As more and more Kinect hacks surface, Microsoft wants to start experimenting as well. Fortunately, without relying on these individual developers, Microsoft took matters into their own hands and has opened a game studio: MGS Family, close to their Redmond homes. The tag line that should draw future employees in, is self-explanatory: “Want to work on games the whole family can enjoy?“, but what follows is not so self-explanatory.
For example, take a look at the Lead Software Development Engineer’s job description for MGS Family:
join a completely new internal development studio, focused on bringing high quality, highly experimental gameplay to Xbox 360 and Kinect.
So, Microsoft would love to explorer all the possibilities of the Kinect in a controlled, but experimental environment. If you’re in any way creative, then you probably think that this sounds like fun!
Besides the regular requirements like being an awesome software developer, knowledge of the following engines and middle-ware is a pre: Cryengine, Unreal Engine, Havok, PhysX, or OpenCV. These are simply put the top of the line, and so in my view this shows that Microsoft is definitely not kidding about their Kinect ambitions.
Talk about not-kidding, it doesn’t end here. Besides the MGS Family there’s another studio in London that’s looking for exceptional Kinect talent!
London Soho Studios
The Soho district in London is known for all kinds of entertainment, but soon we may add Kinect entertainment to the list!
A job listing reads:
Building on the success of Kinect, the interactive entertainment business is once again out to change the world of family entertainment. By creating enriching experiences that both educate and delight we are taking Xbox, Xbox Live, and Kinect to new audiences in ways never before dreamed.
Is Kinect family only? Nah…
Is Microsoft going Family Only with its studios? Next to Big Park, with Kinect Joy Ride there’s Rare that is into Kinect Sports (although fun, not necessarily a core game). Luckily, earlier we found out that Microsoft is also looking for people to join their ‘AAA’ shooter Kinect game project in Vancouver, Canada. This is another Microsoft Game Studio that also only recently opened its doors.
Looking at all these developments, it feel as though Microsoft seems to have their eggs in all baskets at the moment. This makes balancing between the different audiences a real challenge, as who are you going to target in what way? In my view, Microsoft will take home the gold if they are able to strike the right balance between family fun and core games. Luckily, with Kinect, they are in a position to do so.
We’ll be looking at the upcoming Entertainment Expo (E3) and monitor if Kinect is able to strike a balance between the games for core gamers and those just looking for family fun. Stay tuned, on 123KINECT.com. Ow, and btw, the image is a joke ;).
Thanks, CorellianRogue for tipping us in our Kinect forums.