Microsoft Now Has 23 First-Party Studios, Here's What They're Making

Yesterday, Microsoft announced it is buying up Bethesda and all of the publisher’s game studios. This now brings the total number of first-party Xbox studios to 23. That’s a lot of different developers. As Microsoft prepares to launch its next-gen Xbox this November, let’s take a look at what all these studios are working on and what we can expect from them in the coming months and years.

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Jin_Sakai29d ago

Sony currently has 14 studios in which most are very talented. Microsoft obviously has way more studios now but their output remains to be seen.

As for acquiring Bethesda, if the make ES6 a console exclusive it will be a major blow for PS5. And I’m sure they will.

chrisx29d ago

It sure will be a blow if they make es6 console exclusive. I can see people getting xboxes just for that game.

jairusmonillas29d ago

Doubt it. Most Elder Scroll players are PC players.

bouzebbal28d ago

Hey, you can measure quality of the studios with the most iconic franchise the brand has.. What we saw of halo was ridiculous, and xbox has so much work to do to gain gamer's trust.

I personally will get xcloud for limited period when a decent game is out..

outsider162428d ago

Yup. Me for eg. Probably just get the Series S.
Man with this acquisition, im actually worried for the future. Sony could buy Ubisoft, then Ms buys EA, then sony buys what are we left at? No more third party..just who's got the better Studios. Lol

28d ago
DJStotty28d ago


There will always be 3rd party studios.

ZeroX987628d ago

I've been enjoying many Xbox Exclusives via Android's gamepass and to be honest, the performance (input latency) is amazing!
For singleplayer games like ES, MS got a new gamepass customer with me. Actually gives us PS fans a chance to finally play some of the exclusives that MS has to offer!

That "beyond the Hardware" mindset will certainly bring them new customers in various ways, I'll be keeping that subscription as long as there's great games for me

Neonridr28d ago

@jairusmonillas - and if you choose to buy the game for your PC instead, MS still wins.

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blackblades29d ago (Edited 29d ago )

14 studios and multiple teams inside each studios. Also it suppose to be easy to develop for and faster. So they should be throwing them out like hot cakes like Sony wants. Ms its gonna take time since they just got some of the studios and bethesda deal is final next Q2 so it'll be more time for those exclusives.

Bladesfist29d ago (Edited 29d ago )

We hear the easy to develop for thing at the start of every gen, games are still taking increasingly more time, bigger and bigger teams and more money to make. Don't confuse the ease of use of the Console APIs with the time required to build modern games.

NEXUS-629d ago

Blade - The PS3 would like a word.

The thing with Mark Cerney is he doesn't overhype stuff. If he says time to triangle is 1 month - then it is.

SSM should hit the due date of GOW - that would be a quick turnaround to say the least.

Neonridr28d ago

these systems are near identical. If it's easy for one, it's easy for the other.

Elda29d ago

I would think out of 100 million PS owners only 10% or lower probably plays the Elder Scrolls. If Elder Scrolls became XB exclusive I doubt it's something Sony has to worry about.

digger1829d ago

Rubbish, one of the most played games on the PlayStation

King_Noctis29d ago

Can you provide source for this claim?

Elda29d ago

@King Noctis Just googled as of Jan 2020 that the average players playing ESO are about 15 million 9 months later it's a possibility there are 20 million players. Do you really think 10 to 15 million people playing ESO are PS owners?? I highly doubt it.

29d ago
Gr1mmyshadows28d ago

Im pretty sure if the next Elder Scrolls game was exclusive it would cause a lot of hate in the sony community.

OptimusDK28d ago

What Sony game sold 10 mill. Copies. Just asking

Sayai jin28d ago

I wouldn't compare ESO to ES. Big difference. In fact, many ES fans protest ESO.

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i3eyond the Circle29d ago (Edited 29d ago )

Sucker Punch, Naughty Dog, Santa Monica, Guerilla, Bend and Insomniac are really the only big hitters in the Sony first party family.

In terms of releasing AAA content Sony’s first party is outmatched and it’s quality is subjective but if you asked anyone here.. all 23 studios will be making sub par games in comparison to the maybe 5-8 big first party games you’ll see on PlayStation the entire generation... and if you asked anyone here that small amount over the course of a generation is supposedly enough to choose PS over Xbox in the console scene. Even if Sony’s first party is guaranteed to make all metacritic 100s it’s still not enough to not have something that gets you access to Xbox Game Pass or Xbox Game Studios titles.

PlayStation is cool but it’s foolish to not think the worlds eyes are on Xbox

King_Noctis29d ago

I would replace Bend with Media Molecule. Bend doesn’t deserve that spot.

29d ago
Father__Merrin29d ago

Worlds eyes on xbox? It's averaging less than 30k units sold worldwide sometimes sub 20k

DarXyde29d ago

Media Molecule, Japan Studio, and Polyphony are great.

28d ago
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DarXyde29d ago

Timed, perhaps. Doubt it would be a full exclusive.

Quality over quantity of course and Bethesda hasn't really been in good graces lately. I'm painfully unsurprised by the acquisition—I've been saying for a while that it's like they're trying to be acquired and here we are.

It's a huge win for Xbox —of course, it is. Or rather, it has the potential to be.

Let's wait on it.

HyperMoused28d ago

That would go against everything Phil has said, MS has made it clear they dont care if you buy an xbox they want you to play on the platform you want when and where you want....making ES6 exclsuive would be against that. also ES6 will make millions, denying million of PS players would be losing millions of sales, at the end of the day businesses want money they wouldnt miss out on the sony millions.

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angelsx29d ago (Edited 29d ago )

Microsoft has so many studios and no one game make me buy xbox . I don't play Bethesda games so i don't care,nothing change for me.I will stick with PS5

RaiderNation29d ago

Same. In fact, looking at my entire PS4 library I haven't bought a single game by any of these Zenimax devs this entire generation. The last one I bought was Skyrim back in 2012.

conanlifts28d ago

Doom was a great game, Prey is also pretty good and if you like resident Evil type games Evil within was superb. It doesn't really change much for me, I own both and will continue to do so. What it does change is the value of game pass as I play a lot of Zenimax games.

29d ago Replies(1)
Teflon0229d ago

Only game I play of there's is Doom and I haven't bought eternal yet. But I can get whatever on PC if I need. Thing is, like you I actually don't play those games they make and would go as far as to say I actually hate them. Not that they're bad but I've always hated the series they put out

4Sh0w28d ago

Yeah but thats just anecdotal info about you. You do realize theres tons of gamers out there that dont care for TLOU or whatever...thats not the point, Bethesdas portfolio offers a library of games millions of Xbox, PC & PS fans do like= Bethesda/Zenimax is a huge game changer for Xbox for that reason, whether exclusive or on ps too Xbox will be in the drivers seat pertaining to their entire portfolio, overtime profitting even from ps, much different than Minecraft= which gives them even more influence & buying power in the industry. Microsoft has changed the game already, PC, GamePass, Xcloud...their vision of gaming is being adopted....expect other devs to join GamePass like EA Play has, anecdotal stories aside the reality is Bethesda is another BIG piece of their vision for gaming which Sony will have to adjust to for the longterm.

conanlifts28d ago

I'm surprised how few people have played Evil within or Prey.

nommers29d ago (Edited 29d ago )

I used to get hyped for bethesda games, but ES and Fallout game design has been left in the dust. They're popular, sure, but they don't get me excited to wonder around in some open world that lacks all meaning to do anything anymore. It used to mean something, but trying to replay any Fallout or ES game from the beginning is very tedious and forgettable.

TheScotsman28d ago

For sure can own all the tools you want but let's see a game to makes us go ooooh

28d ago
badz14928d ago (Edited 28d ago )


can't blame you on that. Bethesda has been struggling to sell their games this gen. their best selling game is FO4 and the next one is FO76. this year, Doom Eternal is not even in the top 20 best selling game, their last couple of games - Wolfenstein YB, Prey, Rage 2, Wolfenstein II and Evil Within 2 are all almost a dud sales-wise and that's enough proof that while their games might be good, they are not selling enough of them and this is the fact that these Bethesda fanboys that suddenly appeared since yesterday need to acknowledge. funny thing is, these lower sales numbers are the result of most of the PS and xbox camps ignoring these games before but now suddenly the xbox camp thinks that Bethesda will win the console war for MS! LOL

maybe you guys can start by actually BUYING those games first before talking big. Gears 5, their biggest game last year didn't even crack top 20 in the freakin NPD chart for the year! WHAT A SHAME!

conanlifts28d ago

Is NPD relevant with game pass in action? I always bought gears of war games until 5, I have game pass so no need to buy it. Many will be in the situation.

badz14927d ago


BREAKING NEWS everybody! NPD is now no longer relevant thanks to Microsoft. /s

those poor souls at NPD, they didn't even see that coming LOL

28d ago
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Sunny_D29d ago

If what if I’ve been reading on the internet comes to fruition, they may end up with Sega too...

East76lands29d ago

Ruthless but also ugly behaviour from Microsoft.

Sunny_D29d ago (Edited 29d ago )

Yeah, looks like everything is about to be monopolized by MS. Or we’re going to see the other tech giants start buying their way in as well after seeing MS doing it...

Of course this could be speculation and people are reading way into it. But then again, if it’s not an acquisition then it’s a gamepass deal.

29d ago
Sunny_D29d ago


In what ways did Sony buy a publisher(s)? Lmao. People really conflating buying small/mid studio devs they worked with over decades as somehow buying a multiplatform publisher and probably more than that?

blackblades29d ago

I just heard that myself, that it was a rumor awhile back. Them buying bethesida makes you think back to other things. They did say they are looking into buying a Japanese company though. Anything possible now but I hope not. You can say goodbye to sonic on Nintendo with Mario them again banjoo is on Nintendo so who knows.

Sunny_D29d ago

Who knows what players remain after this generation. Seeing these acquisitions is going to make the other tech giants come through and make their own purchases or make Sony and Nintendo do something as well.

Atom66629d ago

In that scenario, I think Sonic would still hit Switch.

A large Japanese purchase would likely not disrupt too much since Nintendo and MS play nice together. I could see Sony getting cut out though since Switch, PC, xcloud, and, to a less extent, Xbox itself, would be able to provide japanese audiences with the titles.

I would be happier with an announcement that they're partnering with Sega. Drop even more Sega games into gamepass. I think a library of Sega Arcade titles in particular would be too damn perfect for gp.

But then tell me that MS will fully fund Panzer Dragoon Saga 2 and Phantasy Star 5 so I can die happy.

JeffGUNZ29d ago

@ Sunny_D

Didn't Sony buy Insomniac?

Sunny_D28d ago

Yes. A developer they’ve had a long 20+ year relationship and where 95% of games have always been Playstation exclusive.

28d ago
JeffGUNZ28d ago

Don't know why I can't keep responding to the appropriate comment but they also bought Guerrilla games too,right? Don't get me wrong, I'm a PC gamepass and Playstation guy, so I don't have a dog in this fight, but both companies buy studios. Also, aren't a lot of these Bethesda games not going to be exclusive? I thought Bethesda said they aren't locked to just xbox. To me, this deal sounds like MS wants those games to be available day one on game pass. With EA and now this, I see Xbox really making a push to have most big 3rd party games coming to gamepass day 1. If they can somehow pull that off, man, what a deal gamepass would be.

Sunny_D28d ago (Edited 28d ago )

They bought Guerilla Games during the PS2 era when everyone clowned them for making a “failed Halo killer” Buying dev studios is fine. That’s not hard to understand. But they are buying entire publishers with multiple studios under them with game ip’s that have always been multiplatform.

Also, I looked up Sony's acquisitions, their last purchase was Insomniac (for the entire Sony corp lol). The gaming related one before that was 8 months prior for an audio based game software company. Before that their last gaming acquisition was Gakai for cloud in 2012. The rest are all imaging tech for Camera division, and film/tv related for studio tech.

Gamepass seems like a good deal until they start raising the price or have have some other thing added little by little that becomes anti consumer and you can’t do anything about because they’re the only player.

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rlow129d ago

Alot of exciting games will be coming to Xbox family, PC and other consoles. It really adds a huge value to Gamepass. Pay a small flat monthly fee and get all the games from all these studios. That's a huge value.

zsquaresoff29d ago

I am going to be honest, apart from Evil Within 1 and 2, I have never bought any other Bathesda game. So I am good here not playing any Bathesda game if they ever become exclusive to Xbox.

JeffGUNZ28d ago

You've never played any Fallout games? Man, they made several gems in that series.

outsider162428d ago

Fallout 3 was really good. That latest Fallout though...lets be honest here..

JeffGUNZ28d ago

The latest was garbage. You're spot on there lol

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