In a broadcast from its Xbox Fanfest event this weekend, Microsoft announced the acquisition of two new video game studios: inXile Entertainment and Obsidian Entertainment.
Both studios are headquartered in California, and both specialise in role-playing games. Both studios also have their roots in the 1990s “golden age” of computer RPGs, staffed by veteran developers from beloved 90s studio Black Isle. inXile is famous for nostalgic, strategic RPGs, such as Wasteland 2, which raised nearly $3m (£2.3m) on Kickstarter in 2012. Obsidian Entertainment is responsible for acclaimed modern RPGs Fallout: New Vegas, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Pillars of Eternity, and South Park: The Stick of Truth.
These acquisitions mean that Microsoft now owns 13 game studios, seven of which have been acquired or founded in 2018. It’s a strong indication that the company wants to ensure a greater range of future high-quality, exclusive games for Xbox One and Windows 10, as the PlayStation 4 has dominatedthis generation of video game consoles. Microsoft stopped releasing sales figures for the Xbox One a couple of years after it launched in 2013 but retailers and other game publishers have indicated that the PS4 has outsold it by at least two to one, and its flagship exclusive games have been huge critical successes.
Microsoft also announced mouse and keyboard support for Xbox One starting next week and a 15 February release date for the upcoming superhero cop game Crackdown 3. The game will be free with Xbox Game Pass, Microsoft’s monthly subscription service. The popular PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and critically acclaimed Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice will also be available before Christmas.
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