More on the Co-op Bill of Rights
A few months back, Microsoft’s director of games platform strategy, Andre Vrignaud (better known as Ozymandias), created the Co-op Game Bill of Rights which contained a list of features and key elements gamers expect to see in their co-op games (as well as some features that aren’t absolutely necessary). There was a lot of discussion about it around the web; I wrote up a similar story that took a more broad look at games in general, but 1UP wanted to know more from Vrignaud and how that list plays into Microsoft’s relationship with developers.
Your blog has a disclaimer about how “not everything posted accurately reflects the views of my company, my management, Microsoft partners, affiliates, or even my mother.” That given, would you say that co-op gaming is something Microsoft is very interested in or concerned with this generation? Are you bringing your feelings on co-op games and this list of “rights” to bear in particular?
Certainly, a lot of people at Microsoft are believers in co-op. That can be seen throughout the organization, including the platform side and Microsoft Game Studios. I’d highlight Crackdown, Halo 3, and Gears of War as having some of the best co-op implementations in the industry today, and that’s certainly not by accident. As for bringing the list “to bear,” I guess I’d say that that’s not really my role. My job at Microsoft is to help define and evangelize a killer platform for developers to build upon. Through that work I’d certainly like to believe that my co-workers and I have valuable lessons and insight to share… and we’re happy to do so. In fact, we’ve had some great conversations with different folks inside and outside Microsoft on the topic. But at the end of the day, it’s up to the game developers to innovate on the platform as they see fit. If we can help with ideas… great!
Have you shared the Co-op Game Bill of Rights with developers or publishers, or are there plans to do so?
I’ve shared it by publishing the Co-Op Game Bill of Rights on the web. Also, I’ve had conversations with some MGS folks, but there are no plans to publish this beyond that. Again, we sincerely believe that our role is to provide a fantastic platform for developers to build their visions on. We don’t define their games. If some of our co-op thoughts are seen as useful and adopted by this publication, great! But we’d never mandate this sort of thing.