Microsoft has opened a European publishing arm led by Lionhead studios boss John Needham. The first game under the new publisher will be Crytek's free-to-play shooter Warface for Xbox 360.

"What we're trying to do with this team, it's a first party publishing group, is across Europe find AAA quality games that we can publish," Needham told GamesIndustry International.

He added: "Find games that incorporate innovative business models like free-to-play and freemium and other models that are floating around out there. Finding games that are mostly online focused and games as a service and that's why I'm leading the group, because I have a lot of experience in that. Also finding games and developers that really resonate with the gamer community across Europe but also have a broader worldwide appeal."

Needham believes Warface is the perfect title to get the publishing team going, having "ticked all the boxes".

The publishing group aims to release a few games each year - excluding smaller XBLA-type games - on either Xbox One or Xbox 360.

Source: GamesIndustry