Xbox shifts focus away from ‘games as a service’

Back when the Xbox One launched, Microsoft had a strong focus on a concept known as games as a service.” Now, it seems that they’re shifting away from that strategy and seeking to reach more of a balance in the things that their developers put out.

As highlights, Xbox Games Marketing GM (and longtime Microsoft employee) Aaron Greenberg discussed various aspects of the Xbox One ecosystem with Kotaku. Among the topics discussed were games as a service, a concept that might not be immediately familiar to everyone.

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Simply put, “games as a service” means a video game that you’re playing with some sort of long-term, continually-growing online component. MMORPGs like World of Warcraft and even Battle Royale games like Fortnite qualify as games of this type, and Microsoft bet big on focusing on the development of these kinds of titles with new IPs like Sea of Thieves and similar projects. Now, Greenberg thinks it’s best for developers to focus on making what they want, regardless of its business model.

Games as a service The Outer Worlds

“I think the whole industry is on something of a learning curve there with games as a service,” Aaron Greenberg began. “For us, we empower our creative teams to go and make the games they want, and so, hey, I think it’s great Rare wanted to create Sea of Thieves and do something new with the ‘games as a service’ idea, and we fully respect and support them in continuing to do that.”

“But it’s also OK for a game to just be a game — to have a beginning, a middle, and an end — and I think The Outer Worlds and Wasteland 3 are great examples of that. We’ll continue to support teams who want to do that.”

While the maker of the Xbox may have once focused on pushing games as a service, it seems like now they’re content for more of a balanced approach in the future. Sea of Thieves fans need not worry, though, as you aren’t getting left behind.

“It’s great for us to show a lot of new games at [x019], and among these new titles you can see not everything’s being built as a service. But that said, with some it does make sense, and we’ll continue to support those and support the fans playing those titles.”