Microsoft moves from acquiring game studios to showing off their games

After its acquisition binge, Microsoft is moving on from its feeding frenzy and getting on to digestion. The company is now beginning to show off the that it is making and launching.

“We are shifting from growth and acquisitions to execution and delivery,” said Xbox head Matt Booty today during the X019 event in London.

Events like this one are important for the platform owners to flex and crow about their progress in beating up the other platforms. Or maybe just showing that they are still competitive relative to rivals. This means showing off exclusive games and also announcing partnerships with third-party developers and publishers that will get gamers excited.

Microsoft announced brand-new intellectual properties, including West of Dead, Obsidian’s Grounded, Rare’s Everwild, and Dontnod’s Tell Me Why. It also had updates on 11 games like Rust, Kart Rider Drift, Bleeding Edge (coming March 24, 2020), and others. Microsoft didn’t have release dates for many of the titles, but it’s good to see the games being announced.

A couple of years ago, Microsoft went on an acquisition spree. In 2018, it acquired Compulsion Games (We Happy Few), InXile Entertainment (Wasteland), Ninja Theory (Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice), Obsidian Entertainment (The Outer Worlds), and Playground Games (Forza Horizon). And in 2019, it bought Double Fine Productions (Psychonauts). Microsoft also started The Initiative, a new studio in Santa Monica, California.

Microsoft also flexed some muscle by bringing partners onstage. Electronic Arts chief technology officer Ken Moss announced that EA’s Madden NFL 20 game is available today on Microsoft’s Project xCloud, a new game streaming service that is currently in beta testing.


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