Portal designer joins Xbox as cloud gaming senior director

Portal Valve

First person to reference the obvious meme gets shot (Pic: Valve)

Xbox has confirmed on Twitter that it has hired Kim Swift, best known for her work on Portal, as a new senior director for cloud gaming.

Microsoft has been very open about its desire for new talent. It’s why it has been on the prowl for new studios to purchase, much like it did with Bethesda last year.

But it isn’t just about snapping up teams; it has also been looking for individual talent as well. As such, the company has announced its newest hire, Kim Swift, who has joined the Xbox Game Studios Publishing programme.

If you don’t recognise the name, you’ll most definitely recognise her work, as she was the lead level designer on the critically acclaimed puzzle game Portal.

Her career at Valve began when she and her team presented a portal-based game to the company, which led to co-founder Gabe Newell personally offering them jobs to turn it into what became Portal.

After four years at Valve, where she also contributed to Left 4 Dead and its sequel, she went on to join Airtight Games. There, she directed another puzzle game called Quantum Conundrum, which was published by Square Enix but failed to receive the same acclaim.

She would then go on to an almost three-year career at Amazon before moving on to EA’s Motive Studio as a design director, where she worked on Star Wars Battlefront 2. She left after nearly three years to work as a game design director at Google Stadia, before joining Microsoft this month.

According to her LinkedIn, her new role is senior director of cloud gaming, with the announcement reading that Swift will ‘accelerate our innovation and collaborate with independent studios to build games for the cloud.’

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