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Xbox Game Studios is in “execution mode” with their first-party games strategy

3 min read

A couple of years ago, the Xbox One was seen as a perfectly alright console that was being completely outclassed on the first-party front by Sony. These days? It’s a much better system, has a beefy little brother in the Xbox One X and is still being outclassed by Sony on the first-party games front…but not for long.

With a number of studios now working for the Xbox brand exclusively, Microsoft now has the likes of Ninja Theory, Playground Games, Obsidian Entertainment and a whole lot more cooking up a storm in their kitchen. That’s a lot of studios around which to build the future of gaming around. Is it enough though? Will Microsoft be looking to acquire more teams in the future? “We’re always open,” Xboss Phil Spencer said to Stevivor on the topic of acquiring new developers.

I liked the geographic diversity that we’ve been growing with our studios. If you look at Asia, we don’t have any first party studios in Asia. I think that’s an opportunity for us. We’ve moved from acquisition mode to execution mode. We are sitting here with 15 plus studios working on games. But it’s not about a logo parade, or ‘look at who we acquired this week’, but really about what games [the studios] are going to go build.

I do think that a strong, growing first-party is definitely part of our strategy. I’d love to see us continue to get new storytellers with new points of view into our first-party portfolio.

Microsoft currently has a grand total of 15 studios operating under the Xbox Game Studios banner. In case you’ve forgotten, here’s the mostly full list and what they’re currently working on:

  • 343 Industries – Halo Infinite
  • Compulsion Games – Unknown
  • Double Fine – Psychonauts 2
  • InXile Entertainment – Wasteland 3
  • Mojang – Minecraft Dungeons
  • Ninja Theory – Bleeding Edge and Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2
  • Obsidian Entertainment – Grounded
  • Playground Games – Probably Forza Horizon 5 vroom vroom, with some rumours even suggesting that they’re helming a new take on Fable
  • Rare – Everwild
  • The Coalition – Gears Tactics and Gears 6 I’d bet because VREEEEEEEEM
  • The Initiative – Unknown, but expected to be Microsoft’s biggest AAA studio
  • Turn 10 Studios – Most likely Forza Motorsport 8
  • Undead Labs – Unknown, although I’d put money on State of Decay 3
  • World’s Edge – Internal studio dedicated towards making Age of Empires better than ever

Meanwhile, I can confirm that Critical Hit Studios is currently up and running. We’re sinking our entire budget into purchasing a copy of RPG Maker 2015. As Head Idea Guy™, it’ll be up to me to lead the team while they concentrate on smaller duties such as coding, visual concept design, marketing, quality assurance, motion capture, voice acting, and other minor stuff to help realise my vision.

Expect our first delay announcement at Gamescom 2020.

Last Updated: January 15, 2020

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