Xbox Game Studios Hires Portal’s Kim Swift For Cloud Initiative

Xbox Game Studios Publishing has hired Portal lead designer Kim Swift as its new senior director of cloud gaming.

In a tweet today, the publishing arm announced that Swift’s hire was to “accelerate our innovation and collaborate with independent studios to build games for the cloud.”

Swift has had a lengthy career at some of the industry’s largest companies, going from project lead at Valve on Portal and designer on Left 4 Dead to roles at Amazon and EA. Most recently, she was a game design director at Google for Stadia, where she worked as a creative director on an unannounced first-party project with Playa Vista Vista Studios.

Playa Vista was shut down earlier this year as Google Stadia opted to end its first-party development efforts, and Swift’s exodus from the company comes alongside the departure of other notable figures such as Jade Raymond and John Justice.

Swift’s hiring comes alongside a push from Xbox Game Studios Publishing to promote its “three core pillars” of working with independent developers to connect with players globally: community, innovation, and inclusivity. This has historically included publishing not just games by internal Xbox studios and acquisitions, but also external partner studios like Moon Studios (Ori and the Blind Forest), Interior/Night (As Dusk Falls), and its recent announcement, Contrabrand, which it is publishing in partnership with Avalanche Studios.


Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter with IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.

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