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7 Features

High five: how Microsoft's UK studios are shaping Xbox One's future

A list of first party developers to keep an eye on

The times they are a-changing, and it's an exciting era to be an Xbox owner. The brand may have been born and raised in America, but its future - from new franchises to cutting edge features - is currently being forged on our fair isles. Here are five UK-based studios that are helping to shape the new generation.

The technology centre

Rare | Based: Twycross

The studio that created, among other things, the original Killer Instinct and GoldenEye for Nintendo64 has had a cuddlier brief in recent years, building first Xbox Live Avatars and then Kinect Sports. With new instalment Rivals, it's putting a toe back in the hardcore space. It's designed for "people there at the launch of a console, which is very different from the audience for the original Kinect Sports," says creative director Simon Woodroffe. Once that game ships in the spring, the studio will be turning its attention to coming up with new ideas to use Xbox One technology. Which might even include a new Perfect Dark. "Maybe," says Woodroffe. "We've got an idea for that."

Close Close

Happily, it wouldn't involve mapping Joanna Dark to Kinect gestures. "It would be controller plus Kinect," he says. "We've got ideas for most older Rare IP, you won't be surprised to hear. There's quite a lot of desire to do Perfect Dark and Viva Piņata, Conker... Banjo's very popular internally, a lot of people want to do stuff with Banjo.


"We're all about giving people new experiences. It's a very technical studio. I'm relatively new - what I've learned is that Rare really knows how to make creative things out of technology. We want to find that thing that nobody's ever done before and make a game out of it. We should be inventing new genres, inventing new ways to play. And Kinect gives us new opportunities to do it."

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