The Coalition’s Rod Fergusson talks about each studio having its own creative identity.
The Coalition’s Gears 5 is undoubtedly the biggest title in the series till date but it’s amazing just how many new additions it brings to the standard gameplay formula. We learned recently that it takes inspiration from open world titles and will have expanded exploration along with side objectives. However, it’s more interesting to learn that Microsoft had no creative input “at all.”
Speaking to GameSpot, studio head Rod Fergusson talked about the trust that both Xbox Game Studios head Matt Booty and Xbox boss Phil Spencer have with their studios. “It’s really about trusting the studio heads and the teams there to recognize what’s the best way to leverage whatever it is they’re building. Matt has a great line around just building great games. It’s just the notion of don’t worry about business models, don’t worry about subscriptions, don’t worry about changing things to adopt to a particular strategy. If you make an awesome game, then we can take that awesome game and apply it to different strategies.”
The primary rule, as per Fergusson, is “make a great game and focus on quality of execution. We say what we do and we do what we say, and when we say we’re going to deliver you a game, we deliver you a game, and we do it at the highest quality we can.”
Fergusson also added the lack of creative decision making by higher-ups means that each studio will have its own identity. “I think the strength of the bottom-up way we’re doing things now allows for each studio to have its own identity and to be creative–the top-down stuff doesn’t work. And we saw that I think. I was part of the Gears of War Kinect game that never saw the light of day, and that was okay. How do we force something to be on strategy? And now the strategy is to make awesome games and then we’ll figure it out.”
Gears 5 is out on September 10th for Xbox One and PC. It will be playable four days earlier for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and Ultimate Edition players, though some can get in on September 5th depending on their regional time. Aside from the campaign, The Coalition is doing a lot for modes like Horde as well, introducing seasonal Operations that add new maps, characters and modifiers every three months.