Kinect developers face extinction following Microsoft Studios website update

microsoft xbox one review kinect sensor
Microsoft has removed many of its partnered development houses from the official Microsoft Studios website, suggesting that the company has more closures in mind following its recent shuttering of Fable developer Lionhead and Max: The Curse of Brotherhood creator Press Play.

Prior to this week’s closure announcements, the Microsoft Studios website showcased 18 of its in-house developers and gaming initiatives on its front page. The website has since been updated to remove all mention of Lionhead, Press Play, and five other studios, many of which were tied to Kinect-based projects.

Developers scrubbed from the Microsoft Studios website include BigPark, Good Science, [Fun]ction Studios, Leap Experience Pioneers (LXP), and SOTA. Microsoft additionally deleted links to its Project Spark game-creation app after halting development of all future downloadable content and releasing its creative elements for free in 2015.

Microsoft previously acquired Canadian studio BigPark in 2009 in order to spur development of games for its inbound Kinect peripheral. The team made its Xbox 360 debut in 2010 with the launch of its motion-controlled driving game Kinect Joy Ride, and later worked on an Xbox Live Arcade follow-up, Joy Ride Turbo, and the sports-themed minigame compilation Kinect Sports: Season Two.

Good Science Studio, also acquired by Microsoft in 2009, developed the Kinect pack-in title Kinect Adventures, which gave early adopters a free look at the peripheral’s capabilities. Good Science later released the free-to-play Kinect Fun Labs as a downloadable app for the Xbox 360, and worked with Terminal Reality during the creation of the widely panned Kinect Star Wars.

Developers Leap Experience Pioneers, [Fun]ction Studios, and SOTA had also worked on unannounced Kinect projects before shifting focus to Microsoft’s upcoming HoloLens peripheral.

Prior to the launch of the Xbox One, Microsoft pushed the platform’s improved Kinect sensor extensively, promising that players could expect many innovative motion-sensing games from its partnered studios in the coming years. Following a fan backlash over console pricing and privacy concerns, the once-crucial Kinect was demoted from a platform requirement to an optional accessory, and Microsoft no longer bundles Kinect hardware with Xbox One consoles.

Microsoft has not acknowledged the recent removals from its Microsoft Studios website, and the fate of affected studios is currently unknown.


Scalebound could be revived for Switch following Xbox One cancellation

Microsoft canceled the Xbox One and PC exclusive Scalebound more than two years ago, but a new report claims Scalebound could have found a new home as an exclusive on Nintendo Switch.

Having problems with your Xbox One console? We have the solutions

The Xbox One has evolved over the years, but so have its problems. Thankfully, we have solutions for some of the console's most enduring problems, whether you're experiencing issues with connectivity or your discs.

These Xbox One exclusives are the definition of quality over quantity

Xbox One has a prestigious collection of handpicked titles that you can't play on other consoles. Here are the latest and greatest Xbox One exclusives, including some that are also available on PC

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.

Activision not doing itself any favors with Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 loot boxes

New loot boxes added to Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 have caused a somewhat uneven playing field for those who choose to spend extra money. Certain limited-time items can now only be found in loot boxes.

Logitech’s G MX518 gaming mouse pairs classic looks with all-new tech

Logitech is relaunching one of its most popular classic gaming mice, the MX518. Now called the G MX518, it sports upgraded internals that give it a 16,000 DPI optical sensor and new and improved memory.

Apex Legends adds its first new gun, the Havoc energy rifle

Respawn added the first piece of new content to Apex Legends, the Havoc energy rifle. It's available now for PS4, Xbox One, and PC players. The fully automatic rifle can be modded to shoot single-shot energy beams.

One game console is better than the rest, and we're not afraid to say it

We've seen a relatively large influx of new consoles in the last year, including the Nintendo Switch and Xbox One X, so we've updated our recommendations for the best dedicated game hardware.

Everything we know about Devil May Cry 5, including characters and combat

Devil May Cry 5 is just around the corner, and is the first game in the original series since Devil May Cry 4 in 2008. Here is everything we know about the game, including its playable characters.

Samsung Galaxy S10 optimizations make it great for Fortnite

Samsung's new line of Galaxy S10 devices have been optimized for gaming. All three offer improved support for the Unity engine and the S10 Plus also offers vapor chamber cooling, similar to the Xbox One X.

Did Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown fall victim to the Madden Curse?

Join us as we take a tour through the long-running history of the Madden Curse -- and Tom Brady's recent accolades. We all know John Madden is a longtime NFL talent, but is he also an agent of dark forces?

These are the coolest games you can play on your Google Chrome browser right now

Not only is Google Chrome a fantastic web browser, it's also a versatile gaming platform that you can access from just about anywhere. Here are a few of our favorite titles for the platform.

Need help getting the Sleeper Simulant in Destiny 2? We’ve got you covered

The Sleeper Simulant is one of the coolest new Exotic weapons you can unlock in the Warmind expansion of Destiny 2, but it's an involved process that will take awhile. Here's everything you need to know.

Want to trick out your PlayStation 4? These themes will get you started

Personalize your gaming experience with some of our favorite themes for the PlayStation 4, including free, paid, static, and dynamic options. Fan-favorite third-party and exclusive games are also included.