Microsoft Wants To Build and Own "Platform-Defining" AAA Original IP for Xbox One and More Internally

By Giuseppe Nelva

July 11, 2014

Microsoft’s Xbox Division head Phil Spencer has expressed his intention to work as much as possible with IPs owned directly by the house of Xbox, and today the company published a career opportunity ad seeking a Narrative Designer that seems to embody that plan perfectly.


The XBOX first-party publishing team at Microsoft Studios is looking for an experienced Narrative Designer with exceptional creative, collaborative, and diplomatic skills to join us in building platform-defining, original IP and telling best-in-class game stories. 

As a Narrative Designer on the publishing team, you will work closely with AAA game development partners, helping them realize their world-building and storytelling vision while also helping them plan for long-term IP success. At the same time, you will collaborate closely with key stakeholders inside Microsoft Studios to create multi-year plans to extend these IPs across Microsoft platforms as well as into franchise products such as comic books, novels, toys etc. 

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with the game industry’s top creative talent and one of the world’s leading game publishers. Help us build indelible worlds, tell great stories and create products people love while leveraging the power and passion of XBOX, Windows and other cutting edge Microsoft technology. 

Job Responsibilities

  • Be a vital member of a core, cross-disciplinary team of game production leads dedicated to getting the best work from and forging strong, long-term relationships with our first-party publishing partners.
  • Write and edit at all phases of game production. Tasks will vary by project, but can include anything from developing lore to editing user research materials to polishing cinematic dialog.
  • Create and maintain IP bibles and IP development plans with the goal of turning our most promising IPs into proven franchises.
  • Help drive creative plans to extend our IP experiences to PC, tablet, phone and other Windows platforms.
  • Collaborate with external vendors to ensure universe continuity and storytelling quality of franchise products such as comics, novels, linear media content—and more.
  • Advocate for excellent storytelling and IP planning across the first-party publishing team and Microsoft Studios.



The ad describes a quite interesting situation, with Microsoft striving to build IP which will then be used by their publishing partners to create their games, in a situation similar (but a lot less muddled) to what we saw for instance with Ryse: Son of Rome.

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That would allow Microsoft retain full control of the IP, and if needed to assign it to whatever developer they feel like for the future evolution of the franchise.

Besides Xbox, there’s also some love for other platforms, as the idea is to extend those IP past the Xbox One, on PC and mobile as well.

Looks like Phil Spencer’s “IP factory” is starting to heat-up its engines. Personally, I’m quite curious to see what they’ll be able to produce.

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Giuseppe Nelva

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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