Microsoft Studios adds 5 new development studios to its portfolio

Microsoft has announced five new game development studios joining its first-party lineup – doubling down on its commitment to top-tier games for Xbox One. Announced on stage at its E3 2018 press conference, the firm has kickstarted a new studio, while acquiring four existing teams from across the globe.

As we previously reported, "The Initiative" is a new in-house studio headed by Darrell Gallagher – former head of Crystal Dynamics and senior vice president at Activision. The new Santa Monica-based will work on "AAAA" experiences to further develop Microsoft's exclusive offerings.

Microsoft has also acquired "Playground Games" of Forza Horizon fame, State of Decay 2's "Undead Labs," "Compulsion Games" of We Happy Few, and "Ninja Theory" behind Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice.

This makes for Microsoft Studio's biggest commitment to delivering first-party games so far, with some significant talent backing the publisher. While it might take time for new titles from these studios to surface, it paints a promising future for its gaming efforts.

Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.

  • Oh yeah!
  • Spend that cash nads!! Way overdue!
  • Next generation in a couple of years will be awesome
  • The new initiative studio is the real big one for me. Even if we knew this, it's good news. Undead labs and Playground games were second party studio. They were already making console exclusives for MS. I don't know what that changes or how that is good for gamers. Ninja theory and Compulsion games is a bit of a worry for me. With their history, I really hope they don't screw those studios. It will take time to see their first games. For me it looks like they are building a launch lineup for their next xbox. This reminds me of the period between 2010-2013 where many of the games they talked about turned out to be XB1 games.
  • Hopefully that they acquire more especially the ones who are making something more unique to the portfolio. I have a feeling also that they are preparing for the next Xbox release. Though I hope that not all is for the next console, we just need more new contents soon as possible.
  • I remember Microsoft saying that they won't be in Next Generation or at least what we have known. I think what's going to happen is that the Xbox One X will now become the Baseline. All them games going forward even the studios are making will work on the Xbox One X and still play really well. But they will come out the next better Hardware that was a 4K at 60 and even maybe even 120 frames per second or just more 60 frames per second at full 4K. I don't think they're going to do another generation where that's not backwards compatible or forwards compatible. Just like I did with the Xbox One X people can still play these games on the Xbox One they just won't play as well. I think that's what's going to happen.
  • This is awesome !!! 😍
  • Please don't screw over Ninja Theory, please please please.
  • I think the next hellblade will launch with the next set of xboxes.
  • I also suspect an xbox or 2 to drop out of favor when that happens. Maybe in stepping up only the one x becomes towards compatible....hence the streaming which via the is apps would be available on all xboxes.
  • Like the investment into games, but it both sounds like we've got a long wait to content and I don't like the "buy content away from the competition's fans" angle of taking companies like Ninja Theory. Also, "The Initiative" is an incredibly lame name.