At the X018 Xbox fan event in Mexico over the weekend, Microsoft announced it has added Obsidian Entertainment and inXile to its portfolio of development studios.
Obsidian is behind fan-favourite role-playing games like Pillars of Eternity, Fallout: New Vegas, and South Park: The Stick of Truth, while InXile created Torment: Tides of Numenera, The Bard’s Tale 4 and Wasteland 2 and 3. Both studios have turned to crowdfunding in the past to secure financial support.
While we had heard rumours that Microsoft was interested in acquiring RPG specialists Obsidian Entertainment, the InXile acquisition comes as something of a surprise.
In a statement to Eurogamer, Microsoft said this about Obsidian: "As one of the industry’s premiere RPG developers, we couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to add their expertise to Microsoft Studios, while enabling the studio to preserve its unique culture and build on its talent and vision to fully realise their creative ambitions.
"As part of Microsoft Studios, inXile will have the support and freedom to fully realise its creative ambitions on both existing franchises and new projects," Microsoft added, talking about inXile. "The studio will continue to operate autonomously and bring its unique talents, IP and expertise to Microsoft Studios as they build new RPG experiences for our players and fans."
Of course, this comes on the back of other acquisitions Microsoft publicised at E3 this year when it added no less than five new studios – Playground Games, Ninja Theory, Undead Labs, and Compulsion Games – to its first-party lineup, as well as establishing new studio, The Initiative.
"We’re increasing our investment in our existing franchises you already love, and amplifying our investment into new worlds," Xbox’s Phil Spencer said at the time. "We commit and harness our full resources of Microsoft to develop the future of play […] We know exclusive games from Microsoft studios are originally what turned so many of us into Xbox fans."