Back when the Kinect was still referred to in the press as Project Natal, Microsoft's go-to core gaming developers Bungie and Epic Games were down on the device's shooter potential. Not to be deterred, it now appears as if Microsoft took that issue into its own hands.
According to the online resume of Microsoft Game Studios Vancouver art director Shawn Woods (spotted by a poster to the NeoGAF message boards), the publisher abandoned efforts for more casual Kinect titles in favor of crafting a new, big-budget shooter for the Kinect.
"Original team member in a new studio with a start-up mentality, hired a team of artists to create social microtransaction games," Woods' resume reads. "Over the course of the year, our studio strategy has changed and now focuses on developing a core AAA shooter experience using Kinect."
Founded in February 2010, the outfit (which Woods refers to as Zipline Studios) is possibly the result of a rash of openings that appeared on Microsoft's job boards in September 2009. Woods' resume offered no additional details on the project.
That said, MGS Vancouver will apparently remain devoted to titles aimed at the core gaming audience. According to its official website, MGS Vancouver's mission statement says that it "is building a world-class development team in Vancouver, BC, Canada, dedicated to making games for 'core' gamers. Our mission is to push the limits of proven and unexplored game development and show the world what's possible on Microsoft's game consoles."
Notably, MGS Vancouver is currently hiring for a number of open positions, including a new art director. Responding to a request for comment, a Microsoft representative told GameSpot, "We can confirm Microsoft has opened a new games studio in Vancouver, Canada, focused on 'games for core gamers,' but have no further details to share at this time."