5 New Game Studios now part of Microsoft

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#1 Posted by Alucard_Prime (10086 posts) -

One of the biggest news to come out of E3 yesterday was about the 5 new gaming studios to become part of Microsoft 1st party.

Cool stuff, some of these have produced great games already like Forza Horizon and others like Compulsion games have yet to release their next upcoming game, We Happy Few, which looks quite interesting, and I am a big fan of State of Decay so I hope this means they get more support now from Microsoft....I like the variety in all this though, looking forward to seeing what this partnership will produce in the future....details below as reported by Polygon:

  • The Initiative: This entirely new Santa Monica, California-based studio is being headed up by Darrell Gallagher, former studio head at Crystal Dynamics, of Tomb Raider fame. His charter at The Initiative is to assemble “world-class talent to create groundbreaking new game experiences.”
  • Undead Labs: The Seattle-based team behind State of Decay and State of Decay 2, both Xbox/PC exclusives, is officially joining the Microsoft fold. Undead Labs is headed up by Jeff Strain, who cut his teeth at Blizzard and ArenaNet before striking out on his own.
  • Playground Games: The U.K.-based team behind the Xbox/PC-exclusive Forza Horizon series is similarly making its Microsoft relationship permanent. Spencer noted that the studio has been limited to Forza Horizon games, but it will now bring its “open-world expertise to an entirely new project.”
  • Ninja Theory: Spencer first worked with Ninja Theory for Kung-Fu Chaos back in the early Xbox days. And now, the storied developer behind Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice — as well as DmC: Devil May Cry, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West and the PS3 exclusive Heavenly Sword — is a Microsoft first-party developer.
  • Compulsion Games: The Canadian developer behind the upcoming We Happy Few joins Microsoft just in advance of the game’s August release. That title is being published by Gearbox for both Xbox One, Windows and PlayStation 4; it’s unclear if Microsoft’s acquisition will change those plans.


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#2 Edited by TurboGraphix (486 posts) -

The new studios announcement got me hype! Definitely most happy for Playground and Ninja theory!

This e3 was Microsoft's best I've seen in a while. All their big franchises, acquiring new studios, They are doing everything right and was impressed throughout the entire conference. Keep it comin' MS.

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#3 Edited by Celsius765 (2386 posts) -

I just want these new studios to splash some more variety in the Xbox. I never thought Xbox would grow this much.

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#4 Posted by hrt_rulz01 (18672 posts) -

This was one of the most exciting parts of the conference... was cool to see & makes me excited for the future. My main take-away points that gets me most excited are:

  • The Initiative studio sounds like it's going to be their premier studio, sort of MS's version of Naughty Dog if you will. Which is exciting.
  • Playground Games is a hugely talented studio (as we see with each iteration of Forza Horizon), so it's very exciting to see what the second team come up with for their other open-world game (most likely Fable)
  • Ninja Theory was a huge surprise to me, and incredibly exciting because they are a SP-narrative driven studio - which is something MS desperately needs in their portfolio (Hellblade is a masterpiece IMO, and was done on a shoestring budget. Imagine with the support from MS now!!!)

Overall, very exciting for the future.

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#5 Posted by Ovirew (8852 posts) -

This is what Microsoft has needed to do, get some teams.

The acquisition of Ninja Theory and Undead Labs was probably a smart one. Playground, no-brainer move, though I am curious what title they'll be working on.

I don't know much about Compulsion, but I enjoyed the art style and concept of Contrast when I played it. And this Initiative team is interesting, it sounds like they have been given a lot of free reign.

Definitely a step in the right direction for XBox. I still hope Crackdown 3 turns out great, and an ambitious Fable sequel gets announced one day.

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#6 Posted by cejay0813 (1453 posts) -

Ninja Theory is the standout. Hopefully they can bring a good SP exclusive to the console

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#7 Posted by robert_sparkes (2910 posts) -

I'm most excited for what the initiative could mean up with. Gallagher has a great pedigree.

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#8 Posted by Alucard_Prime (10086 posts) -

@robert_sparkes: yeah I loved the last 2 Tomb Raider games....don't know if he was involved in Rise of the Tomb Raider, but that is one amazing game I enjoyed it a lot more than the 2013 one overall