At Pax I spied a little game I gave some crap too a little bit ago and I just had to ask somebody why they changed what looked like a completely epic Kinect title into what they showed at E3. I found myself face to face with Glenn Gregory, Senior Global Product Manager at Microsoft and asked him what’s up. (At the time I had no idea who he was so upon writing this article I was kind of shocked that he gave me the time of day.)
TVGBL: I remember when they had the original preview of the guy on the couch kicking somebody in the gut and chucking his sword. That was really awesome, but I saw you guys decided to go with a more controller based setup and I was wondering why?
Glenn Gregory: There’s a bunch of reasons. So Crytek’s the developer, and when Xbox One started to initially be developed and they started to go through the specs. Crytek has always been known creating and these visually immersive, really stunning games. They looked at the specs that were coming and how the platform was coming together and they said we want to be on Xbox One and we want this to be a visually stunning game that people look at and go ‘Oh my gosh, that is what this platform is capable of delivering’. They’ve done that with a lot of different games in the past when they’ve really pushed the envelope of special effects.
That was kind of a main focus of what they were doing and as they kind of evolved the game to be an Xbox One launch title the focus on the combat changed and it really became ‘How can we deliver this really immersive Roman combat experience?’ and then for the way the game started to develop, a controller seemed like a more natural fit for it.
I think that game that we were looking at before and were doing early previews of could have been a great game. Maybe that will come along some day, but as we started to look at what the pros and cons were and what they could deliver as a launch title they wanted to deliver a real core controller based experience that focused on Roman combat.
TVGBL: And it does look really good. I was just really excited about the original build. Do you think a game like that is possible with the new Kinect?
Glenn Gregory: I don’t know if you tried Kinect Sports Rivals or Zumba. While it’s not exactly my thing (Zumba), the previews I’ve seen made it look great. The fidelity on the new Kinect for the Xbox One is really phenomenal. It really tracks you at a much more level of detail than the previous one and I think there are some fighting games that are in the works for the Kinect. I think we’ll see some great ones coming out. Who knows, maybe we’ll add something like that in the Ryse franchise in the future.
It was good to talk to Mr. Gregory about Ryse. While I still hold that the original concept would have sold some Xbox One’s (not necessarily more), I know Ryse, in it’s current incarnation, will sell well. Or at least it should. Until then a man can still dream of Sparta-boot‘n his enemies in game someday… someday.