Microsoft’s London studio nixing packaged for connected products

Thursday, 10th January 2013 15:09 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Microsoft’s European VP Phil Harrison has announced the firm’s new London Studio, Lift London, which will focus on cloud gaming instead of physical releases.

Speaking during a press conference in London this morning, Harrison said the studio was created from scratch as a “21st century studio, not a studio that would make retail products.”

“The shift is from packaged goods to connected products,” he said. “We will continue to support retail with our products for sure. But we are going to keep creating features that are enhanced and improved by the network.

“Moving from being the maker of packaged products to the operator of connected services. Purchasing a product from retail on a disc is a great starting point, and 90% of your content is on that disc.

“What I would encourage you to think is that the disc is the start of a five-year relationship with the gamer, we will try to refine and extend the product over many years. We don’t have to stop doing disc products to be cloud-centric.”

Lift London will be headed by Rare veteran Lee Schuneman, who said the studio’s purpose is to create “new IP in new business models.”

“Europe is our main focus,” he said. “We are here to deliver entertainment as a service, when, where and how you want it. We are going beyond the box, onto tablets, mobile and TVs. And we are made in London, a diverse city that’s full of opportunities.

“The traditional retail games release model, massive up-front-design and development costs, will change and as we do know is change. We will still see the big blockbuster games. But for the larger, networked gamers, we need to think of new business models.”

One of the studios incorporated into Lift London is called DLaLa, which will continue to work as an independent studio. Lift London will also provide support to “young and talented start-ups.”

Microsoft’s shift to focusing more on digital isn’t surprising. Back in November, Harrison said Microsoft Game Studios was becoming a “multi-format” studio, due to more competitors entering the marketplace.

“We are now really a multiplatform studio,” he said during the London Games Conference. “We’re no longer just competing with the traditional console companies, but our competitive landscape includes the likes of Google, the likes of Amazon, it includes obviously the likes of Apple.

“We think it’s good for us, we think it’s good for the industry and we think it also moves us into this network generation more aggressively and with more determination.”

Thanks: MCV, GI International.



  1. mobiugearskin

    I really don’t like the way things are going “Cloud” based.

    I like physical media. I have total control over it.

    My concern with this all-digital future is that if the systems all come crashing down… You’ve got nothing. And considering how rife “Hacktivism” is these days, I really don’t like the idea of my details being held on countless servers by countless companies, all with their own means of digital distribution.

    I feel like we’re all left a little too… I guess exposed is the right word.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Hirmetrium

    You know, I’d rather instead of sprouting new bullshit, new ideas, new crap, they fixed everything they had done so far.

    The Xbox property is bloated and silly.

    Games for Windows LIVE is even worse. They redesigned and relaunched the site, it looked great, THEN THEY MERGED IT WITH XBOX.


    Sort your strategy and approach out Microsoft. Make a website that doesn’t make me vomit every time I see it, filled with stupid poorly animated and silly looking knockoff characters. I’ve always hated avatars, and yet they are everywhere on the main site. Sort of the whole sorry mess of live ID’s, and implement some proper customer support (instead of this automated form bullshit).

    Suffice to say, I’ve never been more disappointed in a company recently than I have been in MS. It’s like they are completely out of touch with reality, humanity, and their customers in general.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Hellhound30x


    #3 2 years ago
  4. Gheritt White

    Best of luck, guys!

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Cobra951

    Yep, best of luck, without me. Not interested in cloud gaming at all.

    #5 2 years ago

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