Monday, September 27, 2021

Xbox hires Portal’s Kim Swift for cloud gaming

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Xbox Game Studios Publishing has hired Portal’s Lead Designer Kim Swift as its new Senior Director of their Cloud Gaming initiative.

Xbox Publishing tweeted today that Swift’s hire was to “accelerate our innovation and collaborate with independent studios to build games for the cloud.”

Swift has had a lengthy career at some of the industry’s largest companies, going from project lead at Valve for Portal and Designer on Left 4 Dead to roles at Amazon and Electronic Arts. Most recently, she was a Game Design Director at Google for Stadia’s first-party studio Playa Vista Vista Studios, where she worked as a Creative Director on an unannounced first-party project.

Playa Vista was shut down earlier this year as Google Stadia chose to end its first-party development efforts. And as Swift leaving the company, comes alongside the departure of other notable figures such as Jade Raymond and John Justice. 

Swift’s hiring comes alongside a push from Xbox Game Studios Publishing to promote its “three core pillars” of working with independent developers to connect with players globally: community, innovation, and inclusivity. 

This has historically included publishing not just games by internal Xbox studios and acquisitions, but also external partner studios like Moon Studios (Ori and the Blind Forest), Interior/Night (As Dusk Falls), and their recent announcement, Contraband, which it is publishing in partnership with Avalanche Studios.

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