June 17, 2018
Microsoft has announced at E3 that it will double its gaming development studios.
The tech company held a press conference on Sunday, June 10, where it announced its endeavors in the gaming space and showcased more than 50 games including 18 console launch exclusives and 15 world premieres.
"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," says Phil Spencer, head, gaming, Microsoft. "At Microsoft, we are committed to empowering gamers to play the games they want, with the people they want, where they want."
To increase its development initiatives Microsoft will add five new creative teams to its Microsoft Creative Studios roster.
New investments include:
The initiative, a new Microsoft game development studio with an interest in creating new worlds, characters and game experiences;
Playground Games, a newly acquired U.K.-based company that worked on the “Forza” games and will assist on an unnamed new project;
Ninja Theory, the studio behind “Hellblade” which Microsoft hopes to acquire;
And Compulsion Games, which Microsoft has submitted a letter of intent to acquire.
“The original games we create at Microsoft Studios are some of our biggest assets,” says Matt Booty, corporate vice president, Microsoft Studios. “Our growth strategy is to continue to expand the worlds that players love, while developing all-new exclusive games that deepen their engagement with our platform. 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.”
Microsoft is developing a slate of games for every device. Titles announced include “Battletoads,” “Forza Horizon 4" and "Halo Infinite.” The company also introduced “Gears Pop!,” a new co-branded “Gears of War” mobile game from Funko and Mediatonic. Inspired by Funko’s “Gears of War” collectible figures, “Gears Pop!” reimagines the video game’s characters in the Funko Pop style and offers a mobile gaming option to the franchise’s fans.“Gears Pop!” Will be available on iOS and Android in 2019.
Microsoft unveiled a slate of new titles joining the Xbox Game Pass Center such as:
“Forza Horizon 4,”
“Tom Clancy's The Division”;
and "The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited,"
The company also announced new ID@Xbox additions and new gaming technology including FastStart, an innovation from Microsoft's Machine Learning Team, and plans from Microsoft's Gaming Cloud Team to develop a game streaming service to unlock console-quality gaming on any device.
“We’ve been thrilled to see the positive impact Xbox Game Pass is having on the gaming ecosystem, including increasing the number of titles gamers play nearly 40 percent and increasing gameplay hours by almost 20 percent," says Mike Nichols, chief marketing officer for Gaming at Microsoft. "With the ultimate freedom to explore and play over 100 great games, Xbox Game Pass delivers our members an incredible value in gaming."
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