Xbox head Phil Spencer said in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz that Microsoft isn’t going to slow down the purchase of gaming studios. The initiative is supported by CEO Satya Nadella and CFO Amy Hood.
“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 says. “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 noted that the Xbox Game Pass portfolio and number of subscribers continues to grow. Last year was the most successful year for Xbox Game Studios in terms of revenue on the PC.
The head of Xbox said that the company is doing very well, so it is always in the market looking for new opportunities with studios. Earlier, the media reported that Microsoft and several other gaming companies are interested in buying WB Games.
In the same interview Tim Schafer, the founder of Double Fine, which became part of Xbox Game Studios in 2019, said that the deal with Microsoft allowed the studio to return cut-out content (e.g., battles with the bosses) to Psychonauts 2.
Other studios have talked about the benefits of the deal with Microsoft: inXile Entertainment was able to expand its staff by 20 people (and plans to hire another 20). For Obsidian, the most important thing was the interaction with other Microsoft divisions including user research lab, tech teams, and even other studios. “One of the most important things is just access to experience,” Obsidian head Feargus Urquhart said. “It sounds weird, but running an independent studio can be a lonely thing.”
The studios also said that they don’t have to worry about money anymore, so they can focus on game development.
At the same time, Microsoft believes that an important part of such deals was the desire to preserve the magic and talented developers of these studios to ensure creative development and create trustful relationships.