Microsoft GM Discusses Studio’s Shift Towards Games That “Bring People Together”

Microsoft’s Xbox One has a really strong lineup going towards the holiday season, according to a recent statement from Aaron Greenberg. However, fans are starting to worry a little bit regarding the company’s apparent focus on online and multiplayer titles, with few pure single-player experiences making the list.

General Manager of Microsoft Studios Publishing Shannon Loftis was featured in an interview with GamesIndustry where he discussed the fans’ concerns. He said that as of right now, Microsoft wants to focus more on games that “bring people together,” which hints towards multiplayer and online games.

However, Loftis continued to praise single-player titles, claiming that they have reached a point where they can be interactive and social in their own sense.

Right now we are very focused on games that bring people together, who form communities and find ways to self-express.

There is a fun YouTube search that I like to do: ‘Reactions to people watching the Ori and the Will of The Wisps trailer’. It is a blast watching their reactions and seeing them crying, good crying, over the game. Even the ability to share a reaction to a story, or to share how something made you feel in that moment, that is a viable social mechanic. There will always be a need to tell these stories, like Ori or like Zelda. Zelda is an incredibly social game, and just because you are playing it by yourself, doesn’t mean that the entire world isn’t sharing your experience.

The fact that we have the ability to share screens, share commentary, and groups, and clubs on Xbox Live… those are ways to bring people together around a game that is more story orientated.

Games that build community… these are games that people come back to again and again. And they come back as much for the social experience as they do the gameplay. I actually think that is for the greater good of society. Things that bring people closer together as opposed to driving them apart. There are a lot of things driving people apart right now, and I’m proud to be part of an industry that does the opposite.

What do you think of Loftis’ statement and Microsoft’s slight shift of focus towards more engaging titles?