Xbox Game Studios publishing arm has just announced a pretty big new hire. Kim Swift, the creator of Portal and designer for Left 4 Dead 1 and 2, has just signed on with the Microsoft games publisher to "collaborate with independent studios to build games for the cloud."
"Our team focuses on three pillars in our games: Community, Innovation, and Inclusivity," Xbox Game Studios Publishing wrote on Twitter (via Videogamer). "Today, @K2TheSwift joins us in XGS Publishing to accelerate our Innovation and collaborate with independent studios to build games for the cloud. Welcome to the team, Kim!"
Our team focuses on three pillars in our games: Community, Innovation and Inclusivity. Today, @K2TheSwift joins us in XGS Publishing to accelerate our Innovation and collaborate with independent studios to build games for the cloud.— Xbox Game Studios Publishing (@XboxPublishing) June 21, 2021
Welcome to the team, Kim! pic.twitter.com/pM3E5Xxyrt
You'll probably know Kim Swift best from her work on the original Portal game. Swift's earlier work on Narbacular Drop helped land her the job after Valve head Gabe Newell fell in love with the portal-based puzzle gameplay elements. Newell hired Swift and several other DigiPen graduates to create Portal, which went on to win a whole bunch of awards and cement Swift’s reputation as a premier game designer.
Swift stayed at Valve to help create Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2, then left in 2009 for Airtight Games to make Quantum Conundrum. She then went to Amazon Studios in 2014 to work on undisclosed projects as a “senior designer,” according to her LinkedIn profile, but left in 2017 (probably because Amazon didn’t know the first thing about making a video game).
She picked up with EA's Motive Studios to work as design director on Star Wars Battlefront II, and now she's once again hopping to another big video game publisher to help liaise with indie game studios.
There's no mention of what games Swift will work on, or even if she's going to be directly involved in any game development. Maybe after helping to create so many huge games, she's decided it's time for a new challenge. Swift's vast experience in development is sure to be a big help to any indie studio looking to get published with Xbox.
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