Link reliability may vary as positions get filled.
I’ve not done one of these in a while but I have been checking around the Microsoft Studios recruitment pages and Linkedin to find a few interesting things, even if there is nothing huge around.
I think the biggest thing I found really was that Rare may using Epic’s Unreal Engine 4 in their next project(s). This is somewhat of a surprise if you factor in the (impressive, in my opinion) tech that Rare have used to make their engines since they became part of Microsoft Studios and that they made a new engine for Xbox One and Kinect Sports Rivals, however considering that engine was likely developed heavily for Kinect, unless they wanted to spend time and go back to make changes to it using Unreal Engine 4 is likely the quickest way to get their next project underway.
Microsoft are using Unreal Engine 4 in several announced projects – Fable Legends, Scalebound, Crackdown and the next Gears of War so it’s unsurprising if they were going to use an existing engine that they would pick Unreal Engine 4 given their close relationship with Epic.
(Via Rare’s Contract recruitment page)
There are a number of other Rare job listings via the Microsoft recruitment website mainly engineering roles but not entirely.. Theres all the usual talk of “games as a service” which what I found most interesting was that right at the bottom of the listing under “desirable experience” was “MMO development” as well as “cross-platform development including Windows”. Theres a lot of talk about Azure features so presumably whatever they’re planning obviously is considering multiplayer but I can’t say an MMO or heavily online based title was quite what I had in mind for Rare when Phil Spencer said they can be more than Kinect Sports. Interestingly as well it seems the game is further along than we might have anticipated: “Hot off the launch of 2014’s Kinect Sports Rivals for Xbox One, Rare is already deep into the development of its next eye-opening AAA adventure.”
(Via Microsoft recruitment)
Rare job listings: Software Engineer (Services) – Software Engineer – User Experience Lead – Lead Services Programmer
State of the Art (SOTA)
One of the studios that appeared on the recent LXP Studios website State of the Art (SOTA) also have a single job posting on the website as well as a couple of mentions on Linkedin although interesting the Kathleen Mulcahy has now changed her description to working for [Fun]ction Studios?
State of the Art (SOTA): User Experience Visual Designer (Incubation) – Kathleen Mulcahy Linkedin – Scott Wade Linkedin
343i have been hiring recently for a game which forms a “new product line in the Halo franchise” two of the 3 images are from earlier this year but the Lead Concept Artist listing and Software Development Engineer are more recent ones. 343i working with external partners is nothing new, including themselves Halo The Master Chief Collection had 4 developers – Saber Interactive (update graphics engines on CEA/2A), Certain Affinity (multiplayer maps, integration, 2A multiplayer) and Ruffian Games (Halo 3/4 ports) but the fact that they list it specifically as the publishing side of 343i and lists work on a AAA Xbox One title under experience suggests its for the new product line. Being AAA it rules out Spartan Strike for Xbox One and my guess considering the Head of Xbox Phil Spencer is a big fan of Halo Wars suggests it could be for a sequel, or another spin-off?
343 Industries: Lead Concept Artist – Software Development Engineer
When Forza Horizon 2 was announced on IGN First earlier this year one of the articles they did with the news blowout of the new title was an interview with Turn10 Studios Dan Greenawalt and Alan Hartman and near the bottom Dan says this about the future of Forza:
“I’m not saying I know what the next 10 years are gonna be,” he says. “But when I look at the trajectory of the last 10 years, I don’t see how it’s possible that the only thing Forza would be is Forza Motorsport and Forza Horizon. It’s gonna continue to grow, just as games have continued to grow.
“I don’t have a design on where the series will grow to, but I’m very excited about it because I think for us to have a greater impact in car culture and gaming culture it has to be more than just Motorsport and Horizon.”
IGN First: Third Forza game possible
With Forza Horizon 2 out now on Xbox 360 and Xbox One I’ve looked towards the future of Forza, I’ve always had Forza Motorsport 6 pegged in for release as a holiday 2015 title because Forza Motorsport has shipped every other year since its original release in 2005 and whilst I was rummaging through the Microsoft careers website I found two job listings that might hint at future expansion in the series to go along with the Forza mobile job listing I found earlier this year (link below)
Turn10: Franchise Manager – Forza Franchise Management Program Manager – Forza mobile job listing
There aren’t any megatons here but as usual gives an idea of what MS might be thinking about. Rare switching to UE4 isn’t a huge surprise, their next game possibly being online multiplayer focused somewhat is a surprise, and others like Forza are just building on what we already know. I’ll update the post if I see anything else relevant.
We’ve known for a while now that Lionhead incubation have been tasked with making a new IP for Xbox One with an 8 man team on the job and it seems in recent months Lionhead have been looking to expand that group with some new recruits as shown by the multiple job listings, nothing particularly gives away their plans though, unfortunately.
Lionhead Studios recruitment page
Developers of ‘Splosion Man and more recently Xbox One launch title (later released on PC and Xbox 360) Lococycle, it seems they may have switched from their internal Beard engine to one of the more well known engines such as Unreal or Unity. This wouldnt be a huge surprise, given how popular Unreal Engine for Microsoft titles as mentioned above but I suspect they’re more likely to be using Unity (which PressPlay used for Max: The Curse of Brotherhood) if they are actually using a new engine. The job listings themselves dont give away too much more than what we known already of their new project I would hope for a 2015 reveal and possibly even release, given that they only developed Lococycle for Xbox 360 and finished it at some point between E3 2013 and the Xbox One release (which was ported by Double Helix, as well as the PC version)
Their recruitment page has been empty for a long time but has recently seen a flurry of new activities appear which suggests they might be going through a small expansion phase as they continue along with their new project
Twisted Pixel recruitment page
Based in Denmark the creators of Max: The Curse of Brotherhood are an efficient widespread studio working on a number of projects. At the moment it’s believed they’re working on a new IP, another game in the Max franchise as well as Project Totem which is imminently due to be given its final name (Kalimba?) and possibly a release date.
The most notable listings are for multiplayer or co-op experience and combat systems which suggests their next title could be quite different. They are also known to be using Lift London technology of some sort so it will be interesting to see how all this fits together.
PressPlay: Producer – Gameplay Programmer