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Microsoft’s purchase of Twisted Pixel “made sense to both parties”, says Bear

Saturday, 5th November 2011 20:00 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Twisted Pixel’s chief creative officer Josh Bear has said the acquisition of the firm by Microsoft just “made sense” to both parties.

Speaking in an interview with Gamasutra, Bear said being under the Microsoft umbrella will provide the stufio with the potential to do more than just downloadable titles in the future.

“We obviously have a great deal of love for downloadable XBLA releases,” he said, “but I think what you will see from us in the future are just great games regardless of the distribution method.

“Maybe they will be XBLA, maybe they will be retail. I think it will just come down to the idea and what we want to do with it. Microsoft has been great about letting us fit in where we need to, which I think was shown with The Gunstringer which was originally XBLA, but turned into a retail title later in development.”

Bear also said there’s the possibility that the firm could develop another Kinect title such as The Gunstringer, but like he said regarding distribution methods, it will “depend on the idea.”

“Working with Kinect on The Gunstringer was a fun ride, and we are glad that it turned out as well as it did, especially with a short time frame and never having worked with the hardware before,” he said. “As for future titles for Kinect, I think it will depend on the idea. If we have concepts that can only be done on the Kinect platform, or will be that much more fun without a controller, then I am sure we would jump at it.

“What we don’t want to do is make something for Kinect just to make it, it has to make sense for the game. I think Microsoft understands that as well and wants to make sure Kinect experiences are vastly different than what you could do with a controller.”

As for what the firm is working on next, Bear said information on the project will be revealed “in the coming months.”

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7 Comments

  1. DSB

    Because CHA-CHING

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Phoenixblight

    @1

    Of course. You don’t make a studio to not make money. And being first party is the most stable of development because there is always work.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. DSB

    Generally I don’t think very many of these deals have ever benefitted the quality of the games themselves, and I personally do think that most people starting up studios are looking to produce those, as well as make a living off it.

    Pretty much every one of these I’ve ever heard of has lead to some developers jumping ship, and that’s not coincidental in my opinion.

    But it does make some people awfully rich. Woohoo!

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Phoenixblight

    We had Retro Studios come to our school and talk about working as a First Party studio and the work environment and every single one of them had stated that they couldn’t figure out how a 3rd party studio does it without a publisher and they also stated they couldn’t think of a better work environment because they always have work even if a project gets cancelled Nintendo always gives them a new project. In this industry and with the unemployment rate in the states that is an awesome thing. I personally wouldn’t mind working for a studio like that.

    “But it does make some people awfully rich. Woohoo!”
    I actually have some friends that work for Twisted Pixel and the entire studio benefitted from this. Now they get 401k, stock options with a month worth of paid vacation along with a big fat bonus. And they all personally feel like they have been rewarded for their hard work.It’s a complete 180 of not knowing if they would have work or even a job after this next title.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. DSB

    Well I can see that point of view.

    I just think these kinds of deals generally take the form of cashing out rather than cashing in.

    The main problem is that putting yourself under the direct command of an owner/publisher means that you have people running your games, that essentially don’t know very much about games, and probably even less about the finer details of your studio, what you’re comfortable with, and what you’re capable of.

    It’s gonna be “Yes, boss” in most instances, because what choice do you really have once you sign?

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Phoenixblight

    “It’s gonna be “Yes, boss” in most instances, because what choice do you really have once you sign?”

    That why you make a contract that illustrate what the publisher does and doesn’t have control of and in return the developer states what they will give and take.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. DSB

    Yeah. I just think studio heads are too impressed with the figures and the organisations they’re dealing with to get that deal, which is why I mostly see it as cashing out, rather than buying in.

    Ken Levine is pretty much the only studio head I can think of that has actually managed to benefit from it creatively.

    #7 3 years ago

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