Microsoft’s Phil Spencer: “New IP is Critical;” Teases Unannounced Ones and Shares more on Black Tusk’s Future

on January 28, 2014 8:53 PM

With the announcement of Microsoft’s acquisition of the Gears of War franchise from Epic, some have been worried about the house of Xbox possibly losing focus on new IPs, but Microsoft Game Studios honcho Phil Spencer came to the rescue on Twitter to reassure fans that more new IP will come, including unannounced ones:

As you see more of Quantum Break, @SunsetOverdrive and unannounced hopefully you’ll see new IP magic again.

New IP is critical. Launch of XB1 to now and I like the new IP we invested in: Ryse, Crimson Dragon, Max, Loco with SO, QB coming

He then mentioned that there are other games in development with the same scale and potential as Gears of War, Fable, Halo and Forza Motorsport.

I always hope everything we ship turns big of course. We have games in development with same scale and potential as those.

With Black Tusk Studios put to work on the Gears of War franchise, Spencer gave some more info on what happened to the developer’s new IP and to its tech demo that was showcased this year during Microsoft’s Press Conference  at E3 (you can see the teaser at the bottom of the post):

Team is focusing on Gears now given investment we made in IP, obviously down the road other opportunities can open up.

E3 piece was a specific piece for the show, all in engine, as I said. Goal was to announce BT. There was no game reveal in that.

In game == in engine, it was captured from a dev kit, not CG.

I just wanted to clarify yesterday. I didn’t mean to disrespect BT’s E3 work, I thought it was great.

And then you think we brought in Rod [Rod Fergusson, historical producer of the Gears of War franchise]  to add Gears DNA to team, to me that was a huge part of this.

I have confidence in BT and trusted that they would have come up with something big. Gears was just a unique opp.

When pinged by a fan on whether it was true that the studio spent the past six to nine months incubating new ideas, Spencer answered:

That’s a true statement, from the time BT was formed they were incubating ideas for a time we would announce a game.

He also responded to questions asking about the future of Black Tusk Studios and if Microsoft plans to grow them into a big multi-IP developer:

Good question. I think studios have to grow in stages. Grow too quickly can == fail. So we’ll see. Talent is there.

I’m glad you liked it. BT is very talented and I have confidence they can become an industry leading studio.

Summing it up, Spencer honestly admitted that we might not see a game made from Black Tusk’s new IP for a while, as a fan asked if they could work on two games at the same time:

I want to be honest, studio is focused on Gears right now. I get putting minds at ease but for now, it’s not accurate.

That said, the work done prior to to the acquisition of the Gears of War franchise hasn’t been scrapped, so it might still resurface in the future.

We did nothing to scrap the work BT had done prior to Gears IP acquisition.

Finally he provided a small update on the state of Insomniac Games’ Sunset Overdrive and promised one on Quantum Break by Thursday.

Saw great looking SO gameplay yesterday with @RealKLobb, game is looking very good.

I’m getting a QB update on Thursday, I’ll respond after that.

We’ll have to stand by and see what new IP and games Microsoft is still keeping under wraps. One thing is for sure: this generation is promising to be full of surprises.

 /  Executive News Editor
Hailing from sunny (not as much as people think) Italy and long standing gamer since the age of Mattel Intellivision and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Definitely a multi-platform gamer, he still holds the old dear PC nearest to his heart, while not disregarding any console on the market. RPGs (of any nationality) and MMORPGs are his daily bread, but he enjoys almost every other genre, prominently racing simulators, action and sandbox games. He is also one of the few surviving fans of the flight simulator genre on Earth.
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