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Harrison reveals new 'digital only' Microsoft studio, Lift London

New Xbox exec wants to bring together 'the most incredible talent ever seen in a start-up'

Lift London, Microsoft's new Soho-based studio, will now be focused on creating content for tablets and cloud services, as well as the nurturing of burgeoning talent.


Headed up by former Rare production director Lee Schuneman, the studio was first revealed in September of last year.

Although it's original remit was to "explore creative and business opportunities that developing new games and entertainment experiences on Windows 8 tablet devices and platforms will afford", Microsoft said at a press conference in London today that this has been expanded to encompass a focus on products for cloud services.

Lift London will also serve as a talent incubator by shepherding smaller studios. The first studio taken under its wing is DLaLa, which will maintain its independence but has a commercial agreement with Microsoft.

At the same event Phil Harrison, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business, stated that the future of the Xbox brand is "cloud centric" rather than "device centric".

"I want to create from scratch a 21st century studio," he said.

"Not a studio that would make retail products. A studio that would make games for the cloud. Putting together the most incredible talent ever seen in a start-up.

"The shift is from packaged goods to connected products. We will continue to support retail with our products for sure. But we are going to keep creating features that are enhanced and improved by the network."