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Portal designer joins Xbox Game Studios

Kim Swift, the lead designer behind Valve’s Portal, is now joining Xbox Game Studios. In recent years, Swift has worked at Amazon, EA Motive and Google Stadia. Now, as part of the Xbox team, Swift will be working to further Microsoft’s cloud gaming ambitions.

Microsoft confirmed the hire in a tweet from the Xbox Game Studios Publishing account, saying: “Our team focuses on three pillars in our games: Community, Innovation and Inclusivity. Today, Kim Swift joins us in XGS Publishing to accelerate our Innovation and collaborate with independent studios to build games for the cloud.”

As pointed out by VentureBeat’s Jeff Grubb, Kojima Productions is likely included in the list of independent studios that Swift will be working with. Sources have claimed that Kojima has signed on with Xbox for an episodic horror game based in the cloud. The game was initially pitched to Google as a Stadia exclusive before Google shut down first-party development and publishing operations.

Microsoft’s goal here is to build ‘cloud native’ games, picking up where Google Stadia left off. Of course, the technology is still in its early days, so it could be many years before we see a cloud-only title released by Xbox.

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KitGuru Says: This is a very interesting hire for Microsoft but there is still a long road ahead for cloud gaming and ‘cloud native’ titles. 

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