Microsoft's Activision team is opening a new game studio in Poland 'Elsewhere Entertainment' to build new AAA IP

Press image for Activision's new Elsewhere Entertainment Studio
(Image credit: Activision)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft subsidiary Activision revealed a new studio today, dubbed Elsewhere Entertainment. 
  • The firm is comprised of industry vets, boasting credits in games like The Last of Us and The Witcher 3. 
  • Activision also revealed a new vacancies website for Elsewhere, which will host career options in the coming todays. 
  • The studio is working on a "narrative based" game in a totally new AAA franchise. 

Microsoft's Activision subsidiary announced today that it is opening a new game development studio to take advantage of the huge talent pool growing in Poland. It'll be the second Activision studio based in the region, joining Infinity Ward Krakow, although this studio is, in fact, not working on Call of Duty. 

Elsewhere Entertainment is an all-new studio incubating an all-new franchise, boasting industry vets. The new studio is based in Warsaw "with additional resources in the United States," and enjoys alumni from franchises like The Last of Us, Uncharted, The Witcher 3, Cyberpunk 2077, Far Cry, and more. 

"Built from the ground up, Elsewhere Entertainment is a premier and standalone studio dedicated to establishing an environment that inspires bold and diverse ideas. The team’s underlying mission encourages everyone to explore and collaborate creatively to craft a franchise with an enduring legacy that resonates far beyond games.

The new studio has full access to Activision’s resources and tools as it continues to increase production and development. Elsewhere is opening its search for best-in-class talent from across the industry and around the world to help create a state-of-the-art and next generation gaming experience."

While not yet named, Activision spokespeople told us that Elsewhere Entertainment is working on a narrative-based "AAA" game, and is a completely new franchise. Activision also tells us that Elsewhere has been operating in stealth mode up until now, and is seeking to build up its studio with a new vacancies website for Elsewhere over here

A rare glimmer of investment in a tough time

Activision has had some big hits publishing original titles in recent years, such as Sekiro and Destiny.  (Image credit: Activision)

This announcement may seem strange given the context that Microsoft just shut down Tango Gameworks in Japan, Arkane Austin in Texas, and consolidated other ZeniMax Studios in the United States recently. However, it should be noted that each subsidiary operates as a separate entity with separate budget pools, and Activision elaborated that Elsewhere has already been operating for some time. 

With the industry in turmoil, layoffs, studio closures, and game cancellations are rife across the board right now. Elsewhere represents a rare glimmer of additional investment in what otherwise seems like a tough time, as "black hole games" like Fortnite vacuum up post-Covid shrinking game time hours. 

The verbiage from the press release has an emphasis on "narrative" games and sounds as though it could have some form of transmedia tie-in. The fact Elsewhere has goals "beyond games" could be a hint that it will try some new paradigms rather than lean on existing ones. But perhaps that's reading too much into it. Activision is no stranger to trying unique things, from toys-to-life games like Skylanders, or its previous music giant Guitar Hero. 

Microsoft is also working on an experimental game with Hideo Kojima titled OD, with rumors suggesting it'll be some sort of horror puzzle-game with asynchronous online social elements. Is there a new wave of quasi-games on the horizon? Could Elsewhere simply be making something traditional like previous Activision publishing efforts like Sekiro? I suppose time will tell. 

Keep an eye on what kind of vacancies open up ... 

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden is a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by tea. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his XB2 Podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

  • Ron-F
    I would like to be less cynical, but the only thing I can think is how long will take to Microsoft kill Elsewhere, or merge it with Infinity Ward, or just place it in the CoD circus.