The Head of Microsoft Studios, Matt Booty, took to the stage at XO18 to announce two more game studios joining the company, joining the five studios that were adopted back at E3.
InXile Entertainment, founded by Brian Fargo and best known for the Wasteland games and, most recently, The Bard’s Tale IV, are joining the company. Here’s a statement from the company:
And as reported a while ago, Obsidian Entertainment are also joining Microsoft Studios. Famous for Knights of the Old Republic 2, Fallout New Vegas, South Park: The Stick of Truth, and most recently Pillars of Eternity, this is a pretty surprising addition given the company’s past and how they’ve bounced from one publisher to another. Heck, they even had a game in development for Xbox One that Microsoft canned!
They’re really interesting acquisitions, not just for the games that they’ve made, but for how they’ve managed to make them. Both InXile and Obsidian have been turning to Kickstarter and crowdfunding in recent times to get their projects off the ground, so Microsoft will be giving them the financial backing to really realise their visions. It’s similar to the acquisitions made earlier in the year, as Ninja Theory’s financial struggles led to a smaller production in Hellblade, and Compulsion Games was another Kickstarter darling with We Happy Few.
Microsoft say that they’ll try to enable them to keep their own cultures, just as they have pledged to do for all the previous acquisition. Either way, it sounds like Xbox is soon to be a haven for RPG gaming.
This is definitely interesting news, but I really hope Microsoft stops buying established developers soon (and I say this as an owner of all current gen consoles). Yes, Sony buys developers too, but they are always studios that they already have a close relationship with (e.g. Naughty Dog, Sucker Punch, Media Molecule etc.), whereas Microsoft keeps buying third-party developers who have traditionally released multi-platform games. I know it’s business, and these things are rarely black and white, but it just seems a little shady to me.
I don’t think it can be seen as shady when these are all studios that have financial problems. I’d rather see them become Xbox/Windows exclusives than the studios and developers go bust.
Plus, there’s nothing stopping Sony doing the same!
Well only a couple of years before MS shut them down then.