Twisted Pixel Games joins the Microsoft family

Twisted Pixel Games, the off-kilter creators of XBLA’s The Gunstringer, has officially become part of the Microsoft Studios empire. The acquisition, announced today, will see the Austin-based studio continue to develop new IPs under the Microsoft flag, starting with a puppet-themed Halo remake. Maybe. Probably not. We’re 99.999% sure that last part was a joke.

“It is really exciting for us to solidify our long-standing relationship with Microsoft Studios, who we consider to be the leader in digital distribution and creating new innovations in gaming like Xbox LIVE and Kinect,” said Michael Wilford, co-founder and chief executive officer of Twisted Pixel in today’s press release.

Speaking toJoystiq, Microsoft Studios general manager Matt Booty insisted Twisted Pixel will be given free rein to develop its games as the former indie studio sees fit with little oversight by Microsoft, stating, “”Microsoft’s a very big company, and you’ve got Twisted Pixel, a relatively smaller developer. We’re very invested that they get to stay who they are, and they get to retain the magic they’ve got as a smaller indie developer…We’d like to leave the golden goose alone, so to speak.”

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Twisted Pixel was founded in 2006 by Michael Wilford, Frank Wilson and Josh Bear. The studio cut its teeth with the alien action-adventure title The Maw for XLBA and (later) Steam, and later applied its distinct creative style to games like Cosmic Jumper, Ms. ‘Splosion man, and its most recent puppet western game The Gunstringer. According to Bear, Twisted Pixel’s chief creative officer, the studio anticipates no negative changes to its quirky development style, but instead sees an opportunity to create “bigger games and richer games going forward.”

For its first trick, Bear joked: “We’ve been talking with them about this IP they have called Halo that hasn’t been doing too well, we told them we could help them out with that some time…Live action, Mad Dog McCree-style Halo, coming soon.”

Oct 12, 2011

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