Microsoft seems to love acquiring video games studios. Last year alone they acquired six studios including Playground Games and Ninja Theory among others. Analysts have stated recently that Microsoft will likely continue its acquisitions, hopefully allowing the company to catch up to Sony and Nintendo on releasing triple-A exclusives. Recently, through email correspondence Samuel Horti of PC Gamer, Phil Spencer discussed how Microsoft is going to be approaching PC gaming in the future and the roles some of the recently acquired studios will be in properly catering to PC gamers.
The acquisition of Obsidian and inXile was done specifically to “create depth across platforms and genres of expertise”, meaning that Microsoft will likely give the studios plenty of freedom for whatever project they choose to work on next. Considering the games Obsidian and inXile have worked on in the past, it’d be completely unexpected if they just suddenly stopped supporting their massive PC audience. While both companies have both primarily focused on PC games, it isn’t like many of their hit RPG games aren’t coming to console either. It’d be a massive surprise if The Outer Worlds, the highly anticipated new game from Obsidian, was a PC exclusive.
Obsidian, inXile and all our studios will have the resources to reach players on any device and we’ll support the decisions each studio makes regarding the platform and features that let them deliver the experience they want for gamers.
The hands-off approach that Microsoft is taking to the studios they’ve acquired isn’t a new one. Mojang, the developers of Minecraft, was pointed to by Phil Spencer as an example of how Microsoft wants “each studio to retain their unique spirit and culture while feeling empowered by the collective resources they now have as a member of Xbox Games Studios and Microsoft.” It’ll certainly be interesting to see if this approach will work with the newly acquired studios as it did with Mojang.
Another question that looms in the air, without a proper response, is whether or not games released by the newly acquired studios will be releasing on platforms other than the Microsoft Game Store such as Steam. While Phil Spencer stated that Microsoft has been thinking long and hard on the matter, there isn’t a solid answer yet and that he would “share more details on our plans here soon.” For continued coverage on Microsoft and more, you can expect to find regular updates here.