In terms of end targets, I would say we are more interested in finding the best talent to work with than hitting a final number. It’s completely driven by our work and success rather than getting to a final number.
It’s always been our goal to take on the best talent. If you look at the partners we already work with – Peter Molyneux, the guys at Rare, Sakaguchi in Japan and Epic in North America, that part of our strategy won’t change, and hopefully this will make us more of a part of Europe. Our strategy is to work with the best talent and then we’ll get the best products.
The ability to be on the ground and visit somebody when they have an idea is going to be the main advantage of setting up in the UK. I’m proud of the relationships we’ve been able to build in the UK and other countries but the ability to be in the community itself is going to be really important.
What we’re doing on 360 at the moment is bring new IP to market like Crackdown, Gears of War and Viva Pinata, and by being in the European marketplace a lot more it means we can hear ideas early and grab the right opportunity.
The history of European games development is rich. You need to have publishing presence in key areas, and Europe has always had some of the best talent at making globally successful games.
The UK office is really going to be about about finding people with a strong background and strong expertise. The first three of us come from Redmond, and we might have more people that come from Redmond, but in the end I want the office to be European – we want to bring in talent from this region - that’s the first priority.
It will allow us to recognise the best talent and make sure we are building the right business relationships, be that by acquisition or independent developer deal. It will also help us to understand what the gamers in the European region really want.