Microsoft Purchases Four Studios, Showing How Serious It Is About Being The Leader In Video Games

(Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP / Getty Images)

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Eric Lieberman Managing Editor
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Microsoft is acquiring four different gaming studios, the company announced Sunday during its much anticipated Xbox E3 press conference.

Adding to its already formidable first-party game development arsenal, Microsoft now owns Playground Games, Compulsion Games, Undead Labs, and Ninja Theory, according to an official press release. It is also forming a new studio called The Initiative, which is “working to create groundbreaking new worlds, characters and game experiences.”

“The original games we create at Microsoft Studios are some of our biggest assets,” said Matt Booty, corporate vice president of Microsoft Studios. “We are thrilled to welcome five new studios into the Microsoft family. We believe these teams have the collective creative power and operational excellence to deliver the next industry game changers.”

Playground Games is probably best known for its Forza racing series. Ninja Theory, which first partnered with Microsoft in 2000, is quite popular because of Hellblade. Undead Labs, based in Seattle, created the highly-regarded “State of Decay” franchise. And Compulsion Games is set to release “We Happy Few,” a highly anticipated survival game.

All of the acquisitions signal that Microsoft is taking gaming as a source of substantial revenue seriously. (RELATED: There Is At Least One Industry Amazon Can’t Seem To Penetrate: Video Games)

“There has never been a more exciting time to be part of the gaming industry, with creators large and small showcasing incredible new games for the more than two billion players around the world,” said Phil Spencer, head of gaming at Microsoft and the Xbox brand. “At Microsoft, we are committed to empowering gamers to play the games they want, with the people they want, where they want.”

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