Microsoft kept the gaming announcements coming at its Xbox E3 press conference where it announced a series of studio acquisitions meant to bolster the original gaming content emerging from the console maker.
Xbox head Phil Spencer announced Sunday that Microsoft has acquired Ninja Theory, Playground Games, Undead Labs and Compulsion Games. The four studios will add to Microsoft’s considerable heft in first-party game development, especially as the company looks to strengthen its game download subscription service Xbox Game Pass.
Playground Games, started in 2010, is the developer behind the Forza racing series and has been a long-time Xbox partner. The partnership announcement comes alongside the announcement of Forza Horizon 4, a new title in the series.
Ninja Theory has designed titles including Hellblade, Undead Labs has released the State of Decay series and Compulsion Games is working on its new title We Happy Few, which will launch this year.
The new studios will all be housed beneath the Microsoft Studios brand alongside a new venture called The Initiative, led by former Crystal Dynamics head of studio Darrell Gallagher. Microsoft Studios already contains groups like Halo-maker 343 Industries and the team behind Minecraft, which Microsoft acquired in 2014 for $2.5 billion.