Twisted Pixel CCO discusses studio future following Microsoft acquisition

Twisted Pixel's chief creative officer Josh Bear discusses the future of his company following last month's news that Microsoft has acquired the company.


In an interview with Gamasutra, Twisted Pixel's chief creative officer Josh Bear admitted that Microsoft's recent acquisition of the independent developer was primarily due to a night of hard drinking. "Microsoft tricked Mike [Wilford, co-founder], Frank [Wilson, co-founder] and I into signing papers that handed the company over to them for 1600 MS points, and a copy of Azurik for the original Xbox." Trademark Twisted Pixel humor.

When offering legitimate answers, Bear discussed the future of the developer now that they are under the wing of Microsoft. Future projects may still include XBLA software or Kinect, but it's really based on "the idea and what we want to do," he said.

"We obviously have a great deal of love for downloadable XBLA releases," he noted, "but I think what you will see from us in the future are just great games regardless of the distribution method." Twisted Pixel's most recent title, The Gunstringer, shifted distribution models from XBLA title to retail late in development.

"Maybe [future games] will be XBLA, maybe they will be retail. I think it will just come down to the idea and what we want to do with it. Microsoft has been great about letting us fit in where we need to," Bear added, recalling The Gunstringer's change.

When asked whether or not Twisted Pixel could maintain the 'independent developer spirit,' Bear was quick to say that aspect of the studio is "stronger today than it was even when we started." Proof this is the case, he promised, is tied to future projects. "I think that will be shown to an even greater degree once we unveil the next projects that we are working on--they are definitely 'out there' ideas in a really good way."

According to the CCO, "some indies have never considered [Twisted Pixel] 'indie' because we either came from a retail background or that our games were a little bit bigger or more console like." Bear feels that ideal is "complete bullshit."

"The guys here at the company have worked their asses off to deliver high quality games to players and we continue to get better. And we haven't just put out one game and rested on our laurels... we have continued to put out content and new IP on a regular basis."

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