Xbox has made headlines over the past few years by snapping up different game development studios through acquisitions and partnerships, and while it’s focus lately has been on building those acquired studios up, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said Microsoft is always open to new opportunities with studios. Ninja Theory and Obsidian Entertainment were among some of the biggest studios Microsoft acquired to join the growing Xbox Game Studios team, and the Xbox team has been working to integrate them and support their games since then. That’s still the first priority, but we could see more studio acquisitions in the future.
Spencer spoke to GamesIndustry.biz about studio acquisitions and how Microsoft handled the time after the acquisitions and whether it’d be open to more in the future. He said that during conversations with Xbox Game Studios boss Matt Booty, the priority now is making sure the already acquired studios are properly integrated and supported.
“We acquired quite a few new studios in a short amount of time, and we want to make sure that those studios are on-boarded in the right way," Spencer said. "As Matt and I were talking about it, we just wanted to make sure that we treated the incoming studios as full parts of the organisation. That they felt supported.”
Spencer also credited Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and CFO Amy Hood with their support during the processes. There’s been “no signal” so far that Microsoft should slow any of that work down with the focus instead on working with other studios at maintainable pace. Spencer said the team is “always out there talking to people” but that it had to be the right opportunity before any decisions were made.
“The Game Pass portfolio and subscriber base continues to grow,” Spencer said. “We're launching a new console. Last year was our biggest year ever on PC in terms of revenue as Xbox Game Studios. A lot of the business is doing really well, so we're always in the market for new opportunities with studios.”
Microsoft is reportedly one of the companies that’s expressed interest in acquiring Warner Bros. Games which owns the licenses to DC Comics games and all the LEGO game adaptations among other properties. Other companies have also reportedly expressed interest in Warner Bros. Games alongside Xbox, though there’s been no official communication about what will become of that possibility.
Xbox is having a big event soon to show off its first-party games, so if any studio acquisitions have been finalized lately or are guaranteed to happen, that’d be the place to hear more about it.
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