The head of Xbox sends some mixed messages about buying studios.
X019 has come and gone and whether or not Microsoft did enough to make a major impact is up to you. What we did see was several different game announcements and lots of news relating to Game Pass and xCloud. We also saw new material from many new studios Microsoft has purchased over the last couple of years. While the company seems to be pivoting away from that for now, they aren’t done buying up developers apparently.
In an extensive interview with Eurogamer, Head of Xbox Phil Spencer talked about purchasing studios. When asked if they were done after the now 15 studios under the Xbox Games banner, he gives a pretty enthusiastic no, saying that they still have some holes to fill, particularly in the Asian market.
“I do think we can sometimes get a little infatuated with putting a bunch of studio logos on a slide and that becomes the news. They’re not trading cards. They’re studios. And we want them to build great games. I love the fact we’re here announcing three new IP, two from our internal studios. As I look forward, there’s not a show I can look at where we’re not gonna be announcing new games, just because of the breadth of studios we have. It’s not really some kind of PR battle about how many new acquisitions we can put on stage. Because if we’re not building great games, the acquisitions don’t matter.
But are we done? I don’t think so.”
While it’s not necessarily a contradiction per say, it’s interesting these comments come at a time when the head of Xbox Game Studios Matt Booty mentioned that Microsoft is shifting focus away from buying studios for the time being. It could just be that Spencer is thinking more long term as oppose to Booty, since undoubtedly the company will add more studios later down the road in the next few years as the industry changes.