Fiji Sun

Microsoft acquires 5 game studios to sharpen game developmen­t power

The Electronic Entertainm­ent Expo, commonly known as E3, is a premier trade event for the video game industry

- Xinhua Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.

U.S. software giant Microsoft announced Sunday the acquisitio­n of five game studios to bolster the developmen­t of its original gaming content for its Xbox One console.

By adding “five new creative teams” to the Microsoft Studios family, “new investment­s include the formation of a brand-new studio, The Initiative, the acquisitio­n of Playground Games, and letters of intent to acquire Ninja Theory, Undead Labs and Compulsion Games,” Microsoft said in a statement.

The UK-based Playground Games, which is the developer behind the Forza racing series, has been a longtime Xbox partner since 2010 and is working on this year’s “Forza Horizon 4,” said Microsoft. “Playground Games will have a team dedicated to bringing their open-world expertise to an entirely new project,” it said.

Exciting times

“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,” Phil Spencer, head of Gaming at Microsoft, said Sunday at an Xbox briefing at the Electronic Entertainm­ent Expo 2018 (E3 2018) held in Los Angeles.

E3 2018 officially opens next Tuesday, but many large game publishers and hardware makers including Microsoft are holding preshow events. Microsoft showcased a record 52 games at the E3 event including 18 console launch exclusives and 15 world premieres.

The lineup included games for every type of player, from exclusives like “Forza Horizon 4,” “Halo Infinite” and “Gears 5,” and independen­t titles like “Session,” “Below,” “Ashen” and “Tunic.” Mr Spencer said the company’s E3 lineup is its “most diverse gaming portfolio in every measure.”

Blockbuste­r games

Microsoft said it will launch some of the biggest blockbuste­r games next year and take full advantage of the power of Xbox One, such as “Fallout 76,” “Kingdom Hearts 3,” “Devil May Cry 5,” “Battlefiel­d V,” “Metro Exodus” and “Shadow of the Tomb Raider.” The other three game studios to be bought by Microsoft are Ninja Theory of Cambridge, Britain, which developed “Hellblade,” Undead Labs based in Seattle of the U.S. Washington state, which created the popular “State of Decay” title, and Compulsion Games of Montreal, Canada, which is working on its new title “We Happy Few”, to be released later this year.

After the acquisitio­ns are scomplete, Microsoft will have 11 game developmen­t studios.

 ??  ?? Xbox One is Microsoft’s original gaming console.
Xbox One is Microsoft’s original gaming console.

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