Portal and Left 4 Dead developer Kim Swift joins Xbox as cloud gaming director | VGC

Xbox Game Studios has appointed Portal and Left 4 Dead developer Kim Swift as senior director of cloud gaming.

Swift rose to prominence as the project lead and designer of Valve‘s Portal, before working as a designer and artist on Left 4 Dead and its sequel.

She has also worked as creative director and studio partner at Airtight Games (Quantum Conundrum), design director on an unannounced Amazon title, and as studio design director at EA’s Motive (Star Wars Battlefront 2).

Portal and Left 4 Dead developer Kim Swift joins Xbox as cloud gaming director
Kim Swift has joined Xbox as senior director of cloud gaming

Between November 2019 and May 2021, Swift was game design director at Stadia Games & Entertainment. She is the latest high-profile developer to leave Google after its gaming arm ceased first-party development efforts earlier this year.

Xbox Game Studios publishing head Peter Wyse told Polygon Microsoft plans to create “cloud-native games” accessible to players who don’t own a console or PC. “We don’t know exactly what that looks like today, or what that even plays like,” he said.

“Kim is going to build a team focused on new experiences in the cloud, something that’s going to support our mission of bringing our Xbox games to connect three billion gamers to play our games,” Wyse said of Swift’s appointment.

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During a pre-E3 media briefing, Microsoft said it is planning to bring Xbox cloud gaming to internet-connected TVs in a move that will let players access services like Game Pass with no extra hardware required except a controller. It is also building its own streaming devices to bring cloud gaming to any TV or monitor without the need for a console.

In the same presentation, Microsoft said it is exploring new Xbox Game Pass subscription plans in a bid to bring the service to a wider audience.

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