Why Xbox bought Ninja Theory

Microsoft explains why mid-sized studios are important to its Game Pass subscription service.

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Sciurus_vulgaris150d ago

I understand why MS bought Playground, Ninja Theory, and Undead Labs. However, Compulsion Games to me was an unproven studio, I found its purchase to be odd.

Cohagen420150d ago

They threw offers at a lot of studios supposedly, not all of them took the bait so they took what they could get.

thexmanone150d ago

you got a link to that, I`d like to see it

King_Noctis150d ago

Yeah I’d really like to see your source for that.

showtimefolks150d ago (Edited 150d ago )


No need for a link that's how acquisitions work. And ms has a track record of shutting down studios so maybe some of the high profile ones didn't want to sell their freedom

Like for example if they approached insomniac they wouldn't sell when they didn't want to be bought out by Sony(and sunset overdrive didn't sell well on Xbox) or if they approached platinum games they wouldn't sell because ms cancelled their game

Now if ms show they are giving creative freedom and resources than down the road maybe more studios would want to join

It was a good start by Ms but let's see what type of games these studios work on

doggo84150d ago

I'm sure Ms tried to buy Insomniac at some some stage too

Christopher149d ago

***No need for a link that's how acquisitions work.***

No, that's not how acquisition work.

What @Cohagen420 said was they threw offers at a lot of studios. That's not how it works.

What happens is (and very watered down):

1. Company becomes interested in buying other companies to bolster their portfolio.
2. Company reviews companies of interest and value that won't cost too much but will add more profit potential.
3. Company narrows down options to a handful if not just one company of great importance.
4. Company approaches companies with interest and a figure based on their financial potential in a long term period (10-years or more).
5. Company either says 'no interest', 'okay', or 'not enough'
6. Go back to #1

It's not just throwing a lot of offers out to a lot of companies. That's not how it works.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 149d ago
obidanshinobi150d ago

I think there's some good talent at Compulsion Games, with more staff and a higher budget I'm confident they can create a good AAA game. We Happy Few is garbage though.

Poopmist150d ago

It probably would've been good if they kept it as a short game.

149d ago
gamer7804149d ago

Hopefully their next game is less weird

Jinger150d ago (Edited 150d ago )

Compulsion Games has now done Contrast and We Happy Few which are both sitting in the 60% range on Meta. Both games most reviewers agreed had some really good and creative ideas, but I think the studio just lacks solid direction and overall programming talent. Spencer said that he really loves their creativity and the stories they want to tell so with some AAA support and help from other in house studios I'm sure they will have potential.

rainslacker150d ago

That's what I think. They certainly have the creativity, its just a matter of getting the talent that can bring that creativity to life. If MS can make them more stable financially, and provide better management for the studio, then I think they can make some really good games.

Brazz150d ago

I agree whit playground and ninja, but why undead labs? U.labs just have state of decay under their belt, they are prety much at the same level of compulsion. U.labs and compulsion need to improve alot, both only got low meta games.

Sciurus_vulgaris150d ago

Undead Labs has had success with State of Decay despite the semi-polarizing reviews of the series. Undead Labs like Playground also had a long term relationship with MS. Undead Labs needs access to better programmers. With Microsoft owning both Havok and Simplygon, first-party games should have no excuses for being unoptimized.

conanlifts149d ago

State of decay is a niche game that does have a small cult following. People like myself think the game is amazing, but I do agree that it is not for everyone. But with this in mind it is great for those that are fans and I think it was a worthwhile purchase. Plus there is so much more that could be done with a bigger budget and more help. The game has so much untapped potential.

rainslacker150d ago

I think compulsion is capable of making decent to good games. I did like Contrast. I can understand why MS would want more mid-tier games for something like game pass, because AAA games are kind of too expensive for a subscription service without a lot more users or a secondary monetazation scheme for those releases.

Compulsion seems to be a dev which can get ahead of itself in ambition though, and I think that its possible that some of their problems come from management that can't handle changes or adapt. I feel this way because they changed up what they were trying to do with WHF, when there wasn't much need to. That kind of thing should have been done earlier in development. It's not unheard of, but it leads to problems if the studio itself can't adapt well enough.

sprinterboy150d ago (Edited 150d ago )

What I want to know, serious question. 1. Why didn't alot of ps owners support a great game called heavenly sword
2. How many last gen ms multiple console owners ie 360/ps3 support heavenly sword.
Its weird how a game or games don't get supported some times in sales when it's a great game ie prison break which got 2 or 3/10 on reviews yet it never needed a patch after launch because its frame rate was solid from the launch, no screen tearing, no bugs or glitches and yet it played exactly the same as a PC cult classic riddick gameplay/mechanics wise which got 9/10 reviews.
Unfortunately if a game/s not the in cool game it sometimes doesn't sell well.
Same goes for until dawn, modnation racers (just as good Mario kart imo) minus the load times, MAG was awesome but everyone loved cod instead, quantum break (great game) didn't sell well, metro series is a classic, can't believe that only sold roughly 1.5m yet people crave for half life 3 announcement yet haven't played the metro series.
Its crazy how some games do well and others don't.
I love my uncharted series and bought all the games and dlc but let's not kid ourselves, it's a cover shooter game we've all played b4 but it was the characters sully, drake, naughty dog etc and the story which made it so great yet spec ops which is absolutely awesome only sold 2m or so across 3 platforms?
I know I'm rambling, I agreed with your comment btw plus I'm off topic lol.

JBryant0619149d ago

Because Heavenly Sword is a 10-12 Hour game with no replayability? Not worth $60 in my opinion. I did buy it for $20 used down the line though.

rainslacker149d ago (Edited 149d ago )

Heavenly Sword did decently well for a launch game. Not spectacular, but it was barely marketed. Plus, it was instantly compared to GOW.

I can say that I know a lot of PS3 owners seem to have at least played the game, and I haven't seen a single person say that it was a bad game. It was one of my favorite games of last gen personally. It had solid game play, a great story, and some of the best voice acting of any game last gen....even compared to ND games.

Sometimes games go under the radar and become cult classics. it sucks for those good games that manage to come out.

3-4-5149d ago

They needed to acquire companies first. Then once they belong to Microsoft, they can then determine which type of games that studio will make. (Obviously consulting the studio first).

Now that they have them, they are building up for next gen.

Expect a lot of games in year 2-3 of the next Xbox and not that many at launch because it's going to take a while for these studios to get some games going, although I'm sure some of them have been working on next gen stuff in the background anyways.

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 149d ago
LeeU150d ago

I think that the studio they've acquired have shown promise and mass appeal with whatever games they've released. Ninja theory has had some great titles fly under the radar for example. Compulsion games is a clear outlier in that it hasn't really shown us anything other than Contrast and We happy few. At the very least I know they are capable of creating an interesting world. Who knows, with Microsofts financially backing them they might create something bigger and hopefully better too.

sprinterboy149d ago

Contrast was a great game, 1st game I played b4 resogun and kz shadow fall on my ps4 launch night lol

Razzer150d ago

"It's telling how Booty is using 'Game Pass' rather than 'Xbox One' in his answers. It's clear the subscription service is taking on a far more prominent role within the Xbox business. "


gangsta_red150d ago

The Xbox One is already established and it's a given that these games will be available for it through regular means.

Game Pass on the other hand is still new and in need of more content, so yep, as of now these execs are talking more about Game Pass and saying how they will expand it's content.

Razzer150d ago (Edited 150d ago )


I don't disagree with any of that. Game Pass is obviously getting a major push from Microsoft going forward. Game Pass is probably the most attractive gaming product that Microsoft has. Microsoft bought Ninja Theory to help boost their pipeline of content into Game Pass. Both Windows 10 and Xbox will benefit from it in the long run.


Damn.....triggered over one word.

mandingo149d ago

It’s been good lately in my opinion. Adding doom hitman fallout and ruiner. Of course if you’ve played these already it doesn’t affect you. I haven’t played hitman fallout or ruiner so good value for me

rainslacker150d ago

I doubt most of these studios will make games for Xbox One specifically. Most just finished up games, and by the time they get around to releasing their next games, it'll likely be a new gen. Its possible that they could be cross gen though, except for Playground and that new studio. Mid-tier titles likely won't require as much power.

Obscure_Observer149d ago


"Its possible that they could be cross gen though, except for Playground and that new studio."

Playground Games already confirmed that they´re developing their new Open World RPG using the X as the base hardware.

rainslacker149d ago

That's true. I always forget they made a 2nd team for that. Probably because when it was announced they were dodgy about it being exclusive, and at the same time even talked about the possibility of making a multi-plat, and it really hasn't been mentioned much since.

But that being said, is the X the Xbox One, or the mid gen release? If it doesn't come out on the OGX1, then it doesn't change what I said in regards to them. If MS changes the rules of generations, it doesn't mean they're making these games for those who brought into the X1, rather, they're abandoning them in favor of their new hardware.

But I was just speculating with my comment, so I'm not going to fuss about it too much.

Jinger150d ago

Because they need another high quality studio that will create intriguing games?

AK91150d ago

Because of how awesome Hellblade was.

mark_parch150d ago

I'm half way through the game now and the atmosphere and sound design is outstanding. combat is simple but enjoyable. I'm not to keen on some of the puzzle elements but overall so far really enjoying it

Goldby150d ago

Wait til you get the new weapon. More combos open up

KickSpinFilter150d ago (Edited 150d ago )

I do hope your wearing a good pair of headphones.

Goldby149d ago

For the people disagreeing there are new combos based kn if you are tapping or holding down the Atta k button along with different direction input.

The sword has to be glowing for them to work