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Posts with tag shane-kim

Shane Kim: Microsoft feels 'bad' about MMO failings

Shane Kim, former Microsoft Game Studios guru and recently appointed VP of the Microsoft Interactive Entertainment Business, recently spoke to EDGE magazine on his company's failed attempts at massively multiplayer online games. Specifically, MS canceled Marvel Universe Online earlier this year. Way back on the original Xbox, True Fantasy Live Online, once thought to be the original Xbox's savior in Japan, was also canceled. On Microsoft's trouble with MMOs, Kim said, "I'll admit MGS has not had success in the MMO space," also noting, "We haven't been able to crack the code." Kim says that he believes MS "made the right decision" in canceling Marvel Universe Online but adds that "there's nothing to say those titles can't be successful on 360."

Part of the problem, according to Kim, is the "tension" between what developers want to create and Microsoft's need to maintain a "stable and secure environment on Xbox 360." In other words, it sounds like developers aren't too keen on the controls that Microsoft places on Xbox Live. Kim concludes that Microsoft is "getting very close" to solving the problem, but that the company has been slow to deliver an MMO experience, noting "we feel bad about that."

So do we, Shane. So do we.

Shane Kim promoted, Phil Spencer takes on Microsoft Game Studios leadership

Alright, now that the shock of Jeff Bell's departure has worked its way out of our system, we can report that other positions in Microsoft's leadership are a' changin'. Specifically, Shane Kim has been promoted from his role as the head of Microsoft Game Studios to corporate vice president of Strategy and Business Development. Under this newly created role, Kim will "explore new growth opportunities with partners across all parts of the global Interactive Entertainment Business." Kim will concentrate on "future external relationships and partnerships" and develop "growth strategies for the entire business." While we're not sure exactly what all that means, it sounds like Kim will be dealing with third parties, possibly trying to secure exclusives (or at least making sure exclusive games on other consoles don't remain exclusive).

Taking Kim's place at the head of Microsoft Game Studios will be Phil Spencer, previously the general manager of Microsoft Game Studios Europe. Spencer will be returning to Redmond from the U.K. and will "oversee the creation of new, unannounced franchises that aim to attract new audiences" as well as well-known franchises like Halo and Gears of War.

Shane Kim talks motion control rumors and more

At Microsoft's Spring Showcase, Eurogamer got some face time with Microsoft Game Studios VP (and PR jedi) Shane Kim. As one might expect, they took the opportunity to ask Kim about Microsoft's upcoming lineup, Sony's claimed victory in Europe, and, of course, Grand Theft Auto IV. Regarding the lineup, Kim said that 2008 will be "another landmark year" for Microsoft thanks to a range of exclusive titles like Gears of War 2, Fable 2, Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts, and others.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the interview, Kim spoke to the rumors about Microsoft's secret motion controller development. When asked directly about the rumors, Kim gave the typical no comment response, but also noted, "I do think that would be a mistake, if we just tried to come out and copy what Nintendo has done. What Nintendo has done has worked well for them, but we have to think about what our innovation aspect is going to be." Let's focus on the word "just" and the phrase "is going to be" for a moment. "Just" implies that Microsoft plans to do more than Nintendo has done with control methods, while "is going to be" implies that Microsoft is definitely up to something. Just what that is remains a mystery. Is it Lips, Newton, or something else?

Check out Eurogamer for the full interview.

Shane Kim: Banjo Kazooie 3 is a 2008 release

In a recent interview with MTV Multiplayer, Mr. loose lips himself, Shane Kim (VP of Microsoft Game Studios) talked up Microsoft's 2008 lineup and let slip some Rare news. When asked about the status of Rare's ever secretive and once thought to be canceled Banjo Kazooie 3, Kim responded saying that he was "super-excited about what they're doing with 'Banjo'" and that he thinks it will "be a big hit for us this holiday." Whoa, whoa, whoa. Let us repeat that. Banjo Kazooie 3 will be a big hit for Microsoft this holiday. This holiday! So, if Kim can be trusted, we guess we'll be seeing some fuzzy bear and bird fun sometime later this year. And that's a good thing, because another year without Banjo news would have been nearly fatal to hardcore Rare fanboys.

Microsoft: Crackdown 2 still a possibility

Speaking to Wired, Microsoft Game Studios VP Shane Kim mentioned the possibility of a sequel to Crackdown. While Real Time Worlds -- creators of Crackdown -- stated last year that a sequel wasn't in the works (they're focusing on other projects), it seems Kim is still open to the idea. It seems that the folks at the Microsoft gang still "love" Crackdown, as Kim says, "We consider that a pretty successful title for us, high-quality, I think that customers would like to see more in that space. So that's an option for us." What remains unknown is whether Microsoft intends to ask Real Time Worlds to create the sequel or if the project will be given to a different developer. While the prospect of Crackdown 2 is definitely music to our ears, we can only hope the reins wind up in the right hands. The remainder of Kim's Wired interview comes out soon. Here's hoping we can learn more.

Shane Kim on lost studios, handhelds and the console war

At the ongoing D.I.C.E. summit in Las Vegas, Nevada, Microsoft Game Studios corporate VP Shane Kim was bombarded with every tough question you could think of by New York Times reporter Seth Scheisel. Covering a wide range of topics from Xbox to Windows, Kim kept his head on for the most part while toting the company line.

"People have speculated that we were stifling their creative freedom," Kim told Scheisel, when asked about Bungie's public split from Microsoft in 2007, "but I can tell you there's no studio that had more freedom at Microsoft Game Studios than Bungie." Kim also didn't rule out the possibility of a Microsoft branded portable gaming device, saying, "never say never."

With a year head start on their competition, one of the strongest software attachment ratios a console has ever seen and critical and commercial successes like Halo 3 and Gears of War under their belt, does Microsoft consider the console war to be won? "By no means does anyone at Microsoft think the race is over," replied Kim. "You have very powerful and formidable contenders in Nintendo and Sony ... to underestimate them and to count them out would be a foolish mistake." Read the full interview for Kim's views on Windows Vista gaming, intellectual properties and more.

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