Host, Xbox's Major Nelson
Chief Creative Officer, Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed
Director of Accessibility, Xbox
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II Multiplayer
[MUSIC PLAYING] LARRY HRYB: Hi, it's Larry Hryb, Xbox's Major Nelson. Welcome to the official Xbox Podcast. It's another show-- it's another great show. We got a lot of great interviews lined up, including my lovely co-host. To your left there, you see the lovely--
--Jeff Rubenstein, and to the right there, you see the--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Lovely--
LARRY HRYB: Lovely Rebecca.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: No one's ever said that.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Not as lovely. It's OK.
LARRY HRYB: Anyway, welcome back gang. Good to see you this week. A lot to talk about this week. A lot of news, a lot of game releases, a lot of stuff to show off.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: I'm going to say it-- this is the biggest week in gaming so far this year.
LARRY HRYB: Really?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: I'm just saying it. I'm--
LARRY HRYB: Elden Ring was released this year.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: That's the biggest game-- single game, but when I think about all the things hitting this week-- and we'll talk about it-- I don't-- this is the week I think I've been most excited about for the entire year.
LARRY HRYB: And it's here-- and it's here now.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Oh, look at that.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: I'm just sitting here being lovely instead of playing.
LARRY HRYB: It's-- and you're sitting here just sipping on your coffee, so--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: There we go. Let's get that pinky out.
LARRY HRYB: Let's-- oh, and there you go. Hold on-- there you go.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Ah.
LARRY HRYB: Anyway, great to see everybody. Rebecca, we'll start with you on what we're playing because we got to launch into this news. We're playing a lot of games, we've got a lot of news. Where do you want to start?
REBECCA GORDIUS: I'll do both. So first, what I've been playing-- short answer is not much. I started Dungeons. The new season just released today, which we're filming on Wednesday, October 19, but it's out now for anyone who wants to try it out.
Dungeons season 3 is Fauna Faire. We have multiplayer in the tower finally, which is really cool. But then the reason I haven't been playing much has been because we had this little thing called Minecraft Live over the weekend. So on Saturday--
LARRY HRYB: We'll talk about-- let's talk about the news-- that news later. Yeah, in our news section, we'll-- do you-- will you have a chance to deliver all the Minecraft highlights.
REBECCA GORDIUS: It's a lot. It's a 90-minute long show, and I think I can adequately summarize it in about 10 seconds. We'll see how that goes.
LARRY HRYB: So let's--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: The key bit of news, though, is for the first time in four years, five years, I correctly selected the right mob, and so--
--I'm very-- usually, it's like I'm the kiss of death. If I pick the mob, it aint... But team sniffer--
LARRY HRYB: You've shaked the curse, Jeff. I'm so excited.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Indeed, and may the Phillies take that into the World Series.
LARRY HRYB: Hey, hey, hey, now. Hey, now-- don't push it.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Oh, we can talk about weather, but we can't talk about sports?
LARRY HRYB: Don't push--
--sports is not divisive.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Excuse me?
REBECCA GORDIUS: Uh, beg to differ there.
LARRY HRYB: Really? OK, well, we'll just agree on that one. We'll move along. Yeah, we'll-- I'll get to you in a second, Jeff, because I know you've got something in the back there that you're playing a little bit too early.
Plague Tale Requiem-- I'm working my way through that.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: So good.
LARRY HRYB: That's out this week, now available on Game Pass. Check Jeff's - Yeah.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: How many rats have you seen? If you had to put a number on it, how many rats?
LARRY HRYB: Millions. There's one scene-- and I-- it's not really a spoiler, where you're kind of up high overlooking, and the entire world is essentially undulating.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Sounds awesome.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: There's one scene that's like The Shining-- you know the movie The Shining from a long time ago, and the elevator doors
LARRY HRYB: Classic, you mean?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --open, and the blood comes out of the elevator. Imagine if it was rats and there's--
LARRY HRYB: A wall of them.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --that.
LARRY HRYB: A wall of them.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: A tidal wave of rats.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Sounds great.
LARRY HRYB: So yeah, playing that. Oh--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: It's awesome. It's really good.
LARRY HRYB: Jeff, can we-- are you playing it yet, Rebecca?
That's right, because you just said you weren't playing it.
REBECCA GORDIUS: I don't-- all this rat talk--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yeah, I live in New York.
REBECCA GORDIUS: --I'm a little, eh.
LARRY HRYB: Yeah, you're playing the IRL version.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah.
LARRY HRYB: But yeah, playing that. Jeff and I started playing-- and I don't want to speak for you, but I will speak a little bit for you-- Gotham Knights.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Mmm.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yeah, and? What do you think?
LARRY HRYB: Well, I love the Arkham Series. I thought those were some of the best games. And this-- when I jumped in, it felt so good. I was like, let me get to the combat. And the combat, it's just-- that free flowing combat was just seamless.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: But it's very different combat-- actually, so we should start with who did you pick? Because at the very beginning, there's an initial-- so first, very beginning, this game grips you immediately. Batman is dead, and they show you how and the aftermath.
And I was just sitting there like, popcorn. Like, it was a very cool scene. And then in the aftermath, there's four characters. They're all playable. And there's a conversation-- they're kind of like, what do we do now?
And you can cycle through, and you get a feel for each one of them. And then the first thing that you've got to do-- you choose-- well, who am I taking? So who did you take?
LARRY HRYB: I chose Nightwing.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: I did too.
I chose Nightwing at first too.
LARRY HRYB: Well-- so what's interesting is that's the default, because it's one of those things where you're not sure where you can choo-- and sure enough, the tooltip comes up.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Oh, I knew you could choose and I was like--
LARRY HRYB: And I went through everybody, and I was like, well, let me just start here, because you can play as the-- eventually, you can play as them all.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yeah, and just Nightwing is very agile and mobile. By the way, I knew we were going to have picked the same character. I just knew.
I would have put any amount of money on it. And I do want to experiment with the other characters-- maybe not Robin. I just have always been like anti-Robin for whatever-- like, Robin-- I'm like, really, Robin? Maybe he'll be great in this game.
LARRY HRYB: He's like the assistant to the assistant.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yeah, exactly.
REBECCA GORDIUS: [INAUDIBLE].
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: He's the Dwight Schrute of the game.
No, watch-- he might be really awesome to play. And there was like red hood-- little on the nose. And then I was like, well, Batgirl-- I know what Batman controls. Let me just choose Nightwing. And it was really cool, but I do want to try out all of ...
LARRY HRYB: And the zip line from across the way was great.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yeah, that was really cool. Anyway, I like you I played like about-- we got our codes last night. And so --.
LARRY HRYB: Jeff and I were texting-- let's play-- we got to play-- we got to go.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yeah. And so we haven't gotten to try co-op yet. I knew very quickly the game gripped me, and I was like, I'm going to be playing this all the way through and cannot wait to be playing more. But that initial-- really good first impression--
LARRY HRYB: It grabs you.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --is what I would say.
LARRY HRYB: When does that come out? When is the general availability?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: It is at the end of this week. So by the time you hear this, you'll be able to play.
LARRY HRYB: Yeah, so that's--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: And that's --
REBECCA GORDIUS: And it's-- you said there's co-op multiplayer?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: It's capping off amazingly. Two player co-op, multiplayer.
LARRY HRYB: We have not had a chance to play that yet because we haven't unlocked it.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yeah, but I think you end up getting introduced to that at some point. Some really interesting like friendly ways that the game introduces like-- because whenever you're playing a co-op game, it's like, well, whose world am I in and how does that work? And from what I've read, it's very friendly.
We'll talk more about it, I think, as we play more. Let's please play over the weekend if we can. But yeah, it's really cool. So anyway, what else are you playing, Larry?
LARRY HRYB: Those are really the two that I'm focused on right now, and that's because I really got into Plague Tale, and it was just gripping me. And I love the fact that--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: So good.
LARRY HRYB: --because it's a single player, it's a quick resume. I jump in and play for a half hour, drop out--
--and then just pick up later on. So that's really great, and it is, to your point, so good. Available on Game Pass right now.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: So we were very limited in what we could talk about last week--
LARRY HRYB: Because we've been playing it for about a week and a half, right?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yeah, I am very close to beating it. And what I think is really-- yeah, last week, we were just ahead of the embargo.
LARRY HRYB: I'd say finishing it. Beating it feels like-- I don't know. It just feels like finishing it. Beating it feels--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: I'm an old-school guy. I'm at about the first board.
LARRY HRYB: Yeah, OK.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Beating it-- yeah.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Do you remember when levels were called boards?
LARRY HRYB: Yes.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: That was-- OK. Maybe that was an East Coast thing? But--
LARRY HRYB: No, it's-- I remember boards.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yeah, Rebecca, you should be shaking your head no.
REBECCA GORDIUS: And before my time.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: They've been levels your whole life.
LARRY HRYB: Before your time in a totally different world.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: On Pac-Man, you would say got to the next board. Anyway, so first of all, game is fantastic. The reviews are stellar. It is-- if you played A Plague Tale, Innocence, the first game, this is bigger and more ambitious--
LARRY HRYB: More rats.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --in every way. Number of rats-- that's the easy thing to point to because it is really impressive. And it's funny-- in the first game, it's like, the rats are horrifying. And they are no less horrifying in this game, but --
LARRY HRYB: They're actually-- I think they're a little bit more.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --mechanics-- well, because there is so many of them. And I will say I've died a lot more in this one, because there's so many options-- there are so many different ways to tackle different situations-- that I've been more experimental. I felt like in the first game-- we talked about this last week-- it was very clear, OK, that's where I'm supposed to go.
There's a bush there-- I can hide the bush. I'm just going to go that way. Oh, that's how I got through. Maybe you get caught, maybe you have to take it twice, but you figure out the pattern and you go.
LARRY HRYB: But if you look at some of the gameplay-- actually, to Jeff's point-- they released a video probably a couple of months ago where you get into-- I don't know what that area is called, Jeff-- where it's all red rocks, and you can look out. And it's like, you need to get over to the other side, and there's no less than six-- maybe a dozen different paths you can take or multiple and combine them.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: When you cross them all together, there really is that-- and it's like, well, I could take this person out or I could lure this person away. There's an archer here, there's-- and you can-- in large chunks of this game, if you just want to kill everybody, you can kill everybody. You didn't have that ability in the first-- but it is probably not the best way. And it is just-- for me, I love stealth games. So much more satisfying to get out like they never knew you--
LARRY HRYB: Undetected.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --were there, but at the same time, you have so many different tools. And there's times where you come around a corner, and there's a rat there-- you turn around-- it's like, oh, my god, someone was behind me. And now you're caught between a rat and a hard place.
And you're just like, oh, my god, what do I do? And very quickly, I'm like, oh, let me craft a thing, and let me just throw tar at this guy, and then I'll throw-- oh, that works. And there's just-- I feel like the way that situations are handled, we're going to have different stories. And because of that, there were a couple different situations-- Larry, I know you want to talk, so go.
LARRY HRYB: No, no, no, I-- just--
--there's-- it's interesting to me. We talked about the rats-- is it's-- the mechanics of the rats. And I know we've talked-- you talk to them in the past about the technology and the rats.
I got too close to the shadow at one point, and there was only one rat there, and it kind of crawled up. And then all of a sudden there was a dozen, and then 3 dozen, and then 10 dozen, and all of a sudden, I was dead. But it's not like it's-- back in the old days, when you were playing boards, you can kind of remember, this is the outline and I need to stay inside. No, there's no such thing. It is scary, right, Jeff?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: And you have the tools to carve your own path. So there was one point early on in the game where I tried something and I didn't make it, and I tried-- and I was like, you know what? I wonder if-- let me just try this completely other thing.
And I felt like I was breaking the game-- not that it crashed or anything like that. But I was doing something that the game designers did not intend. It was a shortcut and I felt so smart. And then an achievement popped up.
LARRY HRYB: I got that one too.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: I was like, oh-- because-- and that felt so good. This probably came out of QA where the testers realized, oh, if I mix this with this and I put this here. I don't do what the game was telling me it wanted to do, but I still--
LARRY HRYB: I did what I wanted to do.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Exactly. And that I was rewarded for it. And something like that happens again a little later in the game. So there's a couple hundred gamerscore achievements for doing what seems like minor things.
LARRY HRYB: Being creative.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: And the reward, in some cases, is an achievement. But for exploring, a lot of times, it's just these tender moments between Hugo and Amicia, where you realize he stole a kid despite having a lot of power.
And so it's really-- that development of those characters is, I think, actually the high point for the game. While there's more battle and more power that you've got --
LARRY HRYB: And just vast space.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --beautiful, the South of France. And it takes-- I don't know how far you went, Larry-- it takes you places I did not expect to go. At the same time, I just could not be more impressed with it. One of my favorite games of the year, so congrats to Asobo. Looking forward to beating that this weekend.
LARRY HRYB: Yeah. I'm sorry that sound, Rebecca, was me responding to-- apparently there's a lot of activity in your neighborhood in New York today.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah, it happens.
LARRY HRYB: That's the way it goes, that's the way it goes.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: The city that's never quiet during a podcast. That's what, I think Frank Sinatra called it.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah, exactly.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: The other game that I'm playing is the "you're too early" game, which is what happens every time. Because like you said, we record this on Wednesday. There's Persona 5 Royal, and I click on it, and I'm like--
LARRY HRYB: [GAME BUZZER SOUND EFFECT].
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --[INAUDIBLE] no--
REBECCA GORDIUS: Aw.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Hahaha.
LARRY HRYB: Wah, wah, wah.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: However, you don't have to play this game because by the time you've heard this, Persona 5 Royal will be available on Xbox. It'll be part of Game Pass on Cloud, Console, and PC. There's a really great post from the team about how they've added touch controls.
This is not a short game. I'm sure I'll be playing it through the holidays. I've got a vacation coming up in December. Actually, I'll be visiting some folks-- some family for Thanksgiving, and so I'll be playing that probably --
LARRY HRYB: Do you want to borrow my Logitech gaming device?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Actually, I would love to-- yeah, the G Cloud. I would love to borrow your G Cloud if I could--
LARRY HRYB: [INAUDIBLE].
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --or I'll be playing on my phone or something like that.
REBECCA GORDIUS: You said it has touch controls?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: It does, and there's a--
REBECCA GORDIUS: Oh, very cool.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --bunch of stuff, and there's a blog post on it. So a lot of games-- like many, many games-- have touch controls enabled for mobile play, including Fortnite, for instance, which you can play on the cloud even if you don't have Game Pass. But if you're listening to the show, you probably do because we mention it once or twice.
LARRY HRYB: We do.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: So anyway, an amazing, amazing week for games, and I just need to find the time to play them all. What's this, Larry? What are you doing?
LARRY HRYB: Well, I--
REBECCA GORDIUS: I know what time it is.
LARRY HRYB: --think you and I both know what time it is, Jeffrey.
It is-- we talked about the games coming out this week, but something else happened this week, which highly anticipated-- people have asked for, frankly, for years, and it's now available.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: That is correct, sir.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Drum roll.
LARRY HRYB: Should we talk about it?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Here it is. Oh, we're going to talk about it.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Let's see it.
LARRY HRYB: Well, this is the box. And this box looks a little different--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: That is a beautiful box. It's reflective. It's almost as if that was a box holding a controller that you yourself personalized. You designed it, we built it. It is the Elite Series 2 Controller with Xbox Design Lab.
LARRY HRYB: Do you want-- would you like to see my--
REBECCA GORDIUS: So cool.
LARRY HRYB: --creation?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: I would like to see it.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yes, show us!
LARRY HRYB: Now, Rebecca, I think you'll appreciate this. Let me go full screen. Do, do, do, do, do, do, do.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Let me guess-- Syracuse colors.
LARRY HRYB: How did you know?
REBECCA GORDIUS: Whoa, I'm so shocked.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Look at that. No, that's Florida Gators colors.
LARRY HRYB: That's Syracuse colors.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: They're orange and blue.
LARRY HRYB: --with my Major Nelson. You could see it right there at the bottom. So this is-- and you can see I kind of had--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: So you could customize so many different elements of this. You can customize the body, the back case, the d-pad, the bumpers. No, go fullscreen, Larry.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah, sure.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: They want to see the controller, not me reading off of Xbox Wire. This is-- for the first time, you can choose between a cross-shaped and faceted-- I'm sorry. You can choose color thumbsticks, and the base, and the ring.
LARRY HRYB: Look at that.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: So lift off the--
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah, the ring.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --thumbstick. Yeah, so you put blue underneath there. See? And then, of course, you can--
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah, it's so cool.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --[INAUDIBLE] those out. The best part is it's fully customizable with interchangeable components. You can play for the setup that works for you, and you can add a custom design carrying case to match your style.
LARRY HRYB: Oh, well, as a matter of fact, I have that, Jeff.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: And you can even mix and match colors on different parts. So you can find there's-- there we go.
LARRY HRYB: Let's open this up. And now this one is interesting, because a lot of folks a lot of folks don't know this, but you can actually customize the logo. So--
REBECCA GORDIUS: Oh, really? Wow.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: And you can-- well, it'll kind of match because now, you can also customize the light--
LARRY HRYB: This is matched as well.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --on the Xbox button-- the LED. And so you could make that orange as well. So even when it's lit up, there's over 60 million different--
LARRY HRYB: They've got all-- that's what it looks like when you unbox it. I have not even unboxed this. I saved it for the show--
REBECCA GORDIUS: Oh, that's so cool. Yeah.
LARRY HRYB: --so all of my custom parts are in here. I'll have to pop them open and take a look.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: So how much does it cost? To design your own Xbox Elite Series 2, $149.99 to design the controller with all the features. Then, you can add-- that was the other box there-- the elite accessories packs, and those are customizable too.
And that would bring it-- and with engraving, and the full-- the kit and/or caboodle, $209.99. It is available now in all Xbox Design Lab markets. And of course, you can also design regular controllers, and there's just so many awesome things. But this is really good. And Larry, by the way-- I don't have gloves, but I made one too.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah, let's see yours.
LARRY HRYB: Hold on. I want to show the bottom, because I just unboxed all that.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yeah, so being able to customize the thumb-- oh, I see the dish is different, and even the paddles.
LARRY HRYB: Yep.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Oh, yeah.
LARRY HRYB: I did things different, so just kind of move it along. Show me your's, Jeff.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: So I designed this with my daughter. She was under NDA. It's kind of hard to tell with my lighting--
--that it's pink.
LARRY HRYB: Standby-- going full screen.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: So we wanted to have a theme, because I have made the orange and blue one in the past. And the goal was, with Overwatch 2 launching--
REBECCA GORDIUS: Did you Diva?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --to-- exactly.
LARRY HRYB: (INCREDULOUS) You did?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Could we make a Diva themed controller? And I think we nailed it.
LARRY HRYB: Oh, yeah. Look at that.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Aw--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: So it is light pink.
REBECCA GORDIUS: That is so cute.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --on the case. It looks white here on my camera, but is light pink, dark pink on the rings that go around here. And then the top is that teal that represents her visor. So everything-- we actually brought up a picture of Diva's mech, and every single element mapped to something that is on her skin. So we love that.
LARRY HRYB: That looks fantastic.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: And then, of course, we went for the pink. And again, my camera doesn't show how vivid they are, but there's multiple pink hues. And even the--
LARRY HRYB: The pink paddles.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --clear tabs--
REBECCA GORDIUS: The paddles.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --the paddles. Those are pink metallic.
REBECCA GORDIUS: It's like a metallic pink?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yes, and it is awesome. So that is your unofficial Diva controller with her gamertag on it. And I'll take some pictures of it and post them today so you'll see it in proper hue.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Oh, so--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yes?
REBECCA GORDIUS: It's her-- you're going to give her the controller.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Oh, that's hers.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Aw--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: So I will--
REBECCA GORDIUS: --what a good dad.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --that is not mine to use. Yeah, I've got my tried and true Elite Series 2 that I've had since day one with its green light up. And so now, she--
LARRY HRYB: Where's mine?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --can get in the game.
LARRY HRYB: Oh, I've got the white one over there, so yeah.
REBECCA GORDIUS: I love that you can customize even the ring color for the thumbsticks. That's pretty cute.
LARRY HRYB: You know what I have to show you?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: [INAUDIBLE].
REBECCA GORDIUS: Nice touch.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: It is nice. And they're like metallic-- it looks-- ah, it just looks really cool-- like, nice and shiny.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah--
LARRY HRYB: This is
REBECCA GORDIUS: --it is Diva themed.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Larry has abandoned us in the show.
LARRY HRYB: No, no-- this is one of three different controller trees that I have in my office here--
REBECCA GORDIUS: Whoa.
LARRY HRYB: --that has some of some of the ones we've made, Jeff, like that-- there's the orange one on the bottom.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Ah, they're so cool.
LARRY HRYB: There's the new one at the top there-- the lunar-- this lunar one.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Is that a Sea of Thieves one?
REBECCA GORDIUS: What's that's pink one?
LARRY HRYB: Yeah. Hold on a sec. It's coming right up. Uh--
--it's this thing. It's all twisty and it's-- there we go.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yeah, don't-- this could be a big spoiler.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Oh, yeah.
LARRY HRYB: That's the Sea of Thieves one that glows in the dark. So I've got I've got a bunch of these kicking around here and they're just-- anyway, great way to display them if you have a lot of controllers.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah, that's really cool.
LARRY HRYB: Anyway--
REBECCA GORDIUS: I should get one of those.
LARRY HRYB: We're all about-- I'll send you a link. I think you can find them on Amazon. They're like $20 or $30 bucks.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Nice.
LARRY HRYB: Yes, Jeff?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: What? There's just like there's an expectation that I'm going to have something snarky to say.
LARRY HRYB: No, no, you--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: That's not--
LARRY HRYB: --you looked like--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --my brand.
LARRY HRYB: --you were going to have something to add towards the end there. But yeah, to Jeff's point, you can customize your Elite Series controllers. And they take a few weeks, so if you're looking for something for this holiday, you might want to start working on that now.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: I got mine surprisingly quick. So yeah, starting at $149.99.
LARRY HRYB: Yeah, but there were only two of us on the assembly line-- yours and mine.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah, that's a good point.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: We do have to test them, and I will say some testing experiences are rewarding. So happy to help out with that.
LARRY HRYB: Trying to make the products better for you.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Exactly.
LARRY HRYB: Anyway, so yeah, that's kind of what we-- we got some other news as well, and then Rebecca's going to give us the Minecraft news. Jeff, do you want to hit us with some news first?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Do you want to-- why don't we start with the Minecraft news, and then I'll bring up the rear with all the rest.
LARRY HRYB: All right, Rebecca, let's talk Minecraft, shall we?
REBECCA GORDIUS: Sure. So over the weekend, we did this little thing called Minecraft Live. For those of you who aren't aware, the Minecraft team hosts a once annual broadcast usually in the fall.
It started maybe 11 or 12 years ago as an in-person meetup, and then over the years, we moved-- I think it started in Bellevue, Washington at a park. It was like--
LARRY HRYB: I remember that.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah. We kind of went toward a little bit more of a convention model, but then over time, we found that a lot of conventions are really just exciting for the people who are there and able to participate, and able to buy an airplane ticket and stuff.
Yeah, so we wanted to bring it online. We wanted to have interactive pieces, so we have this big online broadcast now. It's online-only. And the interactive piece, which is really cool, is that we actually give people the option to vote for which new mob or character is going to come into the game.
Yeah, Jeff voted correctly. But this one was kind of a landslide, though. So--
LARRY HRYB: Oh, was it?
REBECCA GORDIUS: --the exciting thing is-- yeah, there were 3 and 1/2 million votes cast, so--
LARRY HRYB: And this-- by the way, the voting window was really short.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah, it was. I think we opened voting up the day before the broadcast.
LARRY HRYB: Yeah, it was 24 hours or something. It wasn't long at all.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah, and in the past, we've had the vote take place over Twitter. But this year, we wanted people to be able to actually do it in the game. There are a lot of kids who are players who don't have access to Twitter, so we also created -- we vote online.
And yeah, 3 and 1/2 million votes cast, which is kind of a lot.
LARRY HRYB: That's fantastic. Yeah.
REBECCA GORDIUS: So the sniffer is really cool. It'll be added to the game. We like to say that the mobs who didn't win will kind of-- they don't go to the graveyard. They go in our back pocket for a rainy day. And so in the past, we've brought other mobs back in Minecraft Dungeons, or ideas for like Minecraft Earth, and things like that. So yes-- so those mobs are not completely out of--
LARRY HRYB: They'll come back in some way, shape, or form.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Gone, but not forgotten.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah. If you want to roll the video, we have-- so we had a lot of game news--
--too that we shared. So first up, we have Minecraft Legends, which is our action strategy game. It's on-- it'll be on most-- or basically all platforms. And we announced it's going to release in the spring.
We debuted gameplay for the first time, which is what you're seeing. Gameplay-- we actually did a live demo of it too in co-op, which was really cool. So with Minecraft Legends, you can play single player co-op-- or single player campaign, co-op campaign. And there will be PVP, but we're not ready to talk about that one just yet.
It's really cool. I mean, they say with Minecraft Legends, everything that you do is thought by thought instead of block by block. So in true to RTS form, you're controlling a lot of units and not really harvesting individual resources like in Minecraft vanilla.
For Dungeons, we also showed season three, which is called Fauna Faire. So there's a lot of different items that are going to be pet-themed. What you saw there was co-op multiplayer in the tower.
LARRY HRYB: Do you need me to stop or are you going to be able to keep up with the video?
REBECCA GORDIUS: No, I'm going.
LARRY HRYB: OK, well, keep going.
REBECCA GORDIUS: I got my coffee. I'm rolling.
Yeah, I mean --
LARRY HRYB: It has camels, camels! [LAUGHING]
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah, camels. Camels are really cool. Two players can ride on camels. They're very similar to horses-- a little slower.
We have bamboo, so you can craft new things with bamboo, including bamboo rafts. We also debuted 7 new skins. So there's the character creator, so you can create your own, but you can also choose from 7 new default skins, which just kind of better represent the diversity of our community.
Give people more options than just Steve and Alex. We also revealed a Batman DLC, we have the sniffer mob. There's a lot. Sorry, I feel like I'm getting more energy the more that I talk about this, because I was just-- there was just so much going on in Minecraft Live. So we have a lot of really great recaps. If you missed any of these or if you're interested in different pieces, you can head over to minecraft.net and you can read more about it.
LARRY HRYB: And that video that we just showed is on the Minecraft YouTube channel. It's a minute and 37 seconds if you want to go watch it.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah--
LARRY HRYB: [INAUDIBLE].
REBECCA GORDIUS: --and the last thing I'll mention to you-- just-- every year, we debut the next big update for Minecraft 1, dot, something. So this next one is going to be 1.20.
We are-- I think some of the features are available in beta, or a.k.a, snapshot like now. But we're still kind of working out what's going to be in there. We want to work with the community to design it.
We've been hearing-- there's been a lot of feedback in the last few years around things that have been promised and maybe under-delivered or a little bit late. And so the team is really taking a new approach to these updates and trying to be a little bit more thoughtful and kind of roll them out a little bit more slowly. So there's a lot of stuff to look forward to, and still a lot of time to help shape the update. We love community feedback, so--
LARRY HRYB: Big show. I mean, that was a big show. I can't believe how many people watched it. And again, you guys, it was-- I don't know. How long was the original? Was it an hour and a half or so?
REBECCA GORDIUS: I mean, honestly, every year-- so I get to sit-in on the rehearsals, and the production meetings, and stuff. Every year, we always have a show that's like 3 and 1/2 hours long when we first start it, and then we have to work out-- it's like, we have to get rid of this part-- this person needs to talk way less, like less intro, cut this video.
But yeah, so it ended up being-- the broadcast itself is an hour and a half, but then we also had a community pre-show that was 30 minutes long right before it. It kind of celebrates all the great things that our community creators are doing on Twitch, YouTube, TikTok. There's a nice little tribute to Technoblade in there who passed away earlier this year. So it was basically just two hours of really great Minecraft goodness.
LARRY HRYB: Well, congratulations on that--
REBECCA GORDIUS: It was-- it's always a fun day.
LARRY HRYB: --and to the team. I know that the team works hard on that, and they're probably planning already for the one next year. So it's--
REBECCA GORDIUS: How did you know? Yeah.
LARRY HRYB: Well, let's-- I know the way the cycle works, but it's great-- it was great stuff. And Minecraft is still-- I believe that stat still stands where it's the number one piece of content that people watch on YouTube, right?
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yes, I believe so.
LARRY HRYB: [INAUDIBLE].
REBECCA GORDIUS: Best selling game of all time.
LARRY HRYB: Yeah, it's crazy.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Take that, cats.
REBECCA GORDIUS: I don't think we beat cats, actually, but OK.
LARRY HRYB: Well, thanks--
REBECCA GORDIUS: Oh, wait-- no, you're right. We do. Yeah.
LARRY HRYB: You can hit-- if you want to-- if you want, any cat lovers out there, that's how you find Jeff on Twitter. Go get him.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Or rat lovers. We've really been equal opportunity this week.
LARRY HRYB: Or everything this week. We've-- so that's some of the news. Jeff, you've got some of the news to kind of go through. There's even more news that's not Minecraft, right, Jeff? So why don't-- let's get to it.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Well, like I said, maybe the best week of the year in terms of just diversity of awesome games to play. So this week, we saw Ghostbusters Spirits Unleashed. You can play four busters together to--
LARRY HRYB: I have an interview coming up.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --oh, all right. Well, that's good. I will-- did busting make you feel good? That's the question.
LARRY HRYB: That song is in it. That song is in it.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: It has to be in it.
LARRY HRYB: They licensed it, so--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Oh, it has to be.
Plague Tale Requiem as we talked about. Sims 4 went free to play this week.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Nice.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: We have-- I know, right-- new Tales from the Borderlands. We had Persona 5 Royal--
LARRY HRYB: Which is--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --for me, still waiting, but in the--
LARRY HRYB: It's still in the back there.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Coming to you from the past, but in the current day, very, very playable, and 10 hours into it, I'm sure. And then Gotham Knight. So I mean, just an incredible, incredible week. And honestly--
LARRY HRYB: It's time for that backlog to start growing.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: I know. And I also have to find time for a Mario, Rabbids Sparks of Hope, which reviewed really awesome. And when am I going to find the time? But I will find the time--
LARRY HRYB: You will.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: I have to.
LARRY HRYB: I'm confident.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: It's not just games. It's the device you play them on. There was a huge Xbox October update that rolled out today with a lot of cool features.
Highly requested feature to be able to change the volume of your TV if you have what's called CEC turned on. Highly recommend. This is the sort of-- Larry, I'm sure-- what does CEC stand for?
LARRY HRYB: I believe it's Consumer Electronics Control if I--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: I mean, yeah, it sounds about right. And what that is when you turn that on, your Xbox-- it allows the Xbox to turn on your TV. So like if you just hit the Xbox button or you hit the controller--
LARRY HRYB: Or the Council for Exceptional Children.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --which is--
--is that where the X-Men are from? Am I Doctor Xavier's Council for Exceptional Children? So yeah, it allows you to do that. So you only hit one button-- it changes the --
LARRY HRYB: Oh, I was right.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: which is great. So now-- yes.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Council for Exceptional Children?
LARRY HRYB: Consumer Electronics Control.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: They're so exceptional, they're making your Xbox and TV work better together. So now, you can change the TV volume within the audio and music section of the guide. So you might be used to doing this.
If you're playing with a headset, you hit the Xbox button-- it brings up the guide. And you might like mute, or slide the volume, or even like the slider that goes between chat and game. Well, now, you can change your TV volume--
[XBOX SOUND EFFECT]
--for a few settings there--
LARRY HRYB: I'm making it louder.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: quieter or mute it. You're doing it! Not at all annoying.
REBECCA GORDIUS: That's great. Thank you, Larry.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Here's another request-- and I love when the team listens to requests. And we've all been there. Imagine it's late at night--
LARRY HRYB: It is.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --everyone in the house is asleep. You hit the Xbox button, the TV pops on. The volume was left very high.
[LOUD SOUND EFFECT]
You hear that sound when the Xbox starts up. You've woken up half the house or--
LARRY HRYB: Or the neighborhood.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --yeah. You have the ability to mute the startup sound as part of this update. I need to do that, because I am that person.
And so you can just go into your settings, to your general settings, volume and audio output. You'll find it in there. And there's also just names on the shutdown, the different power options, so it's now more clear that you're either putting your Xbox to sleep when you hit the button or it is fully shutting down. And the benefits of doing so-- once I found out how much energy it saved I--
LARRY HRYB: It's a lot.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --switched to that shutdown mode. It saves like-- it uses 20 times less energy than leaving it in sleep mode, and it still only takes a few seconds to boot up--
LARRY HRYB: 10--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: So I think it's well worth it.
LARRY HRYB: I think it's 10 or 12 seconds.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Something like that. You'll see a new update-- a firmware update for your controllers as new bug fixes and improvements are happening there. So there's a lot there. There's even updates to the Xbox app. You'll be able to trim the length of your video clips, which is--
LARRY HRYB: Do editing in there. Yeah.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --much requested. The Xbox Game Bar on Windows PCs is updated, so it's really a very fulsome update across everything. Check out news.xbox.com-- you can't miss it-- and enjoy the October update.
Also an October update-- more games as we talked about coming to Game Pass. A Plague Tale Requiem available now. Persona 5 Royal--
LARRY HRYB: Is now available, but not for you, Jeff. Not for you yet.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: But then if we look ahead to next week, one of the games that people were really excited about during our Xbox and Bethesda Showcase was a game called Gunfire Reborn. It is an FPS with roguelike gameplay and RPG elements. You might have remembered animated animals. It looked really cool.
Well, anyway, that's coming out on October 27. We got the full list of games coming out in the next two weeks. But there's eight great titles there for cloud, console, and PC for most of them-- all of them hitting PC. The one that's only on PC is called Frog Detective. Well, that sounds interesting.
REBECCA GORDIUS: That sounds lovely.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: So it has great cover art, so I will have to try that.
LARRY HRYB: You're compelled to get your frog on.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Get-- yes. And then Halo-- Three Halo stories. One, the winter update.
LARRY HRYB: Did you see that video that dropped today?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: That's what I wanted to talk about.
LARRY HRYB: Oh, man.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: There was a cool video about. It's 12 minutes long. 343 takes a whole look at what's coming. There's a free 30-tier battle pass, there's the Forge beta campaign, network co-op. A lot of cool stuff, so you're definitely going to want to watch that. youtube.com--
LARRY HRYB: Well, that's also some quality of life improvements coming to the core game as well.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yes. So a lot-- that was a 12-minute video packed with cool stuff, and it definitely has me hyped for the winter update. 343-- so this weekend is-- we're having the big world championships, and--
LARRY HRYB: Here in Seattle.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --Seattle-- and something that you'll be able to see that's really interesting that was announced at-- you can go over to Xbox Wire and see this. 343 is expanding its partnership with a group called Limitless Solutions.
And what this is is a group from UCF, which is the University of Central Florida-- go Knights-- where they're School of Visual Arts and Design and Interactive Media, they take prosthetics and they work to make them customized with different IP that makes them more fun for kids. So it makes it more fun for them to learn how to use the device. And we have been-- 343 has been working with them since 2018 to produce an arbiter version of a prosthetic and also a Master Chief--
LARRY HRYB: Right. We saw that when we were down in Orlando. Remember they had some--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: This was a few years ago. Yeah, exactly. So they've-- so there are two new ones as part of this continued partnership.
One is patterned on the new armor of Master Chief from Halo Infinite, and another is from Kat from Halo Reach. And it's like, well, Master Chief, I get-- why Kat? And the reason for that is because Kat was the first character in the franchise who had a prosthesis within the game, so it was very fitting for that. So you'll be able to see that. You can check it out on Xbox Wire, or if you're coming to the World Championships, they will be on display.
LARRY HRYB: We haven't talked about that. I know, Rebecca, you're not here in town, but Jeff, are you going, because I've already lined up. I'll be going down.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Let's try to make it work. I'm sort of-- yeah, that would be cool. Also there's a term that's like-- this is the last story-- from the sublime to the ridiculous. So we go from limitless to something else you'll be able to see if you go to the Halo World Championships, and that is the feedler. What does that sound like-- the feedler?
REBECCA GORDIUS: Needler.
LARRY HRYB: It sounds like the needler, but it sounds like--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: It sounds like the needler. So there is a--
REBECCA GORDIUS: Is it a needler with French fries?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --close. A needler with Trolli gummies in it, like the gum-- Trolli-- those Trolli gummy worm candies. They're sour--
LARRY HRYB: I love my gummies.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --and delicious. I know you love your gummies.
LARRY HRYB: Did we get any? Did they send any to the show? You'll have to go down there, but they've basically created a needler that shoots delicious snacks.
If you want to buy the Halo themed gummies, you'll be able to find them wherever finer gummy candies are sold. But if you want to see this feedler, you'll be able to see it and use it at the Halo World Championship. But you will be able to blast Trolli worms into the mouth of enemy targets using these feedler.
LARRY HRYB: So this kind of reminds me of-- do you remember when we would go to-- when you were young and you'd go to the carnival, and they'd have the little gun with the clown and the balloon?
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah--
[WATER GUN SOUND]
--that's not fair.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Oh, we're filling it up with water.
[WATER GUN SOUND]
LARRY HRYB: I don't know.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: I highly encourage anybody who goes there to throw-- or shoot Trolli worms at Larry.
LARRY HRYB: Yeah, maybe I'll just stand there like this. I need them to shoot the Trolli worms.
REBECCA GORDIUS: I know. Can we have the discarded ammo? It seems like kind of a choking hazard to be --
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: I know. You're going to be running behind someone-- you want to collect the spent shells--
--they're delicious. That is the news.
LARRY HRYB: That's-- we can't top that. But actually--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Hard to.
LARRY HRYB: --we can. Rebecca, do you-- can you bring us-- we've got some great interviews this week if you don't mind bringing us into the interviews.
REBECCA GORDIUS: So first up, we have Larry chatting with Jared Gerritzen about Ghostbusters Spirits Unleashed just in time for spooky season. Then, we have Jeff meeting with Anita Mortaloni who I had the pleasure of speaking with earlier this year.
This month is Accessibility Awareness month, and so we have the Xbox accessibility showcase to chat about. And then last, Jeff Smith and Joe Cecot talking about Call of Duty multiplayer. So let's take a listen.
LARRY HRYB: Ghostbuster Spirits Unleashed is now available on Xbox and a bunch of other platforms. Joining me today is Jared Gerritzen, the chief creative officer for Illfonic. Jared, good to see you.
JARED GERRITZEN: Good seeing you. Thank you for having me.
LARRY HRYB: First of all, congratulations on the launch of the game. It's now available. It's on PC, it's on PlayStation, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and S. I mean, this is-- you're pretty much everywhere, right?
JARED GERRITZEN: Yeah, it's been a long one, for sure, getting-- I mean, all of these platforms was pretty crazy. It was very hectic for sure.
LARRY HRYB: Tell us-- I mean, Ghostbusters as an IP in the motion picture industry in movies and, of course, in games has a long history. What-- tell us about your journey and how you came to work on the project?
JARED GERRITZEN: Oof-- well, I joined Illfonic five years ago shortly after they shipped Friday the 13th. And when I joined, I'd known Chuck for many, many years.
We knew each other when I was at another studio, and he had me come in. And the interesting thing was like the night that we first hung out, we started talking about what if we were to do games and start publishing games ourselves? Because this is our first big published game. We published--
LARRY HRYB: And by the way, who hasn't had that conversation with friends?
JARED GERRITZEN: Exactly. And that was the wild part, was we started saying what if we did all of this stuff and making this new band, essentially, really. And we started throwing out IP, and started throwing out just cool-- like, wouldn't it be cools?
And Predator, Ghostbusters, and Jaws were thrown out. And months later, we're in these offices pitching these games to people. And we did Predator first, and then while we were working on Predator, we were constantly talking to the Ghost Corps guys.
And then we got done with Predator, and we decided to pull the trigger and found investment, and started working on Ghostbusters. And it's been about two years of development, but we started the conversation in 2018. And now, we've done it. And man, it was definitely a long, rough road, but it was worth every single minute of it.
LARRY HRYB: Now, it's interesting because you talked about two years, which people think, oh, that's a long time. But I games that have been in development 8 or 10 years, so that's kind of not really that long. But by the way, apparently also in the middle of that, the curveball of the pandemic happened, so that must have been fun.
JARED GERRITZEN: Yeah, I mean, we--
LARRY HRYB: That dialed the difficulty up to extreme.
JARED GERRITZEN: It was pretty insane. I mean, we shipped Predator on time during the pandemic, we shipped Arcadegeddon during the pandemic, and then we continued development, and we hit the date that we set three years ago essentially during all of this. And I think that it was just one of those things where we-- luckily enough, when I joined Illfonic, I started an office in Tacoma, Washington, and the home office is in Denver. And the entire time we started growing the Tacoma office, I always said I wanted the teams to be working together versus Denver working on one project and Tacoma working on the other. So when COVID hit, we were able to just kind of pull our machines to our houses and continue development. It was very lucky for us, honestly.
LARRY HRYB: Well, it worked out. So let's get into it and talk about the game. The game is now available-- Ghostbusters Spirits Unleashed. We'll take a look at the trailer here and we'll kind of talk over it a little bit. What is the gameplay? What can we expect from this game-- from Ghostbusters?
JARED GERRITZEN: I feel like it's the most canon Ghostbusters experience you could possibly get. Four Ghostbusters are going and busting a ghost, and the ghost can be a human as well playing as the ghost, and the ghost is haunting the building.
And so if you've seen the film, you know that the Ghostbusters have these wacky beam weapons that they can drag a ghost around, and then they have a trap, and they need to drag the ghost into the trap. And the wild part was when we started talking to Ghost Corps and everyone, it was just one of those things-- me, as a lifetime fan, I saw the film in the theater as a child and always loved Ghostbusters.
And so it was just me being a developer 20-some-odd years-- it was just all of these things were instantly clicking of just like, oh, we could do this, and we could do this. And so now that it's done and I'm able to play the game and enjoy the game versus like criticize it and figure out what we need to do and fix, it's shocking to me how much the pre-design Ivan and Dan Aykroyd did in the '80s before they knew that there was going to be multiplayer video games, before they knew that there was going to be asymmetrical games, before online games existed, or even just three-dimensional games. And so it's just so fun to see this game be able to stand when we really just took their ideas and creations and we executed it. And then we, of course, expanded and elaborated on a lot of stuff, but the initial design document was really written by those guys, which is really cool.
LARRY HRYB: Tell me-- you mentioned a couple of times Ghost Corps. What is Ghost Corps?
JARED GERRITZEN: So Ghost Corps is-- it was-- it is a group that was formed-- I want to say it was 2017. That was like Ivan Reitman, and Dan Aykroyd, and all of the creatives that were behind Ghostbusters. And so it's kind of like it's the arbiter of Ghostbusters.
LARRY HRYB: They're the stewards of the universe.
JARED GERRITZEN: Yeah. And so one of the guys that I work really closely with, he's considered essentially the librarian of Ghost Corps. So he knows the lore, he knows what they're doing with all of the things, he knows what they're doing with the future movies and just everything. And so when we make something new, we bring it to them to make sure that it's allowed, and they keep everything in line. It's really cool.
JARED GERRITZEN: Tell us about-- I mean, we saw a little bit of the gameplay in the trailer there. It's-- you can craft your own Ghostbuster, you can-- it's multiplayer. It's kind of a shooter. Is it a first or a third-person? It looked like we had a little bit of third-person going on.
JARED GERRITZEN: Yeah, so third-person is ghost, and then first person is the Ghostbuster. And we chose that because if-- in Predator, for example, we had messed around with first and third. But when you're in first-person, you're kind of like your own vision.
As soon as you go into third, you're able to see behind your back and nothing can sneak up on you. So the ghost needs to have that ability to sneak around and mess with you and run around behind you. The ghost can get behind you and sabotage your proton pack, for example. The ghost needs to be able to kind of skirt around and have a little bit more of a sense, and so that is in third person as well. So they're able to look behind them and use the environment as much as they can.
LARRY HRYB: And be a ghost. I mean, let's be clear-- that's because that's what it's all about. You talked about you can play as a ghost, you can play as one of the Ghostbusters.
There is-- you talked about the asymmetrical game. Tell us a little bit about the gameplay proper. I mean, it's a 4v1, correct?
JARED GERRITZEN: Yeah, so this is our third game, so we're getting pretty good at it. The ghost needs to haunt the building, and then the Ghostbusters need to come in and get the ghost. What we found in the past-- F13 and Predator-- is that one versus many is really kind of a difficult thing to balance.
And so what we did with Ghostbusters is the ghost has these rifts that are hidden throughout the map, and those rifts are essentially it's lives. So if I catch the ghost right off the bat, the game's not done. The ghost comes through one of the rifts.
The Ghostbusters can just continue to trap the ghost, and then the match is over. Or the Ghostbusters can go and destroy the rifts. And when the Ghostbusters are attacking the rifts, the ghost can come and attack the ghost-- or the Ghostbusters, take the rift and hide it again.
There's this really kind of fun cat and mouse with the game. And it's kind of a really fun game in the sense of the ghost is not like your stereotypical-- or your typical asymmetrical game right now where it's like, I'm this monster-- I'm this thing that everyone needs to be afraid of. It's more of a mischievous-- it's more fun.
You're able to jump into objects, and run around, and recharge your abilities. The ghost needs to scare the civilians out of the world versus attack and kill. And that was a really fun part about this, because Ghostbusters, to me, is not your hard core evil scary thing.
It's supposed to be fun, it's supposed to be something that I would play with my kids when they were younger. It's something that I really hope to see parents saying-- because we've had this a lot in the past-- it's like your game turned my family onto X IP, and we play the game together now. Because-- I mean, we all know this-- if you have young children or just even adult children, games are such a great way for families to still play.
I try to play with my kids all the time, and I've got friends that have the crazy setups where they have multiple TVs in the living rooms now, and they're playing games together. And I think that that's a really cool thing, and I feel like Ghostbusters can be, hopefully, that game that allows people to play together a lot more. And it's a little bit more family friendly so you're not having kids ripping people's spines out anymore.
LARRY HRYB: And to your point, it is rated E for everyone here in the United States, and similar ratings around the country. So you've already got that-- bar is a little bit lower for families because they're looking for games like this that are rated E.
JARED GERRITZEN: That's the hopes. Yeah.
LARRY HRYB: That's good. We talked about-- there's also the co-op gameplay. But if there's no co-op, you've got in-game AI, so that your squad can kind of be filled out by the AI. So that's also helpful.
JARED GERRITZEN: Yeah, and that's another thing is when, in the previous games, if someone would disconnect for-- I mean, it's the internet, right. You could disconnect for so many different reasons now.
The game would be imbalanced, and so what we have is drop in, drop out AI. And so if you match make and the queues are long, it'll start a match with AI, and then it'll fill it with humans.
If the one versus many gets beaten up and rage quits, an AI takes over, and then we'll fill that part eventually. And those were a lot of our learnings.
LARRY HRYB: That never happens on the internet. There's no rage quitting.
JARED GERRITZEN: No, none. Everyone is extremely civil online. It's just-- it's huge. But that's a lot of the learnings that we've had in the past from all of our previous games.
And the-- it's very exciting because we always treat the game at launch as the early game, and the AI is already getting better in our developer builds. It's not like we can just throw a build to you guys and it goes up.
So we're about two weeks ahead, usually, and we're going to just keep on supporting. We're going to make the AI better. We've got a lot of plans for support in the future.
Everything that we're planning with it is really exciting. And so I'm looking at concepts for new things today that's just like, oh, my gosh, I can't wait for this to come out. It's just so exciting to get the game out, but also everyone's already asking for more. So we're already getting ready for more as well, so that's a really exciting thing too.
LARRY HRYB: We talked about it's rated E for everyone. Also it's appropriately priced at $39.99. You've got a physical Collector's Edition at $69.99, so it's kind of a-- the barrier to entry is nice and low.
You're on, as we talked about at the beginning, PC, on Epic Games Store, PlayStation, you're on Xbox One, Xbox Series X and S. It's smart delivery enabled.
It looks great on next-gen consoles, on Xboxes. So you've got a lot going on. We've got single player, you got multiplayer, you got bots, you got co-op. I mean, you guys checked all the boxes.
JARED GERRITZEN: We tried to. We really did. We went into this game and we literally wrote down where we faltered in the past.
And so we're hammering on those pieces. But everything can get better, and that's what we're going to keep on doing is really just continue to support, continue to do great stuff with it. And the awesome part is because in previous games and previous worlds, there's a lot of things that get kind of stuck with publishers or that get stuck with IP holders.
We're working directly with Ghost Corps and Sony Pictures, and everything is great with them. We're the publisher, so when we want to continue to support it, we can and we are. And it's really exciting to just say like, this next year, full team, full support, full everything, and let's just make more and really make it an even awesomer game.
LARRY HRYB: Yeah, Ghostbuster Spirits Unleashed available now on all those platforms. Published and developed by Illfonic, which is incredible. You guys are doing all of it right there.
Really excited to hear from you. Jared Gerritzen, chief creative officer for Illfonic. It's lovely to have you, and just go play the game. Have fun. I mean, if you like Ghostbusters, or if you're like, what is this all about and you want to capture some spirits, now's the time. Perfect for Halloween.
JARED GERRITZEN: Exactly.
LARRY HRYB: All right, Jared, thank you so much.
JARED GERRITZEN: Thank you for having me.
LARRY HRYB: And again, congratulations on launch.
JARED GERRITZEN: Thank you, thank you.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: If you've watched any Xbox presentations, or seen commercials, or showcases in the last few years, or heard Phil Spencer speak, you've probably heard us say when everyone plays, we all win. And to ensure that everyone can play takes the focus of dedicated teams. And so I'm so happy to welcome the key player on those teams, Xbox director of accessibility, Anita Mortaloni. Thank you so much for joining us, and can you tell us what does it mean to be the director of accessibility?
ANITA MORTALONI: Well, first, thank you so much for having me back. So as the director of accessibility here at Xbox, it means I get to work with teams across Xbox and the disability community to unlock play, remove barriers, and create welcoming communities for people with disabilities that want to play and create.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: And that feels like something that's constantly evolving. And so last week, we hosted the 2022 Xbox accessibility showcase. Can you tell us some of what was shared during that event?
ANITA MORTALONI: Absolutely. So this is our second year with the Xbox accessibility showcase. It is a video featuring stories of gamers who are disabled, interviews with accessibility experts, and we get to unveil new accessibility features coming to Xbox.
And it was really, for us, a moment to recognize how critical accessibility is in gaming and why people should know about it and then celebrate the community. We hosted it on the Xbox YouTube channel, and also had versions for audio description and ASL. So we unveiled things like the MGATS player with disability focus, the new accessibility explorer path for our ambassadors, and updated support.xbox.com pages.
And I think one of the really cool things that we did this year was we filmed it in the Microsoft inclusive tech lab in Redmond, Washington. The inclusive tech lab was a place designed with accessibility from the ground up. And we did that to emphasize that when we say our promise at Xbox is that you can play the games you want, with the people you want, anywhere you want, we really do mean anywhere.
The inclusive tech lab has multiple areas where inclusion matters-- at home, at school, at work, and at play. And the same is true for gaming, which is why we chose to film there. Gaming can happen anywhere. And when we include accessibility and the community throughout the process, it means more people can then play.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: It's truly an incredible place-- the inclusive tech lab. I joined a team meeting where there was a virtual tour on Teams as a place. And it was-- it's a place I want to go to, but the level of thought that has gone into it is stellar.
You can actually look it up if you Google or Bing Microsoft inclusive tech lab. There's a full page for it. You all have done over, I believe, 8,000 tours of the facility.
So if that's something that is of interest to you, I highly encourage you to check it out, and I highly encourage you to check out also the showcase which you mentioned is on YouTube. We have an Xbox Wire post on that, so you'll be able to go through and watch all. Hosted in part by Steve Saylor who we're a big fan of, and we'll see more of him on the show next week. We'll talk more about that.
But I want to go into this-- you had mentioned something called MGATS. So obviously an acronym, but it really-- I would love for you to talk more about it-- really, about our responsibility as a platform. We don't just make games as Xbox. Games are made to be played on Xbox, or in this environment that we create. And as a result, we're able to really help other developers reach a high standard to help as many people play as possible. So I'd love to hear more about this.
ANITA MORTALONI: Well, first, let me demystify what MGATS is. It's not just a whole bunch of letters put together. MGATS stands for the Microsoft Gaming Accessibility Testing Service. It was a program launched about two years ago as a way for our developers and publishers to validate the accessibility of their titles against the Xbox Accessibility Guidelines-- the XAGs-- and then to get structured feedback from players with disabilities.
As the program evolved, we added validation against the accessibility feature tags-- the tags in the store that let you know what accessibility features a title has. And then over the course of the last year, we got feedback from some of the folks saying, we really want to focus on play with disability feedback on our core gaming scenarios around settings and navigation.
And while all the XAGs are super important, they wanted a focus. And so that's where we came up with the player with disability offering to focus on those core scenarios. And if we were to step back a little bit and ask, why is it important for Xbox to support our developers in accessibility, it really comes down to the idea that we want everyone to play and be able to create. And so by providing resources like the XAGs-- the Xbox Accessibility Guidelines-- or things like our free gaming accessibility fundamentals scores, we get to demystify what gaming accessibility is and how to include it in your work, which then results in more games or features that are accessible, that don't introduce barriers to play and, ultimately, enable more people to enjoy the games that you worked so hard to create.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: As someone who plays a lot of games, it's becoming really notable how frequently when you first load up a game-- how many are immediately, before you even get to the title screen, going through and providing a series of options. Can you-- are there any games that are really standing out to you that you've played recently that are doing great work here? And how do folks find the games that have the features that they need to enjoy the game fully?
ANITA MORTALONI: Oh, my goodness. How much time do you have?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: We've got all the time you need.
ANITA MORTALONI: We have lots of time. Let me make it easy, though, because I not everybody likes the same games. So first, I'd recommend that folks leverage the accessibility feature tags in the store.
It's an easy way to find the games that you love and have the accessibility features that you need. And they're bucketed into audio, visual, gameplay, and input tags. You can also check out the family gaming database that has additional support and accessibility features listed for a lot of games.
But if I had to recommend a couple off the top of my head, I would say Grounded has a great arachnophobia mode, where players can alter the appearance of a spider to make it less scary, though some people think that taking the legs off the spider makes it even more scary. Forza Horizon 5 has ASL and BSL interpreters during cinematics.
The Veil-- audio-based adventure title. Gears of War 5 has full Xbox adaptive controller support. And if we were to look ahead a little bit, we have Stories of Blossom also was featured in the showcase and has nearly 60 accessibility features. And then Pentiment, coming soon, has customizable font settings, easy read font mode, and font scaling in high contrast mode. So lots of games out there that have accessibility features.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: So it feels safe to say there's never a mission accomplished state-- that it's constantly evolving. You're never going to just be done. We've done it-- we can move on-- everyone can play every game. So what does the future of accessibility look like?
ANITA MORTALONI: Oh, my goodness, what a great question. So just like we partner with the community when creating new accessibility features or events, we recently took a similar approach to thinking and answering that question of, what is the future of accessibility for Xbox? And so we reached out to members of the Xbox Accessibility Insider League, a subset of the Xbox Insider program and our Xbox ambassadors to ask them, what do you want to see in the future of accessibility?
And a few things came out that surfaced repeatedly, including the importance of customization and accessibility options and, not surprisingly, more options. Including people with disabilities as collaborators and as an audience. And then discoverability and communication of accessibility and gaming. So basically, the future of accessibility at Xbox looks much about the same as we're doing now. We want to continue to partner with the community to provide more options to play and make it easier to find those options while bringing innervation to the space and continuing to enable more people to play and create.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Thank you so much, Anita Mortaloni, both for joining us here today and also for the work that you and your teams do every day to help more people play. Like we said, when everyone plays, we all win.
A lot of things were mentioned in the last few minutes here, so please check out the show notes, watch the showcase, and see-- actually, really check out the inclusive tech lab because it's amazing to see. So we'll put everything down there. Check it out, and Anita, we hope to have you back at some point soon.
ANITA MORTALONI: Thank you so much.
LARRY HRYB: Call of Duty is almost upon us, and joining today is Jeff Smith and Joe Cecot. Joe, you guys are the multiplayer design directors-- not one, but two because there's so much multiplayer, right?
JOE CECOT: Yes, exactly.
JEFF SMITH: We have a lot to cover, so we have two of us.
LARRY HRYB: Well, first of all, welcome to the show. It's great to have you on here. I mean, it's always exciting when a Call of Duty comes out. That's a big moment in the video games industry.
Tell us a little bit about what we can expect with multiplayer this round. And I don't know who wants to get started here, so I'll let you guys flip the coin.
JEFF SMITH: You can go first if you want to.
JOE CECOT: Me?
Sure. I mean, somehow, each launch, we kind of top ourselves a little bit, and this game is massive. We have the-- some of the modes we had last game with ground war and our standard TBM and all that stuff. But we have some brand new modes-- prisoner rescue, knockout, invasion. And then later on, we want to talk to you a little bit about DMZ, our new extraction mode on the Warzone side.
LARRY HRYB: I mean, that's the other thing that people forget is there is this amazing-- it's Warzone 2.0, and I love playing Warzone. It's your spin on the battle royale, but it's much more sophisticated. Can you explain what you have done on the 2.0 to really bring it to the 2.0 status, as it were?
JOE CECOT: Yeah. Do you want to take it Jeff, or?
JEFF SMITH: No, go for it.
JOE CECOT: We-- one of the things we set out, last game, to do Warzone was a huge lift for us. We were kind of building the tech while we built the game, and it was laying the tracks in front of the train, and it was kind of crazy. And so this game, we had the opportunity to build off what we did-- switching to Modern last game and setting up that scale. And we leaned into things like water, and vehicles, and like player movement mechanics.
And so we were able to level up our game in a bunch of different areas. So with the player, we have swimming, and water combat, and amphibious vehicles, and we have ledge hang, and we have dive. With the vehicles, we have upgraded destruction. You can pop tires, you can blow off doors. We have new player mechanics in the vehicles leaning out windows, climbing onto the roof.
Our vehicle physics model has been completely redone to be way more physically-based. So we have these cool moments. So by doing that, Warzone, just in general, the experience has been lifted up. And Jeff could talk about the new map as well and kind of the learnings there, because when we built Verdansk, that was like the first time taking a Call of Duty map with quality metrics and building it to that scale. Go ahead.
LARRY HRYB: Yeah, Jeff, tell us about that, because that's-- it's interesting because I've been in the multiplayer-- in the video games and multiplayer for 20 years. And there's so much thought and design forethought put into player paths, hot zones, and things like that. How do you take a classic map like that and make it battle royalable, as it were, for Warzone?
JEFF SMITH: Yeah. I mean, to begin with, a lot of battle royale games and maps have been building their environments kind of like a theme park. And with modern warfare being grounded in reality, we really wanted to make a space that felt real. So we did a ton of research into an area, and what would the-- how would it be built?
Is there-- there's-- or where's the power grid, where is the water supply, where is all these different kind of infrastructure that make sense in those locations. And then we built it up from there. But gameplay-wise, we kind of use a certain range, and we make sure that everything is set at good distances.
And so for us, there's AR rifles that have a good range that feels good to shoot something on screen. And so we've measured out all the different-- in between all the different buildings. And even when you get out into the wilderness, the trees are set up at certain distances so that you could hide behind one tree and I could hide behind another tree, and we're shooting at each other from a good distance.
And it just gets better when you have longer range scopes and everything. But we wanted to make sure that if you're running through a little town, it just it feels like Call of Duty because of the ranges that we've put it at. And that really saved our bacon.
When we wanted to add in these other modes, Ground War kind of came in late. But because everything was kind of measured and built to these metrics, everything just worked from Spec Ops to all these different modes. So going into this one, we had all of that learning.
We worked on undulating the world a little bit more to help cull some of the site traces so it's not so heavy on the engine. But we specifically did more things in this, like we made gas stations that would refuel your car and repair your car, and then we measured out where those should be, and all the vehicles use fuel.
And so it's not trying to make the game frustrating. It's more of these little-- making the world feel real. And so you just have these crazy moments of, you ran out of gas, or you need to-- somebody in the backseat is yelling at you you need to stop by the gas station.
So you jump out at the gas station, and you run inside the convenience store, and you loot. And we even put a little bell. And so if you are inside looting the convenience store, if somebody comes into that trigger, it actually does a little ding, ding--
LARRY HRYB: Kind of like you're going to a gas station.
JEFF SMITH: --so you know that other team just pulled up. And so there's little things that we've built around the map to make it feel more real, but also just add this kind of emergent play that can just happen. But if we didn't do that planning, then none of those interactions would happen. And so it takes a lot of-- three years ago, we set all this stuff up. So now, we can see how they kind of build on each other.
LARRY HRYB: Well, Call of Duty comes out October 28 with Modern Warfare 2, and then it's got Warzone coming out on the 16th. Tell us about some of the connections where, if I complete the campaign in Call of Duty that will go-- what will that do for me in multiplayer?
JOE CECOT: There is a key. I think it's the M4 blueprint that you get for completing the campaign. And that's something with our blueprint system we've kind of sprinkled in of different areas-- if players do kind of unique things, we reward them.
And so we think that's a cool tie-in with the campaign. Our campaign this game is pretty cool. We don't want to spoil stuff, but it's the same thing I was saying about building off Warzone.
Like last game, we switched from future to modern, and it was a big lift and everything. And for the campaign this game, they were really able to focus on each level has its own experience, whether it's rappelling down a building, or the tilting ship you've seen in a lot of the videos and the gameplay that comes from that. We're pretty proud of the campaign.
LARRY HRYB: Yeah, well, I also want to point out that you can get the campaign right now with early access if you preorder digitally, and then you could start working on your way towards the multiplayer-- some of the --
JEFF SMITH: Yeah, we're really excited about that. I think when the game usually comes out, there's such a certain-- a huge amount of content. People are like, wow, I want to play this, and I don't want to waste any time-- my friends are leveling their guns up in MP-- I don't want to spend the time here.
And so this kind of frees everybody up to just be like, I'm going to enjoy the campaign, I'm going to take in the new setting and the storyline, and then kind of ramp up and get ready to play the next beat which would be MP and CP. And then jumping into the big map with Warzone 2.
LARRY HRYB: I think the other thing-- and this is kind of a nerd part of me coming out-- is if I recall correctly-- and I was reading this is the first time in Call of Duty history that you're using one engine across the entire franchise. I mean, is that accurate?
JEFF SMITH: Yeah.
JOE CECOT: Yeah, we've made a big shift. It's been a big lift. There are pain points, but it also means that everything we put into this game, the next games can leverage.
And there's been a little bit of trickle back towards us, but it's-- we're helping each other more than we ever have. And there's so much opportunity to-- I don't know-- to make even better games, to not have to constantly be porting big things between the games.
So all the polish, and water tech, and vehicle tech, and everything, we've been working really, really closely with all the other studios to be like, hey, here's what we've got-- here's what we're doing. We're helping them so that they can use it and build off of it.
LARRY HRYB: We talked about some of the innovations and the map design, but let's talk about the innovations for the multiplayer game itself. I mean, you've got a lot going on here with the classic gameplay, but you've got NPCs, you've got squad positioning. Tell us about some of the top-level advancements that we can expect in this Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer?
JEFF SMITH: Well, I mean, I like to say-- explain that there's always this big question-- when you go from a previous game into the next game, what do you choose to bring with you, what do you get rid of? And so those were heavy questions that we had to kind of figure out, and how do we make the game better, how do we do these advancements.
And so I like to think we broke the game down to just a one-on-one interaction. That could be a player, that could be an AI. And we both turned the corner-- what happens?
Sure, we could maybe just shoot each other, but are we-- do we have enough toys and enough things in that interaction that that interaction can play out in multiple different ways? I can run back around the corner, I could jump out the window and I could try to come up around behind the person. And then what kind of-- our system has these lethals and tacticals
And tacticals won't kill you, but they might give you information or give you a cover, and lethals are the ones that can kill you. So all these different combinations-- I kind of joke that your loadout is kind of like your deck in a card game. And I can play this card, and you play that card, and how do those all interact.
And we've done a lot of work on those interactions of equipment and those things. And so that systemically, that could play out. And our AI will use lethals and tacticals.
If they throw this thing called the snapshot grenade, which does a pulse and it'll show a heat signature-- if you get snapshotted by an AI, they'll know your exact location and come for you. So you have to reposition. And just the fact that them throwing those makes you respect them.
And we also have this decoy grenade that, if you throw the decoy grenade, they'll actually pull off and go investigate the decoy grenade. And so just because we've kind of broken everything down to this very simple layer, then we can build up and see where we're lacking in some areas and where we're not. And it just gives us this kind of systemic play that starts at probably the core MP, but then goes up into the Ground War spaces and then into the open world. So it's just been working out really well, I think.
LARRY HRYB: There's a couple of things I also want to talk about that I've noticed that I'm seeing in this game based on what I've read and what I've looked at-- is you have this-- you have Spec Ops-- Special Ops. It's two-player co-op. Explain to us how that is going to work?
JOE CECOT: So it is. It's traditional two-player co-op. Last game, we had like larger squads and a ton of AI. And this game, the team working on Spec Ops-- one, they're also working on the Raid, which is meant to launch later on.
But they've been working on these really focused, almost single-player-esque, experiences, where when you have just two players, you're really reliant on each other. And if one person goes down, you're like, OK, I have to get that person up or it's over. And so Zeyad, the design director on that, felt that was really important to stick with the two players, and then to build these kind of like really unique experiences.
And they took kind of a less is more approach. Like, what are the most unique and fun experiences we can create, and let's make those super, super fun. And that's how, I think, Spec Ops has been iterated on this game.
JEFF SMITH: Yeah, I mean, their starting spot is really-- if you played Spec Ops in the previous Modern Warfare 2, that was kind of their baseline of like, this is one that they really liked. Because he had worked on that one, and so I'm sure he kind of favors that one.
And then what are all the new toys and gizmos and the larger play spaces that our new engine can handle. How can they up that and still keep that vibe? But that was their baseline is to start with that.
LARRY HRYB: There's also a little bit of a surprise that I was looking at, which is there's a third-person playlist. Now, what does that do to the play? I mean, this is-- the F and FPS is First-- First Person Shooter. What does it mean to put a Call of Duty multiplayer in a third-person mode? What does that allow you, or perhaps, disallow you?
JOE CECOT: So this thing was a bit of a pet project. All throughout the development of our project, we have these check ins, and we kind of push ourselves. And all along the way we were working on third-person. We were building it up.
And what it meant was we had to have interior cameras, and exterior cameras, and mount camera, and underwater camera. We have to have all these different settings. We had to kind of handle collision. Often, third-person games are built with higher ceilings and other spaces.
And so we're primarily, like you said, a first-person game, but we had to make sure that camera collision could handle those tight spaces and work pretty well. We leaned really hard into making sure that you could feel our weapon recoil in the third-person firing just like you could in first-person-- same with sprinting, and diving, and all of that stuff. What it means for our game is-- one of the things we really like to do is we like to have these modifiers that we can turn on that we can just say, you know what? We have this mode-- people love this mode-- they play this mode, but if we flip it to tier 1, then there's no HUD, the health region slower, and you get a very different experience in the game.
And so for us, third-person is like that as well, where we can say, hey, we're going to have battle royale, but over here, we have a third-person battle royale. And that means if you're a player-- it means the game plays differently. It means if you're in cover, you can kind of peek, you can feel a little bit safer, you can lay in wait. So we're really excited to bring that to battle royale and let people try that.
The other thing it means is we're excited to do things like asymmetrical gameplay with it, where we have a mode that we've launched in the past called infected where you have a group of people who are the survivors, and then one or so people get chosen as the infected, and they get a different loadout. And if they kill a survivor, then the person becomes infected.
We love the idea of doing an infected variant where all the infected are in third-person. So they have their close quarters weapons, they can peek corners. And then the people who are surviving are in first-person.
And then from the beta, we launched this and we let people try it. And one of the kind of overwhelming feedback was that the transition from third to first was a little bit too much. Especially for people who like to move quickly, it was a little bit nauseating.
So since the beta, we put in a bunch of work to get what we call a half ADS, or a third-person ADS working. And so for launch, that's going to be on all our low zoom scopes and our iron sights. And anything that's like 4x or higher is going to be a first-person ADS.
So it really like-- it makes the game feel really good. The transition is really elegant. It comes in over the shoulder, and it just-- anyways, it's playing really well, and we're really excited for people outside the studio to try it.
LARRY HRYB: You brought up something-- because a lot of people forget it's those transitions that are so important. That can either add, or sometimes, if the transitions rough or it's not there, can hinder this seamless mode in and out.
So it's great to hear that you took that feedback.
LARRY HRYB: That's-- there's so much here to talk about with Call of Duty and the multiplayer from the traditional multiplayer we know. And it's coming in Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2. It's available October 28.
And also I want to point out that Warzone is coming November 16-- it's Call of Duty Warzone 2.0. Really appreciate your time today. I know you guys got to go, Jeff and Joe. Congratulations on the upcoming launch, and we'll look for you online.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Thank you to Jared, Anita, Jeff, and Joe for those interviews. Busy week, guys.
LARRY HRYB: Good show this week.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Two Jeffs.
LARRY HRYB: I know, too many Jeff's, but only one Jeffrey.
REBECCA GORDIUS: [INAUDIBLE] our favorite.
LARRY HRYB: Only one Jeffrey.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: We'll have to see what the other Jeff says about that. I bet his mom also calls him-- did you call him Jeffrey during the interview?
LARRY HRYB: I did not.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: You didn't, did you?
LARRY HRYB: No.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: That's just for me.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Darn.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: So after we were done speaking-- Anita and I-- she had brought something up that I want to make sure that we land, and that is something called the Xbox Ambassador Accessibility Explorer Path. So the Xbox ambassador program-- it's a group of players who really represent Xbox.
They're out there in the community, they're out there on the Discords, the message boards, the Twitter's, all over the place that are helping make Xbox a fun and safe environment for everybody. They-- Anita's team has developed something that is a fun gamified version to learn more about the accessibility tools, options, features that we have here with our games in the ecosystem.
It's called the Xbox Ambassador Accessibility Explorer Path. It's an engaged path where you can learn about it so that you can help other people know what is available or to educate yourself as well.
LARRY HRYB: And there's a lot of things.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: So there's-- it's gamified, there's missions, it's fun. Literally, over 100,000 people have already done this, so we highly recommend you check that out. And you can do that at aka.ms/xboxa11y. We'll put that in the show notes, but it is something she wanted to make sure that we make sure to share. And if you did do it, there's more missions that are going to be added throughout.
LARRY HRYB: I am slightly biased, but I'm going to go out there and say that I don't think anybody does accessibility better than Xbox. I'm just telling you. We just-- with what Anita's team does and the evolution that we've had, we're-- so far, we're just doing great. And there's so much more to do, but she's done such great work. In fact, we're going to have a special guest on next week to talk about it, and that's-- I'm not going to tell you who it is, but it's a tease.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: I kind of hinted, I think, during the show.
LARRY HRYB: Yeah, I think you kind of-- yeah, you kind of did hint, but--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yeah, a great interview.
LARRY HRYB: --go back and listen. So anyway, well, thank you, gang. Thanks for joining us this week, and Jeff stepping in for the news.
Now, Rebecca this is going to be your last show for a little bit-- a few weeks, right? You're going to be-- you've got some stuff you're working on, right?
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah. Well, stuff-- I'm moving.
LARRY HRYB: You're moving.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: We're going to miss the horn.
REBECCA GORDIUS: It's-- yeah. Oh, gosh, I know. It's a little bit hard to do a podcast when all of your belongings are boxed up--
LARRY HRYB: In transit--
REBECCA GORDIUS: --working from a laptop for a few weeks. Yeah. But I'm looking forward to catching up with you guys soon, so don't miss me too much.
LARRY HRYB: Yeah, you'll be back. She's going to go on her own hiatus, but we'll get her back soon. We've got a bunch of special guests that will be filling in this box over here on the right. But no one will fill your shoes.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Rebecca of the week doesn't have the same ring to it as Malik of the week.
But I'm sure you'll think of something.
LARRY HRYB: We'll come up with something, but we'll still have-- we're looking forward to when you get back. But thank you again. We'll play some games this weekend, Jeff, and maybe go to Halo. And Rebecca you've got rats to discover. Are you leaving the rats behind in New York?
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yes, I am. I am not a rat fan.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Let me tell you, I know where you're moving and I've seen rats --
REBECCA GORDIUS: The rats are just as good there.
LARRY HRYB: All right, everybody, catch us up-- if you want to catch us on Twitter, you can see our Twitter is right below us. @jeffrubenstein, @majornelson, @rebecca_yen-- underscore-- there's a little underscore in there, right, Rebecca?
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yes.
LARRY HRYB: So you can follow them and say hello. And Jeff, you're actually not going to be with us next week either, are you?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: No, I'll be away on a work trip, and I'm happy to make way for somebody who's really much better at this than I am.
LARRY HRYB: So I'm going to be filling these boxes with a couple of other folks-- other great members of the gaming community. But you guys will all be back soon. So we'll see you soon. Bye, bye, everybody.