Gamasutra can exclusively confirm that Skulls of the Shogun
-- a retro-inspired strategy game that has been popular at recent tradeshows -- has been signed by Microsoft Studios for distribution over Xbox Live Arcade.
The game is being developed by Haunted Temple Studios, a team that came together last year
by employees laid off from Electronic Arts' Los Angeles studio following the completion of Command & Conquer 4
"Microsoft totally got our vision and have been fully behind it ever since, and the support we're getting out of them has been seriously as much as I could ever ask for," studio founder Jake Kazdal tells us. "Our extended team is now more powerful than ever!"
According to Microsoft, Kazdal's renowned industry experience -- he worked at Sega on Rez
and the Space Channel 5
series, and with Steven Spielberg on EA's aborted LMNO
project -- made the game an easy sign.
"This studio has kind of the best of both worlds. On the one hand, they practically personify the kind of DIY ethos and independent spirit thatís the hallmark of todayís most exciting developers," Microsoft Studios' Ted Woolsey, who directs first-party publishing on XBLA, tells us.
"More than that though, itís a studio made up of AAA veterans with incredible resumes. These guys know how to ship great games, and thatís huge."
Skulls of the Shogun
was recently nominated
for the best strategy game at E3 by a collective of video game critics.
The game is set for release on Xbox Live Arcade later this year.