Portal Lead Designer Joins Xbox Game Studios

Kim Swift, the lead designer of the first Portal game, joins Xbox Game Studios. She becomes senior director of cloud gaming there. Swift worked at Google’s Stadia Games & Entertainment studio in Los Angeles until May 2021.

Xbox announced Kim Swift’s arrival on Monday on Twitter. Swift is to join Xbox Game Studios to “accelerate innovation and partner with independent studios to create cloud games.” Xbox has been betting on cloud gaming for some time; the company offers, among other things, Xbox Cloud Gaming as part of its Game Pass Ultimate subscription.

Swift is known for her work at Valve, where she designed Portal. Kim Swift also collaborated on the Left 4 Dead series and Half-Life 2 episodes. After she left Valve in 2012, she worked on puzzle game Quantum Conundrum, among other things. Swift has also worked at EA Motive, a studio rumored to be working on a “revival” of an old EA franchise.

Swift joined Stadia Games & Entertainment in 2019 as a game design director. She left that company in May 2021. Google decided in February to stop developing first-party Stadia games and closed its Stadia Games & Entertainment studios, although “most” employees at these studios were offered other positions within Google. Swift has been with Xbox since June.