TGO Daily | November 13, 2020 | Phil Spencer on Xbox Sales

No, I didn’t forget to hit “send” yesterday…for once.

There wasn’t any pressing news though, and I decided to take the opportunity to catch up on some school work. I generally make updates like that on my Twitter, or in the Discord server, so feel free to check either if you’re looking for some kind of announcement.

We’ve got some interesting stuff today though! Let’s take a look 🙂

— Adrian

Phil Spencer on Xbox sales

The Xbox Series X|S has had the best 24 hour launch in Xbox history, selling more units in more countries than each previous generation.

Perhaps this was to be expected — the popularity of video games are consistently growing year over year, and the consoles were released in the midst of a pandemic where people are finding comfort in at-home entertainment.

How many units exactly did they sell though? We’ll probably never know. Speaking to The Guardian, Spencer reiterated that their focus as a brand is on subscriptions and player counts. They stopped reporting on console sales for the Xbox One long ago, and that tradition will continue:

“I know it seems manipulative and I’ll apologise for that,” he says, “but I don’t want my team’s focus on [console sales]. The primary outcome of all the work that we do is how many players we see, and how often they play. That is what drives Xbox”

And what if the Series X|S sells better than the PS5 (unlike the One)?

“I can promise you that I won’t do that…I think the people who want to pit us against Sony based on who sold the most consoles lose the context of what gaming is about today.”

Spencer has talked before about how Microsoft’s true competitors are Amazon and Google, who have established cloud networks, not the other gaming companies.

Alyx adds dev commentary

Like many of their previous games, Valve has now added developer commentary to their latest, Half-Life: Alyx. They had planned to launch it with the original game, but COVID stopped them from doing so. This is also why Steam Workshop support came a few months after release.

There are 147 different points of interest, which cover three hours of audio commentary. They go over all aspects of the development process. They can be accessed by starting a new game with commentary enabled, and they recommend you complete the game before doing so, as the commentary contains major spoilers.

FIFA 21 gets time-tracking

EA has confirmed that FIFA 21 will be receiving a new tool that gives players more information about how they play the game. This includes overall time and money spent — those can both then be limited by the player, if desired. “FIFA Playtime” will launch on consoles next Tuesday.

They are adding these options in the midst of their ongoing battle against various gambling regulators and litigations across the world. FIFA has traditionally been the target for these issues, with loot-boxes being considered gambling by many. While “Playtime” will help parents regulate how much their child spends with the game, it still doesn’t hit the core issues.

Plague Inc. turns the tables

You might be familiar with a game called Plague Inc. It’s a simulator that allows you to take the role of a deadly disease attempting to infect the entire world as fast as possible.

Back when COVID hit, the game saw a big uptick in players. As the world is still attempting to recover from it, they’re now releasing a new expansion called “The Cure,” which is flips the core concept of the game. Instead of creating the pandemic, you’re preventing it.

“Created with the help of world health and infectious disease experts from all over the world including the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness (CEPI), World Health Organisation (WHO) and Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN), Plague Inc: The Cure sees players balance social, economic and global health factors in order to keep the disease under control whilst also maintaining public trust.”

— Ndemic Creations, blog post

It is a free update until COVID-19 is under control.

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