Microsoft paid $117 million for Hellblade developer Ninja Theory to join Xbox

Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2 reflection in water
(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

What you need to know

  • A number of documents have been shared as part of the FTC vs. Microsoft Corp hearing. 
  • In one of these documents, Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer and other Xbox leadership put together a business plan for acquiring Sega. 
  • According to the document, Microsoft bought Ninja Theory for $117 million. 
  • Ninja Theory is currently working on Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2, which is slated to launch in 2024 on Xbox Series X|S and Windows PC.

As the big FTC vs. Microsoft Corp hearing continues, we're getting more and more interesting details about the gaming industry that would otherwise stay secret forever. 

In some evidence files uploaded by the FTC, Microsoft outlined a plan to buy Sega and bolster Xbox Game Pass. As part of this document, Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer and others listed the price of some notable gaming acquisitions, by Microsoft and elsewhere across the industry. According to the list, Microsoft paid $117 million for Ninja Theory, the developer of Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice and the upcoming Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2.

Ninja Theory was acquired in 2018 alongside Undead Labs, Playground Games, Compulsion Games, inXile Entertainment, and Obsidian Entertainment, as part of Microsoft's push to invest in first-party Xbox content. 

Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2 is currently scheduled to launch at some point in 2024, where it'll be available exclusively on Xbox Series X|S and Windows PC. Like all Xbox first-party games, it'll launch day one in Xbox Game Pass.

Windows Central's take

This price tag checks out, given the size of Ninja Theory (around 100 employees at the time, they've grown since then) and the amount of IP that came with the purchase. 

For a fun comparison, here's the price of some other gaming acquisitions that we know about: 

  • Activision Blizzard - Microsoft is attempting to buy the publisher for $69 billion
  • ZeniMax Media - Bought by Microsoft for $8.1 billion
  • Bungie - Bought by Sony for $3.6 billion
  • Respawn Entertainment - Bought by Electronic Arts for $455 million
  • Insomniac Games - Bought by Sony for $229 million
Samuel Tolbert
Freelance Writer

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.