The new work of the developer Bloober Team-the horror game “Psycho” comes at just the right time. In this month when there are few masterpieces except “Hitman 3”, “Spirit Media”, which was released on January 28, unexpectedly received a large amount of publicity resources. In general, this game disappointed me a bit. The small innovations at the beginning surprised me a lot, but the game later wasted its potential and did not meet expectations. But even if this is an unsatisfactory game, I still think that a game like “Psycho” is exactly what Microsoft needs now.
In the past few years, mentioning Xbox will definitely talk about the problem that Microsoft cannot compete with Sony on exclusive games. With the blessing of Sony Santa Monica, Naughty Dog and Insomniac Games and other first-party studios, exclusive 3A games have become Sony’s business card. And Microsoft’s biggest achievement is the launch of Xbox Game Pass, and players who subscribe to this service can play more than 100 games in the pass at any time. In a sense, Xbox Game Pass, which can be used on Xbox and Windows at the same time, is now Microsoft’s platform, and a series of Xbox hardware plays a carrier role in the Microsoft ecosystem.
As “Halo: Infinite” will be delayed, “Psychic” has become the first large-scale exclusive game on Microsoft’s new generation of consoles, but this is not a work that is attractive enough for players to buy consoles for this purpose. This is not an open-world action RPG with a vast space, a game with a deep series of heritage, or a multiplayer masterpiece that allows players to play for dozens of hours. There is no skill tree, no side missions, and no huge map with various mission markers in this game. It is just a psychological thriller that can be cleared in less than 10 hours.
But such a design fits very well with Microsoft’s strategy in this generation. The medium size allows the game to be added to the Xbox Game Pass. Although the ultimate version of the Game Pass is not cheap, it costs $15 a month, but if there are games you often play on the pass, compared to buying games separately, Subscribing to this service can save you a lot of money. Some of the larger and expensive games on the pass may stay on the list longer, but these games often take at least two months to finish. For example, “Dragon Quest XI S” cost me Two months (plus 30 US dollars) before customs clearance. In contrast, it only takes a few hours to pass the level of “Psychic”, whether it is played to the end in one breath or interspersed with other games.
Such a volume makes “Spirit Medium” a perfect match with Game Pass. This game disappointed me for a while, but it seemed to have various unique advantages. First of all, in this short period of time for new games, “Psychic” is a rare masterpiece, and the entry cost is very low, as long as you subscribe to the Game Pass service, you can unlock the game. So why not do it? Considering that this is almost a “white prostitution” game, even if the quality of the game is not good, your loss will not be too great. The reason why Netflix’s new exclusive movie audience is so large is often because the promotion of these movies will jump out when people start the app, and the success of “Spirit Medium” has similar reasons for this phenomenon.
Microsoft has recently reached exclusive agreements with various small independent games such as “Psychic”, but compared to other games, “Psychic” has another role. Although we already know that “Gears of War 5” will perform better on Xbox Series X than on Xbox One X, there is no Xbox exclusive game that can show the specific functions of Microsoft’s new generation of consoles. Although “Psychic” is not a very suitable game for display, the dense forests, dilapidated scenes, distorted spiritual worlds and objects with ultra-high realism will all make you feel that the new generation of consoles has the same price Compatible performance strength.
The release of “Spirit Medium” is also a boon for horror game lovers. This game has drawn a lot of inspiration from “Silent Hill”, and now it is the time when “Silent Hill”, a turbulent game series, lacks new works. “Spirit Medium” has an atmosphere and rhythm similar to “Silent Hill”, and there are several obvious references to “Silent Hill” in the game. In some scenes, the player will enter a fixed perspective (which can improve the overall look and feel), and the player will regularly enter the depressed spiritual world. Even the composer of “Silent Hill” Akira Yamaoka also participated in the production of the distribution. “Psychic” really caught the players’ excitement, which is a quality that many similar games don’t have.
Such games are exactly what Microsoft needs at the moment: to enrich the monthly Game Pass game list with unique works. Microsoft has worked hard on this service, and they have reached a cooperation agreement with third-party companies such as EA and Square. And Microsoft exclusive games such as Minecraft, Horizon 4, and Sea of Thieves on Game Pass jumped to the top of the list in terms of downloads. But recently, except for “Halo: Infinite”, other games that will be released by Microsoft are difficult to be called masterpieces. Most of the recently acquired studios such as Ninja Theory and Bethesda may not have new games in recent years. , The latter’s upcoming “Death Loop” and “Ghost Line: Tokyo” two works will even be limited-time exclusive games on PS5.
At the same time, Microsoft also needs to find games that will keep players on the Xbox. If they want to make a breakthrough, they should find ways to improve brand recognition and create a brand concept that immediately reminds people of Xbox and Game Pass. From the perspective of long-term development, independent games such as “Twelve Minutes”, “Sable”, and “Mystery Legend” can help increase the diversity and experimentation of Xbox games, but at the moment, such as “Contempt” and “Slimy” And games with first-rate graphics such as “Warhammer 40K: Dark Tide” can often give players an amazing “next-generation sense” and meet their expectations for exclusive games.
With Game Pass, Microsoft is no longer entangled in the host battle, and Microsoft is not only concerned about technology and exclusive games. But if they want to continue this strategy, they must reconsider how to add exclusive games to the Game Pass ecosystem. At the same time, the strategy of cooperating with large studios and independent studios can also help Microsoft create something different from Sony The product. In the long run, the best way may be to take the “Netflix of the game industry” route, so that those who are small and not heavy, but because the entry cost is low, it can attract players to experience an exclusive game for one or two afternoons. Join the ranks of Xbox Game Pass. For example, while players are waiting for “Halo Infinite”, a “psychic” can also just let them pass the time.
Translation: Liu Sheng Fei Qing Sword
Source: Bonfire Camp