Futuristic gun-toting, kick-ass astronaut" to helm developer rebrand
Enterprising NeoGAF sorts have dug up a logo trademark filing for Leap Experience Pioneers, a relatively unknown Microsoft studio that appears to be working on a new Xbox One exclusive. The image in question, a picture of an astronaut super-imposed on the acronym "LXP", is said to reflect the studio's "pioneering" spirit.
We first caught word of Leap back in January 2012, thanks to a Joystiq report on a Microsoft careers listing that summarised the studio as "the people that developed Kinect and profoundly changed the way people interact with technology". Microsoft filed a trademark with the United States Patent & Trademark Office for the term "Leap Experience Pioneers" in August 2012, but was ultimately obliged to abandon this in February 2014.
Filed on 6th March 2014, the logo trademark application pertains to "game software" and has yet to be reviewed by the USPTO. It's the work of London-based media agency Territory Studio, which has now published design documents and an animated sequence (see below) together with some intriguing notes on LXP's artistic agenda. According to one document, "the Leap Experience Pioneers are embodied by a futuristic gun-toting, kick-ass astronaut, forever exploring the frontiers of space, time and possibilities". Gosh.
There's more further down the page. "Leap Experience Pioneers (LXP) are an in-house games developer for Microsoft based in the US," notes a blurb. "Although they had been in existence for some years they thought it was the right time to define their identity. Something that all parts of their business could relate to, but more importantly, be inspired by.
"They considered themselves pioneers (as their name suggests) and wanted to encapsulate the the spirit of fronteering [sic] Americans - combining a cowboy with an astronaut with attitude."
According to the Microsoft Studios Wikipedia page, LXP is working on an unannounced "AAA" new IP, which will be exclusive to Xbox One. Wikipedia pages aren't necessarily proof of anything, of course, but Microsoft's decision (narrowly ahead of the Game Developer Conference) to give this hitherto publicity-shy outfit more prominence suggests that there's an announcement in the offing.