Head of Xbox Game Studios: on advanced game development, porting and testing
Over the past two or three years, the number of postponed release dates for games has increased. Major AAA titles rarely come back on time, especially when those dates were set a year or more before the release date. The Starfield game was one of the brightest performances of 2013 when June 20, 2021 was announced to be released on November 20, but in the spring of 2022 the release date was changed to 2023.
Xbox Game Studios boss Matt Booty spoke out in the ‘Late 2022’ series about his concerns about the frequent postponement of games to a later date. According to him, the Oscars pandemic was nothing but the COVID-19 pandemic that hit the gaming industry. Matt thinks the rules and design have changed in general now that projects are getting more complex, more people/skills involved in development, leading to challenges, such as release delays.
Game development will change. There are not many teams that make the match. For example, think of our The Initiative team in Santa Monica, working on Perfect Dark. We signed a huge partnership agreement with Crystal Dynamics. After that, I noticed that the network started talking about development issues. But everything is exactly the opposite. Imagine having a team of Crystal Dynamics veterans, a large, experienced AAA team of over 100 people now free. Nature intends to work with them, especially if they have already created a game similar to this one.  Since collaborations with companies such as Certain Affinity, Iron Galaxy and Blackbird Interactive, all play a key role in the design. Even one of the studios is having issues, so the complexity of that makes it hard to set up or release date.
Matt Booty also said that modern games are so complex that he plans to become an AI tester.
A test designed for me because of the amount of testing that takes place with AI and machine learning. When I find people working on AI, I always say: Help me understand how to use AI to test games. Because I want to have 10,000 instances of the game in the cloud, to get 10,000 copies of the game working, deploy an AI bot that will test this game overnight, and in the morning we’ll have a report. It would be a transformation of the industry.