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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    JustPlainLucas

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

    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.

    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.

    Blackhairedhero

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

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    voreo

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

    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?

    Kyrylo

    to bad none of those studios doing anything for me.

    tingtong

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

    ticklemepink

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

    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.

    mrolympia78

    too little way too late

    lostn

    @mrolympia78: better than never

    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.

    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.

    Prats1993

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

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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....

    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 ......

    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.

    XenomorphAlien

    So cynical in here.

    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

    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.

    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.

    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

    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.

    DARREN636

    3 years too late

    LearnedHandgun

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

    DARREN636

    @learnedhandgun:

    that's very profound

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

    Jako998

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

    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

    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.

    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*.

    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.

    Thanatos2k

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

    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.

    gamingdevil800

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

    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.

    Soliaired50

    So I take it PS will never see a sequel to Hellbade or Heavenly Sword if those ever come?

    lostn

    @soliaired50: Heavenly Sword is an IP owned by Sony. They can make a sequel, it will just have to be given to another studio. But I don't think they have any interest in it. Both HS and HB had complete stories and don't need sequels.

    Flyin3lvl

    @soliaired50: good point - im sure they set up a narrative for a sequel to hellblade and loved heavenly sword , well ki mostly ....

    dang that sucks

    sakaiXx

    @soliaired50: yep. In the video they say they will focus on microsoft platforms from now on.

    cboye18

    Why Ninja Theory wtf. Goodbye and good luck, I guess.

    Edit: I had to shed a tear after seeing the list of the many good dev studios that have died since 2006. No wonder single player games are in a state of decay.

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