This could bode good things for the future…
Microsoft has a first party and exclusives problem- we know this, and I’ve screamed myself hoarse saying this by now. That said, it sounds like Microsoft may be trying to address this problem head on. Not by trying to buy limited exclusivity for AAA games, which is a dubious strategy at the best of times, has not worked out for them this generation to begin with, and is hugely unlikely in an era of inflating development costs- but rather, by investing in mid tier studios like Obsidian and Ninja Theory.
This is something that Obsidian CEO Feargus Urquhart revealed in an interview with Eurogamer, noting that the company seems to be reaching out to mid-sized studios at large. This would be interesting- not only are these talented developers, who could work to bring some much needed quality exclusives to the platform, but their games would add dimension and depth to the system’s library, and would also have quicker turnaround times than the average AAA game, which can often spend years in development.
Of course, it is unclear if Microsoft has only just begun outreach now, or if they did a while ago, and Obsidian is deliberately speaking in vagaries- but if it is the former, then it may be a while before we see the fruits of this labor.