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No better place than Microsoft Game Studios, says Tsunoda

Thu 15 May 2008 6:14pm GMT / 2:14pm EDT / 11:14am PDT
Development

Kudo Tsunoda, now a GM at Microsoft Games Studio, says there is no better place for a creative person to be

Kudo Tsunoda, formerly of EA Chicago and now a GM at Microsoft Games Studios, says the transition to his new company has been great so far.

"I think the cool thing about MGS is, like, they just make some of the best quality products in all of the industry," he told GamesIndustry.biz and our sister site Eurogamer.net at the recent Microsoft showcase.

"If you look back at the last few years, all the product that MGS puts out is super highly rated. Somebody like me...The whole reason I am in the game industry is to be making top quality games, you know?"

Tsunoda remarked that when he was a child playing Space Invaders in his basement, he didn't dream of the day when he would be sitting in huge budget meetings or giant SKU plan meetings - he just wanted to make good games.

For him, Microsoft Games Studio is the place where he can fulfill that dream.

"They are really supportive of creative people getting new IP done," he said.

"I think Gears is a great example. It's a huge franchise now, but before Gears 1 came out it was just another one of those really risky IPs that a lot of game developers and game publishers wouldn't necessarily support. MGS really backed the product and turned it into a big franchise.

"For creative people, I just think there's no better place to go than MGS as far as being able to have a really cool, creative vision of what a game could be and getting as much of that into the game as possible."

Tsunoda says his latest role, as the project lead on Gears of War 2, is to enable the creativity of Cliff Bleszinski and the other developers at Epic as much as possible.

"I think there are all kinds of good resources and things that Microsoft can bring to the table in this kind of game partnership," Tsunoda said.

"Also, I think there are times as far as playing the game it's good to have a little more outside perspective on the game, which I think we can lend and give them feedback on."

Tsunoda noted that the great thing about working with Epic was that all they really care about is just making the best game possible, making them open to working collaboratively.

Specifically, Tsunoda noted that they intend to address some of the repetitive gameplay and the lack of a sense of scale from the first game.

"If you played Gears of War 1 at all, the story wasn't necessarily as robust as it could have been. I think that's stuff we are really going to blow out in Gears of War 2," Tsunoda said.

"We've got Josh Ortega - who's a great comic book writer - totally focused on the story and we want to do a much better job of that.

"And then also, I think when you look at the gameplay...Obviously, its great gameplay, you know. But I don't think there was ever that big sense of an epic war battle we wanted to get into Gears of War 1.

"You want to have this big...There's a giant war - the Locusts versus the Cogs. But really, when you go play the game, it's much more of you and one other person fighting a small entourage of the Locusts.

"So in Gears 2, if you've seen any of the footage or the one player demo, [we're] really blowing that out to give you a much grander sense of battle."

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