Team Dakota’s single project so far has been Project Spark, an ambitious title especially for a new team on new hardware (and Windows 8) that came out of beta in October on PC and Xbox One but is still a long way from being “complete” – if it ever will be. Project Spark is progressing at a good speed as they polish it up, add new features and new DLC packs including the Conker pack next year, the fact that it was given some time on-stage at the Microsoft E3 2014 conference shows the confidence that Xbox have in the team and the project and its good to see it improve.
But whats next for Team Dakota? Well, given the size of the project i’d have expected in all honesty for them to continue with that for the foreseeable future but it seems they and Microsoft have other ideas:
“Team Dakota’s newly formed incubation team is working on creating our next new hit. Come join us as we incubate new project ideas with the goal being to find that next hit to bring to market and build a team around.” (Via Microsoft Careers website – link reliably may vary as positions get filled)
Reading the full listing is quite interesting although doesn’t give us much of a clue as to what sort of project they might work on, the intent to expand seems like an obvious thing to expect when they are going multi-project but outside of that there isn’t much specifically to take from it.
My favourite part of these job listings outside of finding something genuinely interesting is wild speculation time. Looking at Xbox, they have Project Spark and now Minecraft from their recent Mojang acquisition, so I can’t personally see them doing another game/project that is primarily focused on building something but that doesn’t mean it won’t include features like that. I get some Twisted Pixel vibes from them, I’m not expecting a serious game or anything like that, something light hearted, fun and creative.
It will be very interesting to finally hear about whatever this ends up being although I suspect it won’t be for a long time before we hear about it, further developments such as what engine they might use considering all of their other studios seem to be moving over to Unreal Engine 4 and Unity would be something to look out for as well.
At Microsoft Studios and Xbox it seems their teams are expanding to be multi-project studios, the future looks good.