Microsoft Game Studios creative director Ken Lobb has discussed the nature of the Xbox family of developers in a new interview, stating that the collective that includes 343 Industries, Black Tusk, Turn10 and more makes for a strong hand.
It follows confirmation from Microsoft’s Phil Spencer that the firm will announce new IP and sequels during its E3 2014 conference.
Speaking with Edge, Lobb was asked if the Microsoft Game Studios family of developers has the same diversity of projects as Sony’s collective.
“Absolutely,” he replied. “I’ve been publishing for a long time, and I hesitate to say I know everybody, but I know a lot of people in the industry that I can go out and hire to work either internally or [in a] publishing relationship. That can sometimes lead to things like the Double Helix experience, but to be honest, although I feel bad about it, I feel great about it.
“I think we added value to Double Helix by both signing them, and then helping them reach their dream of shipping this game. Again, all credit to them, but we helped them get better. And you could say it sounds kind of lame and altruistic, [but] I like when we sign an external partner and their value in the industry goes up. That’s a goal I always have. How do we help external developers get better at what they do? I think we do it really well. And in that sense, I can get whatever I want.”
“To answer your question in a different way, we don’t slot fill. It’s not a game we play. I want to go and find developers that want to make a game that they think is perfect, and then we’ll decide if that is something that’s interesting to us from a business perspective and also from a portfolio perspective. [But it’s] not, ‘Gee, I need a fighting game. I should make one of those.'”
When Lobb was pressed on the belief that Turn10 and Forza Motorsport was created to compete directly with Sony and Polyphony Digital’s Gran Turismo franchise, he replied, “Not really. You can look at the business [side] and say that Turn 10 was built to compete, but the reality was that we had a bunch of car fanatics who really wanted to have a go at making a racing game.
“The core of that team was there the two years before Forza 1 shipped. It wasn’t leadership coming down and saying, ‘We must build Polyphony. Let’s create a team.’ It was from passion first. That’s where Forza came from.”
We’ll have more on Microsoft’s big E3 2014 plans as they drop.