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Microsoft forms European publishing team headed up by Lionhead boss John Needham

Thursday, 29th August 2013 17:52 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Microsoft has formed a European publishing team headed up by Lionhead studio boss John Needham, and the first game to be released from the firm will be Warface, Crytek’s free-to-play shooter.

The team will likely be looking at larger scale titles, as ID@Xbox and the ability for indies to self-publish on Xbox One will be handled elsewhere – but it will still publish smaller projects as well.

“What we’re trying to do with this team, it’s a first-party publishing group, is across Europe find AAA quality games that we can publish,” Needham told GI International. “Find games that incorporate innovative business models like free-to-play and freemium and other models that are floating around out there. Finding games that are mostly online focused and games as a service and that’s why I’m leading the group, because I have a lot of experience in that.

“What we’re trying to accomplish with the group is to contribute to a bigger goal with the EMEA organisation, to double our share in France and Germany from a market perspective, but certainly we’re looking for a lot of smaller games too for other platform features that we haven’t spoken about yet but that are coming for Xbox One.”

The team will be looking for title to publish not only on Xbox One, but Xbox 360 as well.

Needham said there are no specific targets at present , but the team hopes to launch a couple of games a year alongside smaller XBLA titles.

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