Microsoft Game Studios now “multi-format,” competing with console, web and tech

By Stephany Nunneley, Wednesday, 21 November 2012 20:26 GMT

Microsoft Game Studios is now a “multi-format” studio, according to VP of Interactive Entertainment Business Phil Harrison, who said the firm has more competitors in the marketplace now, than just rival console makers.

Speaking during the London Games Conference, attended by GI International, Harrision said Microsoft is not only just competing with Sony and Nintendo for consumer spending, but tech and web companies such as Apple and Google.

“We are now really a multiplatform studio,” he said. “We are not just building games for Xbox 360, we’re building experiences for SmartGlass, we’re building dedicated games for Windows Phone 8 and for Windows 8.

“We think this expands our competitive map. 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 that’s great. 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.

“This is in turn powered by the cloud, and this is another corporate investment that Microsoft is making the future of how technology and devices interact. We think of Microsoft as now being a devices and services company. There isn’t an organisation that embodies that strategy more precisely and concisely as Microsoft Studios inside the interactive entertainment business.”

Harrison also said the firm’s mobile and tablet studio in London, run by Rare developer Lee Schuneman, was conceived as a way to explore “new business models,” while pioneering “new ways to play on devices that are going to be powering the future of our industry over the next five or ten years.”

“We are building a 21st century studio, one that will not make retail games, one that will develop for numerous platforms such as Windows 8, with new business models and new ways to play,” he said.

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