xbox games – When Google announced it would no longer build xbox games specifically for the cloud on February 1st, I shed a tear for the future of gaming. A Polygon interview reveals that Microsoft has hired former Google Stadia design director Kim Swift, best known for Valve’s hit game Portal.
Microsoft plans to create cloud-native games, according to Xbox Games Studios’ Peter Wyse. “Kim will build a team focused on new cloud-based experiences,” he said.
Swift has been involved in games for over a decade, starting with her school project Particular Drop, which landed her a position at Valve Software, where she led development on Portal. Her LinkedIn page says she went on to become an artist for Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2, designed an unreleased game for Amazon, and worked at EA as a studio design director.
The woman behind Portal will lead Microsoft’s effort to build Xbox games for the cloud
Google Stadia, Amazon Luna, and Microsoft iCloud are not “cloud-native” games, so you can play them on existing consoles and PCs, with the advantage that they load faster, there is no need to install or patch games, and the graphics are better than average.
The Xbox Games Board in each server rack on the xCloud runs every game you play, so you get a similar experience to playing an Xbox at home.
Google, however, promised to offer more: games powered by multiple servers, give you gameplay and graphics you could never experience with a single console at home.
Games industry executives claim that it could take a while for Google to produce a game that takes full advantage of the cloud. (For example, Stadia offers a handful of cloud-only features, but few developers have taken advantage of these features.)
Raymond is working to create games for Sony instead of Google now, with no mention of cloud — but Swift has just been bought by Microsoft with an explicit mandate to build a new kind of native game for cloud streaming.
Wyze told Polygon that he doesn’t know what this looks like today or what it plays like. It might take a few years, though. Death Stranding and Metal Gear Solid auteur Hideo Kojima has repeatedly stated his desire to make a game that will tell a story about the war in Afghanistan streaming, and VentureBeat’s Jeff Grubb reports that Microsoft is considering a deal.
Besides cloud gaming, Microsoft is also getting xbox Games serious about the concept. Microsoft recently announced that it will upgrade its xCloud servers from Xbox One S hardware to the most up-to-date Xbox Series X hardware, which will significantly improve the quality of the service.
Microsoft confirmed that it will let original Xbox One consoles join in on the fun, too, allowing them to play games like Flight Simulator that had previously been unavailable without cloud streaming.
As we learned from documents unearthed during discovery in the Epic v. Apple case, Microsoft sought to offer game developers streaming rights in exchange for reducing its app store fee from 30 percent to 20 percent.
The cloud gaming category, Microsoft says, wasn’t a big deal in 2019 — an internal presentation we found at the trial shows total revenue for the entire category was only $300 million, thanks mostly to Sony’s PlayStation Now. According to Microsoft, neither Sony nor Google’s cloud gaming efforts are considered profitable in that presentation.