Microsoft announced a slew of studio acquisitions to their Xbox stable of developers, including a brand new studio called The Initiative, which will be headed by former Crystal Dynamics director Darrell Gallagher. The Initiative will be based in Seattle, Washington.
Microsoft also added Hellblade developer Ninja Theory, State of Decay 2‘s Undead Labs, Forza Horizon‘s Playground Games, and We Happy Few developer Compulsion Games.
According to Xbox head Phil Spencer, the acquisitions of new studios are Xbox’s attempt to continue to provide their user base with better games to make “Xbox the best place to game.”
Given the overwhelming popularity of Sony’s PlayStation 4, that’s a pretty tall order. And the studios grabbed up by Microsoft were, for the most part, already working exclusively for Microsoft. Bringing them in-house just means they can’t take their games off of Xbox consoles in the future. Ninja Theory is the big surprise name from the five added. Crystal Dynamics have worked with Microsoft for years and Gallagher joined Microsoft back in April. Undead Labs, Playground Games, and Compulsion Games all have Xbox One exclusive games releasing soon (or just released).
However, I’m all for Microsoft taking in new development talent, no matter what form it takes, because they sorely need to diversify.