Matt Booty Talks Fable and Perfect Dark Reboots, Halo Infinite 'Falling Short', in New Interview

Matt Booty Talks Fable and Perfect Dark Reboots, Halo Infinite ‘Falling Short’, in New Interview

Xbox is still working on rebooting some of its classic series, like Perfect Dark and Fable, and has acknowledged how another stumbled along the way with Infinite Halo.

In an interview with the Friends per second podcast, Xbox Game Studios manager Matt Booty touched on some of the long-missing reboots, explaining timelines, partnerships, and hurdles. Asked about Perfect Dark and direction changes on the project, the boss of Xbox explained their partnership with Crystal Dynamics.

Booty called developer The Initiative and Crystal Dynamics’ efforts on Perfect Dark “co-development” and made it clear that they were an “equal partner in development”. That is to say, Crystal Dynamics is not on board just for the outsourcing of assets or other project elements.

“There weren’t so many changes in direction as building a studio,” Booty said. “I think one of the hardest things in the past few years has been getting a big Halo or Battlefield-scale game done under the conditions we’ve had.”

These terms that Booty refers to are modifications of studio work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Xbox manager noted that they have tried several new methods around workflow and attracting talent since the beginning. He also said that this kind of “close co-development” is something we’ll see more of in the future.

Asked about Fable, GameSpot noted Booty’s praise for developer Playground Games. It’s a studio primarily known for its racing titles, like the Forza Horizon series, but the Xbox boss noted that Playground brings “high-quality craftsmanship, great attention to detail” to projects. He said the team had “a particular passion for IP” and “understand what the heart and soul of Fable is and how it can adapt it to today’s sensibilities”. .

Polygon also highlighted Booty’s openness regarding Halo Infinite and its stumbles at launch and throughout the update cycle. He compared Halo Infinite’s struggles to “the classic runner’s mistake of tripping and stumbling when you cross the finish line”, also primarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Booty acknowledged the challenges of sudden remote work, hybrid working, how to adapt and team size during the pandemic, calling it “the worst case scenario for trying to make games.” He praised the team for making it and shipping it, acknowledging that some of those difficulties became more apparent in Halo Infinite’s long-term content plan – where Booty says Xbox “failed”.

Developer 343 has struggled to meet several update goals for new Halo Infinite features, including delays for Forge Mode and possibly split-screen co-op cancel entirely.

Based on the interview with Booty, it looks like the Halo Infinite team has some new post-launch plans in place and a game plan for future updates. Halo Infinite is big winter update launching tomorrow, November 8.

Andrea Shearon is a freelance contributor for IGN covering games and entertainment. She’s worn many hats over her seven-year career in the gaming industry, with signings to Fanbyte, USA Today’s FTW, TheGamer, VG247, and RPG Site. Find her on Twitter (@Maajora) or the Materia Possessions podcast discussing FFXIV, RPGs, and any series involving giant robots.

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