Microsoft’s New Studio Acquisitions Show How Much Xbox Has Changed

From Kotaku: It came as a mild surprise when Microsoft announced Saturday that it was purchasing not just one but two mid-sized studios with a focus on role-playing games. But as strange as it seems on the surface, the deal makes perfect sense for all three parties.

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Skull52131d ago

Must be nice to have that Microsoft cash where you can just buy up anything, anytime!

bouzebbal30d ago

Dumbest opinion piece I have heard.. And I'm trying to be nice.
With all that cash they are still trailing, they always ended up in 3rd place out of the 3 gens.

Septic30d ago

In many ways actually, Xbox is returning to its roots. This is really a smart play that allows MS to tap into the ever-growing PC market whilst also playing in the console field.

Absolutely there is a point to be made that the so-called Xbox exclusives now being made available on PC takes a huge chunk of the value proposition away from the console itself, but it isn't the nail in the coffin for the console as many believed. We can all agree here that many prefer to game on console vs PC.

I don't agree with the notion that MS is not competing with Sony anymore. MS bringing its exclusives to PC doesn't stop that and it investing in smaller studios doesn't either. Sony definitely has the better track record, and in my opinion, far better studios, for delivering those AAA exclusives but that doesn't mean next gen, MS and its studios won't be seeking to deliver on those AAA experiences.

Next gen is going to be a very interesting battle imo. You will also see Sony make attempts to get in on the PC/mobile action somehow, either by way of enhancing its streaming service or something else.

Switch4One30d ago

Actually Nintendo bottomed out at 3rd with the Wii U this gen so I'm not sure what you're trying to say but you are lying.

JaguarEvolved30d ago (Edited 30d ago )

Microsoft’s New Studio Acquisitions Show How Much Xbox is the same with zero exclusive titles to show.

Microsoft had quite a lot of gaming Studios in the past but got rid of them.

King_Noctis30d ago (Edited 30d ago )

That is why the article is titled “Microsoft’s New Studio Acquisitions Show How Much Xbox Has Changed”.

See the word “changed” there?


How long do you think a game take to make? One day?

MeteorPanda30d ago

did you, during you writing out that comment that microsoft are the only operating system for pc's?

Vetgamer30d ago

Wii u didn't happen then? Nintendo was third this gen. Nice try though.

crazyCoconuts30d ago

@septic, I agree - of course MS still intends to compete with Sony. The journalist makes the same mistake that lots of us on these discussion boards make - just because you're not the leader doesn't mean you're not making money and competing all the time. Of course MS won't overthrow Sony in 1 year, but they're taking steps to get better, and that's what counts. The PC play is complex to judge, as their are a lot of dynamics there, but given their current lineup of exclusives I think embracing the PC and trying to build a competitor to Steam remains as the best course of action for them

jdaboss30d ago

huh? the lost their first generation, won last generation and are losing this generation. tthey definitely messed up this generation out the gatebut are building for the next generation. bruh, blind fanboyism isnt all that cool anymore bud., grow up.

letsa_go30d ago

@MeteorPanda What about linux and all its different flavors? You can even run OSX on pc. So not sure what you are trying to say.

HentaiElmo30d ago

Hopefully they learn their lessons and will keep those studios working even when their game aren’t the next halo forza or gear in sales

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FallenAngel198430d ago

@ bou

“they always ended up in 3rd place out of the 3 gens”

Revisionist history much?

Xbox outsold GameCube
Xbox One outsold Wii U

shaggy230330d ago


Sshhhhh haters don't like facts on this site.

NoWayOut30d ago

Thanks for clearing that up, I was thinking was this dude outta his mind?

MajorLazer30d ago

And the 360 and PS3 were pretty much even so even though technically they came 3rd that gen it was more like joint 2nd and a win for everyone (Wii, PS3 & 360 all sold tremendously as we all know)

bouzebbal30d ago (Edited 30d ago )

you compare to Wii U, i compare to switch.
Wii U came out a bit before end last gen and stopped start of current one, cane really compare.
it is like comparing next xbox to switch, which doesnt make sense.

still, all the cash for miserable performance.. i think you got my point smarty

King_Noctis30d ago

Its nice to see fact being thrown around for once.

Chevalier30d ago

Generations aside, general customers don't care or know about generations. Pretty sure Nintendo doesn't care either. The Switch has taken up considerable mindshare away from Xbox and they don't even need HD graphics to do it just a bunch of exclusives. You think MS look over at the Switch sales and think its okay we beat them last gen? Lol. The Switch is about to overtake the Xbox in 2 years or so in sales.

nicsaysdie30d ago

The wii u is in an odd position though. Should we judge the wii u with the ps3/360 gen or the current? If we judge on the ps3/360 gen then it could be considered a late gen upgrade like the oneX. If we judge it based on current gen, where does that leave the switch? The switch certainly couldn't be considered a mid gen upgrade due to its drastic difference in hardware. So does that mean Nintendo is a generation ahead of the competition? I always felt like the wii u fell in the 360 era.

Kribwalker30d ago

and according to every official stat, the 360 beat the PS3. Only VGchartz has that differently

That would be 2nd place the first gen, 2nd place last gen and they are currently 2nd place this gen (if/when the switch outsells it it will be third)

Kribwalker30d ago


“PS3 outsold Xbox 360 by millions. Kribwalker is a known loser in here who touts incorrect things here constantly”

October 2013- Xbox 360 80 Million

November 2013- PS3 80 Million

June 2014-Xbox 360 84 million

July 2014- PS4 (10 million) Vita (7-8 million) PS3 (82-83 million) combined sales 100 million

That is the last official numbers given by either company. Instead of calling names, bring something to the table. Prove Me Wrong, with facts, or shut the hell up.

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CarlDechance30d ago

" you can just buy up anything, anytime! " can't. It has to be for sale first or at least interested in being purchased. In Obsidian's case, they said it themselves that they were about to go under. Being bought out was a no brainer. But you act like it was just a matter of having the cash. Yeah....go ask Vivendi how that worked out for them when they tried to conduct a hostile take over of Ubisoft.

PapaBop30d ago

It's not as simple as that though. Buying studios is one thing but getting the best out of them is another. That's something Microsoft's competition in both Sony and Nintendo have down, both have their studios putting out top notch GOTY contenders on a yearly basis and something Microsoft at least did need to work on. Hopefully their experience with 343i and The Coalition has paid off.

I have to say though, this new approach works well for me personally for better or worse for Microsoft. With the exception of Halo (which I'm starting to miss) I now have no reason to buy an Xbox but can still appreciate the games Microsoft puts out. Hopefully next on their list is a windows store overhaul.

marquisray30d ago

but if Sony bought them it would be okay, smh

CarlDechance30d ago

What are you talking about?

Vetgamer30d ago

Have sony never purchased a studio? Moan at no exclusives moan when they try and fix it 🙄 as for Microsoft cash it's proberly just cash from the gaming division. They still make a bucket load of cash from xbox despite being 60 million behind the Sony.

trooper_30d ago

Money they haven't done squat with.

Let these studios create games that won't be canceled in a year first before we assume Microsoft has changed.

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UltraNova31d ago

From the article:
"Truth is, as Team Xbox has been signaling for quite some time now, and as we’ve gathered from our own conversations with both people in and outside of the company, Microsoft is no longer interested in competing directly with Sony. That’s a battle it lost as soon as Xbox executives started outlining its original, odd plans for Xbox One in 2013. The PS4 has outperformed the Xbox One so resoundingly, Microsoft stopped providing hardware sales figures.

Instead of licking its wounds and trying to fight Sony yet again next generation, the Xbox division under Phil Spencer has taken a drastically different approach. What Microsoft wants most today is studios that will help boost its impressive Game Pass subscription service, its upcoming streaming platform, and its continued stabs at PC gaming. Developing big Xbox exclusives is no longer a priority for Microsoft, and in fact, the company decided in 2016 that it would release future games on both Xbox and PC. Soon enough, Game Pass will also be available on PC, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see Microsoft embrace Steam—or overhaul the Windows store—as it tries to reach the hundreds of millions of people who play video games on computers."

The above, pretty accurate rundown of what is going on today has me baffled. If MS decided to bow out from the fight with Sony by not bothering with exclusives and focus on services available to almost all platforms(proof of going away from exclusives) then why do they bother buying studios? What are those, now 1st party studios going to make, multiplatform games? Of course not. Isn't this conflicting though?

How about yesterday's news about Xbox having universal M&K support? Another indication of xbox getting further intergrated with PC to the point of turning the former essentially into a "steam box"?

Everything MS is doing as of lately is showing a new focus as a company, a multiplatform- service one, definitely not of a company that wishes to distinguish themselves from the competition via their unique, exclusive content as all these studios acquisitions conflictingly suggest.

I guess the problem with MS right now is the mixed messages. One day they are 100% going GaaS/digital and the other they are all about buying Studios to make exclusive games for xbox.

What is it then?

Skull52131d ago

Where as steam box never took off, I think Microsoft is going to make the Xbox essentially the same thing, console and PC games in your living room with one device. It’s going to be great if it happens, and I hope a wide variety of hardware options are available so users aren’t limited by a mass market price point, and can instead customize their hardware to their budget and liking.

TedCruzsTaint30d ago

Would make sense. They have a vested interest in both markets.

Cmv3830d ago

I would be tempted to purchase, but those games have to be just as great as their competition. For example, if obsidian makes an action rpg it has to be just as great as diablo or Poe for me to invest. Pillars imo wasn't. So this will be interesting to see if ms can pull me back in.

CarlDechance30d ago (Edited 30d ago )

Steam box never took off because "console and PC games in your living room" doesn't work. Some PC games require keyboard and mouse. Very few people are going to want to sit on their couch and fumble around with a keyboard and mouse and Xbox One support of KBM isn't going to change that. The Steam controller was supposed to mitigate that and it failed horribly. Consoles are designed for the living room with a couch, a big TV and a controller.. I doubt very seriously Microsoft is going to try and take Xbox down that road because it will fail. I think Microsoft understands PC gamers. Most console gamers do not. Microsoft will expand its lineup of Windows 10 games and services and I wouldn't be surprised to see it get equal amount of support in all areas eventually.

Segata30d ago

Remember Windows Media PC. Original Xbox was also to be the all in one media hub. MS just sounds same old. Different approach to the same goal.

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Atom66630d ago

Whether they're selling consoles, a PC storefront, a streaming service, or a subscription plan, exclusive content is necessary. Not sure what's confusing about that part honestly.

Eldyraen30d ago

Technically they’re doing GAAS... it’s called Game Pass. It’s just instead of a single game it’s Games now.

With their acquisitions though, and theoretically what they’ve said about halo and even Gears but we’ve yet to see, they are wanting to head back to quality on top of quantity. Something more focused than a “Netflix for Games” style service and content provider (from themselves, you could equate GP to Netflix easier on the whole though) but not as focused as say a Premium Channel (PS=HBO in this equation).

The “steam box” aspect is sort of true though but more focused as well. Play what you want where you want is clearly their goal in mind in the end. I doubt tens of millions (30+) are going to drop consoles for PC though even if some vocal minority does.

Teflon0230d ago

just want to note. On Pc you can get gamepass and it has pc supported titles like gears and forza horizon. But the list is tiny for PC in comparison. Plus no matter what I did, I couldn't get my PS4 controller to work on gamepass titles so I cancelled it. I have ps4 and like dual shock 4 better so I'm not getting xbox controllers. So dumb.

rainslacker30d ago

It's because MS is changing what Xbox is. It'll still have the console for the market base that exists there, but Xbox is becoming a Windows service. All those services that MS is offering with Xbox, are focused on building Windows services.

I said a long time ago that MS is going to leverage Xbox to promote Windows, and that's exactly what they're doing.

When you couple that with MS changing what it considers a Windows user, to being someone that uses MS Live in some way, things start adding up more to the fact that MS isn't as interesting competing in the same way as they did before.

It's not to say they are looking to leave the gaming market, or that they won't be competing with Sony....because even Sony feels PC is its biggest competitor, just that how they do it is going to be well outside how we think of the traditional console market.

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31d ago Replies(1)
Apocalypse Shadow31d ago (Edited 31d ago )

Real interesting. So, let's recap....

Microsoft bought 3 companies that were all struggling to stay afloat. And, would have closed or struggled to stay alive for next Gen gaming platforms because they were struggling this Gen. Ninja Theory, Obsidian and Inxile were all in trouble. Now they all have a sugar daddy.

The 4th already made exclusive games for Microsoft. And the 5th is a work in progress. And no matter what they come up with creatively, the games will be made to promote Game Pass or an XBL subscription. But hey. They have freedom.

So, Phil traveled the world and the result was companies on life support. Others must have said "No thanks." "We like our independence."

But who knows. Maybe it will work out for them. Hopefully single player is a priority. But looking at Crackdown 3 being promoted as a multiplayer game that will sell Game Pass or XBL subscriptions, I'm doubtful. As they still haven't shown any single player or story so close to release. All about the subs. Microsoft hasn't changed. It's still about reoccurring profits from a service.

Switch4One30d ago

Ninja Theory was struggling? News to me.

DarkVoyager30d ago (Edited 30d ago )


Ninja Theory stated that they had to come up with cheap ways to make Hellblade to save resources. They even showed some of the cheap things they had to rig up when developing the game. So yes they were struggling.

If you would’ve watch their development updates when they were making Hellblade you would’ve known that.

Switch4One30d ago

And then Hellblade got done and sold a bunch. To the point that NT were giving away portions of their profits to mental illness awareness programs.

You Sony types just want to always downplay any good strides Xbox makes.

A popular one amongst you people is that PG was making Xbox exclusives anyway. As if that was a guarantee that it'll always be so and also as if it's somehow isn't a gain for Xbox even though acquiring them meant they were able to increase in number and teams.

Razzer30d ago

"A popular one amongst you people is that PG was making Xbox exclusives anyway. As if that was a guarantee that it'll always be so and also as if it's somehow isn't a gain for Xbox even though acquiring them meant they were able to increase in number and teams."

That was a popular line among you Xbox "types". When word came out that PG was working on an RPG, Obscure_Observer among others swore that up and down that there was no way it would be anything but an Xbox exclusive because of the exact same reason you just typed.

So you should really temper your bad habit of painting folks with such a broad brush.

rainslacker30d ago (Edited 30d ago )

Not having the resources to make a big game isn't the same as being on the ropes to shutter their doors.

The deal with MS seemed more like they wanted financial security going forward to have the resources to do their thing, and apparently, MS is giving them freedom to do their thing.

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CarlDechance30d ago

Ninja Theory was doing much better after Hellblade. They were in trouble a while back, but restructured to stay afloat.


BLow30d ago

Nice points. Also, they are getting all this praise for something they should have been doing all this time. We had to wait an entire generation for them to figure out that they needed games!! These same fanboys literally made fun of some delays of Sony exclusive games yet they are sitting here waiting and hoping for these studios to make games that are years away. Funny how that many of these terrible gonna have to wait until 2020 Sony exclusives came out since Crackdown got announced??? Enough said....

UltraNova30d ago

Ooo stop it with that much logic, you might hurt someone.

MoonConquistador30d ago

Enough said?

I'm still trying to decipher what you have said. Try reading your last paragraph yourself and see if it makes sense before expecting others to make sense of it.

Hyperstrada30d ago

Others must have said "No thanks." "We like our independence."
Who are the others?

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FallenAngel198430d ago

“Any developer who’s worked with previous iterations of Microsoft has stories about how frustrating the company’s management structure could be.”

Ain’t that the truth. You often see more publishers and developers cite how difficult it can be at times to work with Microsoft than you see ones who praise working with Microsoft.

UltraNova30d ago

This is exactly why we dont hear about MS trying to buy successful and financially healthy studios.

FallenAngel198430d ago

Microsoft did buy the successful Mojang in 2014, but that dev has only proven to be a one trick studio.

Most successful thriving studios don’t usually have much of a reason to sell to Microsoft in the first place. And Microsoft wouldn’t offer them nearly as much as they offered Mojang.

monkey60230d ago

Mojang won't ever see that success again when Minecraft fades. They know that. It was a far better idea to sell to Microsoft while the going was good. I would have done the same in their shoes I guess

boing130d ago

I'm sure they wanted Minecraft, not Mojang. Buying Mojang was probably the only way to get it.

Emme30d ago

I would love to see quotes. The Ori guys, the SoT guys, the State of Decay guys, the ReCore it seems outside people always paint MS in a bad light (ScaleBound), but maybe the truth us that MS holds them on a long leash. SoT was damned by many, and who knows if its original release state was because or in spite of MS owning Rare ? ReCore had its problems. Gears does well. Horizon does well. MS doesnt seem to be the problem but rather the victim, to me.