Phil Spencer's Story on the Creation and Success of KI

This was a question for Phil Spencer on Killer Instinct. Long post, but its interesting. Ill post the link as well. By the way congratulations Iron Galaxy and Microsoft. Thank you guys for Season 3. It truly is the best fighting game I’ve every played, in my opinion.

Why a Killer Instinct t-shirt?

"My t-shirt is pretty simple. It’s a Killer Instinct t-shirt. We launched season three yesterday. I am horrible at KI, first. I love the game, but I’ll use my Rare term and say I’m rubbish at the game. When we bought Rare, Microsoft didn’t really know what Killer Instinct was, but Ken Lobb and I had always had this idea that we were going to bring this thing back at some point.

We did Perfect Dark at the launch of 360 as kind of our revival. We also did Kameo, which I thought was a great game, a new IP and I though that was important. But we wanted to do a new KI, so when Xbox One was just an idea we said, “Okay, this is our time to bring back KI.” We wanted to rethink its model a little bit and sell it in a different way than the traditional way fighting games are typically sold, which has actually worked really well for us. But in the early Xbox One game reviews, where we would coming rolling in with the games we wanted about two years before we were launching the console, we would start showing some of the games we wanted to bring, and we showed KI. And I will just say there were certain people on the leadership team that were none too pleased with, like a 20-year-old genre we were trying to bring forward. We’d say first, we wanted to hit framerate, because framerate is so critical for fighting games. If anyone wanted to take our platform apart, that was a good proof point.

We kind of had to keep it hidden after that meeting because it was an easy one for them to say, “Oh, if we’re trying to arrange priorities, that’s one we should stop,” but they kept it going, and they hit launch and I thought it was a goo reemergence for KI. We had to move the game to a new studio, and they just up-rezzed all the lighting models for all the arenas and I think they look amazing, and we did season two and added new characters, season three we added the Arbiter, we added Rash so we kind of added new IP from our other games. I saw somebody teasing that it’s our Super Smash Bros. now. And then when they launched yesterday as a cross-buy cross-play on Windows 10, I was just so proud of Shannon Loftis and the team that’s off driving this, because it’s the little game inside the studios that could. It was something people didn’t always bet on, and some bet against a little bit, and here it is having a great impact for us as we’re standing in Build and I am talking about cross-play and cross-buy and what it means, and the reaction to it has been incredibly positive. The GAF threads have been good, the feedback from the community has been good.

So for me, it was just for that team, because they have always trudged along as being the game of, “Oh, we’re still doing KI?” and I sent mail to the team last night after seeing all the reports kind of saying, “Long live KI!” Sorry, I know that was kind of a long story. I also had an Ori shirt, and I thought about wearing an Unreal shirt. Tim would have been fine with it. He would have laughed. There are other game engines, though, and I didn’t want to be seen backing one engine."


Congrats IG.

Now Bloody roar needs to get revived. Then my FG collection will be complete.

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kinda funny … thanks for posting the link

Link is dead for me

try this one.

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Sorry about that. I fixed the OP

A fun read - I especially like that there’s an entire section dedicated to KI. Even better than that was the whole “Long live KI” comment. :smiley:

It’s my favorite game of the generation, right up there with Sunset Overdrive. I have loved following its development and I love what MS/DH/IG have done with it.

Thx for sharing this!

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I like Phil. Him becoming head of Xbox was one of the best things that could have happened to the brand. It’s nice to see that he embraces KI as an important part of the Xbox lineup.

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Phil taking over for that hack Mattrick was the best idea Microsoft ever had I get its a multi-billion dollar company but Phil is an actual gamer which makes him relatable

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Great to see Phil Spencer taking a risk and making a new KI for the current generation.

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