Responding to rumours that the company had put forth a mandate for first-party developers such as Lionhead Studios to shy away from controller based games in order to make Kinect games, Microsoft Game Studio corporate VP Phil Spencer had a very plain answer for Gamasutra: “No”.
“Fable III ships [this] week, and it’s not a Kinect game… I think I said this a year ago: I think there’s opportunity in Fable for things that make sense with Kinect. But … it’s a trivial equation … that people buy great games. And they buy the platforms that those great games show up on.”
I take this at face value; mandates for developers aren’t really something Microsoft is known for (that’s Sony’s turf… no, I’m not bitter that they killed Working Designs and now sell their games as if nothing happened, why do you ask?), and Mr. Spencer has been a fairly stand up guy since taking his position over last year. As long as he’s not talking smack needlessly to Sony, his word has been pretty good.
Still, Microsoft is throwing a lot into Kinect, and I have to wonder if there won’t be indirect pressure to develop around it the way Sony is encouraging developers to incorporate Move.