Host, Xbox's Major Nelson
Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
MLB: The Show
ID @ Xbox
[MUSIC PLAYING] LARRY HRYB: Hi, it's Larry Hryb, Xbox's Major Nelson. Welcome to The Official Xbox Podcast. You have found us, you've liked us, you've subscribed, you rang the bell, you've jumped through the hoops, and now, you get us. Hello, Jeffrey. Hello, Rebecca.
REBECCA: This is the dream!
JEFFREY: Not worth it!
LARRY HRYB: [LAUGHS] Well, I think it is! I mean, we get-- Rebecca's finally back this week. I mean, not that Malik wasn't great, but it's great to have Rebecca back. You are-- you're on holiday, correct Rebecca, as they say in Europe?
Yes, I-- yeah, on holiday. I went on vacation to the Caribbean. Do I look nice and tan?
JEFFREY: You see a lot of Mets hats when you're in the Caribbean. A lot of Mets.
LARRY HRYB: And a lot of sunburn, too!
REBECCA: I just saw lot of khaki shorts. Yeah, I don't know. [LAUGHS]
JEFFREY: Hey, hey, I have khaki shorts!
LARRY HRYB: You're probably wearing them right now!
JEFFREY: I am not!
REBECCA: Yeah! [LAUGHS]
LARRY HRYB: Here we go again. Here we go again. Anyway, well, welcome back from your holiday, Jeff. It's good to see you again, as always. You and I haven't seen each other. You've been busy for the past few days and haven't had time for me.
JEFFREY: Yeah, well--
LARRY HRYB: Wow.
JEFFREY: Thanks, mom. I know I don't call as often as I should. So actually, my mom doesn't guilt trip me as badly as you do. Let's get lunch this weekend.
LARRY HRYB: Anyway, let's get into the show. We'll talk about what we're playing. Jeff-- actually, Rebecca, I assume-- you probably have-- I mean, we haven't talked about this, but I assume you haven't had a chance to play since you've been playing the vacation game.
REBECCA: Yeah, I've had a hard time catching up. Work is starting to get pretty busy these days. You know, adult gamer problems. But I do have a couple of games that I downloaded and I'm looking forward to playing this weekend.
So one of them is-- both of them are out on Game Pass, I'm pretty sure. First is the new Guardians of the Galaxy game which I think just came out a couple of weeks ago on Game Pass, like an action adventure. So I thought that sounded kind of cool. So I don't know, have either you guys played that game?
LARRY HRYB: Yeah, I beat it when it came out.
REBECCA: Oh, good.
LARRY HRYB: And I would say, well worth your time.
LARRY HRYB: Really, it took a little bit of time for me to get into it. But I feel like they don't make games quite like this anymore-- like a third person action adventure--
JEFFREY: Well, that's something that would come out of my mouth!
LARRY HRYB: --with a lot of story. I know, as I said it, I was like, let me tell you about the '80s. But
LARRY HRYB: We'll have to talk about Hurdle later, by the way. But I was like-- I was like, I was just thoroughly enjoying it. Because you really-- really, you're spending most of the time with Rocket, and with Gamora, and Drax, and Groot. You really end up spending a lot of time with each of the characters and learn a lot about them.
But I really enjoyed it. It got me back into it and excited for whatever's next in that world. So I think you're really gonna enjoy it.
REBECCA: Nice. OK, I'll report back.
JEFFREY: What else? What else you got queued up?
REBECCA: Have you guys heard of Weird West?
LARRY HRYB: Yeah! It just hit Game Pass. I know thats them.
JEFFREY: Oh, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.
REBECCA: It looks really cool. It kind of reminds me of Disco Elysium, but set in a Western setting. At least that's kind of how it looks just from what I've seen online. I downloaded it I kind of watched the trailer. So--
LARRY HRYB: The fact that you're comparing to Disco Elysium, which was considered, like, Game of the Year-- was it last year or the year before?
LARRY HRYB: So that's a good one to draw comparisons to. So let us know.
REBECCA: Well, we'll see. I say that without having played it. I'm just basing that off of how it looks as far as, like, narrative. And we'll see. But I don't know. Jeff, what are you playing?
JEFFREY: Yeah, so I'm doing a little bit of work travel, but over the weekend, still going really strong in Fortnite with Zero Build Mode as we talked about last week. It's a permanent mode now. I think we've racked up about a half a dozen Victory Royales over the weekend, which--
LARRY HRYB: Half dozen? You're really--
JEFFREY: We were like--
REBECCA: That's quite a bit!
LARRY HRYB: Yeah!
JEFFREY: Yeah, I think we played about 15 games. So we were on it. Like, if you ran into us--
LARRY HRYB: Was this just you and your daughter?
JEFFREY: --there was a good chance we ran over you. We were running a quad with some other folks-- Lena from Strawberry 17, and Sean, who's on our team. And we just had we had good chemistry. And Lena definitely carried us. But we'll be getting back into that, I think, more later this week.
And still continuing the Elden Ring grind. I'm into the Land of Giants or something like that. I think I'm pretty far along into the game.
LARRY HRYB: I thought it was a land of giants when I spawned in there and I saw all the giants walking by.
JEFFREY: There's even more, even more. Those are just baby trolls compared to some of the stuff that comes later. But I have a lot of forward momentum, and it just-- it feels good.
LARRY HRYB: I have, unfortunately, not gotten on the Elden Ring train. I've been busy writing and finishing the Tunic train, which I know, Jeff, you said you wanted to play. And Rebecca, I recommend you go check that out if you have some time. It's unforgiving.
JEFFREY: But you beat it.
LARRY HRYB: But I beat it. And I must, in full disclosure, Jeff--
JEFFREY: You've been forgiven.
LARRY HRYB: No, in full disclosure, I did use the part of the option that you tipped me off to.
JEFFREY: Yeah, in the Accessibility.
LARRY HRYB: Under Accessibility, which-- Rebecca, there's, I don't know if you remember this conversation. There's an option under Accessibility to essentially give you bottomless or infinite health. It never really goes down.
So you still have to fight the bosses. You just don't wave at them and they go away. You still have to use some strategy. But they're not wearing you down continuously, and you're not dying continuously.
But I finished that. And just it's such a beautiful game, and it's so complicated. And I know we had the developer on a few weeks ago, and he was very tight-lipped about it, because you want to have someone enjoy the story. And boy, did I. I'll just say this is.
It's on Game Pass. Check Tunic out. And if you're having some challenges with the bosses, go-- it's under Accessibility, and try it out.
JEFFREY: No shame in that. Just do it and move on. You don't want to get frustrated to the point with any game where you're like, eh, and you're just like throwing the controller, and you walk away from it. Like, give it a go. And, yeah, that's exactly how I plan on playing "Tunic." Like if I get to the point where I'm just like getting frustrated with it, I'm just going to flip those settings, move past it, and keep going. You still have to figure out all the puzzles, right? You still--
LARRY HRYB: Yeah, you still have to figure out all the puzzles.
JEFFREY: Like you said, you have to figure out--
LARRY HRYB: It's just, it helps you out in the combat side. And that's been my, that's been my jam for the past week.
REBECCA: Nice. Very cool.
LARRY HRYB: And then I just started playing and Jeff, I see you have it over your right shoulder there. There it is, Star Wars LEGO Star Wars.
JEFFREY: Let me turn it on. Let me connect my controller. So I was watching-- I downloaded this morning. And I was watching, Greg Miller was on our stream and Swifter as well. I think I just started the game, oh my god. I'm not ready for this. And it looks so good. It looks really good.
So I'm going to carve out some time, even if it's before I beat "Elden Ring," just because it really changed a number of things within the game in terms of how close you are. Like it's an over-the-shoulder game as opposed to an isometric action game like the older LEGO games, where they also have voices for the first time. So you're hearing a lot of these classic lines in "Star Wars" that you never heard before.
One of the scenes I was watching Greg play. And it was like he goes into Mos Eisley. And you're hearing, you know, the song. And you're hearing like, you know--
LARRY HRYB: The cantina, yeah.
JEFFREY: "--I don't like you either," and all this type of stuff. So I'm very excited for this one.
LARRY HRYB: Well, and later on in the show, we've got an interview with Mike Consalvi who's the level designer for TT Games. And he talks about that. We'll see some more gameplay there. There's a funny little scene with Han and Greedo that you'll see.
But, yeah, there's a whole bunch of stuff. But that's out. And that's available now on multiple platforms. And to your point, Jeff, it looks amazing. It just looks really cool. So if you have Xbox Series X or--
REBECCA: Yeah, it looks really cool.
LARRY HRYB: It looks a lot of fun. So that's-- that one, in fact-- I feel like we got lots of talk about with shows. If you have anything else you guys want to talk about, otherwise, I think maybe we should get into the interviews?
REBECCA: Yeah, so first up, like Larry mentioned, we have Mike Consalvi talking about "LEGO Star Wars." We have Ramone Russell, "MLB-- The Show" which is arriving on Xbox Game Pass, and then we also have Chris Charla from the [email protected] team, which is celebrating nine years this year, which is kind of crazy. That's about the same time I started working at Xbox too. And it's great how time flies. But I can't wait to hear how that program has grown and just hear from Chris. So let's go into it.
LARRY HRYB: "LEGO Star Wars-- The Skywalker Saga" is now available for fans of the LEGO games. I mean, these are amazing games. And I am really excited to have joining me today Mike Consalvi, who's a level designer for TT Games. Mike, thanks for joining us.
MIKE CONSALVI: It's an absolute pleasure to be here. I can't believe it's here, the game is here. Everyone's loving it. I'm so excited.
LARRY HRYB: Well, congratulations. I mean, it's always a feat to ship a game, but to ship a "Star Wars" game and a LEGO game, I mean, that's kind of pretty amazing work. Tell us about "The Skywalker Saga." Because this is, I mean, this is kind of, in some ways, the definitive Star Wars experience, right? Because it's all of the-- all the chapters of the story.
MIKE CONSALVI: I mean, yeah, that's exactly right. That's what the mentality was going into this game. It's like really the complete celebration of what "Star Wars" means. But, of course, in our traditional LEGO humor, like we're bringing that experience back to fans. But, yeah, this is the total package of what it means to be a "LEGO Star Wars" game built completely from the ground up.
LARRY HRYB: Now we've had-- we've been playing "Star Wars" games and "LEGO Star Wars" games and all the different types of various LEGO games over the years. And there's a couple of things that are hallmarks of the games. One, you usually play with a friend. Two, there's incredibly wonderful cheeky humor in there. And three, they just kind of capture the universe they're in-- in this case, LEGO, or, excuse me, "Star Wars--" and LEGO kind of perfectly and bring them together in such a beautiful way. Tell us about bringing, you know, this incredible story, the "Star Wars," the Skywalker Saga, tell us about bringing it to life in the LEGO universe and how you had to straddle being true to both of those IPs?
MIKE CONSALVI: Well, listen, if you look at the combination of "LEGO Star Wars," it goes beyond even the original "LEGO Star Wars" game. Like tie-range itself was a bit of a genius move on LEGO and "Star Wars" and their part to actually merge these two worlds together and see what the possibilities were in terms of, what can you create from "Star Wars" out of LEGO? And it's endless when you really look at all the things that we've been able to see since then. So rolling things forward now to 2022, it's like what does it mean to be a "LEGO Star Wars" game in this day and age? And how can we take advantage of the new technology that we have to really tell this gigantic story across all these nine films and so many different planets and all these levels that were thrown into it. It's just really exciting for fans to get this brand new experience in this way.
LARRY HRYB: Yeah, I mean, we're seeing some of the gameplay right now. And it's just-- first of all, I've had a chance to play the game. It's beautiful. And I don't know if this is what you recommend because part of the game allows you to start in a couple of different areas with which chapter you'd like to start in. I started right there at the beginning at chapter 1. Is that what you recommend?
MIKE CONSALVI: Do you know what it's one of the core pillars of the game is the level of freedom that were given to the player. So it really is entirely up to you and entirely what the players like to do, which of the three trilogies that they have their own preferences for. So we just immediately given the players the choice. Like me personally, I started my own playthrough when I got my copy today. And immediately I thought, I'm going to jump into the theatrical release order and start with the original trilogy and then I do plan to go to the prequels and the sequels. But we really can't say there's one wrong way to do it. It's entirely up to the players how they want to experience what they feel like they want to do within this universe.
LARRY HRYB: I want to ask you about as a level designer there, you know, it's a little different in this case because you have canon with the "Star Wars" universe. And you need to respect that. And you did amazing. I've only played five or six levels and it's amazing. But tell us about what that was like working with Lucasfilm and Disney on this-- frankly, this extraordinary collection of sets and planets and stories and this world that they've built.
MIKE CONSALVI: Well, when we look back at the previous "LEGO Star Wars" games that we made in the past with the original and then the second one that we did was the original trilogy and then merging them all together with the complete saga, we've had a really good relationship with Lucasfilm and now Lucasfilm and Disney when it comes to making these games. So while at the same time with this one, we didn't want to really tread the same ground as we did with the original games, but of course, we have to still stick to what makes "Star Wars" what it is.
So it's like, it's really choosing carefully what segments that we want to have players play out this time around compared to what we've done in the past. So it's like, it is the familiarity of what fans expect from when they play a "LEGO Star Wars" game. But at the same time, it's keeping things fresh and keeping things new. But a lot of that is tied into how the game feels at its very core, like with the new camera changes that we've got into there and how the combat works. So it's all-- just a collection of all these new things that just make "Star Wars" just feel brand new to what players have experienced before.
LARRY HRYB: Can we talk about that? Because we talked about there's like hundreds of characters that are, I mean, beyond it because there's so many in the universe. Tell us about the camera changes because I saw some chatter online about that. And some people had some comments about that. Tell us what that means for folks that have played previous games.
MIKE CONSALVI: So with the new camera change is it like we've given the players the complete 360-degree free control over the camera. Because like when you look at the core audience of these games of them being family games at their core, it's like what are like kids playing in this day and age compared to how potentially adults were playing the original LEGO games in the first place? So it's like how do we consider both the young and old audiences into what we feel like players are playing like in this day and age? So the camera change was one of the core changes that we felt like would be a more modernized take on what "LEGO Star Wars" is and then combining that with all the new combat features and all that sort of thing.
LARRY HRYB: Yeah, let's talk about the combat. Because I noticed right off the bat because I started chapter 1, you know, it's prompting you and it's helping-- because some of these games are for younger players. But it's helping. You've kind of got this free-flowing combat and working on the combos. It's kind of a lot of fun. I mean, it's-- I love feeling it. I felt like a Jedi, I did.
MIKE CONSALVI: Well, perfect. Can't complain there now. But, yeah, it's sort of like we don't-- at the same time, you can't just mash all you want. But then at the same time, we've added that a little bit of extra depth in terms of having the different bond combinations. Because a lot of young players now were more savvy to these what we felt were more technically advanced art games. But kids play "Fortnite" from a very young age, you might find. So it's not like people pick up on technology quite early on in terms of what games are in this day and age. So it's like we just want add a little bit more depth but that is still accessible for everyone, really.
LARRY HRYB: And I also want to point out that we talked about the combat a little bit, but you've got such a wide variety of sets and universes. But there's other things you can do. I'm going to see in a minute, you can fly in the game. And so you've got some flying elements in the game as well. So you're really, on the planets, in the planets-- with the Millennium Falcon, I mean, those are-- and the Y-Wing, those are iconic-- and the X-Wing. Yeah, I know my "Star Wars" stuff. Oh, there's Slave One. I mean, there's so many ships in here. It's amazing.
MIKE CONSALVI: Yeah, it's quite the feat that we've managed to get as much as we can within this game. Because, of course, we want to truly represent the entirety of "The Skywalker Saga" really to actually like have all these iconic ships and vehicles and have all these planets that we want to travel to. So like it's really sort of-- it's really what we wanted fans to experience with this game. It's all like, give them the galaxy. Let's see what they can do within all these different areas that you've recognized from all the films, but like actually make it their own and find all these different collectibles across the world. It's been really fun to be a part of.
LARRY HRYB: And one of the great things I noticed with your levels and the game design was you're going through the levels and you're going through the story and there's a very specific, hey, do you want to continue with the story? Or you have the option to stop and part of the LEGO games is exploration and going through the levels and picking up some of the collectibles, right?
MIKE CONSALVI: Yeah, yeah, so like it goes back to my point about the freedom. It's not like you can just carry on with the story. But the more you progress with the key story missions, the more of these planets you actually unlock and become available to you. So, again, you've got that option as soon as you've unlocked Mos Eisley, for example, here. Like you do have the option to just go around seeing what things you can discover, complete puzzles, speak to all these different inhabitants of these areas. It's like completely up to the player. But you do have the option to just go right ahead and continue with the story. But the more planets you unlock, the more fun the game becomes. And the whole thing just--
LARRY HRYB: I had not seen this clip of Greedo. That's pretty funny.
MIKE CONSALVI: Yeah, again, that's the cut scenes team all over. It's, again, what we're known for in terms of throwing that British humor style that we throw into all the ideas that would come together. It's just been a blast to see them all come to life.
LARRY HRYB: Yeah, because that's, again, we talked about that a moment ago was just the cheekiness and the humor that's just fun. And just, I mean, you can't play 10 minutes of this game without having a smile. A, because you're playing in this "Star Wars" universe. B, because you're playing with LEGOs. And C, there's just these funny moments, you know, the reaction to the characters.
And the characters never verbally speak. We certainly see something-- well, we have the character voices. But some of those cutaways with the responses and the reaction are just so brilliant.
MIKE CONSALVI: Yeah, we're sort of combining like, because, obviously, in the past "LEGO Star Wars" games, we had just the mumbles. And that's what fans came to expect.
LARRY HRYB: Mm. Mm. Yeah.
MIKE CONSALVI: So it's like even when we do have the voices now, you can have, of course, the Mumble Mode extra that you can throw on to have a bit of a throwback to what the old games used to be like. But at the same time, like even in some of the cut scenes, you'll still hear the mm's and ah's and uh's during the dialogue and such. So it's really just sort of just a combination of what makes "LEGO Star Wars" what it is.
LARRY HRYB: Yeah and it's fantastic. It's great because it's available now. And it's also available-- I'm just going to bring up my notes here. You'll be able to play all nine films. This is the first time you're going to be able to do that, right? I mean, that's an incredible moment.
MIKE CONSALVI: Yeah, so, of course, we had the complete saga, which was episodes 1 through 6. And then we did the standalone titles for "Episode VII-- The Force Awakens." So when it came to add in "Episodes XIII" and "IX," we just figured, why not just recreate the entire saga? But then also we obviously know a lot about "I" through "VII" in terms of "LEGO Star Wars," but then it's like we're taking on brand new parts of the story with "Episode VIII" and "IX," so that was fun to come up with stuff for that too.
LARRY HRYB: And these are available. I mean, it's available on Xbox. It's available on PlayStation. Tell us about the platforms. Because you guys ship on a lot of platforms.
MIKE CONSALVI: Yeah, so we're on PlayStation 4, which you can upgrade to the PS5 version as well, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and S, Switch, and PC, Steam, and Epic Games store. I mean, it's pretty much available. I highly recommend if you're-- I mean, there's I know a lot of people out there that have hit me up on social that have played the "LEGO Star Wars" games in the past. This is a must-have. This is like the definitive edition of "The Skywalker Saga."
It is a ton of fun. And Mike Consalvi, the level designer for TT Games. Congratulations on shipping the game. And thanks again for another amazing "Star Wars LEGO" experience.
MIKE CONSALVI: Oh, thank you, this has been great. And, yeah, it's just a shout-out to the entire TT Games team. They've just done incredible work. And yeah, we're extremely happy with the response. So it's thank you for the kind words and thank you for your time on the air today.
JEFFREY: It's opening day, not just in Philly and San Francisco and in the Bronx, but for baseball gamers as "MLB-- The Show 22" is now available with Xbox Game Pass, for Xbox Series X and S, Xbox One, and with Xbox Cloud Gaming for those of you we're subbing to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members. Here to get us ready for the season, I'm very happy to welcome Ramone Russell from Sony's San Diego studio. How are you doing Ramone?
RAMONE RUSSELL: I'm doing fabulous, Jeff. Thank you for having us again.
JEFFREY: It's really great to have you here. It's really great to have "MLB-- The Show 22" on Xbox. You know, I was thinking about this. There's a lot of new features I'd love to be asking you about for 2022. It's the second season for "MLB-- The Show" on Xbox. But the show has been going since 2006. You all have been making these games for a really long time.
And I was wondering, how do you, as you go into-- you know, as the game ships this week and you start thinking about, you know, what is it going to add, what are you going to focus on for a given game? So like if you were to rewind a year ago when we were doing this interview, how did it go for you to say, these are the things we want to focus on for "MLB-- The Show 22."
RAMONE RUSSELL: Right, so I think everything will fall into one of three buckets. The first bucket is, what are our fans expecting and looking for us to continue to progress in areas of the game that were good and maybe not so good? So that normally boils down into gameplay and core modes.
So gameplay, we introduced a new feature last year called Perfect Throws to Home. The first question we got asked last year was, we would love to have perfect throws to every base. So this year in "MLB-- The Show 22," we now have that feature. You can now have a perfect go to home, second, or third. So a lot of what we do is to continue building upon features that we've introduced to really flush them out. Because when we're designing features and we're thinking of new things to do, we don't know if everybody is going to it or not, right? We won't know until the game's actually out.
Another feature from last year's game was Practice Mode, Custom Practice. The one question we always got asked after the game came out, I would love to do fielding practice. Like I want to be able to practice robbing home runs and diving and turning double plays. Well, now we have fielding practice, right? So that's another example of that first bucket.
That second bucket is we have a fabulous team of very talented designers and producers. And they're always trying to think of, what's the next car? Like if we have horses, people would say they want faster horses. But what's the car? What's the feature that people don't know that doesn't exist yet but it'll be really amazing.
For instance, last year, it was being able to parallel your diamond dynasty cars. If we asked 100 people what feature they wanted, no one would have mentioned that feature. But it's a feature that Kyle Blake came up with one day. He implemented it into the game. And people loved it. So how do we expand upon those type of features? And what's the new thing that people want?
Again, another feature that comes into mind is co-op. Not only just, OK, we need to do online co-op. But let's do online co-op and make it so that it doesn't matter what console you're on, you can do online co-op with your friends. And then that third bucket is future-facing features or features that we've been working on where we have a two, three, four, and a five-year plan.
And at any given moment, we could be in a different stage for those features. For instance, March to October, it's now a few years that we've been working on March to October. So now you have multiple seasons. Last year in March to October, it will still one season and then it would kick you into traditional franchise mode. But the evolution of that feature was, we eventually want it to be multiple seasons. And now it is.
We want to give the user more player agency. We've done that. People want more franchise features. We've done that. But there's also a longer roadmap. So pretty much 100% of all the features, they tend to fit into one of those three buckets. And we're always trying to strive and make sure we put as much into the game every single year to make the purchase decision for the end user super easy. Like, oh, y'all worked on this, y'all worked on that. Game play is better. Road to the show is better. March to October is better. You've done all these things, the Diamond Dynasty. I have to play "MLB-- The Show" this year.
JEFFREY: I love the balance of the things that your fans, they're going to let you know what they think immediately. And that's a valuable resource. But also the creativity that comes from within the studio and, I think, very, very deep cut for like the Ford quote they're about faster horses, right? Sometimes people don't know that they wanted something until you gave it to them. And it's like, wow, how do I live without it? Big focus, it seems like-- and there was some of this last year, but even more this year on onboarding new players. You know, I hear there's some new difficulty options now for those who need the extra help, in addition to all that extra fielding practice you have.
RAMONE RUSSELL: Yeah, so we've added two new difficulty levels. You know, Beginner was one difficult level. It was like, oh, we may need a difficulty level called "Amateur." Because we're doing platform expansion again for the second year in a row. And we want to make sure that we can properly onboard new users to "MLB-- The Show." Because the vast majority of our team, we've been working on this game for so long we sometimes might kind of gloss over the fact that we're having a lot of people play this game for the first time ever. So we need to do everything that we can to make sure that they understand what's going on.
So last year and the year before, as we've always done tutorials in the game, but this year we kicked it up a notch. We have a video series called "Learn the Show." And they're on our YouTube channel, which breaks down the very basics of baseball and "MLB-- The Show" because a user who's been playing the game for a while, they can jump right in and they can start playing with pulse pitching or pinpoint pitching. They know what that is. If I'm buying the game for the first time, I have no idea what pinpoint pitching is. I might not even know the difference between a two-seamer and a cutter. So we still need to be able to talk to our new fans and explain to them, hey, this is how a two-seamer works hey, this is how a cutter works.
When you're batting, there's not just one way to bat. There's three different ways to bat. And here are the different ways that you can bat.
And so we have a brand new series called "Learn the Show." And it'll be, I think, over 15 videos that really breaks down the game in the simplest terms at a very basic level. Because we know that a lot of people are playing "MLB-- The Show" for the very first time.
JEFFREY: Yeah, I love that. Because it was like, do I-- when do I use a contact swing versus a normal swing or--
RAMONE RUSSELL: Exactly.
JEFFREY: --I'm one of these people that's like, I think I should use this pitch? But I don't really necessarily have anything to back that up. And you can watch that on-- it's on "MLB-- The Show," correct?
- Yes, sir.
JEFFREY: Very cool. So perhaps the marquee mode-- and there's a lot of competition these days on "MLB-- The Show" is road to the show. So what's new for Road to the Show this year?
RAMONE RUSSELL: So for Road to the Show in Ballplayer, again, we're going back to continuously progressing modes in a year-by-year cadence and building upon things. Also listening to community feedback and what's the thing in the middle that they don't know that they want that we can create? So feedback we heard was, we want multiple ball players. Maybe I don't want to be a two-way player. Maybe I want to make a pitcher and a hitter.
So this year, you can create multiple ballplayers. They wanted expanded archetype items so that you could have more archetype items. They wanted a better, more revamped progression. So we've worked on the progression. So every single year in every single mode, like we're always trying to attack it through that lens. Like what are our fans looking for? How do we continue to make improvements and maybe rectify shortcomings? Because we're not psychic. What are the features that they don't know that they want that we can surprise people and delight people that they love. And what's that general progression that our various teams are working on a year to year basis to continue to improve our legacy holds year over year.
JEFFREY: All right so the season starting today, a couple of games yesterday. Long season, I think we'll be playing well into November this year. How does the game update and keep current with all the different happenings that will be happening between now and 162 games in playoffs?
RAMONE RUSSELL: Right, it's a long season. The baseball season is long, but the MLB show development season is even longer. Like it doesn't end. We're 365, you know, 12 months out of the year. We eat, sleep, and breathe baseball. We don't take a break.
So as soon as the game comes out, we have our live content team and they're working on new live content to keep the game fresh. And at the same time, we're also monitoring how people are playing the game. We're looking out for any bugs or any issues so that we could continue to update the game and make sure that we can address any possible issues that come up throughout the season.
JEFFREY: So before I let you go, I know there were so many different things, so many different-- we had to bucket out all of the new things that are getting added for "MLB-- The Show 22." Anything I left out? Anything you want to make sure people are sure to check out because you all put a lot of time into it or there's some nice details you want to make sure are noticed?
RAMONE RUSSELL: Well, I didn't mention, we have a brand new commentary team. John Sciambi and Chris Singleton, they represent our brand new commentary team and how we view commentary moving forward. The same goes for presentation. When you're playing "MLB-- The Show," you're going to notice a lot of regional presentation packages. Because baseball is a very regional sport. If I'm a San Diego Padres fan, I'm watching the Padres, probably on my local channels.
So all of our OSD packages-- our on-screen displays and the graphics that you see-- we tried to give them more of a local hometown flair and have them be different per team. So commentary has been upgraded. You know, gameplay is always paramount, especially for sports games. You always want to make sure your game play is solid.
Because if you're not having fun playing the game, it doesn't matter what you've done to a "March to October" or "Road to the Show" or "Diamond Dynasty," right? And luckily, you know, Chris Gill, the gameplay director played baseball. He's been on a team almost 20 years now. And every single year, him and that team is continuing to improve gameplay as we're really striving to make the best baseball game possible. And this year, we think we're a little bit closer than we were last year.
JEFFREY: That's the journey, right? So Ramon, thank you so much for sharing. A lot of the detail in what is probably the most detail oriented sport that exists on in the world today. So I really appreciate you taking the time. And, once again, you could be playing "MLB-- The Show 22" right now via Xbox Game Pass on Xbox Series X and S, on Xbox One, and with Xbox Cloud Gaming. And hey, you can co-op with your friends on PlayStation and on Switch as well. So something for everybody. Enjoy the season. And Ramone, thanks again for taking time to visit us here on the Xbox podcast.
RAMONE RUSSELL: Thank you for having me. Really appreciate it.
LARRY HRYB: Nine years ago, [email protected] launched massive program, thousands of games that you have played on Xbox because of this program.
Joining us today to celebrate nine years of Xbox is the director of [email protected] This is Chris Charla iocat. Chris, good to see you.
CHRIS CHARLA: Hey, how's it going?
LARRY HRYB: It is going great. I got to tell you, it doesn't seem like nine years. Wow, where did the time go?
CHRIS CHARLA: I know, it feels like yesterday. I mean, I still remember-- maybe you don't remember this, but I do. When we were at the thing where we at first announced [email protected], which was at Games Con, you had this amazing Xbox lapel pin. And I was like, Larry, that pin is so cool. And you were like, let me see what I can do. And then a few minutes later, I had an amazing Xbox lapel pin. And so it was awesome.
LARRY HRYB: We're a little more casual today. But, yeah, that was an-- I remember being-- I miss Games Con. Hopefully we can go back again sometime soon.
CHRIS CHARLA: Yeah.
LARRY HRYB: But [email protected], I mean, what an incredible program. And congratulations to you and the team. I mean, we saw this, we saw your-- first of all, talk about the article in "The Hollywood Reporter," of all things. I'm surprised you don't have sunglasses on. You're all Hollywood.
But [email protected], I mean, it's been an amazing, amazing almost decade. Tell us about some of the journey that we got there and then the past nine years what that's been like.
CHRIS CHARLA: Yeah, it's been really cool. And, you know, and there's two reasons for that, right? Like the number one reason is the developers. Back in the 360 era before Xbox One launched, we had Xbox Live Arcade. We saw this amazing work that was being done by independent developers. And we kind of had the idea that actually independent developers are-- they're not just really cool, they're super important. And they're going to continue to grow in importance. And, you know, and they're going to become one of the most important drivers for amazing new games in the future.
And the scene was moving faster than kind of Microsoft was moving in the 360 era. And so as we were getting ready for Xbox One, we said, hey, we need to stop, take a step back, and think about, hey, how do we serve these developers to really maximize their success?
And that was kind of the genesis of [email protected] Just how do we make it easy for developers to ship? And if we can do that and then highlight really cool games, we know we're going to get an amazing flow of games. Our players are going to be super happy. And it's worked. It's kind of cool.
LARRY HRYB: We were talking-- I know you listen to the show frequently. And Jeff and I and Rebecca were talking a few weeks ago about how the [email protected] Games, like nowadays, there's like titles that show up in the [email protected] program that you think were AAA titles and some AAA-- it's just, it's all, the lines are blurred quite a bit, haven't they?
CHRIS CHARLA: Yeah, absolutely, like there's no-- and I think the best place to look at that is E3. Because at E3 we used to have an [email protected] section, which was awesome, you know? And we would have games from ID developers and a montage of ID developers. And at a certain point, a few years ago, it was like, well, wait a minute. The media briefing is going to just be-- that section is going to be like too long.
LARRY HRYB: Right.
CHRIS CHARLA: And at that point, we kind of-- I feel like we graduated. Because we were like, all right, we don't need somebody on stage talking about this. These games just stand on their own. And now if you look at an E3 briefing, you know, again, like the number of minutes that come from independent developers, it's a huge portion of the show. But it's peppered throughout. And it's like those games just stand on their own now. And it's really cool.
LARRY HRYB: I remember we had on a few years ago. We have on frequently. And it's always great to have you on. So thank you for joining us. But I want to-- we'll be talking about the nine-year anniversary of [email protected] And without it, you know, games are what it's all about. But I also want to talk about really important part is that in the article that you posted, the blog post on Xbox Wire, $2.5 billion in royalties. [BUH], billion, that's amazing.
CHRIS CHARLA: It feels like-- I mean, I mean, this is a lot of money. You know what I mean? That is astounding. And when we talked to developers before we started the program and when we talked to developers today, like we always ask like, what do you want?
Like what are your goals? What do you want to do? And the answer is really always the same. It's, I want to keep doing this.
LARRY HRYB: Yeah.
CHRIS CHARLA: Like I make games. I want to keep making games. This is my art. I want to continue it. And the fact that we're able to provide developers this incredibly sustainable place where they can make games and continue to make games and know that there's this amazing audience of Xbox players who are excited to play those games, excited to download those games, buy them, it's just fantastic.
I mean, it's a hit-driven industry, like any entertainment medium. And not every game succeeds. But games have the-- you know, that come through the ID program or just come to Xbox generally have the potential to have just like life-changing sales results. And that, it feels awesome.
LARRY HRYB: I want to talk a little bit about the program. You talked about enabling these developers and getting their game titles out there. And I love tweeting about all the games that are released and the [email protected] games. But what's another thing I want to talk about is how it's layered on top of Game Pass and what Game Pass has done to really accelerate a lot of these developers and the success they've had. Tell us about that.
CHRIS CHARLA: Yeah, it's been fantastic. So a huge number of developers have taken advantage of the Game Pass program, had their games be in Game Pass-- whether at launch or after launch. And it's driven a level of discovery and downloads for these games that would be really hard to achieve otherwise. And then the developers end up seeing, you know, first of all, just creative success that comes from people playing your game. It's just a fantastic feeling, second, great sales success on Xbox. And then third, it builds awareness across the industry.
So when these games come out on other platforms as well, which they do, everybody knows about them. Because everybody's talking about them when they launch into Game Pass. People are streaming them. And so it really creates this kind of virtuous cycle where people are playing the game through Game Pass. They're buying the games. They're seeing the games on other platforms. And it's really helped developers.
And it's a case where sometimes people say like, well, does it really work? And we ask ourselves this question all the time. And when we see developers coming back to us to sign up for a second game in Game Pass, a third game in Game Pass, a fourth, a fifth game in Game Pass, to us, that's kind of the extrinsic evidence like, yes, this is working. We know it works for fans. And that shows us that it's really working for developers too.
LARRY HRYB: 3,000 independent titles available on Xbox over the past nine years. Tell us, I mean, I know it's-- I don't want you to pick your favorite. I don't want you to do that. But tell us about some of the highlights in terms of not just the experiences, but some of the games and the teams that you've got to work on. Because you've flown around the world to work with a bunch of different teams.
CHRIS CHARLA: Oh yeah, and that's like the most fun is just getting to work-- you know, I used to be a developer. I love developers. I love that creative spirit.
LARRY HRYB: You used to be a journalist before that.
CHRIS CHARLA: I was a journalist, then a developer, now a platform ... Yeah, and so it's just awesome getting to talk to people. And getting to talk to people where it's like their first game is always really special. Like their first game that they're shipping on console is really cool. But getting to hang out with the veterans is really cool too. And it's hard to pick out a specific game. So I think I'll just talk about some recent games. So one that's like still devouring all my time is Tunic.
LARRY HRYB: I just finished it.
CHRIS CHARLA: Oh, nice.
LARRY HRYB: I just finished it.
CHRIS CHARLA: Yeah, it's hard. By the way, you're in the credits.
LARRY HRYB: Oh, nice.
CHRIS CHARLA: As usual. Yeah, like that game is so-- like I've just been completely sunk into that game. "Shredders," which is just like ridiculous-looking snowboarding game I'm pretty sure we had at E3 a couple of years ago. And then "RPG Time-- Legend of Wright," which I definitely encourage people to check out. It's just really neat. Imagine you're a third grader in Japan. You just want to be home playing RPGs. But you're stuck in study hall.
And so you're sketching in your notebook. You're using your eraser to be a character. And it recreates that experience. And it's just such a charming, cozy kind of experience and just like really, really neat.
CHRIS CHARLA: I mean, yeah, you're right. I mean, and that's the beauty of the ID program is there's a lot of games that have seen the light that normally would never have seen a light that large AAA developers or publishers would say, nah, pass, pass, pass. And I'm sure you've heard stories where, oh, so-and-so developer or publisher passed on us, but you gave us life.
LARRY HRYB: Yeah, absolutely. And we're always excited to highlight those things. I think the beauty of independent games is that it gives the developers freedom to focus on something as narrow or broad as they want to. They can take a really simple idea and just execute it well and ship that. Or they can go like Tunic, which took a kind of big idea and, you know, Dice, he spent like years and years on it. And then you play this game that is so much deeper than you could ever imagine, like all the secrets and golden -- I won't give anything away, but there's so much there. And then just developers having the freedom to just really explore those ideas is fantastic.
LARRY HRYB: Yeah, you know, it's funny because when I finished "Tunic," and which I played many, many, many, many hours, but when I saw the credits-- and I said you were in the credits-- there's like, you're right, I had Dicey on a few weeks ago. I mean, developer and I was like, he did all this? Oh, wow. I mean, it is deep. It is complicated. There's puzzles. There's story. I mean, it is an amazing world that he's built.
CHRIS CHARLA: Yeah, it's just unbelievable. I mean, the manual, you know what I mean? When I first got the manual page right when I started playing the game-- because I'm one of these people, once we sign a game and I'm excited about it, I try to learn nothing else about it. Like I don't play-- I try not to play builds early.
LARRY HRYB: I'm with you.
CHRIS CHARLA: Yeah, I really just-- I just want to experience the finished product. And so I see this manual page in the pause menu. I'm like, oh, this is really cool. It looks really neat. And then you start to get into it. And you start to realize what it is.
LARRY HRYB: And collect them all, yeah.
CHRIS CHARLA: Yeah, and it's like-- it's just, I mean, that kind of creativity and just drive and passion on the screen is just, it's just so amazing.
LARRY HRYB: Are you surprised, we talked at the beginning a few minutes ago about "The Hollywood Reporter" article. And I could put a link to that. Which, you know, it was great to see you in "Hollywood Reporter" talking about the development of games. And it's amazing. I say this every week it feels like, how games have contributed to Hollywood and Hollywood has contributed to the games. It's now part of the virtuous entertainment cycle. So what was that just being interviewed by "Hollywood Reporter," the mainstream entertainment press.
CHRIS CHARLA: It was scary. Like I feel like I'm kind of comfortable a lot of times talking to games journalists. But talking to somebody from outside games is, it's scary, you know what I mean? Like you don't know if they get games. But actually Trilby, who's the reporter who did the story, is fantastic and, you know, loves games. And it was great. But I was nervous. But it was neat. You know, like my mom doesn't read a lot of like video game magazines. But she texted me after that.
LARRY HRYB: Is she reading "The Hollywood Reporter" as she's out by the pool having her martini?
CHRIS CHARLA: Yeah, just, you know, she lives in Southern California. You know how that is.
LARRY HRYB: The other thing I want to talk about is a few weeks ago, we had the game developer conference, GDC. And we announced a bunch of new things there. So we've got [email protected] We've got Game Pass. But now we have [email protected] I mean, we talked a little bit about that program a few weeks ago. But could you explain to us what it really means and unlocks for new developers?
CHRIS CHARLA: Yeah, absolutely. So basically, we have Azure, which is our cloud platform. We have a lot of Azure gaming tools from Azure Play Fab to other things. And we realized that we had an opportunity to do a better job of getting out there to everybody and all independent developers, leveraging some of the same kind of back end tools that we built for [email protected] And [email protected] is for anybody who wants to use cloud in their games, definitely not limited to Xbox. So if you were developing for PlayStation, Switch, iOS, Android, PC, Xbox too, of course.
But it's really for people who are just looking for cloud solutions for gaming, whether it's for a multiplayer game, a server-based game, or even a single player game where somebody wants to add telemetry to the game so they can see where maybe people are getting stuck or how much time people are spending on different puzzles, that kind of thing, both for pre-release and post-release. And so it's been really cool.
And Nick Ferguson, who actually was part of the original virtual team that helped start [email protected], he went off and did some other things. And now he came back to Microsoft to run [email protected] So that's awesome.
LARRY HRYB: I know that you're looking up the pipeline when I say the pipeline, the games that are coming out in six months, you know, a year, two years, three years, and beyond, are you excited to see what the [email protected] program is going to unlock for game experiences that maybe we've never been able to have before?
CHRIS CHARLA: Yeah, absolutely. Like back in the dawn of ID, people would ask me like what kind of games are you excited to see? And I would just say, games I can't imagine. And then we got games we couldn't have imagined, games like "Cuphead," games like "Tunic," games like "RPG Time."
And I have the same answer for [email protected] I think when you take the creativity and artistic passion of independent developers and you combine it with any new technology, whether it's digital downloads, which kickstarted the indie movement to begin with, or cloud technology, they're going to do things that are just unimaginable in the best possible way.
And so that is what I'm really excited to see. And knowing even just a couple of things that are going to be coming down the line, I think it's going to be, it's going to be amazing.
LARRY HRYB: When you look forward-- and we talked about looking forward and looking back-- it's really great to see, look in the rearview mirror and see the billions of dollars that you've contributed to developers and have really made-- I mean, we talked about Cuphead, which if I remember correctly, was really just a video. And they turned it into a game and now it's back, you know, it's a Netflix series. That's amazing, one of many, many, many, many, many stories that you've seen, right?
CHRIS CHARLA: Yeah, absolutely. And it is. And, you know, and again, like "Cuphead" was a tiny team who had never made a game before and like--
LARRY HRYB: They just had an idea, saw that they could get a game engine and get started, and just did it, I mean, and then put it in years and years of like backbreaking work and everything you actually need to do to be successful in a creative endeavor. And they've been incredibly rewarded for that success. It feels good like every time-- well, I'll be honest. I just like approved a royalty payment for "Cuphead" like 15 minutes ago.
And I was like, "Cuphead" is still doing great, you know? And it feels-- like it feels awesome. And it just really feels great to-- you know, you meet game developers. And by and large, they are like fantastic people who are super passionate. And then to see them have the creative success that they-- or the commercial success that they want, it kind of tells you two things.
One is that players are getting to enjoy these games and two is there getting to be able to make more games. And I just feel like we're in a creative boom in video games right now, not just in indie space, but I would say across all video games that in 100 years, people are going to be talking about. Like this sounds a little bonkers, but I really think it's true. Like what's being done in games now is just like so important for entertainment.
LARRY HRYB: You know, I know I need to let you go because you're busy and you have more royalty payments to approve, but tell us what folks can do right now. Maybe someone's in high school or junior high or college or maybe they just have a regular-- you know, they're just not working in the games. And should they have an idea, what's their go do to go kind of start thinking about how to get involved in the [email protected] program.
- Yeah, so I think-- so if they-- I would say the first thing to do is to download an engine, whether that's a real engine, whether it's unity, whether it's game maker. That's going to get you a huge portion of the way to where you're thinking more about your game idea than you are thinking about the underlying technology.
LARRY HRYB: Right.
CHRIS CHARLA: The next thing I'd do, honestly, is like look for tutorials online, whether it's on YouTube, whether it's just on somebody's blog. There's unbelievable tutorials that can get you started. There's lots of links to sample code. And then when you're ready to show the game to the world, head to xbox.com/id, join [email protected], send us a build or a video and maybe your game is going to be on console and the world is going to be playing It.
LARRY HRYB: Maybe it could be on the E3 stage in a few years in one of our presentations.
CHRIS CHARLA: Absolutely. Absolutely.
LARRY HRYB: Anything's possible.
CHRIS CHARLA: Yeah, no question, I mean, the number of games that have been on the E3 stage where it was a person's first console game is--
LARRY HRYB: --staggering.
CHRIS CHARLA: --way higher than you might guess.
LARRY HRYB: That's a great point. I mean, it could be-- right now, you out there, it could be you. Or once you kind get those things together, make sure you hit up Chris on Twitter. You can see his Twitter @iocat right there. You can find him there. Chris Charla, head of ID at Xbox, congratulations on nine amazing years in the program. We're looking for many, many, many more. And I know we're just so thrilled to have over 3,000 [email protected] games out there and many more to come. Chris, thanks again.
CHRIS CHARLA: Yes, thanks a lot.
REBECCA: Thank you to Chris, Ramone, and Mike for those interviews. Great job, guys. A lot of fun stuff this week. All right, so, speaking of other things happening this week, I have a couple updates that I'll start with before punting it over to Jeff for the rest of the news. First, we actually have the "Sonic the Hedgehog" DLC on Minecraft, which came out last year in June.
But there has been an update which brings back a new level called the labyrinth zone, if you guys are familiar with it. It also includes a lot of Easter eggs. There is five new character skins and also a Knuckles t-shirt in the Minecraft character creator that people can try out. But I think the Easter eggs are going to be the big one, like go back into check it out after this update has come out, check out the labyrinth zone and find the Easter eggs?
JEFFREY: I don't know if you saw, but at the premiere for "Sonic 2," which took place this week, IGN, I guess they had gotten a hold of some of the fuzzy controllers. And they put them in Idris Elba's hands. Idris Elba being not just the famous actor, but also the voice of Knuckles in this movie. And his reactions were just, were great.
REBECCA: Was he like impressed or was he like, what the heck is that?
JEFFREY: He thought-- I think his reaction was something to the effect of like did you cut your slippers up and just paste them to this controller. But then when he hit the button and it lit up, I think he was very impressed with it. I was like, no, this is like a legit--
CHRIS CHARLA: It's a functional controller.
JEFFREY: Exactly, although, again, dry clean only, you know, for display. You really don't want to get chocolate or soda on--
LARRY HRYB: It's not waterproof or clear. It is not.
REBECCA: More of a conversation piece, yeah.
LARRY HRYB: It'll be up on the wall.
REBECCA: OK, anyway, Jeff, what other news do you got?
LARRY HRYB: Yeah, Jeff, what do you got over there?
JEFFREY: All right, pretty eventful week, I have to say. So we talked about "LEGO Star Wars-- The Skywalker Saga" and "MLB-- The Show 22." I'm watching this behind me. I'm like, is this an actual game like happening right now? It's opening day for the MLB, as we're doing this. Or is this the game? I mean, it looks so good.
LARRY HRYB: Stunning.
REBECCA: It looks really good, yeah.
JEFFREY: Wow, OK, I was just very distracted by that. But also out this week, "Godfall-- Ultimate Edition." We talked about that last week. And so all the updates and all the improvements since it launched on PS5, I want to say, is now brought to Xbox. So enjoy that.
"Chrono Cross," this is a game that came out in the '90s on the PS1, classic JRPG that predates Xbox. Well, there is something called the Radical Dreamers Edition, which is also available this week.
And it's an HD remaster of it. So if you've ever heard of "Chrono Trigger," this was the sequel to that. And it's considered like an all-time great. I want to say like the Metacritic back in the day was like in the mid 90's. So definitely something I want to take a look at.
And if you're a member of Xbox Game Pass, you're an ultimate member, you have access to EA play, "Dragon Age II," "Plants vs. Zombies-- Garden Warfare," and "Star Wars-- Squadrons," they're all now available through cloud streaming, which is always cool.
LARRY HRYB: Yes.
JEFFREY: A couple of updates to games. So, Larry, you're a pirate legend, aren't you?
LARRY HRYB: You're darn right. In fact, I believe I am the only pirate legend on the podcast. Is that right Jeff? Is that right Rebecca?
JEFFREY: That is correct.
REBECCA: Yes, yes.
JEFFREY: I am a pirate fart in the wind because I like not--
LARRY HRYB: Wow.
JEFFREY: I've accomplished not a heck of a lot, but I have gotten to sail with you. So I'm one degree of separation from Captain Major Lord Nelson, the pirate legend. Well, anyway, "Sea of Thieves," this is Legends week. So we're saluting you, Larry.
And so now through April 11, there's all kinds of celebrations, in-game promotions. And there's going to be a "Legend of the Vail" voyage that they're going to be teasing. So let's take some time to salute you, Larry--
LARRY HRYB: Well, this weekend, if you are a pirate legend, I think you can log in and you'll get a-- there'll be a free gifted item-- if you're a pirate legend. So there's plenty of time.
JEFFREY: Let us know how it is. Let us know how the other half sails.
LARRY HRYB: I brought you into the secret clubhouse, Jeff, didn't I?
JEFFREY: You did, actually, you did. He lifted the velvet rope and got me in the door.
REBECCA: Oh, you were his plus one?
JEFFREY: I was his plus one. They gave me the side eye though, like the bouncer was just, like you don't belong in here. Also coming up next week, "Back 4 Blood," we had a lot of fun playing "Back 4 Blood" when it hit Game Pass earlier this summer. So there's a new DLC that's going to be coming out next week, April 12, called "Tunnels of Terror."
So it's got new areas and new cleaners. Cleaners are the players that you use. I did like my doctor, but I want to check out the cleaners. But what's cool about it is if one-- it is a paid DLC. If one person gets it in the party, all the people in the party can access it. So only one person has to have--
LARRY HRYB: I love that mechanic. I mean, I remember back in the day with 360, so there were some games that were experimenting with that where like if I downloaded, I bought the map, everybody in the party had the map.
So I think that's a really cool mechanic. And it gets more people playing online, which is really the most important thing. So I don't know who's going to buy the map, if it's going to be you, Rebecca, or you, Jeff, or me, so--
JEFFREY: How about the pirate legend will treat? And by the way, I just want to say, Larry, you're one in a million. Because there's literally a million of you. There's a million pirate legends. I was looking at the story here. So--
REBECCA: Wow, nice, nice one.
JEFFREY: With like 8 billion people in the world, even if you're one in a million, there's still 8,000 of you. So something to keep in mind. Really makes you think, doesn't it? So we had talked about a month ago this spring spotlight, this spring game spotlight. Well, between March 8 and this week when you're listening to this, Xbox has released 40 different titles-- games like "Tunic" and "Shredders," "MLB-- The Show 22."
So you can earn all kinds of rewards points for playing those. So you're going to want to take a look. We have a story up on Xbox Wire. You want to get those rewards points. Of course, you can donate them. Or you can convert those into months of Game Pass. But who else rewards you simply for playing these games?
Well, we do. That's what matters there. There is also as part of this a spring sale through April 21. So you can save up to 80% on certain Xbox games, of course, "Ryzen 5," "Elder Scrolls Online," "Mortal Kombat 11," these are all part of it. Different percentages off for each one. But just check your store. Let the savings just wash over you a pirate legend might. You know?
LARRY HRYB: I like that. Maybe not. I don't know. I'm still workshopping that.
REBECCA: OK, it was good.
JEFFREY: We talked about "LEGO Star--"
REBECCA: It's OK. Now you're making me feel worse.
JEFFREY: We talked about LEGO Star Wars. And the LEGO-- I posted this on Instagram. The LEGO Star Wars team sent me this puzzle that it was a puzzle made out of LEGOs. You can't just disassemble it. You had to turn something--
REBECCA: Oh he's got the gloves on.
JEFFREY: --pull something. And inside of it was the coolest little mini fig. Check this minifig out.
REBECCA: Is that Luke? What's Luke holding?
JEFFREY: It is the Luke Skywalker with blue milk. For those of you who remember the blue milk from the last one.
LARRY HRYB: Was it the Banthas? Did they milk the Banthas?
JEFFREY: No, no, no, no, it was very--
REBECCA: It was the big-- yeah.
JEFFREY: The big animals that were up on the-- that were living with him up on the cliff.
LARRY HRYB: Isn't that a Bantha? No the Bantha is what the--
REBECCA: Was it the Bantha?
LARRY HRYB: No, no, please, Jeffrey. The Bantha is what is the Tusken Raiders.
REBECCA: Oh yeah, not a Bantha.
LARRY HRYB: Not a Bantha? So. I'm going to look this-- so wait, are you a "Star Trek" fan? Is that-- are we setting up lines of division here?
JEFFREY: I mean, I did like Next Generation.
LARRY HRYB: Are you looking at me? Are you fact checking me real time?
JEFFREY: Yeah, 100%.
LARRY HRYB: OK that's fine. Tell me how I did.
REBECCA: Wait, it says the blue milk from the bantha. Oh, it's green milk that he's-- that old Luke is drinking in the newer the newer one on the island.
JEFFREY: Within the "Star Wars" universe, blue milk comes from a bantha a horned herbivore, animal native to Tattooine. Now--
LARRY HRYB: I have, I stand corrected. I will take that Jeff because it's funny, if you look on the packaging, you can see that's clearly Tattooine in M background. So you are great, oh great one.
LARRY HRYB: You really laid it on thick here. Like you were really, really, Jeff? You really--
JEFFREY: I remember it from-- do you remember it from the last movie, Rebecca?
REBECCA: Yeah, I know you're talking about. I think that that's why I was confused because I was like, well, why do they have young Luke drinking it? I don't remember-- I don't really remember blue milk, but I guess, yeah.
JEFFREY: By the way, he's even got a blue milk mustache.
REBECCA: It's cute. I like it.
JEFFREY: Anyway, I just wanted to point that out.
REBECCA: All right, let's see it. Are you going to pull it out?
LARRY HRYB: Well, no, I've got to put it together.
JEFFREY: He's going to sell that. That's going to put his kid through college one day.
LARRY HRYB: I got to put the whole thing together, so.
JEFFREY: You need to have that big mint in the box. You got to get it graded, et cetera.
LARRY HRYB: Anyway, all right, well, that's kind of all I have this week. How are you guys? Well, I think we'll wrap things up here.
JEFFREY: Yeah, you don't want me to correct you on a bunch of other stuff?
LARRY HRYB: Well, I will always tell you if I'm wrong. But I was wrong.
REBECCA: I have-- here. Have a question for our listeners--
LARRY HRYB: Oh yeah.
REBECCA: --if folks want to share. I mean, nothing crazy, but I'm just curious if there are any unexpected gems you've been finding in Xbox Game Pass lately. I would just love to hear about them, any kind of unique titles. You know, I know that Larry keeps talking about the pedestrian for example.
There's another one I've been looking at. And what I try is just kind of like in the middle of the list. So if you have any cool games on Xbox Game Pass that might not have otherwise seemed super apparent, I don't know, I'm trying to think the word.
But a lot of games get a lot of promotion on Xbox Game Pass. But if you have any that have kind of maybe like flew under the radar, we'd love to hear about them. So you could submit the questions through Spotify, right? Larry can you give the instructions.
LARRY HRYB: Yep, you go over to Spotify, and if you're on this episode on Spotify, whether-- because we have, by the way, this is one of the few video podcasts on Spotify. So you can scroll down and you'll see the question. We'll put it in right there. Some of the better answers. I will see all the answers.
And you can see all the answers as well, we'll pin some of the better ones. And then next week when Rebecca is back, assuming she's not going to the Caribbean again, we'll read some of those suggestions off.
So what are some of those Game Pass gems? Because there's hundreds of games on Game Pass. And it's impossible to play them all. But we try to tell you about some of the best.
LARRY HRYB: You were wrong about the blue milk, but you were right about the pedestrians.
REBECCA: Oh my gosh.
JEFFREY: I am so embarrassed about the blue milk thing. But I did I did get the fact that it was the Tusken Raiders ride the Bantha, right?
LARRY HRYB: Yes, yes, yes.
JEFFREY: You can ride it. You can milk it. What can't you do?
LARRY HRYB: Well, we'll let you guys go. We'll be back next week, Rebecca, to welcome back Jeff, welcome back from our viewer and dear listeners. Thank you for being with us this time. So all right we'll see everybody next week but by everybody.