Microsoft London Studio "Won't Make Retail Games"

Will focus on free-to-play.

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Microsoft London Studio "Won't Make Retail Games"
Microsoft has established a games studio in London - but any hopes that this may trigger more confidence in the UK's AAA development scene have been dashed at the announcement that the new outfit will not be working on retail games, but instead of free-to-play.

Xbox's corporate VP of interactive entertainment, Phil Harrison - he of former Sony Computer Entertainment Europe fame - described the new team as "a 21st Century studio", focusing on emerging business models such as web 2.0, at a London Games Conference lecture.

"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," Harrison said. "We're clearly in an industry that's moving from a retail business model to one that's increasingly digital.

"People are talking about digital overtaking retail - signs are moving in that direction." Along with free-to-play, Harrison confirmed that another business model being investigated involves "ad networks."

In total, 100 staff will be added to Microsoft's studio across the UK within the current financial year. So whatever the London studio will end up cooking, there will certainly be some boost to industry employment.



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