What prompts a giant like Microsoft -- amidst layoffs and studio closures -- to purchase a Vancouver-based developer that's barely two years old? Aside from boasting a collection of 20-year industry veterans that have had their hands in franchises like Need For Speed, SSX and NBA Street, BigPark Inc. benefited from having its ideas being "very compatible" with those of Microsoft.
That's according to BigPark CEO and co-founder Hanno Lemke, who spoke to us regarding Microsoft's recently announced plans to acquire the studio and its "extremely talented group of people." BigPark's titles (including free-to-play tower defense game, Wizard Defense) focus on online social play, digital distribution and a direct-to-consumer model. Lemke suggested that his company's upcoming Xbox 360-exclusive game, which has been in development for more than a year, would be in line with what it had released before. Resulting from a fortuitous "meeting of the minds" between BigPark and Microsoft, the game is unlikely to be a typical product aimed at the Xbox's hardcore audience (no space marines here!), instead fitting in with Microsoft's "big push to broaden the audience." A casual, free-to-play title would certainly fit the description, if one were to speculate.
Though Lemke refrained from offering much detail, he confirmed that the "very new and different" title would be playable at next month's E3 -- and that it would break some rules. "[It's] pretty innovative in how it's delivered to consumers," he remarked. And if there's any doubt that the game plays a pivotal role in an audience expansion strategy, consider just what prompts a giant like Microsoft to purchase a Vancouver-based developer that's barely two years old. "It obviously goes beyond one game, right?"