DF Direct Weekly: Xbox’s Developer Direct is the perfect vehicle for a big game reveal

January 22, 2024
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It’s been just over a year now since Microsoft delivered its first Developer Direct – and back in the day I called it the “best games show we’ve seen in years”. After its latest episode, I stand by those words and more than that, I also believe it’s the perfect way to debut a big new game. I don’t think they get much bigger with the hugely promising Indiana Jones and the Great Circle.

This new Developer Direct is the main point of discussion in this week’s DF Direct (no underscore) Weekly, where myself, John Linneman and Alex Battaglia share our first thoughts on each of the key titles shown in the show – but the key point is that the formula for the Microsoft show fundamentally addresses a key concern we’ve had with platform holder event coverage and the ‘trailerfication’ of games. The truth is, it takes a lot of time, money and effort to make a game – so to boil the experience down into a sub-two minute slice of action, often with no context whatsoever, means a game has to work incredibly hard to command attention.

Of course, big games get more of a focus and more time, but the beauty of the Developer Direct format is that Microsoft reduces the amount of games covered but goes into relatively luxurious depth on each project. More than that, while the lines are obviously highly scripted and well-rehersed, the point is that it’s the developers telling us about what they’re working on. There’s a compelling level of authenticity in factoring out the marketing execs and the ‘suits’ and letting the creators of the games tell us about what they’re up to.

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