Gears of War maker The Coalition had complete creative control over the latest entry in the series with no input from Microsoft.
Speaking to Gamespot, The Coalition head Rod Fergusson said that head of Xbox Phil Spencer and Xbox Game Studios chief Matt Booty trusted the studio heads to manage their projects.
"It's really about trusting the studio heads and the teams there to recognize what's the best way to leverage whatever it is they're building," said Fergusson.
"Matt has a great line around just building great games. It's just the notion of don't worry about business models, don't worry about subscriptions, don't worry about changing things to adopt to a particular strategy. If you make an awesome game, then we can take that awesome game and apply it to different strategies."
Microsoft has been on a spending spree in recent years, acquiring many studios since June 2018. E3 last year saw the acquisition of four studios, with a further two in November 2018.
This year Psychonauts developer Double Fine joined Xbox Game Studios. The adventure title maker’s chief Tim Schafer has said that Microsoft’s approach to acquisition had changed over the years, with Double Fine able to keep its own identity and culture.
Historically, the publisher kept a close eye on its studios, keeping tabs on all projects. However, Fergusson thinks that creative decisions should be left to the developers.
"I think the strength of the bottom-up way we're doing things now allows for each studio to have its own identity and to be creative--the top-down stuff doesn't work," he said.
"And we saw that I think. I was part of the Gears of War Kinect game that never saw the light of day, and that was okay. How do we force something to be on strategy? And now the strategy is to make awesome games and then we'll figure it out."