Xbox Game Studios continues to expand, particularly with the recent addition of the publisher Bethesda. With that, Microsoft has put forth the notion that it’s not done purchasing and adding studios to the Xbox brand.
The ecosystem will likely continue to grow over time in terms of scope and offerings, with that I thought it might be interesting to dive into the likely options for purchases. Some of these will be serious, others might be more casual and fun. The idea is to present some very plausible choices, and look at this from a possible expansion situation. At least, for the majority of the suggested acquisitions.
One of the first I’d like to highlight is Bloober Team. There have been studio notes desiring a purchase for awhile, and to back that many rumors of Xbox picking up a Polish studio. Bloober has worked closely with Xbox for a number of releases, and with a focus on great horror titles. It only makes sense that this one would be the most likely. If you’re not familiar with the group they’ll be releasing The Medium on Xbox Series X/S. They also developed the Layers of Fear series, Observer and Blair Witch. All excellent horror options if you’re looking for spooky games.
Another studio that would make sense would be DontNod Entertainment. This is another really great developer option with a couple studio locations. They focus on episodic content, which is perfect for Game Pass production. They’ve also worked closely with Xbox on marketing for Life is Strange and made the exclusive Tell Me Why episodes.
While I don’t believe they necessarily come with Life is Strange since that was Square Enix published, the studio has made incredible narrative driven adventures. This includes Vampyr, Life is Strange and Remember Me (Capcom owns) among others. They would be a perfect addition for the subscription service, pushing some boundaries story telling wise, and providing compelling experiences.
A less likely, but entirely possible purchase since the Bethesda deal makes anything a possibility is SEGA. It keeps popping up as a rumor, it’s been around as long as the Bethesda rumor was and I’m starting to believe that with 2020 anything is a wild card. SEGA has worked with Xbox for a very long time following Dreamcast. They have a wide range of precious IP to offer, including the power of Atlus. I do know the difficulties in this one in regards to the ownership, and other aspects of SEGA Sammy that exist.
I also don’t think it’s crazy that the gaming department splits off. This would bring amazing IP as mentioned. Classic options such as Crazy Taxi, Golden Axe or Jet Set Radio. You’d also get the revitalized Sonic, the ongoing Phantasy Star and the Yakuza series. These are of course samples, there’s a lot more to it than just that. That would include Atlus with the very well known Persona series. Also yes, I understand they’re a publisher though I wanted to include them as it’s been mentioned very often recently.
Another type of rumor that keeps popping up is the return of Bungie under the Xbox brand. This sort of makes sense. Like the rebellious youth returning home in their adult years after they get an understanding of things. Jokes aside, there’s a lot of talent there and the Destiny IP is most certainly mighty within the industry. They’ve already paired that with Game Pass, moving closer to Xbox after having been working with Playstation over the current generation for timed exclusivity on content. It’s an interesting change, and I could see the right conditions causing this return. They don’t necessarily bring a ton of IP, but they have a lot of talent and a large gaming experience to provide through Destiny. Something that can be grown, and expanded upon over time.
One studio that I’m not too sure about, that has been quiet is that of Techland. They’ve been almost silent following the whole Dying Light 2 delay, but they’re known for the Call of Juarez and Dead Island series. They’d be an interesting addition, bringing experience in open world RPG setups and particularly the very successful Dying Light series. They’re also a Polish studio, again being under that rumor of a purchase from that region being headed to the Xbox Game Studios.
One studio that I’ve always wanted to see brought into the brand was Remedy Entertainment. I think this is less likely at the current point, but still such a powerful story telling group. They provide incredible, gripping narrative driven experiences. The likes of Alan Wake, Control and Quantum Break. They’ll be handling the CrossfireX campaign. Most of these games rely heavily on Xbox release, and now with Game Pass I think they could be a very valued addition to the roster. I do know this is unlikely however as they like independence.
A wild, and also perhaps out of there thought is THQ Nordic. I’m not sure where ownership lies at the top of company, but they have a crazy amount of IP sitting there. They’ve been nailing AA releases left right and center, with a massive selection of games being worked on. They have so many rich games sitting there. There’s Destroy All Humans!, Kingdoms of Amalur, MX vs ATV, Desperados and Darksiders among others.
Whatever does happen, I have a feeling more are to follow. These are the ones that make sense, but surprises are always a treat within this industry. Anything can happen, especially after the whole Bethesda situation, and that’s exciting. That’s all for now, you can read a revisiting article on the enchanting Life is Strange original series below, or the general franchise hub for further coverage of the platform.
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