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About Rainier

PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!

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Microsoft Lands Top Worldwide Developers For Xbox

by Rainier on March 8, 2002 @ 5:09 p.m. PST

Microsoft Corp. today announced that six world-class design studios plan to create exclusive games for the Xbox video game system, all of which will be published under the Microsoft label. The game companies, which join 18 other studios that are creating first-party games for Microsoft, are Blitz Games Ltd., Curly Monsters Ltd., Double Fine Productions Inc., Radical Entertainment Inc., Vision Scape Interactive Inc. and Yeti Interactive. These alliances further demonstrate the game community's confidence in Xbox and in Microsoft's commitment to becoming a leading video game publisher.
"These artists have ambitions of delivering games that push the bounds of what's possible in video gaming, making them a perfect fit for Xbox," said Ed Fries, vice president of Xbox games publishing at Microsoft. "As their publisher, Microsoft will support them with technical support, testing, marketing and distribution power while the artists focus on bringing their imaginations to life on Xbox."

The six new developers join Oddworld Inhabitants Inc., Peter Molyneux's Lionhead Satellites and Microsoft's in-house Xbox development teams such as Bungie Studios as game designers for Microsoft's publishing arm. The newly announced companies have strong roots in the video game business.

  • Blitz Games Ltd. has developed PC, PlayStation, Dreamcast and N64 hits such as "Chicken Run," "Frogger 2," "Glover," "Action Man: Mission Xtreme," "Action Man 2: Destruction X" and Disney's "The Little Mermaid II."
  • Curly Monsters was formed in 1998 and has team members that worked on key titles for companies such as Psygnosis Inc. Its most-recent title was the well-received "NGEN Racing" for the PlayStation in May 2000.
  • Double Fine Productions Inc. was formed by LucasArts star game designer Tim Schafer. His background includes a series of award-winning games such as "Grim Fandango," "Full Throttle" and "Day of the Tentacle."
  • Radical Entertainment, with headquarters in Vancouver, British Columbia, has developed top-selling games for publishers such as Electronic Arts Inc., Fox Interactive Inc., Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., Sega Entertainment Inc. and THQ Inc. Recent high-grossing titles include "MTV Snowboarding," "Jackie Chan Stuntmaster," "NBA Basketball 2000" and "Independence Day."
  • Vision Scape Interactive, located in San Diego, Calif., is a premier developer of interactive video games, software and animation for series television. Since 1997, VSI has designed video games for next-generation consoles manufactured by Microsoft, Sony and Sega, as well as online interactive games, working on high-profile titles such as Jet Moto 3, Twisted Metal 3 & 4, EverQuest, Game Day '99, and Land Before Time.
  • Yeti Interactive, located in Montpellier, France, creates premier games based on its own original content and characters. Key members of the development team for the award-winning action games "Rayman" and "Rayman 2" founded Yeti in August 2000.

"Xbox is the first and best chance there is to create the games we've been hoping to do for years," said Tim Schafer, game designer and founder of Double Fine Productions. "Having Microsoft as a publisher is great because they've got the determination and resources to make the game right, and to bring it to an enormous worldwide audience. They're also exciting to work with because of their commitment not just to future-generation technology, but to future-generation content."

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