Milo "was never a product" - Microsoft

Tech "migrated" to Kinectimals.

Microsoft has insisted Peter Molyneux's rumoured to be cancelled Kinect title Project Milo "was never a product" and "was never announced as a game".

In September Eurogamer brought you the news that the controversial Kinect relationship simulator, revealed at E3 2009, had been cancelled.

We were told the Milo team were to use the Milo tech for a Fable-themed Kinect game.

The news followed months of pubic to-ing and fro-ing between Lionhead boss Molyneux and Microsoft over Project Milo's status as a game that would eventually be released.

"Of course!" Molyneux said in August when asked whether we'll be able to buy it in the shops at some point in the future. "I wouldn't be working on it if I didn't hope that to be true, yes."

Today, however, Microsoft said Project Milo never stood a chance of hitting shop shelves.

"Milo was never announced as a game," Alex Kipman, Microsoft's director of incubation and creator of Kinect, told GamesIndustry.biz.

"Peter Molyneux is probably one of the most amazing people I've had the pleasure of collaborating with. So, there's the world of creating paint colours and paintbrushes - that's me. Then there's the world of creating pictures based on these paint colours and paintbrushes - that's Peter Molyneux, it's a give and take. It's a partnership.

"Peter comes to me and says, you know what Alex, there are these stories I've always wanted to tell, if only I had these paint colours and paintbrushes. And I say to Peter, 'I have a new selection of paints and paintbrushes - what can you paint with it?'

"You see how these things interchange with each other and then collectively we come up with these transformational, revolutionary experiences. Milo was a sandbox. In this world of creating experiences I used voice, gestures, identity together. Milo was the sandbox which allowed us to define how to do these experiences, and what you saw was a transformational experience where you got a level of emotional connection unlike anything you had seen before."

For fans of Project Milo, however, all is not lost. Kipman said the tech behind it can be seen in Kinect launch title Kinectimals.

"Now, where has Milo gone? It was never really a product," he said. "I will tell you that the technology developed in that sandbox, and by the way we continue to develop technologies in that sandbox, has migrated pretty closely to what you see in a game called Kinectimals.

"Kinectimals is about creating an emotional, deep relationship between you and this tiger cub. It uses identity, knows who you are. It actually reacts differently when you walk in front of it, because it's your tiger, than when I walk in front of it, because it doesn't know me. It uses voice, so that you can interact with it and play with it, it uses gestures and essentially moves you to this deep adventure on an island where you're finding the secret of a pirate in much the same way as a traditional adventure type game.

"This is one of what I would say was one of the key innovations, that captured people's minds with Milo - this idea that we could create an emotion engine, an engine that would fuse these human input behaviours and create a relationship with this imaginary character. What I think you see in Kinectimals is precisely that."

With Kinect now out in the US, reviews are starting to pour in. Keza awarded Kinectimals 7/10 for Eurogamer.

E3: Project Natal - Milo demo

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