Microsoft Buys Four Independent Studios

Microsoft Buys Four Independent Studios

Microsoft announced it’s acquired four new game studios at its press conference today in an effort to increase the the number of exclusive first-party games it can deliver to Xbox One owners.

The studios in question are Undead Labs, makers of State of Decay 2, Playground Games, who already makes Microsoft’s Forza series, and Ninja Theory, the studio behind the great psychological horror fantasy game Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice.

In addition, Microsoft also announced that it’s formed a new game studio called The Initiative led by former Crystal Dynamics head Darrell Gallagher, who was their when it rebooted Tomb Raider in 2013.

That brings Microsoft’s total count of first-party development studios up to nine. The existing studios were Mojang, makers of Minecraft, and Rare, which recently put out Sea of Thieves, along with 343 Industries who currently makes Halo and The Coalition which works on Gears of War.

Outside of games like Cuphead and the console version of PUBG, Microsoft hasn’t had many exclusive games to offer its audience, which has been especially noticeable as Sony releases games like Horizon Zero Dawn and God of War year after year.

While the company was expected to announce a number of new exclusives at E3, including today’s news about a new Halo game called Halo Infinity, the news of the acquisitions show Microsoft is building up for a better round of first-party games by the time the next Xbox launches, whenever that is.


  • About bloody time.

    Now give them some big budgets, support and let me make you some bloody games!

  • Because Playground Games has only ever created exclusive games for Microsoft (Forza Horizon series), of their own free will as a contract job, we know the motive to suddenly own them is not “to increase the the number of exclusive first-party games it can deliver to Xbox One owners.”

    Unless of course the human beings at the studio did not WANT to keep doing only Forza Horizon year after year, in which case Microsoft decided to own them and force them. Or Microsoft wants to milk the franchise beyond what Playground was privately willing to do.

    There’s more of a story here behind the scenes.

  • I welcome this news but I’m concerned that we wont see anything from it for some time unless these devs were already working on yet to be announced MS projects. Good news nonetheless, bring on the games!

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