Xbox Game Studios head Matt Booty talked about several interesting topics during PAX West 2022, starting with two big franchise reboots: Perfect Dark and Fable.
When asked how the new Perfect Dark game was being handled, he said:
Very carefully. These things don’t always age well, right? What’s super cool about Perfect Dark and Joanna Dark is the super agent fantasy, the Bourne Identity/James Bond kind of thing. That’s a cool meme, it’s something people want to lean into, but again, we’ve got to make sure that comes forward in the right way.
The Xbox Game Studios head also shot down rumors of troubles reported by the addition of Crysta Dynamics to the development team.
How we make games is evolving. The idea of a single team under one roof really doesn’t happen that often anymore. Our Perfect Dark team, down at Santa Monica, The Initiative studio. We just did this big partnership with Crystal Dynamics. I read online ‘all this must mean there is a problem or something’, but it’s quite the opposite. You’ve got this veteran team at Crystal Dynamics, a big triple-A team with over a hundred people that becomes available. Of course we want to work with them, particularly if they’ve made a game like that before. That’s how we’ve often done a lot of work. If you think about Age of Empires IV, which was launched last Fall, that was made in partnership with Relic Entertainment up in Vancouver, great partnership. Even with Microsoft Flight Simulator, we worked with our friends at Asobo Studio. That kind of co-development when you’re working with people like Certain Affinity, Iron Galaxy, all those studios are so key to the products that we make, and that also has complexity, where if one of those studios has problems, it impacts the schedule.
The Xbox Game Studios Chief then Revealed he’d like to show some cool stuff brewing for the Fable reboot, though Playground is still keen on keeping the project under wraps for the time being.
Part of my job is giving air cover to the team. They don’t want to show stuff early before it’s ready to go, but if there’s one game where that’s kind of flipped around, where every time I see something I say, ‘We should show this’, it’s Fable, because there’s a lot of cool stuff. The team has made it very clear that I’m not going to be able to show it until it’s ready, but what I’ll say is that the craft and dedication Playground brought to Forza Horizon, every bit of that is going to be applied to Fable. They get it. Let’s be honest, giving Fable to a racing team could be a bit of a headscratcher, but they have proven that they get it, and I’m excited for when the time comes to show more.
Back in June 2021, Jeff Grubb reckoned both Perfect Dark and Fable were targeting a 2023 release. However, more recent rumors hint that fans will have to wait longer than that. Meanwhile, Xbox Game Studios is expected to release games like Grounded on September 27th, Pentiment on November 15th, Redfall, Starfield, and Forza Motorsport at some point in the first half of 2023, and possibly Contraband and Avowed in the latter half of 2023.
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