Spencer on the Acquisitions: An Investment We Needed To Make; We're Always Open To Expand 1st Party

Phil Spencer discussed the recent acquisition of 5 new studios by Microsoft, saying it's an investment they needed to make and it's not over.

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codelyoko180d ago

Phil, grab me Obsidian next!

Vasto180d ago


I was just going to say this.

MuddyWaters180d ago

Always open and actually doing it are two different things. I congratulate them for expanding now but it's been a problem for years. I take it Phil finally has the confidence of the CEO and is allowed to make more decisions.

chrisx180d ago (Edited 180d ago )

you know we've heard stuff like this before, with poor results. I want this guy to really mean this this time. make great exclusive games to bring in new people.

Team_Litt180d ago

Poor results? Really mean it this time? Bish they just bought 4 developers and opened a studio! The heck more do you want?

chrisx180d ago (Edited 180d ago )

@teamlitt "The heck more do you want?" games better than sea of thieves(from a dev they also bought) and state of decay. Bish.

TheProblem180d ago (Edited 180d ago )

It isn't just the lack of studios that has been the problem for MS. A bigger problem has been their constant mismanagement of them.

343 and Coalition are probably their most successful. But 343 made the lowest rated Halo in the series and Coalition release the second lowest rated Gears in the series.

You can read the interviews on the web about how they treated Obsidian and the developer making the Phantom Dust remake. Both their games were cancelled because Microsoft didn't have a clue what they were doing

Scalebound was cancelled.

Fable was cancelled and lion head closed

Rare was an incredible studio before MS got their hands on them.

Crackdown 3 has been mismanaged.

Even though MS don't own some of these developers they consider titles they publish first party so they have to take some responsibility.

Crytek nearly went bankrupt after last working with ms on Ryse. Remedy were also put in a bad position after last working with MS

If I owned a developer team and MS came knocking I would run for the hills

UltraNova180d ago

History tells us that when MS "invests" in a studio it either goes bust and they shut them down or they liquify them. I hope Ninja Theory isn't next.

Sciurus_vulgaris180d ago

Crytek nearly went bankrupt because they’re a poorly managed bloated company. As soon as MS (and EA) stopped funding Crytek’s projects the company started having financial problems.

BeardedDrachen180d ago

I agree.

While these 5 new studios are nice to have under the belt, they need to make good games for it to mean anything at all.

AngelicIceDiamond180d ago

So we're just gonna look at the past and expect the same thing to happen in the future? You realize you improve over time not make the same mistakes going forward. Your thinking is very backwards.

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BlackIceJoe180d ago

Now that would be a big win for Microsoft and then they could make a new Shadowrun RPG game.

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SuperSonic91180d ago (Edited 180d ago )

Pay to win
I mean
buy to win

343_Guilty_Spark180d ago


Sony bought up a lot of studios....

ccgr180d ago

Glad to still see them making significant effort

SuperSonic91180d ago

Too late to do their homework though.
RIP Ninja Theory you took the easy way out.

shiva1180d ago

So does that mean Sony never wanted them if they wanted to be brought. From your logic it looks as if Sony rejected them right.

Godmars290180d ago

But will anything be done with them? Will they be allowed to be creative?

Team_Litt180d ago

Playground is ALREADY working on a new game and Ninja Theory has just finished Hellblade AND stated that they agreed on the acquisition in they retain creative control.

Godmars290180d ago

Again, the key point is WAIT and SEE. Results have to be wait for. NT scored one major hit with Hellblade where everything else they've made received lukewarm receptions at best. Also doubtful MS will allow them a "Not in million years" moment Capcom afforded them.

Similarly, who the heck is Playground? What else have they done other than PUBG, a game from a genre they apparently think they own?

Alexious180d ago


Playground doesn't have the slightest bit to do with PUBG. That's been made by Bluehole, a Korean developer. Playground is UK based and so far released the three critically acclaimed Forza Horizon games.

TheProblem180d ago

I'm still waiting for an answer on the lies you posted yesterday.

As everyone else has said here. These studios will be working on a game for the next 4 years and there is no guarantee that there will be a good game at the end of it. With Microsofts history Wait and See is the best mindset

Team_Litt180d ago

Good grief you don't even know who Playground Games are?? Why am I having a conversation with you??

aconnellan180d ago

To your second comment with “who is Playground?”, he’s referring to Playground Games, the Forza Horizon devs. They announced that they’re working on a new IP that isn’t Forza

Godmars290180d ago

What happened to Turn 10?

AngelicIceDiamond180d ago

@Mars Another person who didn't pay attention to MS announcements. Phil made it crystal clear they have creative control, pay attention Mars.

Either that or you always find something to complain about.

Godmars290180d ago

And still: wait and see. Saying one thing and doing another, alternate facts, has become too common a thing.

"Either that or you always find something to complain about."

As things look, I'll always have you taking MS at their when nothing's been actually shown.

aconnellan180d ago

"What happened to Turn 10?"

Turn 10 makes the Forza Motorsport series. Playground Games makes the Forza Horizon series

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FallenAngel1984180d ago

After reading an IGN article something appalling has come to mind after looking into the history of Microsoft’s past acquisitions.

Of the previous 10 studios Microsoft has acquired over the past 20 years, five have been closed, two are still around but separated from Microsoft, and three are still active members of the Microsoft family.”

As for those three remaining active acquired Xbox developers....

- Rare has turned into a shadow of its former self
- BigPark works more on Microsoft apps than games
- Mojang still has yet to show it isn’t a one trick pony

Lord only knows how this will affect Ninja Theory, Playground Games, Compulsion, or Undead Labs in their future endeavors with Microsoft. Many a great developer came and went such as Bungie or got crushed and disposed of like Lionhead. Let’s hope they can break those chains.

In my opinion of those 4 recent acquisitions, Compulsion looks to be the least interesting purchase since they haven’t produced a high quality game as of yet with only Contrast to their name and the jury is still out on how We Happy Few will be critically received. Undead Labs follows shortly after since the first SoD was only a modest success while the recent sequel is divisive in the worst possible ways. Ninja Theory & Playground Games are the only ones in this deal to consistently produce quality titles and makes me look forward to the games they’ll make in the future.

On a side note, this article made the error of saying Microsoft acquired 5 new developers when its only 4. The Initiative was built from the ground up by Microsoft themselves and doesn’t count as an acquisition, especially since it never existed prior.

SpringHeeledJack180d ago

Correct. What Microsoft need is a culture change in how they develop games and treat developers not new studios. I'm willing to bet the talent will leave and creative creative control will be lost just like with Rare and Nokia.

Sciurus_vulgaris180d ago

The 5 new developers make you refer to the fact that playground is two studios not one.

ThinkThink180d ago

How many studios have closed under Sony's watch in the past 10 years? Serious question. Be interesting to compare.

AngelicIceDiamond180d ago (Edited 180d ago )

Since you and others like to bring up history. Because the past determines the future now I guess.

Sony's closed studios

1.) Zipper interactive
2.) Evolution Studios
3.) Studio Liverpool
4.) Incognito Entertainment
5.) Guerrilla Cambridge
6.989 Studios

So what's your point? Were ppl focused on the past and thought "RIP future Sony studios or games?" No Sony build up the ones who were relevant to them. You act like nobody has ever closed any studio ever. How do you feel about EA? They purposely, key word purposely closed single player studios so no more DeadSpace and Mirrors Edge is dead and a single player Star wars is also dead forever. EA's better off selling those Ip's to studios who care. Sony or MS especially with MS new found commitment to games.

Either way Sony closed down studios and are thriving till this day. Don't demonize one company when the other did the exact same thing.

FallenAngel1984180d ago

@ Scirius

Nobody counts Playground Games as two developers. Even if it has multiple terms it’s still considered on developer.

@ Think

Every company shuts down companies they have acquired at some point. The thing I’m getting at is that Microsoft hasn’t done a good job at maintaining the quality of their studios in the long term, or in Mojang’s case they keep them to one project.

@ Angel

Yeah Sony has shut down studios like many corporations often do, but let’s look at the acquired studios they’ve kept alive and maintained quality since.

Bend Studio
Naughty Dog
Guerrilla Games
Media Molecule
Sucker Punch

Those studios have a far better track record of producing multiple quality hit software than Rare, BigPark & Mojang so it’s not really comparable.

If you don’t see the point I’m making then you’re a lost cause. You can’t point to any of them and say Microsoft did wonders with them after their acquisition. Even the ongoing studios that Nintendo have acquired in the past, Retro Studios & Monolith Soft, have far better prestige than the remaining Xbox acquired developers.

Hence when I’m cautious of how Ninja Theory & Playground Games will be treated in the long term. We’ve seen Microsoft mismanage so many of their internal developers in the past and that can’t be denied. We can only hope Microsoft treats them better so they don’t feel opted to leave Microsoft like their former star developer Bungie.

AngelicIceDiamond180d ago (Edited 180d ago )

"If you don’t see the point I’m making then you’re a lost cause. " I see exactly your point. Though I noticed you slightly changed your narrative a bit by comparing MS and Sony's studios before the acquisitions which we know Sony's studios blow MS out the water we all know that. My original point is Sony shut down studios but yet nobody question their future games investment going forward. MS has dark times just as Sony has.

MS would need to exit the gaming scene if they treat their new studios badly and shut them down but I don't see why MS would want to put themselves in that position especially after the huge commitment Phil made at E3 about games focus and experiences.

FallenAngel1984179d ago

I was talking about how aqcuired studios don’t generally thrive under Microsoft. The ones that have aren’t producing spectacular hits. When you brought up Sony I responded in turn how although they have shut down studios they have a far better track record than any other hardware manufacturer at maintaining acquired studios so it’s not that comparable.

I’m hoping that after what happened to Bungie they treat their internal developers with more respect.

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