Case Study: Xbox Developer_Direct


With a roster of exciting new Xbox exclusives, Microsoft and Bethesda Softworks needed a creative and production partner to establish a fresh format that not only showed off upcoming titles but the developers behind them. 

The show had to resonate with the audience at an emotional level, letting the devs speak for themselves, and expressing the artistry and personality within each studio, in a format that Xbox could return to to build anticipation for some of their biggest titles.

The Challenge

The gaming landscape has no shortage of new game showcases—and a sophisticated audience who rejects pandering and prioritizes gameplay above all else. Developer_Direct needed to break through the noise to entertain and inspire beyond gameplay footage.

In addition, we were tasked with designing an efficient international production approach that maintained a uniform look and feel across the different  studios’ segments, while at the same time making each of them feel unique. Our post-production team then had to maintain that same consistency of tone, while allowing each studio’s distinct vibe to shine in the edit.

Our Approach

Working with key stakeholders from Microsoft, we developed scripts that felt natural and personable. On set, our Directors worked closely with each speaker to hit those notes on camera. Our well-honed skills in working with talent yield a naturalistic presentation that connects directly with the audience. 

Keeping key production personnel consistent throughout each shoot—and through to final delivery—we were able to establish a look and style that is polished, cinematic and, most importantly, human for every segment.


The announcement of the first Developer_Direct in 2023 was called Xbox’s “most important showcase ever” by Digital Trends. Even with those high expectations, it delivered to near universal acclaim. It was called “the perfect modern show format Xbox needs”, had strong sentiment and performance across Xbox O&O channels, and to date nearly 2 millions views on the Xbox YouTube channel. Artifact returned the following year for Developer_Direct 2024, once again as key creative and production partner. This international production included higher profile titles like Indiana Jones and the Great Circle headlining the presentation, and resulted in similar sentiment. cited the format as particularly effective: “letting the games breathe and the devs talk candidly is a fantastic approach…” This “Direct” style format that we pioneered has since been adopted by numerous AAA titles such as Starfield and Call of Duty: Black Ops 6, both produced by Artifact Studios.