft now has a pretty good grip on America and is slowly starting to do better in Japan, they will focus more of their attention on Europe.

No offense to you Europeans, but your area has always been, well, less of a concern for developers and the game industry in general when compared to America and Japan. Seeing as how Microsoft just wanted to make a competing console that would grab up market share (which the 360 has done extremely well), I don't think it's that surprising that they weren't paying much focus to Europe.

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