Xbox’s E3 2018 press conference was full of exciting new game reveals and trailers—I mean, did you see that Cyberpunk 2077 trailer?—but one of the biggest announcements was that Microsoft Studios has added five new internal studios to its roster, including a brand-new one.
Undead Labs (State of Decay and its sequel), Playground Games (Forza Horizon), Ninja Theory (Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, DmC: Devil May Cry), Compulsion Games (We Happy Few), and The Initiative (a new studio headed by former Crystal Dynamics boss Darrell Gallagher) will all be making exclusive titles for Xbox.
Undead Labs and Playground Games seem like obvious choices, as both have been making Xbox exclusives for some time now, and Playground just revealed Forza Horizon 4 at E3 2018. Ninja Theory, however, was something of a surprise, especially considering Hellblade initially launched on PlayStation 4 before coming to Xbox One.
The Initiative is a complete mystery, but Crystal Dynamics is best-known for the most recent Tomb Raider series, so we’re interested to see if Xbox taps Gallagher and co. with making the Xbox’s answer to the Uncharted series, or if it goes in another direction entirely.
These acquisitions seem like a direct response to the common knowledge that Xbox has been lacking in exclusives beyond its core franchises like Halo and Gears of War. It also gives even more credibility to the rumor that Playground Games is working on a new Fable game; Spencer noted that the studio will translate its “open-world expertise to an entirely new project.”