Lift London have been a bit of a mystery since they were first opened back in 2012, originally making games for touch devices and had another “interesting” idea planned if they could land it (Per Phil Spencer’s twitter), then they listed consoles on their twitter feed and website before a merger and some layoffs with another London-based Microsoft Studio Soho Productions [Upload Studio]. 3 years since their inception and we still don’t appear to be officially any closer to finding out what they’ve been up to.
Their website which changed its domain to Lift.London doesn’t appear to have been updated recently, since the last facelift anyway. There are some characters kicking around their website which fall in-line with the pictures of achievements for “Eden Falls” which they were developing for Windows Phone 8 at one point, they might still be but to be honest we have no idea at this point.
These are the achievements that surfaced on the very good XboxAchievements.com website a while ago, as you can see the art/characters are the same, so either someone is great at photoshop or they’re real.
Its also worth noting the website hasn’t been updated in a while seeing as on the “About Us” page it still like Mike Rouse who left the studio in March 2015 to form his own independent studio RedSix Interactive.
Lift London been radio silent for a long while and it seems we may now have somewhat of an answer as to why.
I was alerted to the possibility of Lift London working on Hololens after a more recent event where one of their (now ex-)staffers tweeted out this:
I’ll admit i’ve not done much in the way of browsing the job sites and Linkedin recently, in part due to E3 and the big reveals between that and Gamescom but I stumbled across these recent job listings on my travels:
“Are you passionate about trailblazing new experiences and empowering people across the globe? Do you want to be one of the first pioneers to usher in the next evolution in computing on Microsoft’s new HoloLens platform?”
“Technology, creativity and innovation come together at Microsoft’s Lift London. Established in 2012 as an entertainment studio for a new generation of mobile hardware, our remit has since grown to encompass cutting edge R&D for emergent technologies and consumer trends.”
Details mention things like “good quality software” and Unity 3D (the engine, presumably) so there was nothing else that caught my eye apart from the that description.
I can’t help but feel that losing studios that were making games or game related products (Upload Studio pre-studio merger) to Hololens development is a bad idea. Things obviously haven’t been smooth sailing at Lift London for one reason or another because from their mobile game background they haven’t yet released anything and they may still be making some of the games they were but as someone who likes Xbox and has no horse in the VR or AR race, Microsoft need more studios making games not less.
Never the less it will be interesting to see what sort of applications and products Lift London come up with and when they release their first product into the wild.
Pictures below for when the links disappear: