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Microsoft Releasing Only Forza This Holiday Because Third Party Will “Help Drive Our Platform”

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Across the remainder of 2018, the Xbox One is set to receive only one more exclusive—Forza Horizon 4—with Microsoft instead betting on third parties to drive sales on the platform.

At E3 2018, the company set a February 22 release date for its next blockbuster, the long-awaited Crackdown 3, leaving a void between the October 2 release of Forza and the new year. Aaron Greenberg, a marketing executive at the company, recently explained to GamesIndustry.biz that this strategy is designed to take advantage of the massive number of third-party titles releasing across that period:

“If you talk about wanting to play Red Dead, or FIFA, or Call of Duty, or our games, whatever game you’re a fan of, we can say that your game is going to look and play best on Xbox One X. […] It’s a case of where do they want to go buy third-party titles? And we’ve definitely seen customers choosing our platform because of the power advantage.”

Greenberg also said that the company is working closely with some third-party partners to provide console bundles, as well as advertising advantages through the 4K capabilities of the Xbox One X. The belief that consumers will choose the Microsoft platform because of the marketing also led Greenberg to remark that ” we didn’t need Crackdown or any of our titles in this holiday window.” Instead, the company will use that to establish a “steady cadence” of releases throughout 2019, including Ori and the Will of the Wisps.

Furthermore, while Greenberg is bullish on the fortunes of Forza Horizon 4, saying that pre-order levels are higher than expected, his referral to this holiday season as “the blast radius” does suggest a certain hesitance to pit the racing game against the other major titles.

Nonetheless, Microsoft has a stellar line-up for 2019 and beyond, including Halo Infinite, Gears 5, and Battletoads, alongside those set to be developed by its most recently acquired studios.

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Damien Lawardorn is an aspiring novelist, journalist, and essayist. His goal in writing is to inspire readers to engage and think, rather than simply consume and enjoy. With broad interests ranging from literature and video games to fringe science and social movements, his work tends to touch on the unexpected. Damien is the former Editor-in-Chief of OnlySP. More of his work can be found at https://open.abc.net.au/people/21767

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Ubisoft Discusses How Uplay Plus Will Improve Communication With Players

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Ubisoft believes that its new subscription service Uplay Plus will help the publisher improve communication with players.

Alain Corre, the executive director of EMEA at Ubisoft, spoke to GamesIndustry.biz where he outlined the vision and strategy for the company’s new subscription service. He explained that Uplay Plus will help boost communication with players, and the feedback it receives will help improve Ubisoft’s games.

“The reason behind our subscription service… it gives more possibilities for our fans to play our games and we can talk to them. We can keep them in our worlds, we can discuss with them and—thanks to what they say and the way they behave—we can feed that back into our games development. When we are in control of that within our ecosystem, we feel it’s beneficial for our fans. That’s ultimately what we want to do; we want to have more contact with them, more interaction, listening more to what they want and improve based on what they say.”

Corre highlighted that Ubisoft will not solely focus its efforts on Uplay Plus; players will still be able to pick up any of the publishers games either physically or as digital downloads. He explained that the company’s strategy moving into a subscription service is to adapt with modern consumer tends of gamers.

“We are still keeping the traditional model whether they buy our games in a store or download them. It’s really a case of offering the possibilities. Consumers are evolving really fast, and we want to adapt to what they want and propose new things to them, as well as keep the other means of distribution.”

Furthermore Ubisoft revealed that Uplay Plus and all past and future games will be available on the Google Stadia. Ubisoft was an early vocal supporter of Google’s new console, especially as the upcoming console focuses solely on streaming games.

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