Microsoft's Lift London working on four projects, all F2P

"Clash of Clans is triple-A. Halo is triple-A."

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Lift London boss Lee Schuneman.

Lift London, the newest member of Microsoft Studios, is working on four projects, all of which are free-to-play on connected devices.

At the Develop Conference in Brighton this morning studio boss Lee Schuneman said the 43-person Soho-based studio is a "100 per cent first-party digital business working on tablet, mobile and connected platforms". It's "creating a service" with each of these four projects, and wants to "take characters to the next level in mobile games".

"We're working across all Microsoft platforms, powered by the cloud, delivered to the connected audience," he said.

Schuneman stopped short of going into detail on any of Lift's projects, but he did show a short family-friendly, cartoon-style CGI video used internally to demonstrate character exploration.

The video showed three characters, one of whom was blocking a door from being opened by some monsters who were trying to get inside the room. Another character, wearing a cap and drinking a soft drink, didn't seem too bothered by what was going on. Eventually he lifted a baseball bat above his head.

"We should look to rethink what triple-A stands for," Schuneman said, describing what it means to be a 21st century studio. "Triple-A is not about team size or budget or what device it's on. Triple-A could mean addressable audience times ambition. It's about quality and audience scale.

"Clash of Clans is triple-A. Halo is triple-A. And a 21st century service is about how you represent your audience and generate content that's culturally relevant."

Lift London was announced in January 2013 after being set up in November 2012 by Xbox Europe chief Phil Harrison.

It doubles as an incubator studio. It has already partnered with indie developer Dlala, whose character-driven game will release later this year as part of Lift's "in-residence program". Dlala's time at Lift will come to an end soon, and Schuneman called for those who wish to replace it as Lift's next indie dev partner in Feb 2014 to get in touch.

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