One of the more prolific independent studios to carve out a name for themselves in recent times was InXile Entertainment, managing to release Wasteland 2 on home consoles and PC after crowdfunding the sequel with the help of actual gamers through Kickstarter back in 2012. Microsoft saw this success and figured that since the company made something that people actually enjoyed, why not buy them up to prevent them from making games that people actually enjoy on other systems that aren’t PC and Xbox?
I suppose it’s a good thing that InXile managed to get Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut up and out on the Nintendo Switch before the acquisition went through, otherwise Switch owners would have been up a creek.
GamesIndustry.biz is reporting that not only has InXile Entertainment been scooped up by Microsoft, but Pillars of Eternity and Knights of the Old Republic developer Obsidian Entertainment has also been acquired by Microsoft.
According to corporate vice president of Microsoft Game Studios, Matt Booty, he told GamesIndustry.biz that a lot of these studios are being acquired to help fill out the Xbox Game Pass, and to fill in the gaps left open from the AAA releases…
“I don’t want to seem like we’re going out to fill a quota. It’s not about filling a spreadsheet by any means. We will, however, have an interest in studios right now that fit this criteria of 50 to 100 people, who are making games on a two to three year cadence, and have content that we think will be of interest to our Game Pass subscribers. That means content that is a little different to what our big AAA franchises can deliver.
“One of the fantastic things about Game Pass is that it can support different kinds of content.”
So based on Booty’s comments and the now 11 studios under Microsoft’s wing, they’ll likely have new content coming out in a timely fashion for Xbox systems. And with some of those studios on an expected two to three year development cycle, we’re looking at several new Xbox exclusives all set to come piling out of the woodwork between 2020 and 2021.
The more common sense thing for Microsoft to do is have all of these studios working on new exclusives for whatever their next console is, because making exclusives for the now ancient Xbox One is just a waste of resources and money.