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IP creation is "key" to UK business, says Phil Spencer

Microsoft Game Studios boss is "proud" of company's history in the country

Microsoft Game Studios general manager Phil Spencer has stated his belief that in a landscape of rising costs and increasingly harsh competition for talent on a global basis, the UK should focus on IP creation in order to find ongoing success and make the most of its "creative ability and key talent".

In a panel session at the Westminster Media Forum, Spencer outlined Microsoft's feelings on its strong links with UK studios, and said that it was "proud" of its track record.

"The history for Microsoft game development in the UK is rich," he said. "If you look back to the beginning of Xbox, around 40 per cent of games that we developed as a first party came from Europe.

"Just think back to some of the UK franchises that we've built - Project Gotham Racing with Bizarre Creations in Liverpool, Fable with Lionhead Studios down in Guildford. There's a number of franchises that have come out of working with studios here in the UK, and we're proud of that history."

He then went on to discuss the potential costs associated with developing a key franchise, and how the UK currently sits in the overall picture.

"For the studios here, both in the investment we're making today and in future investment, there's no question in our mind about the creative ability and key talent that sits here," he said.

"Our concern when we roll out this business plan that looks at this franchise over five to ten years, and supporting a branded game - a triple A franchise of today - is how do you support that development through all of the costs? And where is the best place to put that cost of developing these franchises? This is the thing we're struggling with today.

"So if we're thinking about development [in the UK], I believe we should be thinking about IP creation - I think that's the key to a successful games industry business in our region."

Currently on the schedule for release from Microsoft's UK studios are Lionhead's Fable 2 and the new Banjo-Kazooie title from Rare.

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