Narrative single-player games important to Xbox’s strategy

But Xbox studios won't be made to make them.

Narrative single-player games are important to Xbox and its strategy, but Xbox head Phil Spencer and Xbox Games Studios lead Matt Booty won’t be demanding them from every one of their studios.

Speaking with The Guardian, Spencer detailed where single-player, narrative-focused games sit in Xbox’s overall strategy.

“I think we’re probably building more of those now than we’ve been in the history of Xbox,” Spencer said. “Platform holders, whether that platform is subscription or a hardware device or a store, are actively investing in new and probably more risky things, because, if it works, we get value out of bringing players into the ecosystem.”

Booty added that Xbox Game Studios will offer up diversity, including games as a service titles and narrative-focused titles, simply because of the diversity of its developers.

“We don’t have any direction or mandate that says every game has to be an ongoing, sustained game,” Booty said. “Take Psychonauts: there might be a Psychonauts 3, but I’m not going to tell [developer] Tim Schafer to go make it. Knowing the history of games that he makes, I don’t think he’s going to be making a game that has seasons and goes on for five years.”

Psychonauts 2 heads to Windows PC, Mac, Linux, Xbox One, Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X, PS4 and PS5 on 25 August 2021, part of the Xbox Game Pass program.

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Steve Wright

Steve's the owner of this very site and an active games journalist for the past ten years. He's a Canadian-Australian gay gaming geek, ice hockey player and fan. Husband to Matt and cat dad to Wally and Quinn.