Phil Spencer and Chris Charla
Appears 23:10 - 47:45
Appears (47:45 - 57:54)
Larry Hryb: Welcome to the show, everybody. My name is Larry Hyrb, your host. Xbox Live's Major Nelson is what you know me as. You see me on your console every Friday and now I'm here in your ears!
Jeff Rubenstein: Can't escape you, Larry!
Larry Hryb: It kind of sounds scary, doesn't it? Hi Jeff.
Jeff Rubenstein: Hi.
Larry Hryb: Hi Laura.
Laura Massey : Hello!
Larry Hryb: I was talking, I did a Facebook Live stream the other day.
Laura Massey : Oh, you did?
Larry Hryb: Yeah.
Laura Massey : [inaudible 00:00:41].
Larry Hryb: Everyone was, there were some people that was all, "Hey, we want you to stream on YouTube!" I realized, no, there's too many places you stream! On Facebook, on YouTube, and we have Beam, there's Twitch, there's everything but you know what? There's only guy on your console and that's me, so that's where my show is.
Jeff Rubenstein: Take that, everybody!
Larry Hryb: Take that, people! I'm glad we're back. We got a lot of news this week, some big news.
Laura Massey : We do.
Larry Hryb: I was traveling, went down to San Francisco, the City by the Bay for the day. Came back. Jeff you love-
Jeff Rubenstein: Tampa? You were in Tampa?
Larry Hryb: That scary bridge in Tampa, I can't-
Jeff Rubenstein: Oh yes! He's not talking about the Sunshine Skyway.
Larry Hryb: Anyway, we're going to talk about what we're playing. We're going to give you the news of the week. Phil Spencer's going to come by, we've got an interview with Phil Spencer-
Jeff Rubenstein: What?
Larry Hryb: ... And ID@Xbox's Chris Charla.
Laura Massey : All right!
Jeff Rubenstein: Wallingford's own.
Larry Hryb: Wallingford, which is a part of Seattle. It's a region here in Seattle.
Jeff Rubenstein: He's there for the skate parks.
Larry Hryb: It's a prefecture.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yes!
Larry Hryb: He'll come by. I had to go down to San Francisco to interview those guys, which is so peculiar because I work with them.
Jeff Rubenstein: It sounds like it's a peculiar thing, but I've noticed it since I got in the industry 10 years ago this very year, there are people that I don't know where they live. I see them in certain meetings, I see them at events and I assume that they live in places like LA or whatever. It's like, "No, no, I live in Seattle."
Larry Hryb: Yeah.
Jeff Rubenstein: It's just sort of this thing where we have heads down and working, we're doing stuff.
Larry Hryb: Go to an event.
Jeff Rubenstein: You don't look up sometimes until you're at an event and then you're just like, "Oh, I've just seen you again."
Larry Hryb: Speaking of events, we got PAX East coming up. We'll talk about that later in the show.
Jeff Rubenstein: What a segue way.
Larry Hryb: Boston. Laura's going to be there, I'm going to be there, Jeffrey's going to be there.
Jeff Rubenstein: City also by a bay, maybe? City by the harbor?
Larry Hryb: It is, well it's Boston Harbor between the Cape Cod, Cape Cod Bay.
Jeff Rubenstein: City by the harbor.
Larry Hryb: Harbor.
Laura Massey : [inaudible 00:02:33]. I can't compete.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, sure you can. Give me a y'all.
Laura Massey : Y'all!
Larry Hryb: There we go!
Jeff Rubenstein: I'm going to South By after that!
Larry Hryb: There we go.
Laura Massey : Yeah!
Larry Hryb: Anyway, why don't we jump in. We'll talk about what we're playing and then we'll kind of rattle off some of those headlines earlier. Jeffrey, did you finish it?
Jeff Rubenstein: Did I finish what?
Larry Hryb: "Firewatch."
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah, I did!
Larry Hryb: Yay!
Laura Massey : [crosstalk 00:02:52]! I saw you playing it.
Jeff Rubenstein: I watched through the fire, yeah.
Larry Hryb: I talked to him earlier in the week. He's like, "I'm gonna go play 'Firewatch.'" Because he wanted to finish it for the show, so I respect that you hit your goal.
Jeff Rubenstein: Thank you.
Larry Hryb: Congratulations.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah, I appreciate that. That was one of the games from last year that was right on the very top of the pile of shame. Everyone's like, "It only takes a couple of hours!"
Laura Massey : Yes, it does.
Jeff Rubenstein: It took me maybe three or four. It's a good game.
Larry Hryb: Did you play it, Laura?
Laura Massey : Yes, I did.
Jeff Rubenstein: I would say that the less I tell you the better, but ultimately I would say if you liked games like "Gone Home," if you liked games like "Oxenfree," I felt like there was a little bit of both in this game. I loved the color palette, has a distinct style. Actually, Campo Santo, who developed the game, won a, it was an IDF award or IDG, they won a GDC award yesterday.
Laura Massey : For the game?
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah, for the game.
Laura Massey : Fantastic.
Jeff Rubenstein: Best Newcomer, so congrats to Campo Santo, "Firewatch." Very enjoyable.
Laura Massey : Yes.
Larry Hryb: I need to get, I mean, this is the story. Look, we got so many games to play right now, Laura. It is just ridiculous how many games we have to play.
Laura Massey : The stack is so big.
Larry Hryb: Jeff and I are playing "Overwatch," of course. That's kind of the new-
Jeff Rubenstein: The new plucky little indie, which actually won Game of the Year, well deserved, at GDC.
Laura Massey : Awesome.
Larry Hryb: Yeah.
Jeff Rubenstein: It just keeps bringing us back.
Larry Hryb: Yeah. It's just we get in there, they tweak it more and we got to play that, Mister-
Jeff Rubenstein: Can we talk about Bastion?
Larry Hryb: Do you want to talk about what they did to Bastion?
Jeff Rubenstein: What they did, what Bastion did to everyone else is what you mean!
Larry Hryb: They're undoing it. You saw that.
Jeff Rubenstein: They might be, we'll see.
Laura Massey : It sounds from the tone of your voice, Larry, that Bastion was your go to character.
Larry Hryb: No, no, no. Actually I didn't play him a lot. He's just, right now he's really overpowered.
Laura Massey : You didn't? Okay.
Larry Hryb: Really overpowered!
Jeff Rubenstein: It's one of these things where everyone was using Bastion at first and then very quickly people realized, "Oh, Bastion is very easily countered." Pharah would take him down. I would always get killed by, Tracer would always just sneak around behind you. They buffed Bastion significantly. I feel like he never runs out of ammo in sentry mode. You can now run around and heal at the same time. It used to have to be something you would stop.
Laura Massey : Really?
Jeff Rubenstein: If I took a hit from afar I would go behind a wall and I would heal.
Larry Hryb: Because you're exposed when you're healing.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah. Now you can heal while you're walking. I got into a one on one with Zarya yesterday.
Larry Hryb: Who's a tank.
Jeff Rubenstein: Who's a tank. Doesn't have the strongest gun. Zarya couldn't kill me because I just hold down the left trigger and then move to heal.
Larry Hryb: Wait, is that the time I was healing you as well?
Jeff Rubenstein: Oh, was that happening?
Larry Hryb: Yes! I was Mercy and I was healing.
Jeff Rubenstein: I was like, "You can't hurt me!" Then she's [crosstalk 00:05:25] up.
Larry Hryb: You were in the corner, right?
Jeff Rubenstein: I was, yeah, I guess.
Larry Hryb: I guess we were in Numbani, that's right.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah, it was Numbani. I'm like, "Wow!" She could not kill me. Then eventually she turned around, I'm like, "I'm going to just shoot you in the back now."
Larry Hryb: Right, boom.
Jeff Rubenstein: It was not honorable but we won. Actually, we had a good night yesterday. I think they may have indexed her a little bit too high and I think we'll see some tweaks. Jeff Kaplan, who is the face of-
Larry Hryb: I need to get Jeff on the show. I got a lot of people on the show.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah.
Larry Hryb: I need to get him on the show.
Jeff Rubenstein: He's provided us so much enjoyment.
Larry Hryb: By the way, you were talking about, I'm sorry, I want to go back to "Firewatch." I had Sean Vanaman in from ...
Jeff Rubenstein: Campo Santo?
Larry Hryb: Campo Santo. He's on, just looking here, show number 580 if you want to roll back and listen to that podcast so long ago.
Jeff Rubenstein: All right. I should bring up the notes.
Larry Hryb: Sorry. We'll get back into what we're talking ...
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah. We were looking and actually yesterday, we were playing and it changed around. I think it was the Numbani map, and there's robot parts all over where you're sort of hanging around before you spawn. We're like, "Oh, new character must be coming soon!"
Larry Hryb: Yes. Today!
Jeff Rubenstein: Here we are! "Overwatch's" new hero is Orisa, who is like a tank character. I like a tank character.
Larry Hryb: Did you watch, you haven't seen the trailer yet have you Laura? Because it just came out really a day or so ago.
Laura Massey : Have not seen it.
Larry Hryb: Jeff, you watched it.
Jeff Rubenstein: No. There was the origin, and then there's the developer update but I haven't really seen much about it.
Larry Hryb: Because I watched the video and the video, it's nice. There's not a gameplay video. If you listen to the voiceover because it's very light, it's like a child's voice delivering it. I actually wrote the script down here because I wanted to read it as, it's all in the way you deliver the message.
Laura Massey : Oh yeah.
Larry Hryb: In a child's voice it sounded kind of fun and fancy, but if you read it like this, the same exact words take a different meaning. May I?
Jeff Rubenstein: I'd just like to say that we don't know what Larry's going to say.
Laura Massey : Yeah, we have no idea.
Larry Hryb: This is the text from the video that was released on Thursday where they released the new hero. I copied it down and I wanted to read it in Mr. Announcer, big evil voice.
"The world is a scary place, even here in Numbani. We needed something to protect us. Enter the defense bots. They took the older model and gave it a complete makeover. That kept us safe for a while. I was at the airport when Doomfist attacked. Poor bots did not stand a chance. Everyone else gave up on you, but I saw what you could be, so I rebuilt you, upgraded your programming and gave you a heart. Orisa, I made you strong and brave. You still have a lot to learn, and you'll probably mess up sometime but I know, I know what you'll do. Orisa, you are the hero we need."
Now, that was-
Laura Massey : Wow!
Jeff Rubenstein: Get the Grammy people on the phone!
Larry Hryb: No, I'm just saying, because if you listen to her, go play it. Go play it right now.
Jeff Rubenstein: All right.
Larry Hryb: Because I want Laura to hear, but I'm just saying because I was listening to this voice. Put the microphone down towards it.
Jeff Rubenstein: That's the wrong one.
Larry Hryb: If you can do it.
Laura Massey : How much did you practice that, Larry?
Larry Hryb: That's my first read. Listen to this. There's a couple words I dropped.
Trailer: The world's a scary place.
Jeff Rubenstein: I can't hear the difference.
Trailer: Even here in Numbani.
Larry Hryb: "We needed something to protect us." Enter, duh, duh.
Trailer: ... The OR15 Defense Bot.
Larry Hryb: I don't know what she said there.
Trailer: They took the old [adina 00:09:01] model from the crisis and gave them a complete makeover.
Larry Hryb: "And gave them a complete makeover."
Trailer: They kept-
Larry Hryb: "Kept us safe for a while."
Trailer: For a while. I was at the airport when Doomfist attacked. [inaudible 00:09:12].
Jeff Rubenstein: I never realized how much you sound like Soldier: 76 until just now.
Larry Hryb: Get off my lawn! Anyway, I wanted to take, because she's got such a wonderful delivery there and I was like, "Let's just take the same words and make it evil."
Jeff Rubenstein: The original guy, and I can't remember his name right now.
Larry Hryb: I don't know why I said that.
Jeff Rubenstein: He would do all the, "In a world."
Larry Hryb: Yeah, "In a world."
Jeff Rubenstein: Like that guy, he passed away a few years ago and there's someone else who's not quite as good. I think you need to just fistfight him and take over the trailer.
Larry Hryb: Oh, well actually the best guy is, I think we've talked about Ernie Anderson, right?
Jeff Rubenstein: No.
Larry Hryb: Ernie Anderson's an old school announcer. He used to the ABC, "This is ABC!" You'd recognize your voice if you heard him, there's some YouTube videos of him doing it. He's a consummate professional. Anyway.
I was watching the trailer the other day when it came out and I was like what if, it's the same words but you just deliver them in a different style and they take a completely different meaning.
Laura Massey : Absolutely.
Larry Hryb: It goes from "save the world" to "kill the world." Anyway.
Jeff Rubenstein: Are you the final boss? Are you Doomfist?
Larry Hryb: Maybe I am. All right, sorry about that.
Jeff Rubenstein: Well, we'll link out to Orisa. Orisa looks like a really cool character.
Larry Hryb: If you need me for voiceovers, you can contact @jeffrubenstein on Twitter. He's my agent.
Jeff Rubenstein: Take a flat 10%!
Larry Hryb: All right, where are we?
Laura Massey : Can I be your agent? I want [inaudible 00:10:36].
Larry Hryb: I don't know. I don't know if you can be. I mean, religious speaking, Jeff's more [inaudible 00:10:42], but you can be.
Laura Massey : Okay. What?
Larry Hryb: What? You have agent background.
Jeff Rubenstein: I suppose I do. Somewhere. Actually, I am related to a casting agent.
Larry Hryb: See? I knew it!
Laura Massey : There you go.
Larry Hryb: I knew it! Laura, you're welcome to be my agent.
Laura Massey : I don't have the-
Larry Hryb: You're welcome to be. Anyway, enough about that. Moving along. Is that you played? I mean not that all you played, but you played "Firewatch" and "Overwatch," because I want to get to Laura. Because I know what she played!
Laura Massey : Yeah, we talked [inaudible 00:11:11].
Jeff Rubenstein: Played a bunch of "Fallout Shelter" That's it. Since it came out on Windows 10, it's just totally like, "Oh I have 10 seconds, let me just go ahead and load this up," and I'm working my way towards achievements.
Larry Hryb: Right.
Jeff Rubenstein: That one's still fun. "Riptide GP Renegade." We talked about that one last week, that is a XPA game, Xbox Play Anywhere, so you can play it on Windows 10 and on Xbox One. I've been doing that. We didn't talk about "Sniper Elite." We were playing together.
Larry Hryb: Oh!
Laura Massey : You did play it together.
Larry Hryb: We played it together!
Laura Massey : Fantastic!
Jeff Rubenstein: You know what? Two snipers are better than one.
Larry Hryb: We had a great time.
Laura Massey : Really?
Larry Hryb: I think so. Did we? I don't want to speak for you, Jeffrey!
Jeff Rubenstein: No, I felt like we were like back to back.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, exactly.
Jeff Rubenstein: I felt like two Charlie's Angels, just cutting our way through the Nazis. It was just a lot of fun. Occasionally one of us would go a little too far, Larry, and you know, the other one would have rein him back in.
Larry Hryb: Vice versa.
Jeff Rubenstein: I would say co op totally changes [crosstalk 00:12:05].
Larry Hryb: Totally changed it, as always.
Jeff Rubenstein: For the best. It makes it really fun. That was my favorite thing last week.
Larry Hryb: Little bit of that. Laura, what are you playing? Then we'll get to what I'm playing.
Laura Massey : Yeah, sure. I've been playing "Halo Wars 2."
Larry Hryb: Yes. Oh yeah, that's right!
Laura Massey : Still cranking through some of the campaigns, still really fun, I'm enjoying it.
Larry Hryb: As am I.
Laura Massey : Yeah. I also decided I need more motivation for my workouts, so I started playing "Dance Central Spotlight."
Larry Hryb: Okay. Now Jeff, you don't remember what happened with "Dance Central," do you?
Jeff Rubenstein: Well, I played "Dance Central."
Larry Hryb: No, no, you don't know what happened. You don't remember the PAX Seattle massacre.
Jeff Rubenstein: No.
Larry Hryb: May I?
Laura Massey : Sure!
Larry Hryb: Laura challenged me once on this very show, this is before you joined us, and I mistakenly took the bait.
Laura Massey : This is before we had talked a lot about "Dance Central" and how I was obsessed with it.
Larry Hryb: Right. Right, you still are, obviously. We had a dance off on the stage, on the main "Dance Central" stage in front of God, the world and everybody, and I got my clock cleaned! Oh God, I hope, there's not video of that? I'm sure there's video.
Laura Massey : I hope there's not. I'm sure there is somewhere, but ...
Jeff Rubenstein: I'm looking for it right now.
Larry Hryb: Please don't. Please do not. Anyway, you're playing "Dance Central," that's good for you, Laura.
Laura Massey : Yes. It's out for Xbox One. I hadn't actually played a lot of this game but finally came back to it because I would like to become more healthy and "Dance Central's" a great way to do aerobic exercises.
Larry Hryb: Right.
Laura Massey : If you're also interested in trying it out, another good awesome pro tip is you get lots of achievements.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, you do. Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute.
Laura Massey : [crosstalk 00:13:39] achievements.
Larry Hryb: Did you not have these achievements already?
Laura Massey : No.
Larry Hryb: This is why I'm so stung, because you played the heck out of that game.
Laura Massey : I did. I played a lot of "Dance Central" until two. I hadn't played that much "Spotlight."
Larry Hryb: Oh, oh, oh, oh, okay.
Laura Massey : When it came out, I played a bunch of other games and I just lost track of it.
Larry Hryb: I see.
Laura Massey : Now I've gone back to it and playing through the songs there. It's a little bit [crosstalk 00:14:00].
Larry Hryb: What's your favorite song to dance to? Do you have one?
Laura Massey : Last night I was playing "Happy" by Pharrell.
Larry Hryb: Okay.
Laura Massey : That one, I was trying to get all the moves on.
Larry Hryb: Jeffrey, Jeffrey, don't even tell me you found it.
Jeff Rubenstein: Found a video of Laura doing the robot!
Laura Massey : No, no [crosstalk 00:14:15].
Jeff Rubenstein: Oh, that's from PAX East, isn't it? 2011!
Larry Hryb: Yeah, that's right.
Jeff Rubenstein: Link will be provided!
Laura Massey : I am so embarrassed! No!
Larry Hryb: It's a good robot! It's a good robot!
Jeff Rubenstein: There's some popping, there's some locking, there was a lot going on here!
Laura Massey : It's so embarrassing! If I wanted a moment to regret, that's one of them.
Larry Hryb: Really? If that's the only moment you had to regret, trust me, you have some growing up to do!
Laura Massey : I have many others! Yeah, I got a rare achievement, which I was super excited about. Have you guys gotten a rare achievement?
Larry Hryb: Yes.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, we got a couple of them. Did we get one in "Sniper Elite?" No, I got a couple in "Halo Wars." Do you like the audio? Because I worked on that.
Laura Massey : Love it, great.
Larry Hryb: Thank you. I worked on the audio and the animation with the team at Rare and our platform team here.
Laura Massey : Oh great.
Larry Hryb: I remember them, this is true, I don't think I've ever told this story. We were in a meeting and they presented one which was this, like when we were getting ready to work on rare achievements and we kind of had the animation down. They were working on the sound and I just didn't like the sound. They played it and I said play it again. I said play it again. I said hold on a minute. I go onto YouTube and I said, "This is what it sounds like." I played them a clip from "Antique Roadshow." Do you remember when they reveal how much whatever the antique is worth and it goes "ring" and the little treasure chest spins around the bottom?
Laura Massey : Right.
Larry Hryb: That's what it sounded like. I said I don't want it to sound like "Antique Roadshow!"
Laura Massey : I'm sure that actually made your point!
Larry Hryb: It did!
Jeff Rubenstein: I remember you coming into the office.
Larry Hryb: Do you remember I was talking about that?
Jeff Rubenstein: There were four or five of them and some of them, it would go like, "Yay!"
Larry Hryb: Yeah.
Jeff Rubenstein: Or like, "Oh, [inaudible 00:15:51]."
Larry Hryb: This one, my description, and I think maybe I said this on the show before when we were working with the audio team, is I said I want it to be audio confetti.
Laura Massey : Audio celebration.
Larry Hryb: Right. It's got to be fun, excite, anyway. I'm glad you got one.
Laura Massey : Yeah, very good. The one that I got was getting a 32X multiplier in a pro or deluxe. They've changed their difficulty settings. It used to be easy, medium, hard, expert. Now it's standard, deluxe, pro and then they keep going with different types.
Larry Hryb: They need one below that, like "overweight white guy" for me.
Laura Massey : Oh no!
Jeff Rubenstein: Sit and be fit!
Laura Massey : [inaudible 00:16:34]. Then I went through the whole achievement list. It looks like there are a lot of rare achievements [deluxe do 00:16:42].
Larry Hryb: Now, did you notice something in our achievements? No, you probably don't. This is the first one you've gotten, right?
Laura Massey : This is the second one.
Larry Hryb: We changed it this past week. We now do decimals. You used to say it was 1%, now we can see you're 2% or 5%. Now you'll see 3.72%.
Laura Massey : Yes. I had scrolled all the way to the bottom for the "Dance Central" achievements and found a 0.01%.
Larry Hryb: Is that the one you're going after? Do you remember what it is?
Jeff Rubenstein: Just the Harmonix team did it.
Laura Massey : Yeah, I bet. Just [inaudible 00:17:10] Harmonix team.
Larry Hryb: That's the only one that has it.
Laura Massey : Probably. I have to unlock all moves in the game.
Larry Hryb: Right, right.
Laura Massey : [inaudible 00:17:17] move is really hard.
Larry Hryb: Wow, yeah.
Jeff Rubenstein: There's a bunch. If you want to see the animation, I would say play "Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime" on co op, makes the game a lot easier. On easy level, which makes the game a lot easier, there's a bunch that you can unlock that are rare. We got, like, four in a day. Since me, my brother and my kid were all logged in, we saw that animation repeatedly.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, boom, boom, boom, boom.
Laura Massey : Nice.
Jeff Rubenstein: One after another.
Larry Hryb: Firing like crazy. Fun.
Laura Massey : Super satisfying when you unlock one of those. If you haven't by chance, try out "Dance Central."
Larry Hryb: Got a little diamond animation we worked on, so glad you liked it, so glad. We haven't talked about that.
Laura Massey : [crosstalk 00:17:48]. Ding! Yeah, it's great. I guess that's it for me.
Larry Hryb: Oh. On my side, of course I was talking about traveling to San Francisco. "Overwatch," "Sniper Elite 2." "Gwent," "The Witcher" card game, playing a little "Gwent."
Laura Massey : Oh, you are?
Larry Hryb: Yeah.
Jeff Rubenstein: It's really good.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, I'm having fun with that.
Laura Massey : That's great.
Larry Hryb: Last weekend was "Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands," that beta, we did that. Jeff, you and I didn't play that, did we?
Jeff Rubenstein: I thought we played in the alpha.
Larry Hryb: We played the alpha or the closed beta, whatever it was.
Jeff Rubenstein: It's coming out really soon.
Larry Hryb: Yeah. We played that. I'm continuing my "Witcher 3: Wild Hunt" story because I'm working on the DL-
Laura Massey : You are?
Larry Hryb: Well, the DLC.
Laura Massey : Still going through, oh.
Larry Hryb: The DLC.
Laura Massey : You talked about that last time.
Larry Hryb: Well, the DLC, it's a game unto itself. Playing "Halo Wars 2," still cooking along on that. "Resident Evil VII: Biohazard," which, did you finish that?
Jeff Rubenstein: No, I got to go back to it.
Larry Hryb: "For Honor," I'm hitting that up.
Jeff Rubenstein: There's a lot there.
Larry Hryb: There's a lot going on.
Laura Massey : So many games.
Larry Hryb: And even more-
Jeff Rubenstein: "Ghost Recon's" Tuesday.
Larry Hryb: Pardon me?
Jeff Rubenstein: "Ghost Recon's" Tuesday.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, "Ghost Recon" is this Tuesday.
Jeff Rubenstein: We got to just jump in there together.
Larry Hryb: You know what comes out this week? The Nintendo Switch!
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah!
Laura Massey : Yeah!
Larry Hryb: Did you preorder yours, Laura?
Laura Massey : I did not.
Larry Hryb: Did you, Jeffrey?
Jeff Rubenstein: I did.
Larry Hryb: I didn't because when they went up for preorder, I was on an airplane or something, so I don't have one. I will not have one.
Jeff Rubenstein: Well I'll bring it in. Actually, I'm going to bring it to PAX which is, the timing's good.
Laura Massey : Oh great. [crosstalk 00:19:02].
Jeff Rubenstein: The reviews for "Zelda" are stellar. I'm real excited.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, the reviews, congrats to those guys. Shipping games is hard.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah, right on down the street. Somehow, I missed Wii U, so it'll be fun getting back in. New hardware's fun.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, it's always fun. I'll take a look at that. I'm sure we'll talk about that once we get our hands on the hardware but that's fun coming up this week. Lot of games came out, a lot of ID@Xbox came out the past week and a half or so.
Jeff Rubenstein: I got a bunch. There's new releases, bunch came out of the GDC. Hit the stinger and I'll go.
Larry Hryb: You should have, "dun dun dun dun, here's the news!"
Jeff Rubenstein: Yes, thanks [inaudible 00:19:34] Larry, I have big news coming out on Monday! That was "Middle Earth: Shadow of War."
Laura Massey : Yes!
Larry Hryb: Now Laura, do you remember because I know you were into this.
Laura Massey : Yes I was!
Larry Hryb: I found out about this about a day before and I forget to tell you, so I apologize.
Laura Massey : Well I watched the trailer.
Larry Hryb: You ended up finding out. That's the most important.
Laura Massey : I did. I watched the trailer when they announced it. So excited for that to play!
Larry Hryb: Yeah.
Jeff Rubenstein: Something I like. They announced the game, they announced that it was Xbox One and Windows 10, which is kind of great and obviously Scorpio as well, and a date, August 22nd.
Laura Massey : That's really soon!
Jeff Rubenstein: Already draw the line the in the sand. Holiday starts with this game.
Larry Hryb: That is right around PAX Seattle.
Jeff Rubenstein: It should be, yeah. Maybe a couple of days before that. The game is, I believe, made very near by here.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, it's actually up near my house, up at Monolith, up in Oakland. I've been over there!
Jeff Rubenstein: If you're in the windows, let me know how it looks.
Larry Hryb: Maybe we'll take the show down there, we'll do an interview.
Jeff Rubenstein: Really?
Laura Massey : Great!
Larry Hryb: We should all go down there, want to all go down to Monolith? All right, I'll work it out.
Jeff Rubenstein: I would love for it.
Laura Massey : Work on that.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah. "Shadows of Mordor" was amazing.
Larry Hryb: Did you finish that?
Laura Massey : Yes, I think I, almost, so close.
Larry Hryb: I remember you were just all into that.
Laura Massey : Couldn't-
Larry Hryb: I loved it, but you got caught up in the story and the whole thing, which is great.
Laura Massey : Yeah, oh yeah. I thought it was a fantastic telling of that story.
Larry Hryb: Yeah.
Jeff Rubenstein: Oh, absolutely. It filled in all those gaps, and this one looks like it's going to be really cool as well. The Nazgul, the Wraiths seem to have a pretty major role. You now command an orc army! You possessed all those orcs with the nemesis system in "Shadow of Modor" and now I think you have one and you take it on and you'll end up facing other ones. That could be really cool.
Larry Hryb: Fun! Fun!
Laura Massey : [crosstalk 00:21:09] fun.
Jeff Rubenstein: Right before GDC started, also, we announced Xbox Game Pass.
Larry Hryb: Now this is a huge, or as some people would say-
Jeff Rubenstein: Don't do it, don't do it Larry! Don't do it! You were just coming off presidential!
Laura Massey : I know!
Larry Hryb: This is a very large program we're very excited about. It's available to preview members now. Jeff, why don't you give some of the details?
Jeff Rubenstein: Basically, think of Xbox Game Pass as something like an all you can eat with over a hundred games at any time. For $9.99 a month, you get unlimited access to over a hundred Xbox One and backwards compatible Xbox 360 games. We've mentioned some of the developers and the publishers. Games like "Halo 5" and "NBA 2K16," "Mad Max," "Saints Row IV." Lot of great games and games will cycle in and out. The thing that I think really makes this sing is that not only is it Xbox One games as well as Xbox 360 backward compatible game, but you download it so you're not going to be reliant on bandwidth at any given point to determine what your performance is like. You're going to be able to download it, you're going to play it like every other game.
Larry Hryb: Full fidelity.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yes. Some of the publishers that are involved are 2K, Namco-Bandai, Capcom, Deep Silver, Sega, Warner Brothers who makes "Shadow of Mordor," "Shadow of War," Microsoft Studios of course. Lot of great games coming and we're going to be sharing more in the coming weeks. Right now, the people that can look at it first are those in the Xbox Insider program.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, so it'll be coming to everybody, all Xbox owners, soon. Don't know the exact date but it will be coming later this year.
Laura Massey : Cool.
Jeff Rubenstein: You'll find out here.
Larry Hryb: In fact, Phil talked about that. Why don't we take a break here. I'll roll the interview I did with Phil and Chris where he talks a little bit about Game Pass as well as some of our GDC news, and then on the other side of this we'll have Jeff go over that news again. How's that sound?
Laura Massey : Sounds great.
Jeff Rubenstein: Let's do it.
Larry Hryb: As promised, I'm down here in San Francisco at the ID@Xbox event. Joining me is Phil Spencer and Chris Charla. Hey guys, how are you doing?
Chris Charla: Great. How's it going?
Phil Spencer: It's going well. You can't see it but Larry and Chris are sharing a microphone.
Larry Hryb: Well, yeah.
Chris Charla: [crosstalk 00:23:26] get your own!
Larry Hryb: We're going to pass it back and forth, right Chris?
Chris Charla: [inaudible 00:23:29]. It's very, very natural.
Phil Spencer: Let's see if we can try to get them to talk at the same time.
Larry Hryb: Anyway, first of all I want to thank you guys. I know it's a busy week. We're down here at Game Developer Conference, GDC, and we've had some great announcements this week. I figured I'd come down here because you guys wouldn't meet with me back in the office. I flew all the way down here just to interview you guys to go over the headlines. I thought we could do that.
Chris Charla: Sounds good to me.
Phil Spencer: See, they didn't talk at the same time again. Yeah, it's great!
Larry Hryb: Or we could get in really close like this and it's really-
Chris Charla: We can talk at the same time.
Larry Hryb: Anyway, I want to go over what we announced. What's going on here at Xbox? Let's start with you, Phil.
Phil Spencer: We're at the ID@Xbox event, which is always my favorite event at GDC because I get to come down, see a bunch of developers that are building new games, trying new things. I love the ID space because you have developers that aren't afraid to experiment, aren't afraid to try to push the boundaries of what gaming's about and then we get people to come in and play the games. I love coming down early. I'm always here when they open.
Larry Hryb: You're the first guy in.
Phil Spencer: I stand in line.
Larry Hryb: You're before the first guy.
Phil Spencer: Pressed up against the glass. Chris then lets me in, says he always lets me in third. I can't go in first. I love it down here.
Larry Hryb: Would you do a scene setter because obviously this is audio. We're in a special space here in San Francisco, we've got a bunch of game points set up. Talk about that.
Phil Spencer: I'm going to start with the space. Oh, is Chris going to talk?
Chris Charla: No, no, I'm just [crosstalk 00:24:53].
Phil Spencer: I want Chris to talk about it.
Chris Charla: The space is awesome. It's super cool! You know what it is. I don't even know, this is just some weird space that we come to.
Phil Spencer: We, the Xbox team, grabbed a space in New York and a space in San Francisco actually before the Xbox One launched.
Larry Hryb: That's right.
Phil Spencer: We set them up as living room experiences. Once we launched and Chris got ahold of all of this, we took all the living room stuff out and made them game spaces. It's an old garage, so I think this was actually an auto repair garage before we took it over. We've had it for a few years but every year I'm down here, it's usually some kind of press event or an ID@Xbox event, cement walls, very industrial.
Larry Hryb: Is there a car lift?
Chris Charla: There probably used to be.
Larry Hryb: What there is is awesome, is these amazing laser cut iron things everywhere that all include an Xbox logo. It's really fantastic.
Phil Spencer: Yeah. The team that put this space together does a great job. The thing I love, and I want to thank all the ID developers that come here because we know this, they sit in this space. As cool as we think it is, I imagine after the 20th hour it's probably a little less cool being in here. At least they keep it, temperature wise, cool. These developers sit by their stations while press comes by, enthusiasts come by, play the games, get feedback. Random people like me come by. You can see in the morning, they're all enthusiastic and you can come by at the 12th hour and they're still enthusiastic about showing their game, talking to you even though it's random questions about, "Hey, why is that blue," and, "Why is that purple?" The energy level's always great. I think that they just do such a great job showing their game and showcasing what we're trying to do at Xbox, so thanks to all of them.
Larry Hryb: I also want to point out, this is a private invite only event that we do for media and partners, so these are games that are coming out later this year, in the future, right?
Phil Spencer: As we know, trying to guess when they're going to come out with some of these ID games, see "Cuphead," isn't always the easiest thing, but we can ask Chris when these games will ship.
Chris Charla: They will ship when they are ready to ship. We don't dictate release dates to developers, they tell us when the game's ready to come out and we support them.
Phil Spencer: Then they tell us again when it's a different date.
Chris Charla: Yeah, that's right.
Larry Hryb: All right, well let's focus on what we have here. Now Chris, I want to go to you because I want to talk about what we're showing off here in terms of specific titles and maybe some of the highlights. There's so many titles to go through and I'm sure that people are watching their favorite gaming sites to see what some of their favorite games are. Can you give us some of the highlights?
Chris Charla: Yeah, sure. We're showing 22 games. I can't run down the exhaustive list, or I could but you'll probably start kicking-
Phil Spencer: He has a list in front of him on a piece of paper, so he actually can.
Chris Charla: I do have a list in front of me. We have a convenient blog post that anyone can go to to see a list of all the games. There's some amazing ones here, some that are brand new that we haven't shown before. One is "Ooblets," which is a really cool new game.
Phil Spencer: Winner, winner.
Chris Charla: It's, I guess, a combination of "Harvest Moon" meets "Animal Crossing" plus "Pokemon."
Phil Spencer: It's a real dark themed one.
Chris Charla: No, it is not the real dark themed one. It's a very happy, light [crosstalk 00:28:01].
Phil Spencer: It would be the opposite of dark themed.
Chris Charla: However, directly across from it is an extremely dark game.
Phil Spencer: From Poland.
Chris Charla: Yeah, from Poland, which is a super cool sort of horror game that I think, "Inner Chains," which is super dark but really cool. It shows the diversity of the program, that we have games from "Inner Chains" to "Ooblets" to "Path of Exile" to "Super Mega Baseball."
Phil Spencer: Yeah. I love seeing "Path of Exile" come to the platform. It's a game I played on PC for quite a while. It's got a really good following on PC. I was talking about bringing it to console, how they moved over to controller. Even they were surprised, I think, with how the game showed up when they actually brought it over, put a controller on it. It looks really, really good. Team's done a fantastic job.
Larry Hryb: Now Phil, I don't have a lot of time because I know you're busy and you're running out of here, but I want to get to a couple of things. Talk about the ID@Xbox program and how it fits into the broader portfolio and how you look at it as the head of Xbox. How do you look at ID@Xbox versus everything else?
Phil Spencer: I know you throw out the word versus, but I'm going to pick on that for a second because I actually don't see it as a versus thing. I think as somebody who's been in the game industry now for quite a long time, I think we see creativity and diversity come from many places. We see it come from triple A, we see it from new business models and I think we can see it from small teams, maybe developers that worked at a bigger studio and had a passion for what they wanted to go build. The "Ooblets" game, you talked about. I love talking to the developer. It's a man and a woman, it's two people who are the whole studio. I think they're in New Hampshire if I remember correctly.
Larry Hryb: Yep.
Phil Spencer: They've got a passion for a game that they want to go build. What I love is our ID program, and Chris has been the spirit of this for us, and other platform holders have done a great job with indies as well, Steam, Sony's doing a good job. Now these people, unlike maybe 10 years ago, the smaller studios have an avenue to get to the largest audience. Obviously they can ship on PC. Now they've got a way to bring these games to console. I think it's a great opportunity for them and most importantly it's a great opportunity for the gamers to get their hands on more and more games, which is really what it's all about.
Larry Hryb: Now moving forward a little bit, this week we're in town for GDC, and Chris, I wanted you to go through some of the announcements. We're actually recording this before the announcements.
Phil Spencer: This is a leak!
Larry Hryb: Well it's not a leak as long as no one gets ahold of this audio file early! We're recording this a little bit early, but I want to see if you can go through, because this will post afterwards, what are some of the announcements we have this week? There's a lot of stuff coming out of GDC.
Chris Charla: We're going to be announcing a lot. One thing we're going to be announcing is a new program called the Xbox Live Creators Program. It's pretty interesting news, actually a pretty cool new program. What we're doing is we're actually opening up Xbox Live so that anyone can go to MSDN, download Xbox Live, implement it in their UWP game and ship that game on Windows 10 or on Xbox One in a completely open fashion.
Larry Hryb: This is like, back to Phil, your idea of a game is a game is a game, right?
Phil Spencer: Yeah. I think even more than a game is a game, and that's included in this, is the fact that when I play games I want to be connected to the community of friends that I play with. We know that some developers coming in aren't coming in through the ID program. Maybe they're taking their own path to developing their game. We wanted to make sure that even on the Windows platform and wherever in the end they might want to be, that they're able to access Xbox Live.
Now it's not full Xbox Live and I'm sure when we talk about this, because there are certain things about Xbox Live that we want to protect, but all up we want these games to be able to connect into Xbox Live and reach the rich social network that's there of gamers.
Larry Hryb: Now Chris, how do people get into it? How do they get involved? What are the options?
Chris Charla: It's really easy. They can go sign up, and I think they're taking a limited audience this week and then it will broadly open up to everybody within a couple months, and they can just download Live, start implementing the SDK and then ship a UWP. On PC, the game will just ship into the PC, the Windows Store. On Xbox One, we had to be thoughtful. There's a lot of debate about curation versus openness. Console players expect a curated store environment and we didn't want to change that. We want to open up the Xbox to development, but we don't want to change that. On Xbox One, the store will remain the same curated store and there'll be a special section for these Creators Program games where people can go in there and see everything the world has to offer.
Larry Hryb: This actually builds on one of the original ideas, Phil, that the team had, which is taking a regular console and turning it into a dev kit, right?
Phil Spencer: That's right. Opening up development of console games to everybody is just going to lead to more creativity coming to the space. As Chris talked about, we want to make sure that gamers know, I'm going to say what they're getting themselves into. I don't mean that that's a bad thing, but this is an uncurated space and we want to make sure that if you're a parent, hey, here's the stuff that might be in this space and you can make your own decisions about that, level of quality, finish or whatever it is. We also know some great things started from a seed that built. I think you'll see a lot of those kind of game ideas come to this space.
Larry Hryb: There's a lot going on. I also want to talk about, even though we're down here at GDC, some news that went out earlier this week was Game Pass. We've been seeing a lot of good pickup on that, haven't you? You're pretty happy with that.
Phil Spencer: Yeah. Game Pass is something that we've had in our heads for quite a while. This idea that we could give Xbox gamers access to a large catalog of games for, some people say a lot, some people say a little but I think a fair monthly fee. They're getting a hundred games in the US. It's $9.99 a month, I think basically $10 a month. You get access to a hundred games.
I saw some of the questions online. Some people were asking because it is true that certain games will come into the program for a little while, certain games will go out of the program for a while, but obviously our motivation behind this is a majority of the games are there month in and month out. We just know some publishers will make decisions, so we wanted to be transparent about when games will be there, but the response has been fantastic.
One of the things that we didn't talk about that I'd to take a second and talk about, because I think there's an opportunity here for this to not just be about games that have already shipped. I'd actually like to see this grow to a program that you can see frontline games, first shipped games, come into Xbox Game Pass as something, as a way that they get distributed. I think you've seen this in the TV space with Netflix.
You've seen Netflix at first was really about movies or TV shows that I might have missed and I subscribe to Netflix and I go watch it. Now some of the best TV out there is actually being created as Netflix originals, Amazon originals. HBO's doing the same thing. I'd love to see us be able to grow Game Pass to a program where maybe like episodic and smaller story based games could see this as a way that they actually launch because obviously there's a business model behind Xbox Game Pass and I think it could really support that.
Best thing for me, parent walks into the store, they buy a console. For a fairly minimal monthly amount, they're able to get access to a hundred games for everybody in the family. That's great.
Larry Hryb: I want to point out that went to a limited preview audience this week and it's going to come out to everyone later on this year.
Phil Spencer: The people who are in Preview, as always, there might be some bumps. That's what being in Preview's about.
Larry Hryb: Welcome to the world.
Phil Spencer: It's a limited catalog of games in the beginning, but I thank those people for the time they spend running our Preview builds on their console and helping us out as we test new features. This is a feature I really wanted to bring to Xbox and it's nice to be able to bring it. I'd love to be able to bring it to more and more platforms. I know in the Q&A there was a little bit about Windows. I think a long term vision here is that we'd be able to bring a service like this to every platform where we ship games.
Larry Hryb: I know I'm sure ID@Xbox guys would like to get in there too, wouldn't they?
Phil Spencer: Yeah, we have a bunch of ID@Xbox games that'll be launching.
Larry Hryb: It's pretty much for anybody. Now Phil, we're down here at GDC, we're talking about all the great stuff this week, the Creators update, some of the other things, you're meeting with some developers. What do you see? There's a lot going on in the space over mixed reality, we called augmented reality or virtual reality. What's going on in that space in your head?
Phil Spencer: I see a ton of creativity going on as people are trying to build things and I think really trying to find what I call the vocabulary of what games in that space are like. Simply taking the camera that might be in a first person game and making that-
Larry Hryb: Putting it on your head.
Phil Spencer: ... That's a learning experience as well for all of us whether it's motion sickness or whatever and trying to figure out how that works. I was over in Japan last week and I saw some developers that were trying new things. All of them that I see are starting on Windows. It's a very open space for them to try and I like our news this week that we're really liberating that development, trying to bring down the price point, make mixed reality just a default place, part of Windows where anybody can go off and build mixed reality experiences. In the fall we talked about the lower price points for the HMDs that we'll be supporting.
Larry Hryb: Head mounted displays.
Phil Spencer: Head mounted displays, sorry.
Larry Hryb: That's okay.
Phil Spencer: It's a place where we're going to start that motion. Right now, it's about development on Windows, which I think is great. Our longer term plan would be to bring this to all Windows 10 devices, including Xbox.
Larry Hryb: What have you played lately in the VR, MR space that you like?
Phil Spencer: You know, it's funny-
Larry Hryb: This is not an announcement about a coming to Xbox, I just want to be very clear, everybody!
Phil Spencer: No! Actually, this is not something people can go buy but when I was in Japan last week one of the stops I had was at Namco-Bandai. They have these VR experiences they put in their arcades. You pay, I don't know how much it is, but you stand in line. It's almost like a ride. They had this one Gundam experience that was just really cool, like you walked into a park and there was the big robot-
Larry Hryb: Did you do it?
Phil Spencer: Yeah, yeah, I did it! There's this hydraulic couch that you actually end up, when you have the head mounted display on, it looks like the hand of the robot that you go and sit in and you kind of hug the thumb and you get picked way up in the air.
Larry Hryb: Wow!
Phil Spencer: While you're in the air, there's this battle between the two robots that are-
Larry Hryb: You're getting tossed around?
Phil Spencer: You're getting thrown around! It was really, really well done. I don't know if it was a game but as an experience you felt the sense of height, the sense of immersion that I think VR has done a great job in bringing to gaming. It was just one of those experiences that I felt, you know, you could really tell a story that would land in a very fundamental way with somebody using this as the medium for that.
Larry Hryb: I think it's interesting to point out, is that a lot of folks may not know this but the arcade scene over in Japan is just crazy. It's still on fire.
Phil Spencer: Still there.
Larry Hryb: Right. You've been over there, right Chris? You know what's it like.
Chris Charla: Oh yeah, absolutely.
Phil Spencer: That's it?
Larry Hryb: That's it!
Chris Charla: Absolutely! I like going to Japan and getting destroyed at multiplayer fighting games in arcades, and then the person stands up because in Japan the fighting games are back to back. You're playing across from the person. Then you get destroyed and then they stand up and laugh at you and then you quietly walk out of the arcade.
Larry Hryb: What's your go to?
Chris Charla: I like any weapons fighter.
Larry Hryb: Yeah?
Chris Charla: Yeah. I'm playing a lot of "For Honor" right now, actually, on Xbox One.
Phil Spencer: Yeah, look at that little plug!
Larry Hryb: All right, we got to get back to what's going here at GDC because we got a lot going on. One of the other areas we're focused on is something that's really throughout all of team Xbox, which is the Gaming for Everyone initiative. Phil, I want to see if we can talk about that for a moment.
Phil Spencer: Yeah. GDC is an important place for us because it's where the industry comes together. We started Gaming for Everyone inside of Xbox, but we've always viewed that our role in the industry is something that's critically important to this. We think about our products, we think about our teams and we think about the industry in which we work. It's really been great to see the way the industry, not lead by us in any way, I think we're just a participant in an industry that's trying to create the most inclusive work environment and inclusive content that we can create. The Women of Gaming event that's done here, the Blacks in Gaming, Latinos in Gaming events is done down here, LGBTQ events that happen.
It's one of the reasons I love coming to GDC because this is not so much of a press event. It's not so much of a, "What's your booth look like," or, "How many new games did you announce?" It's the industry coming together and talking about what we want to stand for, and to be a part of that with our internal Gaming for Everyone initiative is really great.
Larry Hryb: Now you talked about a couple of things there, what the booth looks like and some other stuff. Let's pivot quickly and talk about, E3's coming up in a couple of months. How are you feeling about that?
Phil Spencer: I'm already a little nervous. I'm always nervous before I go on stage for that thing.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, you are.
Phil Spencer: It seems like it's tomorrow, so you do as much planning and work, you do more work than I do for E3. It does seem like it's tomorrow. I know there've been some people that question, we made some changes at this year's E3. Our briefing is now on Sunday. It's not on Monday. I say "now," who knows what it will be next year, but this year we're on Sunday. Some of the reasons behind that, we wanted to be a little later in the day, which I think is great. I think that works for us.
Also, this time if we needed to go a little bit longer, I'm not sure I want to go a little bit longer but if we needed to go a little bit longer we could so we don't have somebody that's right after us.
Larry Hryb: Just make sure we're over by "Game of Thrones." That's on Sunday night! DVR, DVR!
Phil Spencer: In the past we always wanted to be a good citizen at GDC. I'm on the ESA board, I'm the vice chair with Strauss Zelnick from 2K, so I feel a responsibility of our show to make sure that we get done in time so that the people who have their briefing right after us, I'm conscious of the press and other people-
Larry Hryb: Yeah, but usually running either EA or Sony or somebody.
Phil Spencer: Or Ubi or somebody's right after and Sony goes. We're all, I think, there's obviously a lot of competition but there's also a lot of, we want to work together to make E3 great.
Larry Hryb: Sure.
Phil Spencer: This maybe gives us a little more time, but we'll see. We'll see if we actually need to go a little bit longer. The other thing was the booth. We moved the booth. We're in a different hall. The booth's size from people that have kind of done math on our booth size, there's no conspiracy theory behind the size of the booth. We know consumers are coming to the booth this year so our booth will probably feel a little different than it has in the past because when you open the show floor to 15,000 people who are really there to play games and maybe not stare at some of the big things that we've kind of had around.
Larry Hryb: Even the meeting rooms we always had in there, right? That people never saw because they were behind the scenes.
Phil Spencer: That's right. What we're trying to make sure this booth is about, and we're going to learn so bear with us, everybody that's going to be there. We're trying to make a booth that will allow more people to play as many games and getting, as you said, our meeting rooms and everything else out of the way. It shows no lack of commitment to E3. I think E3's an incredibly important point for our industry and something that we're committed to make great and I can't wait to see all of our fans down there.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, it's going to be fun this year. Yes we will, we talked about this on Twitter, we'll have a fan event. We don't know what it is. We'll have something.
Phil Spencer: We might know what it is.
Chris Charla: We might [crosstalk 00:42:38].
Phil Spencer: We just might not say anything. I think it will be-
Larry Hryb: You can't give everything up right away. All right, now Chris before I let you and Phil go, do you have any final words you want to talk about with the ID@Xbox program? How do people get involved and what do they look forward to?
Chris Charla: No, I mean if you want to make a game, come to xbox.com/id. Other than that, we're super excited. We had tens of millions of people play ID games last year.
Larry Hryb: How many ID games did we ship?
Chris Charla: 450.
Larry Hryb: 450.
Chris Charla: In 2016, we just got to these numbers, and I'm sort of excited by, we had a billion hours of ID games played in 2016 which seems, like us [crosstalk 00:43:09].
Larry Hryb: Are you serious?
Chris Charla: Yeah, it's amazing. It's awesome.
Larry Hryb: A billion hours?
Chris Charla: A billion hours. That's no joke.
Larry Hryb: That is incredible. Are we counting "Minecraft" as an ID game?
Chris Charla: No, no, this is just games that are in the ID@Xbox program.
Phil Spencer: That's fantastic.
Larry Hryb: Phil is stunned. First time's Phil's hearing this. I'm just as stunned as you are! That's great, good job.
Phil Spencer: Chris has done a really great job. I think when we launched the Xbox One we were behind in supporting independent developers. I feel like I can say that. We put a team together.
Larry Hryb: A great team.
Phil Spencer: A great team who [inaudible 00:43:43] like the whole team that you've got here that's really driving the ID program. I should go through and list everybody. That's a great accomplishment for the developers, obviously, but as a member of the team and a member of the Xbox Community, I want to thank you because that's really great.
Chris Charla: Yeah, I mean thanks to developers, it's all the devs, right? They're amazing.
Phil Spencer: The first thing I ask when I'm on the floor, and I know I'm going to drag us out here, is I always say, "How's our team supporting you?" The first thing they ask me is, "I've never seen you before and you've done nothing for my game." That's me, [inaudible 00:44:09] so I get that. Then when they talk about the people who are actually helping, our account managers and stuff, the teams are always so positive about the way Chris and his team engage with them for press events here, to help them get kits, answer questions.
Larry Hryb: Are you telling me ID@Xbox people are looking at you sideways, like, "Who are you?"
Phil Spencer: No, I'm kidding, I'm kidding. No, I realize I'm not the one that's doing the hard work to make sure these games get set up here.
Larry Hryb: You're not troubleshooting that shader.
Phil Spencer: For 450 games, making sure that enabling a billion hours of gameplay to get done, that's Chris and his team.
Chris Charla: It's Wally.
Phil Spencer: Is it?
Chris Charla: I mean, let's just call out Wally right here for everybody. It is Wally, yeah.
Larry Hryb: I don't know who Wally is, but thank you Wally.
Chris Charla: That's great. The devs know who he is.
Phil Spencer: Yeah, but when we started the ID program there was a, "Is this a good thing or a bad thing for us on Xbox?" I remember those debates before I was in this job. To see what it's turned into, and I think some of the most creative and innovative things that have hit our platform have come through that from "Ark" to "Astroneer" to the things we're seeing here. Some really great, whether it's game preview or just directly into ID, it's fantastic.
Larry Hryb: That actually begs a good question here, Chris. How should people think of the Creators Program announcement that we had this week at GDC? How does it work and how should it sit next to ID@Xbox? Explain that for folks.
Chris Charla: I think you just said it. It sits next to ID@Xbox. It's a great opportunity. There'll be professionals in there but there'll also be makers and educators and experimenters and folks doing games that are just different than traditional commercial games, but it doesn't change, ID@Xbox isn't going away. We're still here. We actually anticipate there'll be games that start in the Creators Program and then once they launch and the dev sort of figure things out and starts to get some traction, they'll probably bring that game into ID to get access to the full suite of Xbox Live capabilities.
Larry Hryb: Wally.
Chris Charla: Yeah, and Wally. Exactly.
Phil Spencer: Apparently the police are coming to get Chris. He was looking a little shifty there. If they came close, he's like, "Oh, I got to get out of here!"
Chris Charla: I used to live in San Francisco and I get nervous when I hear the sirens.
Phil Spencer: They still know, they're here, they're here. Charla's back in town!
Larry Hryb: That's how people should think about it. It's a complement to our existing programs.
Chris Charla: Yeah, that's exactly right. We're adding something new to address a new category of developer. I'm super stoked about it.
Larry Hryb: Well I think-
Phil Spencer: They found him!
Larry Hryb: I think they found him!
Phil Spencer: He's right! Is there a reward?
Larry Hryb: This is like a weird episode of GTA. Anyway, I'm going to let you go but I just, you know, if you had any final words for anybody about our GDC here, maybe even look forward to E3.
Phil Spencer: The same thing I kind of push on all the time, I love our community of Xbox gamers. They've been incredibly supportive. It was nice to get online this morning and see the response to Game Pass. Game Pass is just one of those signals that we get from the community. When we do things that they like, it's very positive. When we do things that they question, we get the feedback. The passion and commitment they have to our product and our brand is the fuel that keeps our team going and pushing us to try to do more, try to do better and live up to their expectations. Thanks everybody. It's great to be down here at GDC, and for those people I'll see here at GDC come up, I'd love to say hi to you.
Larry Hryb: I also want to point out that you mentioned-
Phil Spencer: I'm going to say that after GDC.
Larry Hryb: That's okay, but I want to point out that blog post that you mentioned. I'll put a link to that in the show notes. Do you have any final words you want to say, Chris?
Chris Charla: No, thanks to all the players and thanks to all the devs, and bye!
Larry Hryb: I'll put links to their Twitter handles as well, @iocat and @xboxp3.
Chris Charla: @iocat, just follow @iocat.
Larry Hryb: All right, man. All right, we'll talk to you guys later. Thanks for joining me!
Phil Spencer: Thanks Larry.
Chris Charla: Thanks.
Larry Hryb: Joining me in the studio is Dan Miter from the "Battlefield" franchise, community manager. Dan, so good to see you.
Dan Mitre: Yeah, it's good to see you too, man.
Larry Hryb: First of all, thank you for coming in here. We had you on "This Week On Xbox." Always good to see you there, but now we're going to go a little bit further into what we're talking about which is some of the great stuff going on in "Battlefield 1." First of all, congratulations on an incredible launch. You guys have just had great momentum.
Dan Mitre: We have had a tremendous amount of success ever since reveal that game last May, which breaking records all over Twitch, breaking records on YouTube. There's an insatiable [crosstalk 00:48:16]-
Larry Hryb: Was that last May already? That was last May!
Dan Mitre: That's right. I came down and we did that last May on campus.
Larry Hryb: Then you talked more about the campaign at TwitchCon, which was in the fall, and then of course you guys had that amazing release. That was fun. That stream was fun.
Dan Mitre: It was, man. We had some moments.
Larry Hryb: We sure did, but anyway, I wanted to get you in here because obviously you're in town, but to talk about some of the things you guys have recently announced. Can you give us the headlines then we'll go deep on each of them?
Dan Mitre: Yeah. We've announced the full lineup of expansion packs coming out. The first one dropping March 14th is "They Shall Not Pass." That's the French army finally making it into "Battlefield 1."
Larry Hryb: How will that reveal itself? Are they foes, are they friends? What are you doing here?
Dan Mitre: You're playing as the French army. Obviously you could play as the other armies as well, and you are defending your homeland on the Western Front. You're in that beautifully clad blue uniforms with the-
Larry Hryb: Stylish.
Dan Mitre: Oh dude, you're very much a stylish-
Larry Hryb: Oh ho ho, very [inaudible 00:49:10], oui oui! Come and see my French! Ho!
Dan Mitre: You're shooting all the weapons that you would see in World War I with the French army, but you also have access to the Behemoth.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, what is that? I mean we know what Behemoths are in the game, but which one did you [crosstalk 00:49:27].
Dan Mitre: This was the Char 2C. It's basically a mobile Behemoth. Where you had previously the train, which is on rails, this one you can go anywhere on the map. You get your whole squad in there, you have a huge cannon on it, outfitted with all sorts of other artillery guns on the side, an incredibly amount of armor and everything.
Larry Hryb: It's a beast.
Dan Mitre: It's a beast, it's a beast. That's not the only thing that's obviously coming up in "They Shall Not Pass."
Larry Hryb: Actually, so how many people does it hold? How many, four, five?
Dan Mitre: You can fit your whole squad in there.
Larry Hryb: Fit the whole squad in there. Then I'm sure because it's French it probably has a little dining area in it? Espresso machine?
Dan Mitre: Yeah, there's a place you can cut some brie, yeah.
Larry Hryb: One must travel in comfort.
Dan Mitre: Absolutely, and you got to be stylish.
Larry Hryb: There you go!
Dan Mitre: There's access to four new maps as well. That is Verdun Heights, Fort de Vaux, Soissons and Rupture.
Larry Hryb: Tell us about each one of those and what you guys are doing.
Dan Mitre: Verdun Heights is this infantry only map. It's super brutal. It's basically this action inside an inferno taking place in the first days of Verdun. Verdun has been a very pivotal location in World War I, so finally we get to play that.
Fort de Vaux is more of a smaller scale map. If you're aware, "Battlefield 4" had an operation locker, so very close quarters.
Larry Hryb: Close quarters.
Dan Mitre: Yeah. This is our take on that, so you're going to get that insane close quarter combat. You can be turning a corner, there's a grenade, run the other way.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, it's interesting because when I think "Battlefield," certainly you've had those close quarter maps in the past but "Battlefield" to me is those epic, wide sweeping landscapes where you're playing and things are flying and shooting. Close quarters, you rethink it a little bit because there's not usually the vehicles and the Behemoths, right?
Dan Mitre: Yeah. "They Shall Not Pass" has a little flavor for everybody. Then you have Soissons, which is the classic large scale "Battlefield" map, so bringing it back to that "Battlefield" DNA. In this one, you're featuring the French tank assault against the German defenses. This is the biggest tank assault battle that you'll see.
Then we round it out with Rupture. This is a maze of dead tank wreckage, but the key one here is these incredible poppy flowers all over the map.
Larry Hryb: Oh, the poppy fields. Sure.
Dan Mitre: You get this incredible contrast of the red fields with the blue skies with just brutality all around you.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, and then it's been such an amazing launch that you guys had and the incredible reception. I want to talk to you about, were you surprised at how well World War I was received in terms of gameplay because I know a lot of people looked at you guys like, "Wait a minute, what is going on here?" You guys delivered! Right?
Dan Mitre: Yeah. Yes and no. Our core, the franchise was built on World War II. We knew that people wanted to take a step back again, but how far? I think you could say that we took a risk, being what that risk totally proved out. People wanted to see World War I done right. Your first conception is, "Oh, trench warfare, I'm going to be stuck in a hole all day." That's not the reality of World War I.
Larry Hryb: It can be if you want it to be, but that's not it!
Dan Mitre: Yeah. "Battlefield 1" really showcases World War I for what it is. There's a lot of emotions in that war. We capture that in the single player as well.
Larry Hryb: Let's talk about some of the other announcements you made. You've got a lot of content coming up. You guys have lifted up your head, you've been busy working on the game and working on our plans and now you've revealed them. Let's talk about the longer range plans if you don't mind.
Dan Mitre: Yeah, so next expansion pack is going to be "In the Name of the Tsar." That's the Russian front. Takes place in predominantly snow maps.
Larry Hryb: As you would expect in Russia.
Dan Mitre: Absolutely. You're staying warm, but man, the heat of the battle's still very prevalent. You're going to see just burning heaps of tank wreckage and gunfire.
Larry Hryb: Blinding white landscape.
Dan Mitre: Yeah. It's going to be a sniper haven but also some really awesome close quarter combat as well.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, I love that. I love that. What else you got?
Dan Mitre: Expansion pack three, "Turning Tides," and then finally we're rounding out with "Apocalypse." There's a lot of information we're going to be sharing in the next coming months, especially as we lead up to those expansion packs, so I'm going to save it there.
Larry Hryb: No, it's okay.
Dan Mitre: I'm not going to talk too much-
Larry Hryb: No, you've given up so much right now. You guys went quiet for a while, which is great because you went through the holiday, you shipped the game, you're updating it, taking care of some things, but now you're saying, "Okay, here we go and here's our plan." It's really exciting to see what you guys have done with the franchise in terms of experimenting with it and having fun with the gameplay and the environments. What are some of the things you guys learned from World War I, from the experience?
Dan Mitre: World War I, like I stated earlier, there's a brutality to it. There's this visceral hand to hand combat that you didn't necessarily pick up, because again, the conception was that it was all in trench warfare. No, this is the first time that you saw a tank in actual battle. Enter the Mark V tank. You saw a lot of different new innovative ways of, unfortunately, delivering death upon your foes. Bringing in pigeons as bombers, that's something that actually happened in World War I, something that maybe we can consider in the future for gameplay. There's all these little moments in World War I that we try to capture.
Obviously, "Battlefield 1" isn't a direct accurate representation of the war, but it's certainly inspired by it. You see that in all the weapons and the vehicles in that environment that we create.
Larry Hryb: It's also the first time we really had large scale chemical warfare, with mustard gas and what not. Of course we see that in the game. You've always got your mask at the ready on your controller, so it's different with that, too. What are you guys, you're looking forward into 2017, what's next? You just went through the whole list. It's got to be an exciting place to be right now.
Dan Mitre: Not only do we have the big, major expansion packs, we can dive into a little bit of Premium Pass, see what that offers.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, let's do that, let's do that.
Dan Mitre: Sure, okay, and then we'll dive into some of the other stuff.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, let's pause, talk Premium Pass and then we'll dive into the other stuff.
Dan Mitre: Premium Pass, as we all know, or some who don't know, it's an additional service that allows access to all of our expansion packs. You're going to get two weeks early access to every single one, direct to your Xbox.
Larry Hryb: That alone is great, but then you guys plus it.
Dan Mitre: Then we plus it, yeah. You got additional Battlepacks, 14 of them, you got 14 dog tags, you got server priority queue so you're going to hop in before everybody else.
Larry Hryb: Front of the line, please.
Dan Mitre: On top of that, all sorts of other stuff coming up. The other stuff. In between all of our expansion, in between the Premium Pass perks, we're also continually updating the game. Every so often we'll be introducing game improvements, tweaking the game, making sure this game is fun for everybody no matter what class you play. Assault, recon, support. We're always updating. We're always looking for feedback, so we just recently introduced the "Battlefield 1" Community Test Environment.
Larry Hryb: Tell us about that.
Dan Mitre: If you are a Premium Pass owner, you can hop into a test environment called the CTE.
Larry Hryb: Community Test Environment?
Dan Mitre: Community Test, yeah. Right now it's only available on PC, but this allows us to play and test unreleased features before we even roll it out to the public. Some of this stuff may not even make it to the public.
Larry Hryb: It's a sandbox.
Dan Mitre: It's a sandbox.
Larry Hryb: Just have fun, come in, you may see things you like, you may see things you don't like. You may see things that ship, you may see things that don't.
Dan Mitre: There might be things that you want to suggest and that maybe we'll run with it and you might see it actually in CTE.
Larry Hryb: I've been in the games industry a long time like yourself and I've seen other games internally. I'll go play an internal build where they put different things, "Hey, what do you think of this?" That's even better because you're kind of crowdsourcing some ideas and, hey, let's try this. You're right, it may not be that exact idea but maybe it has a spark into something else. You just never know.
Dan Mitre: Yeah. We have a lot of fun too. We'll do holiday things. Like in "Battlefield 4" during the holiday season, everybody had snowman heads. You're shooting, you got some crazy assault rifle.
Larry Hryb: Why not? Why not?
Dan Mitre: Halloween, you have all these little pumpkins everywhere and you're shooting them and confetti goes flying everywhere.
Larry Hryb: You do anything for Easter? Am I going to get bunny ears?
Dan Mitre: Maybe sneak a couple of eggs around there?
Larry Hryb: This is not an announcement! Not an announcement. That sounds like a lot of fun. Listen, Dan, I appreciate you coming in and chatting with us. It's been a delight and it's always great to see you, man. I guess we'll look forward to the updates in the future, we'll have you back on the show?
Dan Mitre: Yeah!
Larry Hryb: All right, thank you my friend.
Dan Mitre: Sounds good. Thanks Larry, see you on the battlefield.
Jeff Rubenstein: GDC, very busy. Not just, as Phil mentioned, the Xbox Live Creators Program and Xbox Game Pass, but this is the time of year we always put together an event, Chris Charla does, where we show off some of the most promising ID@Xbox titles that'll be coming to Xbox One and Windows 10.
Larry Hryb: This is just a slice of them. You heard about that in the interview.
Jeff Rubenstein: Exactly. Some of them we're seeing for the first time. "Ooblets," which we had mentioned last week, was getting a lot of buzz this week. Something that's got me particular excited, "War Groove." This is from the creators of "Starbound," Chucklefish Games. They also helped bring "Stardew Valley" to Xbox One, which I can't stop playing.
Larry Hryb: Are you playing it by yourself?
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah, it's a single player game.
Laura Massey : [crosstalk 00:58:42].
Larry Hryb: No, I didn't know if you were playing with your daughter.
Jeff Rubenstein: Oh no. I don't want her, you know, this is my farm. She can tell me where to plant the cauliflower and I will disagree!
Laura Massey : [crosstalk 00:58:53] the farm.
Jeff Rubenstein: We're also disagreeing on whether or not Abigail is who I should be going after.
Larry Hryb: I see. It's rife with [crosstalk 00:59:01].
Jeff Rubenstein: She can manage her own farm in her own way. "War Grove" is, I don't know if you've ever played "Advanced Wars."
Larry Hryb: Yep.
Jeff Rubenstein: Or "Advance Wars." It started on the Game Boy Advance and it's a handheld franchise that we've seen on the Nintendo side. This game is very much inspired by that. Just looking at it, and I'll link to it, we have a trailer, actually a post from the team at Chucklefish Games. This game looks really good, so if you're into this turn based strategy that's very light hearted and very simple graphics but really cool. It's got an editor and all kinds of stuff. Anyway, if the word "Advance Wars" works for you or "Fire Emblem" works for you, this is something you're going to want to keep your eyes open.
Another game, "The Escapists 2." The first "Escapists," very successful, enough that we'll be seeing "Escapists 2." I believe it will be later this year. Yep, later this year, and "Trove," which is coming this week, or next week I should say, a free to play adventure MMO. Has a voxel look, kind of "Minecraft" esque. Obviously it's going to be a different type of game. It's an MMORPG, an action RPG, but that will be coming out soon. It's free, so no reason not to check it out.
It's March. Smarch, lousy Smarch weather.
Larry Hryb: Is it?
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah.
Laura Massey : When did it get to be March?
Jeff Rubenstein: That means Games With Gold. There's the one half where it's like, "Wow, it's March already! I'm one step closer to death!" Then there's the other part of it being March already, which is, "Hey, new games!"
Laura Massey : Another game!
Jeff Rubenstein: Yes.
Larry Hryb: One step closer to death?
Laura Massey : I know.
Larry Hryb: That's kind of dark!
Jeff Rubenstein: Not as dark as the Denny's Twitter was this week!
Larry Hryb: Oh, don't link off to that!
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah, you need to start doing some zoom in Twitter fad photos, but I don't think that's going to happen. Anyway, "Layers of Fear" and "Borderlands 2."
Larry Hryb: In a world ...
Jeff Rubenstein: I was very impressed with that. Are you doing side work? Are you cutting trailers? What you do after hours is not necessarily my business.
Larry Hryb: I have fun with it. I have my little microphones and I'll sit in the corner.
Laura Massey : [crosstalk 01:01:17].
Larry Hryb: You can see, I'm transcribing game trailers and reading them back! That's what I'm doing with my spare time!
Jeff Rubenstein: That's how all the professional VO people, they're not stomping into the studio in LA. They live wherever they live. I used to work with a guy named Jim Cutler, and you would know him because he does all the Turner Broadcasting, TNT if you ever-
Larry Hryb: "Eyewitness news!"
Jeff Rubenstein: ... Hear basketball, all those. He does tons of stuff, you would know the guy's voice. Guy just lives in a house somewhere in Long Island or something.
Larry Hryb: That's the way to do it.
Jeff Rubenstein: He just records all day long.
Laura Massey : In his house?
Jeff Rubenstein: In his house.
Laura Massey : Nice.
Larry Hryb: I have a lot of friends who have their home studios and they just, I mean my studio is not as good as some of these people, but yeah. You record in your house, you have ISDN, you shoot it, [inaudible 01:01:55].
Jeff Rubenstein: It was ISD [crosstalk 01:01:57], Larry.
Larry Hryb: I know!
Jeff Rubenstein: Very good! Those two, and then in the middle of the month, just after the Ides, will be "Evolve" and "Heavy Weapon." New games to play now.
Laura Massey : Cool, those are great.
Jeff Rubenstein: Couple games, ones to talk about that came out this week. One, an RPG I've been hearing good things about from our friend Jez Corden over at Windows Central, "Torment: Tides of Numenera." If you love RPGs, you want something that's a little deep and a little more, I would say, total fantasy, it looks super complex and there's a lot going on, sort of a choose your own adventure sort of thing, lots of different endings, it's not super linear, "Tides of Numenera" is waiting for you.
Then a new battle mode came to "Minecraft," the Fallout Battle maps. I don't know if you've played battle mode, but it is really fun. You can just play really quick. I like the ones where you're throwing snowballs at folks and you just sort of drop them in the lava. There's a lot of different stuff, it's a fun way to play. If you liked "Fallout," you like "Minecraft," it's the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. It's chocolate in your peanut butter.
Larry Hryb: There you go.
Laura Massey : Nice!
Larry Hryb: Who doesn't like that?
Jeff Rubenstein: Finally, just wrapping it up, "Halo Wars 2," if you haven't tried it yet, tisk tisk.
Larry Hryb: There's a demo!
Jeff Rubenstein: There's a demo!
Larry Hryb: You have no excuse.
Jeff Rubenstein: All right!
Larry Hryb: You have zero excuse.
Jeff Rubenstein: None. No, none whatsoever. That is available now.
Larry Hryb: That's a lot of news.
Laura Massey : That is a lot of news.
Larry Hryb: Game Pass, we had Phil and Chris to come on, we had a lot to talk about, Jeffrey.
Laura Massey : It's a big gaming week.
Larry Hryb: I don't even know what to say.
Jeff Rubenstein: Do you want to talk about next week, what people will hear from us?
Larry Hryb: Oh, PAX East?
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah!
Larry Hryb: Sure, we can talk about PAX East. The show will be Saturday. I think it's one o'clock? Saturday at one o'clock we'll be in one of the big places there. Laura will be there, you're joining us on the east coast.
Laura Massey : I'll be there. Sure am.
Larry Hryb: Jeffrey will be there.
Jeff Rubenstein: Always happy to [crosstalk 01:03:41].
Larry Hryb: Of course I'm always there. This is going home for me. Trying to get my mom to go, to come to the podcast.
Laura Massey : You're so good.
Jeff Rubenstein: Put her on the panel!
Larry Hryb: I don't know.
Jeff Rubenstein: Tell us stories! Here's what I know. I don't know a lot, but here's what I know is every time anything is dredged up from your past, especially the pre-Xbox, it's always good.
Laura Massey : It's always good, like the clown college? Fantastic!
Jeff Rubenstein: You're always wearing really short shorts. I have that photo. Should I show Laura?
Laura Massey : Have that [sand 01:04:10] photo.
Larry Hryb: Laura, this photo, I don't want to show this to her.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yesterday we're in a meeting and Larry opens up his bag and he's like, "Oh," and just closes his bag immediately. I said, "What is it?" He goes, "My wife put something in the bag." I can see it's a photo and I'm like, "There's going to be short shorts in this photo." It did not disappoint.
Larry Hryb: Laura, did you have a analyst appointment this week, because you may want to make one after you take a look at that. That's me and a friend of mine.
Jeff Rubenstein: "Friend," a lady friend! That's my grandma's-
Larry Hryb: Back in the day.
Laura Massey : Oh my goodness, how old are you?
Larry Hryb: I was in college.
Laura Massey : Yeah, you look about 20.
Larry Hryb: Thank you.
Laura Massey : There's amazingly 80s shorts.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, where do those come from?
Laura Massey : It's bright green, white squares.
Larry Hryb: No, I'm not posting that on the Internet, guys! You're on your own.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah, 1:30.
Laura Massey : Did you share that with your meeting?
Larry Hryb: Pardon me?
Laura Massey : Did you share that with your meeting?
Larry Hryb: No.
Laura Massey : Okay.
Larry Hryb: No. Jeff, I just shared it with Jeff.
Jeff Rubenstein: I think we need to share it with the panel!
Larry Hryb: No, no we don't. We'll be doing the panel. This is actually the first time I'm going to reveal who's going to be on the panel.
Laura Massey : You are?
Larry Hryb: We have somebody from "Mass Effect" coming by to talk about "Mass Effect Andromeda."
Jeff Rubenstein: Who is it?
Larry Hryb: No, I'm not going to reveal everything yet, but would you like me to tell you who it is? Do you want to play 50 questions and see if you can figure it out?
Jeff Rubenstein: Is it Mike Gamble?
Larry Hryb: It may be, it may be.
Laura Massey : [inaudible 01:05:37] first question!
Jeff Rubenstein: I talk to Mike Gamble on Twitter. We've never met, so I really hope it's Mike Gamble!
Larry Hryb: No, we'll have details on it next week. I never like to commit. I know the subject, I just don't know the names because people get busy.
Jeff Rubenstein: That game went gold, there's no excuse for, one, him not to bring a copy for me and you guys I suppose. Then two, for them to be there. I can't believe "Andromeda's" coming out so soon.
Laura Massey : I know.
Jeff Rubenstein: Where are we going to find the time?
Larry Hryb: We're going to have that. We may have some other guests as well, right?
Jeff Rubenstein: Right?
Larry Hryb: Right?
Jeff Rubenstein: You're looking at me. Did I miss a to do?
Larry Hryb: I guess something's not funny!
Jeff Rubenstein: Oh, yes! It's kind of funny.
Larry Hryb: We're trying to get Greg Miller to come on the show who has a very popular PlayStation fanboy podcast, right?
Jeff Rubenstein: They're calling me up. They do have a PlayStation podcast but it's not their only. They're good people.
Larry Hryb: Anyway, he and I were going back and forth on Twitter, you can see that there, we're trying to get him on the show.
Laura Massey : That's great.
Larry Hryb: We're really excited about that. We'll be out there on Saturday. It's actually Mac Walters, he's the creative director of "Andromeda," so he's going to join us.
Laura Massey : Fantastic.
Jeff Rubenstein: All right, well I'll go look up that.
Larry Hryb: You can find him on @macwalterslives on Twitter. I'll put a link to that or Jeffrey will put it in the show notes.
Laura Massey : That's super exciting.
Larry Hryb: We're going out there. I don't know. I have no idea what they're going to talk about. I figure the game is out in a week, they got to have something to talk about! That's the way we do that. We'll probably have something to give away. Who knows? We just have some fun. We want to meet you, our east coast fans.
Jeff Rubenstein: Bring your good questions!
Larry Hryb: They always bring good questions, don't they?
Jeff Rubenstein: I'm just saying, think about it.
Larry Hryb: Mac's going to join us. He's the creative director, BioWare. He's coming out of Edmonton. I've been to Canada, I've been there. I've been to that studio. Have you been up there, Jeff?
Jeff Rubenstein: I have never been to Alberta.
Larry Hryb: Really?
Jeff Rubenstein: At all.
Larry Hryb: I just realized I've been to Edmonton twice.
Jeff Rubenstein: Did you go to the mall?
Larry Hryb: Yeah, I cut the ribbon at the Microsoft Store at Edmonton Mall.
Laura Massey : That's great, I remember that.
Jeff Rubenstein: Isn't that the biggest mall? Isn't it bigger than Mall of America or something crazy?
Larry Hryb: Yeah, it's redonkulously big.
Jeff Rubenstein: Let's all go to the mall!
Larry Hryb: No, no, it was a scary place. No Jeffrey, no, we're not doing that. Anyway, so that will be next week. We've got a busy week, so that's no show next Thursday but we'll do the show live. I believe it's going to be streamed, so if you want to join us and maybe ask some questions on the stream, if we're able to that we will do it. If not, then, well, you're on your own.
Laura Massey : Very good. That's super exciting. I can't week to talk "Mass Effect." It'll be so much fun.
Jeff Rubenstein: Mac, if you're listening, I'll bring my Xbox.
Larry Hryb: I told him I needed to play the game at least before I did the interview, right?
Laura Massey : Right? [inaudible 01:08:15].
Jeff Rubenstein: That's smart.
Larry Hryb: It's the least you can do, right? I must sound intelligent, or try to be at least. In a world ...
Jeff Rubenstein: Maybe there's a release trailer that you can cut.
Larry Hryb: I don't know.
Jeff Rubenstein: "In a galaxy ... "
Larry Hryb: "In a galaxy ... "
Jeff Rubenstein: Far, far away.
Laura Massey : Far away!
Larry Hryb: With a FemShep.
Jeff Rubenstein: You got to go FemShep, or Fem Ryder? FemRyder, I guess?
Larry Hryb: In "Ghost Recon," I made my character female.
Jeff Rubenstein: I want to hear who the voices are. FemShep was Jennifer Hale. Look, no offense to DudeShep, BroShep, but she's the better talent.
Larry Hryb: I can tell you, this is the one thing I can share with you about "Mass Effect." I probably should wait until the panel but I will reveal it here, is I am not in the game. I am not doing the voiceover for the game, so I just wanted to be very clear on it.
Laura Massey : Oh no! That's such a disappointment!
Jeff Rubenstein: Refund!
Larry Hryb: Yeah, I'm sure you're disappointed, Laura, I'm sure you're disappointed! All right, so we've got that coming up. After that, yeah, it's crazy. We all fly out there, we do the show, we hang out there for the day and then Laura, you, did you book your flight yet?
Laura Massey : Not yet.
Larry Hryb: Why don't you do that?
Jeff Rubenstein: You should probably do that.
Larry Hryb: You might want to do that.
Jeff Rubenstein: Larry's already in middle seat territory.
Laura Massey : Okay!
Larry Hryb: This is true story, look.
Laura Massey : Oh no! I always like to sit in the [crosstalk 01:09:32].
Larry Hryb: In fact, I went to check in today and I sent Jeff the photo and I was like, "Dude?"
Laura Massey : There's at least a lot of middle seats to choose from.
Larry Hryb: There's a lot of middle seats!
Jeff Rubenstein: You can lean all the way back! If you're on our flight then you want 9C. Because he's an A, I'm in B, you can be in C. Actually, we're going to put you in B because you're smaller.
Laura Massey : I usually get the middle.
Jeff Rubenstein: We'll preboard because we'll need a little extra time.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, we'll just need a little extra time to get to our destination. You'll definitely see Jeff and I out there. We don't know if you'll see Laura.
Laura Massey : I'll try my best.
Larry Hryb: You may want to book an Amtrak and leave now. How long does it take to get cross country on Amtrak?
Jeff Rubenstein: We don't have those Japanese high speed rails. We don't exactly have the Shinkansen there.
Larry Hryb: It is a leisurely trip. We'll say that.
Jeff Rubenstein: To ride in boxcar, I'm sure.
Larry Hryb: All right, why don't we do Name the Game. Do we have time for Name the Game?
Laura Massey : Sure do.
Larry Hryb: You sure, Laura?
Laura Massey : Let's do Name the Game.
That was Name the Game from last week, and it was "For Honor."
Larry Hryb: Yes.
Laura Massey : It's a good one.
Larry Hryb: Yes.
Laura Massey : The winner ...
Larry Hryb: "La La Land!"
Jeff Rubenstein: You got to walk that one back!
Laura Massey : Nope! Not that.
Larry Hryb: What is the winner? Who is the winner, Laura?
Jeff Rubenstein: "He's not the winner!"
Larry Hryb: Wait, there's been a mistake! This is not a joke!
Laura Massey : The winner is Rocky from Denver, Colorado!
Larry Hryb: Rocky!
Laura Massey : Congratulations, Rocky! You have a boatload of prizes.
Larry Hryb: Do you? Oh, really?
Laura Massey : Yes. I cleaned out your office.
Larry Hryb: Laura, I don't know where you find this stuff.
Laura Massey : It just keeps appearing in your office, and it keeps disappearing.
Larry Hryb: Yes, that's right.
Laura Massey : You never notice it!
Jeff Rubenstein: Easy come, easy go.
Larry Hryb: It's in receiving and it's in shipping out receiving. Go ahead.
Laura Massey : Exactly. Rocky, you get a copy of "Gwent," the "Witcher" card game which is now in game preview.
Larry Hryb: Yep, get a beta for that code.
Laura Massey : Ship laden with gold for "Battle Island Commanders." This is a free to play game. You get a card that is a $99 value.
Larry Hryb: What?
Laura Massey : I know!
Larry Hryb: Where did I have that?
Laura Massey : Under your keyboard. [crosstalk 01:12:15].
Larry Hryb: I know. Is that what that was?
Laura Massey : Then you get a copy of "Kill All Zombies," which is an ID Xbox game. Should be pretty fun.
Larry Hryb: That's fun.
Laura Massey : "Eekeemoo - Splinters of the Dark Shard," another game from ID Xbox.
Larry Hryb: Lots of ID@Xbox games in here, Jeffrey.
Laura Massey : "Toby: The Secret Mine," also ID@Xbox. Copy of "iO."
Larry Hryb: Rocky, what are you doing to me? You're cleaning me out!
Laura Massey : Cleaning him out. Also, gets a copy of "Torment: Tides of Numenera."
Jeff Rubenstein: See? That'll keep you busy!
Laura Massey : That's not all, a copy of "Halo Wars 2."
Larry Hryb: Congratulations, Rocky!
Laura Massey : That was a boatload of games.
Jeff Rubenstein: That was the "Rocky IV" of prizes, not the "Rocky V."
Laura Massey : Very good.
Larry Hryb: Rocky, congratulations. If you're listening to this thing, I want in on the prize as well. Laura's going to tell you how you can win these prizes. Go ahead, Laura.
Laura Massey : Okay, I'll clean out Larry's office again next week. I'm sure it'll just, like they grow on trees in Larry's office.
Larry Hryb: I like to share the wealth. I think you both know that, and the listeners, I think you guys know that.
Laura Massey : Very, very good. It's super easy. All you have to do is listen to the sound effects that I'm just about to play, and then let us know what game that is!
Larry Hryb: All right, so you're ready?
Laura Massey : Yep, let's roll the sound effects.
That's it. If you think you know what game those sounds are from, just send us an e-mail! [email protected] and [email protected]. Let us know what game that is. If you want to, you can include your name. We like to know people's names, Gamertag, but if you don't want to, that's cool too. We respect your privacy.
Larry Hryb: If you want to tell us your real name and then give us a fake name for us to mention on the air, we're happy to do that. Keep it clean.
Jeff Rubenstein: Are you thinking that Rocky's not his real name?
Larry Hryb: It may, I knew a Rocky. Did you a Rocky? Well, you live in Philadelphia, of course you do!
Jeff Rubenstein: Yo, of course I know a Rocky! That's not even a Philly accent [crosstalk 01:15:05].
Larry Hryb: Did you know a Rocky when you lived in Texas?
Laura Massey : I did not, no.
Larry Hryb: Did you know a Tex?
Laura Massey : I don't think so. I think it may be a few dogs were named Tex.
Larry Hryb: Okay, no actually people. Well good luck to everybody who's listening and can recognize that game. Give us an e-mail, win some prizes, hang out with us. What?
Laura Massey : The cow's name was Tex!
Larry Hryb: What cow? Oh, that cow! The cow that you were telling us-
Laura Massey : The pet cow was named Tex!
Larry Hryb: Now it's all coming back! Do you remember the pet cow?
Laura Massey : Do you remember the pet cow?
Jeff Rubenstein: What?
Larry Hryb: You were here for that. Laura had a pet cow that really was her friend's cow.
Jeff Rubenstein: Oh yeah!
Laura Massey : It [crosstalk 01:15:40] was a friend's cow. My friend's cow, not my cow, but its name was Tex. It had a patch on the side that was almost in the shape of Texas.
Jeff Rubenstein: Was this repressed? Did this end badly?
Laura Massey : You were asking me.
Larry Hryb: Dear listeners, I wish you could have seen the light that went on in Laura's head. I saw it and I was stunned.
Laura Massey : It just took a few seconds for my brain to reach it. You had asked me last time we talked about the cow what the name was and I couldn't remember.
Larry Hryb: Right. Now you remember!
Laura Massey : Now I remember!
Jeff Rubenstein: Of course it was Tex.
Larry Hryb: Of course it was, of course it was. All right, well we're kind of heading toward-
Jeff Rubenstein: Something you're not going to bring up?
Larry Hryb: Okay, go head.
Jeff Rubenstein: He's not going to talk about himself, but I would like to mention a congratulations to our own host-
Larry Hryb: Oh no, oh no, we're not going to do that.
Jeff Rubenstein: ... Larry Hyrb, has been promoted.
Laura Massey : All right!
Larry Hryb: Oh, I don't know.
Jeff Rubenstein: I remember seeing back before I worked here, you'd be introduced oftentimes as the director of Xbox Live programming or something like that?
Larry Hryb: Right, programming. It was all crazy stuff, right.
Jeff Rubenstein: Then I came here and anyone who works here, when you're sending an e-mail to them it populates a little picture.
Larry Hryb: It autofills, yeah.
Jeff Rubenstein: Then you can mouse over and see what their position is.
Larry Hryb: Like it's director of test or senior manager this.
Jeff Rubenstein: Senior manager of marketing or something like that. When you mouse over Larry, it just says, "Major Nelson."
Laura Massey : Yes!
Larry Hryb: I'm the only one in the company! A hundred thousand people, I'm the only one!
Jeff Rubenstein: They sent that e-mail and it said so and so's now senior director and so and so's now a manager. It just said, "Larry, Major Nelson."
Larry Hryb: That's right.
Laura Massey : Larry is still Major Nelson!
Jeff Rubenstein: Not Lieutenant Colonel Nelson, which if we're following the proper rankings. Actually by now you'd probably be some level of brigadier general.
Larry Hryb: Oh, I'd be four star, of course.
Jeff Rubenstein: Field marshal.
Larry Hryb: I don't know. I don't want to know.
Laura Massey : Something prestigious.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, certainly not commander in chief.
Chris Charla: Welcome.
Larry Hryb: Thank you.
Chris Charla: RIP Major Nelson, long live Major Nelson.
Larry Hryb: Exactly! Well that's very kind of you Jeffrey. I don't like talking about myself.
Chris Charla: That's what I do!
Larry Hryb: That's why I don't do selfies, that's why I don't do any of that stuff, because I'm here for you, the gamers. You want to know what's going on here at Xbox and I try to connect you with Phil and Chris and Jeff and Laura and [E 01:17:51] and Steptoe and the whole, and even many, many, many, many more. You who we need to get back on the show? James [inaudible 01:17:56].
Phil Spencer: We do. We haven't heard from him in a while.
Larry Hryb: You know what he's working on?
Jeff Rubenstein: Pharah?
Larry Hryb: Yeah, his Pharah as well. He was, ooh boy, he's a good Pharah in "Overwatch." He was working on Game Pass.
Laura Massey : Yeah, I saw his Tweet.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, he's been working on that, he and I have been talking about that. I got to get him on the show to talk about that.
Laura Massey : That'd be great. So many things, what a big week.
Larry Hryb: It has been a big week. We're going to be off next week but not really off, we're just going to delay the show by a couple days so that we can get it posted for you. I'm working on some travel coming up. We're working on E3, of course. Jeff, you're going to E3 this year, right? 10th year in a row?
Jeff Rubenstein: I'm always going to E3.
Larry Hryb: 10th year, right?
Jeff Rubenstein: This will be my 11th.
Larry Hryb: 11th.
Laura Massey : Wow.
Jeff Rubenstein: I'm old.
Larry Hryb: Thanks.
Jeff Rubenstein: How many is this for you? 57!
Larry Hryb: I don't remember. It's 14, 15, 16?
Laura Massey : Lot of trips to E3.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, I don't remember.
Jeff Rubenstein: I think Geoff Keeley's been to all of them. All 21.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, I don't know about that. He started when they were in Atlanta.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah, and I thought it was warm inside the LA Convention Center. Can you imagine being in Atlanta in July?
Larry Hryb: No thank you!
Laura Massey : Oh my goodness.
Jeff Rubenstein: With 38,000 of your closest friends?
Larry Hryb: No thank you. We did see, well actually you heard Phil talk about that, the E3 booth. People saw where our booth is going to be at the expo, excited about that.
Jeff Rubenstein: South hall?
Larry Hryb: Yeah. Got our event on Sunday.
Jeff Rubenstein: That's kind of cool.
Larry Hryb: I think I'm doing a broadcast again, I don't know.
Jeff Rubenstein: The usual.
Larry Hryb: We talked about this last week, we don't need to go over it again. All right gang. Laura, your to do item this week is-
Laura Massey : I have homework?
Larry Hryb: Yes you do.
Laura Massey : What?
Larry Hryb: You got to book an airplane!
Laura Massey : Yes, that's true!
Larry Hryb: Let me just tell you, if Laura can't get on a flight, Internet, you know what to do. Although we could just bring you in remotely like we did with Jeff last year.
Laura Massey : Yeah.
Jeff Rubenstein: Start playing "Dark Souls."
Laura Massey : I could [crosstalk 01:19:44].
Larry Hryb: I do know you like to come to Boston for your lobster rolls.
Laura Massey : I do.
Larry Hryb: Jeff and I are going to go get that. We're going to go get the ...
Jeff Rubenstein: The baked potato?
Larry Hryb: The baked potato with the ...
Laura Massey : [inaudible 01:19:53].
Jeff Rubenstein: Judo baked potato?
Larry Hryb: Actually we're going to go to that place again, but if you want to go, [inaudible 01:19:57].
Laura Massey : You two are having some [inaudible 01:19:58].
Larry Hryb: All right gang, we'll talk to you guys next time. You can find us online. You can find Laura over there on Twitter at?
Laura Massey : @lauralollipop.
Larry Hryb: Jeffrey's over?
Laura Massey : @jeffrubenstein.
Larry Hryb: Of course I'm @majornelson. We'll see you next time. Bye bye everybody!
Laura Massey : Bye!
Jeff Rubenstein: Bye!