Microsoft acquires Playground Games, Ninja Theory, and more

Microsoft is investing strongly in more first-party games content for its Xbox and PC platform.

Derek Strickland
Published Tue, Jun 12 2018 1:20 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Jun 16 2020 4:29 PM CDT

Microsoft folds four more studios in its Xbox-focused banner, including big names like Ninja Theory and Playground Games.

Microsoft acquires Playground Games, Ninja Theory, and more |

Xbox division head Phil Spencer recently announced that Ninja Theory, Playground Games, Undead Labs and Compulsion Games are now part of the company's internal Microsoft Game Studios division, signalling a big new investment into games creation. Considering Xbox's exclusives are few and far between, this is good news for gamers aligned with Team Green.

Ninja Theory, the studio behind Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, confirms that it's working on new games and that the partnership will free them up to work on ambitious things. "We want to be free from the AAA machine and make games focused on the experience, not around monetization. We want to take bigger creative risks and create genre-defining games without the constant threat of annihilation," said Ninja Theory founder Tameem Antoniades.

Playground Games is currently working on a brand new open world game that's likely Fable 4, sources say. The studio will ship Forza Horizon 4 this year on Xbox and PC.

Undead Labs just released State of Decay 2, and based on the game's engagement success, it's a no-brainer why Microsoft acquired them. I expect that SoD2 will continue for years to come while a new game is in the works.

Finally we have Compulsion Games, who's making We Happy Few. This acquisition is big news for the indie dev seeing as their project was waning for a while, and now the game finally has a release date in August on Xbox One.

Last but not least, Microsoft announced The Initiative, a mysterious new studio based in Santa Monica, California.

Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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