Ruffian Games are the creators of Crackdown 2 which released in 2010 along many contract workings for Microsoft and are known to be developing Hollowpoint for PS4 and PC with Paradox Interactive as well as new things based a new job listing and blog post on their website.
The blog post [from September 2015] is very clear on their future, they want to make games that they own and have control over and as part of that are working on a new prototype with a team they are assembling and recruiting for! The game is using with Unreal Engine 4, it also seems like we might find out what exactly this game is in the not to distant future. There is also an image attached to the post which looks like the guy from Team Fortress 2 in an alternate universe:
Also mentioned in the post is that they like working with their publishing partners and will continue to do so and with that in mind I browsed their careers page and found this seemingly quite obvious job listing for a Senior Networking Engineer:
Here are the highlights with the pictures of the original listing at the bottom incase it disappears:
“The successful candidate will be required to lead a small networking team and will be responsible for the design and implementation of new networking systems including dedicated servers in an existing AAA game codebase. The candidate will also need to work closely with both the project lead and the systems engineers that are responsible for integration with our publishing partner’s backend services.”
Immediately this suggests a port given the existing code base, of course it could be a product in development somewhere else they are helping out on, remasters are aplenty this generation so it’s not necessarily anything that narrows the list of potential projects down.
“The work itself is on a large but well understood code base with a long heritage of shipped titles on multiple platforms.”
“Responsible for delivering real-time networking components for a current generation console/PC title”
The most revealing part is under “Desirable Skills/Experience:
“Preferably has shipped a console product within strict bandwidth and performance targets
Has experience working with first person shooters engines/requirements
Has worked on a first party project with one of the console vendors
Has worked with large, legacy code bases
Has applicable current generation console experience
Has experience with the Azure platform or similar cloud computing platform
Understanding of Windows Store
Understanding of Windows 10 Unified App Platform”
There is much that stands about this given their earlier work: a first-party project with a console vendor narrows it down a lot without mentioning: first person shooters, legacy code base, Azure, the Windows Store and Windows 10 Unified App Platform surely point very obviously towards a particular partner they have had since the studio was formed.
Unless there is a mega funky deal going on with Street Fighter V then I think it’s a continuation of their work with Microsoft/343 on Halo, Ruffian did help with bringing Halo Spartan Assault to Xbox consoles as well and ported Halo 3/4/ODST to Xbox One as part of Halo MCC so they would know that code well at this point and would make a lot of sense to be a partner for that.
They did also help with Kinect Sports Rivals and Sea of Thieves would also fit the description pretty well although given it had been announced when this job listing went up (September 18th) I think its less likely to be that.
After I found this job listing I went and checked Linkedin too and found this which would mostly rule out Sea of Thieves, I guess?
Given this latest bit of information my official guess for this job listing is as follows:
Of course none of this is confirmed as yet despite how likely it may seem, perhaps there is something else going on, who knows! Xbox One is a Windows 10 platform now (well, soon) but even then I think for a non-Microsoft employee they are probably unlikely to be writing Windows in the context of Xbox One.
I’m sure we will find out in due course, the pictures for the job listing are below as mentioned earlier: