Microsoft Acquires Five Studios Including Ninja Theory, Developer of Hellblade

Also Playground Games, and Creation of New Studio, The Initiative

Microsoft Acquires Four Studios

During their E3 Press Conference, Microsoft announced the acquisition of five game development studios, including Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice developer Ninja Theory.

“There has never been a more exciting time to be part of the gaming industry, with creators large and small showcasing incredible new games for the more than two billion players around the world,” said Phil Spencer, head of Gaming at Microsoft. “At Microsoft, we are committed to empowering gamers to play the games they want, with the people they want, where they want.”

Ninja Theory has been an independent developer for several years, and has developed titles such as Enslaved: Odyssey to the West and DmC: Devil May Cry. Their most recent game, Hellblade, was a critical and commercial success that was considered by Ninja Theory to be a testament to the studio’s decision to go independent.

The other developers purchased include Forza Horizon developer Playground Games, We Happy Few developer Compulsion Games, and State of Decay 2 developer Undead Labs.

Also announced was the creation of a brand new Microsoft studio called The Initiative. While no details were revealed as to what the new studio will be working on, it will be headed by former Crystal Dynamics’ head Darrell Gallagher.

“The original games we create at Microsoft Studios are some of our biggest assets,” said Matt Booty, corporate vice president of Microsoft Studios in a press release.

“Our growth strategy is to continue to expand the worlds that players love, while developing all-new exclusive games that deepen their engagement with our platform. We are thrilled to welcome five new studios into the Microsoft family. We believe these teams have the collective creative power and operational excellence to deliver the next industry game changers.”

The acquisitions grow Microsoft’s first-party studios count to twelve from seven, a massive expansion that signals the company’s continued efforts to grow their offerings.


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