After Criticism Of Lack Of Xbox One Games, Microsoft Creates New Studio And Buys Four Others

Microsoft is making moves.

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Now Playing: Xbox New Studio Announcements - E3 2018 Press Conference

Microsoft has been criticized in the past for not having enough exclusives. Presumably in response to that feedback, the company announced during its E3 2018 briefing today that it has acquired or established five new studios to work under the Microsoft Studios umbrella.

The first is the Santa Monica-based The Initiative, which is being headed up by former Tomb Raider boss Darrell Gallagher. The studio is currently building a team of "world class talent" to develop "groundbreaking new game experiences."

Microsoft also announced that it has acquired State of Decay developer Undead Labs and Forza Horizon studio Playground Games. Spencer confirmed that Playground is making a brand-new game, which is rumored to be Fable 4.

What's more, Microsoft also acquired We Happy Few developer Compulsion Games and Hellblade developer Ninja Theory. Check out Ninja Theory's video above to hear the studio explain why it joined Microsoft Studios.

For the studio acquisitions, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said the teams will have "creative independence." Microsoft's investment gives the teams more resources to take "bigger risks" and make "bolder worlds." Go to GameSpot's E3 2018 hub to get a full rundown of all the big news from the show.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Avatar image for sippio
sippio

My biggest gaming shame all time was pretending to be a stock holder,epmloyee fanboy of whatever console I had..

*and my old school 90's best bro in Florida asked me

"WHY don't I as a power gamer NOT have a PS3 ? "

I got one and it changed me perma...

Never again will I pretend I owe them a single thjing..

better late then never...

Avatar image for Aryanith
Aryanith

They need AAA blockbuster IP, that doesn't come out on PC, and is not Gears of War. The last 'exclusive' was getting Tomb Raider half a year earlier than other platforms. Fable could be nice-ish..but again, only if it's xb1 only.

Avatar image for trust2112
trust2112

Halo is NOT an XBOX exclusive, it's a PC port.

Avatar image for JustPlainLucas
JustPlainLucas

Now buy Insomniac and give me a fugging Sunset Overdrive 2!

Avatar image for voreo
voreo

Everyone saying "should of done this awhile ago"

MS is thinking long term with their current investments, next consoles are due likely in 2 years, i could see them come out ahead next time because Sony got cocky.

Avatar image for twztid13
twztid13

I thought they already owned Playground Games. Have they made a game for another console before? That one shouldn't count...or they shouldn't get credit for it may be better way to state it.

Avatar image for blackhairedhero
Blackhairedhero

Hope your games sell well... because they will shut your ass down in a second.

Avatar image for kgsg-19-2
kgsg-19-2

Waaaaaay too little and waaaaaay too late. Should've been buying these studios since the 360 or at least at the beginning of the X1. Still waiting for that exclusive xbox studio to make the new Halo or GOW.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

Ninja Theory? No!

But...uh...you should have done this a while ago. There's no way you're going to get any games out of your pipeline soon. They must be completely giving up on this gen and trying for the next one.

Avatar image for lostn
lostn

@Thanatos2k: They are.

They gave up on OG Xbox to make a big push with 360. That worked. They thought the 360's momentum would carry them through into XB1 generation but self-sobatage by Don Mattrick hurt the console a lot and they never fully recovered from it. I think they've been spending this generation priming for a big comeback in the next, same way Nintendo gave up on Wii U for the Switch.

Next gen, Sony will have to take MS a lot more seriously, though they will still have an edge going in. But they can't be the same cocky Sony they were before the PS3 gen or they will repeat past mistakes.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@lostn: Except they can't win next gen either because they inexplicably don't have any exclusives anymore. PC owners will still have no reason to ever get one.

Avatar image for lostn
lostn

@Thanatos2k: If they sack Spencer they can rescind some of his policies, such as all games going to PC.

But even if not, they can win over PS4 owners who don't have a PC. But it's going to be hard to if they can't offer games PS4 owners want, and so far they haven't.

Avatar image for voreo
voreo

@lostn: Spencers the best, why would you wanna sack him? More pc love is what's needed.

Avatar image for marcusi23
marcusi23

@voreo: More pc love is not whats needed to be honest really for xbox. The money PC makes off games does not go to the xbox division. So when a developer makes a game exclusive to xbox and pc the sales it makes from xbox goes to xbox division the sales it make from pc goes to Microsoft. Xbox does not profit from PC games sold.

Avatar image for lostn
lostn

This is very interesting. Phil actually did what he said he would do. I thought it was all talk.

If they're really going to be given independence and not forced to make the same franchise for the rest of their lives like MS does with the other studios they own, we just might see MS finally being able to compete creatively with Sony first party.

It's good for the devs too. Who would want to join The Coalition knowing they will be making nothing but Gears of War games until they retire?

Avatar image for Kyrylo
Kyrylo

to bad none of those studios doing anything for me.

Avatar image for tingtong
tingtong

Even if they bought Nintendo I wouldn’t get an Xbox

Avatar image for ticklemepink
ticklemepink

Phil's kind of kickin' some buttocks and taking names in his position at Xbox taking over as Head.

Avatar image for Runeweaver
Runeweaver

Doubt it will make any difference this gen but might improve things early next gen, though ninja theory will likely regret it, Microsoft's habit of forcing multI player into everything has backfired quite a few times, turning what could have been amazing games into very average ones, and being closed down after a failed game will leave the game industry with one less AA developer.

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mrolympia78

too little way too late

Avatar image for lostn
lostn

@mrolympia78: better than never

Avatar image for BassMan
BassMan

It does seem like a sellout for Ninja Theory because they were all about preaching independent and self sufficient development. However, they still get to have creative freedom which is good. Most importantly, their games are coming to PC which is the best platform. So, they are not going to be limited to shit console hardware like Sony and Nintendo exclusives.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@BassMan: EA promised creative freedom. Activision promised creative freedom. It's all lies. They'll get creative freedom for one game and then get put in line, just like always.

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Prats1993

Good for Microsoft, although a bit too late for the Xbox One.

Avatar image for lostn
lostn

@Prats1993: If Phil is to be believed, One X marks the end of generations for Xbox. Which means it will be Xbox One forever. There will of course be X2, X3, X4, etc but it will still fall under the same One brand.

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ghost140

Sony gonna have a real hard time beating this. The world premiers are not gonna have the same magic if they show em again. As far as the acquisitions? Time will tell.

Avatar image for lostn
lostn

@ghost140: I don't see why it would.

These 5 studios have no games to show. It's just an announcement of what to expect 3-5 years from now. Sony will have something to show.

And if you consider how many studios MS has closed down in the past few years, these 5 studios basically offsets the closures.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@lostn: Yeah, the past shows Microsoft is pretty much as bad as EA when it comes to managing studios. I fear for these new acquisitions....

Avatar image for Flyin3lvl
Flyin3lvl

@ghost140: from my understanding or lack of . with sony the ""big 4 games"" we seeing is the game play not just flashy teasing trailers for them .....

last of us being teased all week by naughty dog on twitter , we only seen two set up trailers so far ..... one new i.p with no real details and that death game again no real details or game play shown and whats left spiderman ....gotta push that so close to release, and with how lack lustre the spidey games have been in the past from other studio attempts , they have to show they beat that bad trend and can pull a batman ......

Avatar image for sakaixx
sakaiXx

Watching the video, I kind of understand why. The studio almost dissapeared 4 years ago and had to take on small projects to fund their AAA games like Hellblade. They made a decision based on their need to survive, having employees to take care off.

Do hope the venture proves successful as we need more creative dev like ninja theory. I just hope xbone users support them. This is a single player game after all, and xbone users seems alergic to those.

Avatar image for xenomorphalien
XenomorphAlien

So cynical in here.

Avatar image for Flyin3lvl
Flyin3lvl

@xenomorphalien: there is a little truth in some comments like the one below and appearing on ign .... some on youtube stream

it was mostly third party games

Avatar image for alucardswrath
alucardswrath

All Microsoft did was show 3rd party games and like 4 of their own games, one which is a shitty mobile game and none of those games are new IP.

3rd party games that they've shown was masking their lack of actual exclusive games (and I meant actual exclusive not the exclusive for 1 month then off to other systems).

Edit: Halo Infinite is confirmed for PC as well. I really wanted a reason to buy an xbox one x and was hoping for this conference to pull a rabbit out of their hat, but alas still have no reason to buy an xbox one x. Most likely the gears games are coming to pc as well.

Avatar image for lostn
lostn

@alucardswrath: "Console launch exclusive."

btw, if you're looking for a reason to buy a One X and you already have a PC, there will never be a reason.

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Archangel2222

I still dont know what games they are and if they are even that good to sell me on a console but goodluck to them, by the time they make the games itll be the end of the console generation but I guess they are working for the next gen to have exclusives ready. also what happened to ryse wasnt that game going to get a part 2? classic MS no idea about games

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surforich

Oh so you can expect 3 of these studios to be shut down, 4 games to be canceled, and the remaining one to be some whalehunting bullshit like Sea of Thieves.

Avatar image for DARREN636
DARREN636

3 years too late

Avatar image for learnedhandgun
LearnedHandgun

@DARREN636: The world is not over this year... There will be a next year and years to come.

Avatar image for DARREN636
DARREN636

@learnedhandgun:

that's very profound

doesn't help the lack of exclusive games for the Xbox owners the last 2-3 years .

Avatar image for jako998
Jako998

Ninja theory was a huge one in my opinion but sadly people will hate that fact microsoft bought them out.

Online
Avatar image for kanekan-slaugh
kanekan-slaugh

hahahaha welp "you got no games" has gotten to their head so obviously MS is like we make 22 billion a minimum per quarter year, lets just use some of that money and oh boy they did.

Also credit to MS to give these studios full creative independence, seems like Phil knows what to do rather EA's entire company

Avatar image for lostn
lostn

@kanekan-slaugh: I don't know. I mean they don't give creative independence to their existing studios do they? Rare only just got it. Before that they were forced into making Kinect games. The rest of their studios make only one franchise.

Avatar image for kanekan-slaugh
kanekan-slaugh

@lostn: Believe it or not they actually do have creative freedom. Of course this is after Phil took over Rare just making kinect game *shivers*.

Avatar image for lostn
lostn

@kanekan-slaugh: Rare has creative freedom as I already acknowledged. But can you see 343 making anything other than Halo games, Turn 10 making anything but Forza games, or Coalition making anything but Gears games?

History says no.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@lostn: And if Sea of Thieves is a result of that creative freedom....Microsoft's idea of it ain't good.

Avatar image for kanekan-slaugh
kanekan-slaugh

@Thanatos2k: Creative freedom is good in any aspect. The dev's will learn from their mistakes and do better next time rather than just making kinect games, how is that bad? I know you just lurk around to hit on MS but really would you rather a kinect game? Even if you've never played them.

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gamingdevil800

I'm very concerned for Ninja Theory's future considering how controlling microsoft is as a publisher.

Avatar image for kanekan-slaugh
kanekan-slaugh

@gamingdevil800: They've promised creative freedom, Phil seems to want it to like the game (sea of thieves) or not MS now giving everyone creative freedom (probably because of phil) is great.

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