Microsoft: There isn’t a Kinect “mandate” for first-party developers, says Spencer

By Stephany Nunneley
26 October 2010 15:30 GMT


Microsoft Game Studios VP Phil Spencer has said the company doesn’t have a first-party “mandate” regarding creating games for Kinect.

Speaking with Gamasutra, Spencer said great Xbox 360 games come about by unlocking developer potential with tools such as Kinect and Xbox Live instead of “forcing” a game into “places it doesn’t belong” and used recently released Fable III as an example.

“I think I said this a year ago:‭ ‬I think there’s opportunity in Fable for things that make sense with Kinect.‭ ‬But it’s … a trivial equation‭… ‬that people buy great games.‭ ‬And they buy the platforms that those great games show up on,” said Spencer.

“We’ve been committed‭ ‬–‭ ‬definitely on the first-party side,‭ ‬and third parties have done a great job here as well‭ ‬–‭ ‬in making sure that our experiences are as good as we know how to make them.‭ ‬It doesn’t mean they’re always going to be great‭; ‬we’re human.‭

“And that’s not born out of us putting mandates that a game has to be a certain length,‭ ‬a certain color,‭ ‬use a certain control scheme,‭ “‬A‭” ‬must do something,‭ ‬or even dictating Xbox Live.‭ ‬

“What we think we do is we unlock potential,‭ ‬and the creators usually want to take advantage of things like Live.‭ ‬And you’ve seen now that Live shows up in almost every one of games,‭ ‬not because I stop on top and say,‭ “‬You have to.‭” ‬But they just see the opportunity that’s there.”

While this reiterates what Spencer told Gamespot during a Kinect launch party in San Francisco, he explained to Gamasutra that Microsoft’s aware of the different set-ups in consumer’s homes: some have internet-some don’t; some have one controller-others have two, etc.  Because of this, Microsoft makes a conscious effort to support developer decisions based on what “what happens with customers”.

“We’re about moving the ball forward,‭ ‬kind of lighting the path maybe for third party‭ ‬–‭ ‬that’s probably too egotistical‭ ‬–‭ ‬but we jumped on Kinect early as the first party,‭ ‬because that’s our role,” said Spencer.

“We’re going to try to build some really great experiences,‭ ‬and not all of them will work,‭ ‬but I think we ended up with some nice games at launch.‭”

Kinect launches on November 4 in the US and November 10 in Europe.

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