Following weeks of heavy behind-the-scenes chatter regarding the fate of Lionhead and Rare, Microsoft Games Studios boss Phil Spencer has moved to praise both studios and outright deny there is a “plan” regarding Lionhead.
Trade talk erupted in the UK following the closure of Ensemble earlier this month, with insiders shocked at the move and some British studio staff predicting a policy shift on Rare and Lionhead.
“Well I’m going to drill in on that a little, but no – no plan for Lionhead,” he said when asked if the Guildford outfit was to be acted on in a similar way to Ensemble or Bungie.
“But even the Bungie games that come out as Bungie – the entity they are today – are still MGS games. We look at those as first party games.
“In terms of our investment in a game like Crackdown or Gears of War, where they’re developed by other developers – those are as important to us as games that are developed by internal studios.”
Spencer also intimated that Rare was safe, saying the studios output was “crazy.”
“The work that those studios are doing [is] incredibly important to MGS. For Rare, this will be their fifth game in the first three years of the Xbox 360 – that’s crazy. Two launch games? What studio on the planet signs up for two launch games? That’s just crazy.
“So the productivity and effort in those two studios is just great to see.”