Matt Booty, the head of Xbox Games Studiosalso spoke recently during PAX West 2022 about the fact that the era of triple-A games developed and managed by a single team is essentially overwith collaborations having now become a standard for certain projects.
The main reference of Booty’s talk is probably Perfect Dark, which is being co-developed by The Initiative and Crystal Dynamics and on which, moreover, he wanted to deny the rumors about the ongoing problems, but the question actually applies to various games, both from Microsoft and from the competition.
Indeed, it is unlikely that a modern triple-A game of colossal size could be carried out by a single team under one roof, so Booty’s statement is probably acceptable to a large extent, at least for the larger projects of the major publishers.
“The way games are developed is evolving,” Booty explained, “that this is happening to a single team under one roof doesn’t happen very often anymore.” That way, it’s not too strange that Crystal Dynamics has been contracted to carry out some of the development of Perfect Dark with over 100 developers involved, according to Booty.
On the other hand, a similar thing had already been done for Microsoft Flight Simulator with Asobo and the internal Microsoft team dedicated to the series, as well as Age of Empires 4 which saw the collaboration of Relic Studios and World’s Edge.
In fact, most of the maxi-productions today they extensively leverage support teams such as Certain Affinity, Iron Galaxy, Blackbird, and various others. Much of the amazement generated by the case of Perfect Dark, however, is perhaps due to the importance that characterizes the Crystal Dynamics team, usually engaged on their own projects and not on supporting others, in addition to the fact that The Initiative, on the other hand, has remained a rather small team. This has led to a fairly clear division of labor between the two teams, with much of the work now being carried out by the ‘support team’.