The development studio behind games like 'Splosion Man and The Maw is parting ways from Microsoft. That's right, Twisted Pixel is now an independent developer now that they have parted ways from Microsoft and decided to follow their own path.
Eurogamer did a brief write-up on the event, taking note of Twisted Pixel co-founder and creative director Josh Bear, made a statement about the studio's departure from under Microsoft's wing, saying...
Microsoft has been an incredible partner since day one and we've always kept a background dialog open with them about the idea of returning to an independent studio model if the timing made sense for us,
It's actually a good thing that they were able to break away from Microsoft instead of possibly being shutdown like some other studios that came before them. While being a second-party studio for a console manufacturer seems like a cozy position to be in – making exclusive games for a console and having the security of being under one of the largest distributors in the world – the reality is that if a game flops or if cost-cutting measures are handed down then the second-party studios are some of the first to go.
Despite being small, Twisted Pixel has a few sleeper hits under their belt, even when some of their games weren't quite as well received as they may have hoped for, including their last outing for PC and Xbox consoles, LocoCycle. The studio ran into a little bit of PR trouble when it turned out that they were one of the booths that had their Xbox One game running on Windows 8 desktop PCs powered by Nvidia's GTX Titans during E3 back in 2013. The scandal rocked the gaming nation for a bit but after that Twisted Pixel kind of faded to the background for a while. That little incident certainly wasn't enough to taint the company's past outings.
However, following the release of LocoCycle back in 2013 they haven't released anything for Microsoft since then. Nevertheless, they still have some creative gumption left in them and they're planning on taking their services to the next level by going multi-platform.
According to Twisted Pixel's executive producer Bill Muehl, they're looking forward to taking their next step as a multi-platform outlet...
We're looking forward to the new relationships and platforms this will open up to us and continuing our strong partnership with Microsoft on future titles for their platforms.
Twisted Pixel really set a standard for themselves when they released the very popular and very bizarre 'Splosion Man. The game was a wacky side-scrolling, 3D platformer. After a series of moderate success with quirky games published for Microsoft's consoles it will be interesting to see how they take those concepts and apply them to other platforms. Heck, it would be pretty cool to see them make stuff for Nintendo's platforms as well.
They didn't reveal what exactly they would be doing next or what they would be working on, but they did reveal that they left on amicable terms with Microsoft so you can still expect to see Twisted Pixels games on the Xbox One in the future... it's just that they won't be exclusive to the Xbox or PC anymore.