Cliff Bleszinski on the next Xbox and our always-on future


Keeping it SFW

TR: There's the concern that when Microsoft is ready to release the Xbox 1080 (or whatever the next, next Xbox will be called) it will unplug the next Xbox's servers to make room, thus forcing consumers to upgrade if they want the newest device. How do you see this issue?

CB: There's a lot of fear mongering online these days. There's also a lot of "I'm bored, so I need to look for something to get super angry about." (When you combine a slow news day and a sensationalist blog, watch out!) Any provider of any service owes it to their customers to, for a reasonable time, keep their current services on and reliable until the inevitable transition occurs. I wouldn't be surprised to see legislation at some point in the future appearing in order to keep service providers honest in this area.

Microsoft isn't as "stupid or evil" as people sometimes think. They're really turning around perception of the company in recent years and I doubt they'd be so silly as to immediately unplug the previous device once a new one comes along simply because the old one is probably still making money.

TR: Would you want a game you've developed or are developing need an internet connection to be played?

CB: I love multi-player games and whatever I do next will most likely have a multi-player component so it's safe to say it'll probably need an internet connection.

South Park

Bully on bullying (Credit: South Park Studios)

TB: You were upset over the public reaction to the Michael Orth situation. What about it bothered you so much?

CB: The bullied are now the bullies. That's what bothers me. It's just like that South Park in which they combat bullying by simply [being] bullies themselves. The most vocal people online are the ones that often weren't the most social and have the time to sit in Photoshop and contribute to a GAF thread in which they systematically make fun of a guy and damage his career after he was having a lively chat with a friend over Twitter. (And I love GAF.)

TR: Do you see the world moving into this at-arms-length observer position where people are free to comment on anything and everything without recourse? Or are we all equal online so we all can say what we really feel?

CB: I fantasize about two online experiences. In many ways, I have this. My Facebook is largely personal. Nearly everyone I have on my account is someone I've had a personal interaction with and would remember if I saw in public. Twitter, on the other hand, is "anything goes" and private and public.

I sometimes wish the rest of the online experience was that clean and consistent. If you want accountability, you go into the space where you think twice about what you say. If you want to go talk shit with the Savages, have at it, there's your play space.

Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle was previously a news editor at TechRadar, leading consumer tech news and reviews. Michelle is now a Content Strategist at Facebook.  A versatile, highly effective content writer and skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, Michelle is a collaborative problem solver and covered everything from smartwatches and microprocessors to VR and self-driving cars.