Microsoft Studios portfolio as diverse as Sony's, director says

Ken Lobb talks about Microsoft's range of first-party projects

Microsoft Game Studios has as much diversity within its development portfolio as Sony, creative director Ken Lobb has said.

The industry veteran, who moved to Microsoft in 2002 after nine years at Nintendo, made the assertion in an interview with Edge.


Asked specifically if he thinks the Microsoft Game Studio umbrella has the same diversity that Sony has, Lobb replied:

"Absolutely. 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.

"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'."

Lobb also dismissed the suggestion that Forza maker Turn 10 Studios was essentially established to compete with Polyphony and Gran Turismo.

"You can look at the business [side] and say that Turn 10 was built to compete," he said, "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."

Microsoft's E3 press conference, titled 'Game On', will begin at 9:30am PDT / 5:30pm on Monday, June 9. Xbox head Phil Spencer revealed this week that Microsoft will also share "a couple of things" this month.