Rule four: An undying love for older games can pay off
While big hits pay the bills at Microsoft's entertainment division, beloved games that fall flat aren't always left behind. Sometimes, against all odds, a flop can take on cult status. That, in turn, can prompt Microsoft to try again.
if a developer has never stopped loving (or playing) the original, that can be a big bonus. When Microsoft decided to reboot the "Killer Instinct" arcade game on Xbox One, it reversed its usual policy of having its business development team bring development teams in.
Instead, Lobb gave that group marching orders to reach out to a small pool of developers, out of which Microsoft teamed with two to make the game. It did the same thing recently when it decided to revive "Phantom Dust," a critically loved, but commercial failure, from the original Xbox.
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Rule five: Don't be a copycat
Too many developers think that the hunt for the next "Halo" means they have to approach the company with a game (or genre) that follows in the exact same footprints of the megahit.
That's not true, says Booty. Instead, Microsoft looks for something that will showcase what's unique about the Xbox platform.
"Clearly there is a portfolio level of thinking that goes on," adds Lobb. "We don't need more games in the same family as 'Halo' or 'Gears of War,' so we'd be less likely to pick up a first person shooter because that portfolio is full."