If it's one thing that Hollywood has taught women--and, by proxy, their bored boyfriends who found themselves drug out to the theater on a Friday night in exchange for being able to watch college football the next day--it's that casual sex always leads to falling in love. You can't have a friends with benefits relationship without inevitably falling for the hunky dude you're boinking, and vice versa.
For the sake of this story, let's envision Microsoft as the oblivious, hunky, Justin Timberlake/Ashton Kutcher/Jake Gylenhaal type, and Splosion Man/The Gunstringer developer Twisted Pixel as the beautiful, perennially unattached, Mila Kunis/Natalie Portman/Anne Hathaway type. It's especially funny if you picture Chainsaw (pictured right) making out with Justin Timberlake.
Anyhoo, word on the street is that after a lengthy courtship that saw Twisted Pixel produce multiple XBLA and PC titles completely free of commitment to Microsoft, the publisher has finally decided to put a ring on that finger, and make Twisted Pixel its child bride. (Once again, try picturing Chainsaw in a child-sized wedding dress. Amazing, right?)
For those particularly fond of Twisted Pixel's unique identity within the game industry, this might sound an alarm of change forthcoming. However, speaking to Joystiq, Microsoft's Phil Spencer made it clear the company has no interest in messing with a good thing.
"I lived through the integration of FASA, through Bungie, the integration of Digital Anvil," Spencer said. "I can go through the list of studios we've worked with. I can honestly say we've become better at working with partners and keeping them what they are," Spencer said. "In the beginning, it was 'everybody's got to move to Redmond, kind of integrate completely into the Microsoft process,' and that doesn't always work for every culture. I think you have to keep to the core of 'What is this partnership about?'"
As a result, Twisted Pixel will remain at its Austin, Texas location, and continue making both XBLA and disc-based projects, albeit now with a great deal more funding. So what might be on the horizon as a result of this partnership?
"We've been talking with them about this IP they have called Halo that hasn't been doing too well, we told them we could help them out with that some time," Bear joked. "Live action, Mad Dog McCree-style Halo, coming soon."
I don't care if he was joking, I would totally play a Twisted Pixel Halo game.