Phil Harrison, the vice president of the interactive entertainment business at Microsoft, says that the company’s game studio is now a multi-format company, although it is not clear exactly what this entails for gamers in the short term.Gamesindustry.biz is quoting the executive as saying, during the London Games Conference, that, “We are now really a multiplatform studio. 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.”
Harrison sees this expansion of Microsoft Game Studios as a good move because it allows the company to directly engage competitors like Google, Amazon and Apple.
He adds, “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.”
Former Rare game creator Lee Schuneman is now heading a game studio in London, which is supposed to explore new business models, while working on video games linked to mobile devices and tablets.
The new Windows 8 operating system from Microsoft has been widely criticized by game creators, especially those working on the indie scene, because it restricts their ability to quickly launch content and gives the publisher too much control.
Valve, the creator of Steam, has also taken a stance against it and rumors suggest it might be working on a game-focused OS of its own.
The most significant gaming property that Microsoft owns is Halo, which has just received its sixth core game that once again features Master Chief.
The company will probably reveal a new home console during the first few months of next year.