Hazelight Studios, the development team behind A Way Out, almost signed with Microsoft instead of Electronic Arts.
After creating the critically acclaimed Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, filmmaker-turned-game-designer Josef Fares told IGN on the latest episode of our monthly interview show IGN Unfiltered (see the full interview below) he spoke with both EA and Microsoft when looking for a publisher for his next project.
“Brothers opened up a lot of doors,” Fares said. “I was very close to signing with Microsoft. It was like a week between. We were super close.”
While Fares ultimately signed with EA, he had incredibly positive things to say about Microsoft and Xbox head Phil Spencer. “I think that was the best thing that could happen to Microsoft,” he said of Spencer. “That guy is a super cool guy, super passionate about games.”
However, EA Worldwide Studios executive VP Patrick Söderlund spoke with Fares about a week prior to his discussions with Microsoft, and because EA has offices in Sweden—and Hazelight is based in Stockholm—it was ultimately the better fit.
The first game from Hazelight Studios, published under the EA Originals program, was released last month. Read IGN’s A Way Out review for our thoughts on the co-op action-adventure game, which is definitely “worth seeing through to the end.”
Don’t miss our full IGN Unfiltered interview with Fares for more from the man behind the unforgettable f*** the Oscars rant, including his reaction to watching that rant, as well as his thoughts on the “games are not art” debate, and more.
Alex Osborn is a freelance writer for IGN. Find him on Twitter at @alexcosborn.