Xbox Nation: Speaking Microsoftly with Shane Kim… [2004]

Date: July 2004

Source: Xbox Nation, Issue 16, p. 33

SHANE KIM, GENERAL MANAGER MICROSOFT GAME STUDIOS

SPEAKING MICROSOFTLY WITH SHANE KIM…

On why Microsoft dropped Oddworld: Stranger and Psychonauts:

We took a very hard look at our portfolio and wanted to try to focus on those games that could really break through and make an impact. And at the end of the day, that’s what we chose to do—focus on other games that we had in the portfolio.

On Xbox 2:

We haven’t confirmed anything about a new system; what you’re seeing at the show is a commitment to the current generation.

On Microsoft Game Studios’ new first-party strategy:

We have the core gamer, but what we need to do, and what we’ll continue to do, is put more effort into broadening that market. I think you’re going to see a lot more from the studios and the company to target that broader market. It’s not just a matter of getting THQ to do more of their games on the system, it’s really got to be a conscious effort.


MISSING IN ACTION

Some much-hyped Xbox games went missing in action at this year’s E3. Among the ultra-high-profile but noticeably absent titles were Dark Sector, the “first” announced title for Xbox Next; Artoon’s sequel Blinx: The Time Sweeper II; the slick and psychic-combat-based Phantom Dust from Microsoft Studios Japan; and the massively multiplayer online role-playing game True Fantasy Live Online. No outright explanation was given for these games’ absences, save for Digital Extremes’ Sector, which is rightly being held until the next iteration of Xbox rears its head.

Quirky Microsoft castaways Psychonauts and Oddworld: Stranger were also conspicuously off the radar at E3. These titles were homeless at E3, as their respective developers Double Fine Studios and Oddworld Inhabitants shopped the games to prospective publishers. Shane Kim, the recently appointed general manager of Microsoft Game Studios, says he hopes both titles find their way to Xbox, stating that they’d been dropped because they didn’t fit into Microsoft’s overall publishing plan. For the missing, it’s hoped they will again show up, perhaps first at next year’s show and definitely on Xbox.