En route to unveiling its next-gen plans, Xbox Game Studios acquired a number of third party studios since 2018. It’s added Ninja Theory, Compulsion Games, Playground Games, inXile Entertainment, Obsidian Entertainment and even Double Fine to its first party studios roster. That being said, there’s no sign of slowing down.
According to Xbox boss Phil Spencer, who recently spoke to GamesIndustry.biz, “We acquired quite a few new studios in a short amount of time, and we want to make sure that those studios are on-boarded in the right way. As [Xbox Game Studios head] Matt [Booty] and I were talking about it, we just wanted to make sure that we treated the incoming studios as full parts of the organization. That they felt supported.
“The Game Pass portfolio and subscriber base continues to grow. We’re launching a new console. Last year was our biggest year ever on PC in terms of revenue as Xbox Game Studios. A lot of the business is doing really well, so we’re always in the market for new opportunities with studios.
“The first priority was making sure the studios had the things that they needed to build the best versions of their games. That means extending some of the timelines, and giving them more budgets. We have really strong support from Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, and Amy Hood, the CFO. And there’s been no signal at all that we should be slowing down, but just to go at a pace that is maintainable for us as a leadership team. We’re always out there talking to people. But it has to be the right opportunity.”
In light of rumors regarding the sale of Warner Bros. Games and Microsoft reportedly expressing interest, this statement from Spencer is interesting indeed. Then again, this could apply to any number of studios. For instance, Spencer said last December that having an Asian first-party studio could be good for the Xbox brand.
With Sony unveiling its own first-party exclusives for the PS5 and tying up for timed exclusive deals on games like Deathloop and GhostWire: Tokyo, it’s not that strange to see Microsoft taking this stance. The Xbox Game Studios showcase for Xbox Series X is currently planned for July 23rd so we’ll see exactly what the various first-party developers have in the works. Stay tuned for more details in the meantime.