The Maw Video - Alice O'Connor

Twisted Pixel, the indie studio behind games including 'Splosion Man, The Maw, and The Gunstringer, is indie no more. Microsoft announced today that it has acquired the Austin-based developer, welcoming it into the Microsoft Studios family.

"It is really exciting for us to solidify our long-standing relationship with Microsoft Studios, who we consider to be the leader in digital distribution and creating new innovations in gaming like Xbox Live and Kinect," Twisted Pixel co-founder and CEO Michael Wilford said in the announcement.

"As part of the family of Microsoft Studios we look forward to bringing even bigger and richer experiences to Xbox and Twisted Pixel fans around the world."

Added Microsoft Studios corporate VP Phil Spencer, "the incredible creativity of the Twisted Pixel team will help drive further innovation around Kinect and Xbox Live."

The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Though Twisted Pixel has only released games on PC and Xbox 360 so far, it's also a registered developer for PlayStation 3, Wii, and Nintendo DS. Presumably it won't be using those credentials any time soon, now.

However, perhaps we'll see more Twisted Pixel games on PC when Microsoft next gains a passing interest in PC gaming. Long before this acquisition was announced, in July, a Steam listing for Ms. 'Splosion Man was spotted and promptly pulled; hopefully this won't be adversely affected by today's news.

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The Maw

Word reaches us from RPS that Twisted Pixel’s upcoming Xbox Live title, Ms. Splosion Man may be on its way to PC. RPS say that it appeared very briefly as a listing on Steam, but was swiftly pulled and replaced with the less explosive “ValveTestApp105420.”

Ms. Splosion Man is a platformer in which you get around by blowing yourself up. Nearby enemies are eradicated by the explosions and the percussive force of each blast can propel you to otherwise unreachable ledges. The follow up to Splosion Man will now let you fire your exploding character out of exploding cannons to maximise the amount of explosions you'll be causing per second. Unlike the first game, there will be levels set outside of the laboratory in which Splosion Man and Ms. Splosion Man were created.

Twisted Pixel’s first release, The Maw, was released on the PC along with Microsoft’s big black box, since then their games have only been released via Xbox Live. It would be great to see Twisted Pixel return to releasing on the PC, and Ms. Splosion Man could be a good way to return to the fold.
The Maw

Twisted Pixel's Ms. Splosion Man Coming Fall 2011The next game from the makers of indie hits The Maw and 'Splosion Man is pink and wears a bow in her... hair?

Twisted Pixel Games doesn't have much to add to the news that their next game will apparently be Ms. Splosion Man. Here's their tongue-in-cheek press release in all of its silly glory.

AUSTIN, TX – December 2, 2010 – Twisted Pixel Games was pleased to announce today that their subsidiary, Big Science, has captured the Splosion Man and guaranteed the safety of all humankind. Many remember the terrifying events of July 2009: Splosion Man's horrifying rampage through Big Science laboratories that meated hundreds of scientists and caused untold damage to their underground laboratories. Eye witnesses reported widespread destruction and a staggering number of t-bones and fillets left in his wake.

Today that ends, with Twisted Pixel releasing footage of the successful capture of the renegade experiment. The scientists speak with new-found confidence about their success. Says Dr. Wilson, "Even if some sort of newer, stronger, better threat were created, our newest security measures and fiendish traps would be more than enough to contain it. We've made incredible advances in our technology over this past year.... Not that there would ever be a use for any of it."

Dr. Henry was quick to add, "Our lab, our equipment - everything has had functionality improvements and visual overhauls, and our company has expanded to some incredible new locations. It's all pristine and beautiful - decadent environments that we are very happy no experiment gone wrong will ever rampage through." Dr. Henry paused briefly before continuing, "I don't even know why I'm mentioning that, because it's 100% guaranteed that Splosion Man will never be a threat to us again."

When asked if there was any risk of overconfidence amongst the scientists, Dr. Riley was quick to interject. "Why? What's going to happen, some sort of freak accident in the after party that creates a "Ms. Splosion Man" mere seconds after Splosion Man's capture? And then the Ms. Splosion Man goes on some monster tear in the fall of 2011? Yeah right. Not very likely."

Twisted Pixel Games reiterates that despite the fact that nothing could possibly go wrong during today's events, should any newsworthy event occur, they will release as much information as possible in the coming months.

We were big fans of the 'Splosion Man and The Maw, let's hope that Twisted Pixel can tweak the minor rough spots in this pink-infused sequel.

Left 4 Dead

Xbox Live Gets Double Impact, Half Price Deals In AprilMicrosoft has laid out a good portion of the Xbox Live Marketplace release schedule for April, ensuring that no one will buy a copy of The Maw or Borderlands: The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned this week.

That's because both of those downloadable goodies will drop to half price later this month, priced at just 400 Microsoft Points for a limited time. The Maw for Xbox Live Arcade goes on sale April 12 with the Borderlands add-on The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned getting the half-off treatment one week later on April 19.

Left 4 Dead expansion pack Crash Course, which adds one mini-mission and a handful of new achievements to Valve's zombie apocalypse shooter, also drops to 320 Microsoft Points on April 12.

If you'd like to pay full price for something in April, consider Final Fight: Double Impact. The Xbox Live Arcade release, which features the classic side-scrolling beat 'em up Final Fight and the slightly less classic side-scrolling slash 'em up Magic Sword, hits the week of April 14 for 800 Microsoft Points.


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