Although Microsoft's Xbox press conference at E3 2018 provided Xbox users with a glimpse at some major games, including a first look at Halo Infinite, the company also revealed some new developer acquisitions. The company has faced some criticism for the lack of exclusive content for the console, with Sony's PS4 seeming to pull away when it came to original content.
Part of this problem has come from some serious delays and cancellations along the way. One such example is Crackdown 3, which now has a confirmed release date of early 2019 alongside an action-heavy new trailer, but nonetheless has seen a push back on its initial release date multiple times. Clearly, Microsoft felt that something needed to be done to move forward with its own games.
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As such, the company was able to announce five studios to be aligned with Microsoft going forwards, including an all-new developer. Included among those studios is Ninja Theory, who had recently found some serious success outside of the AAA publishing model with Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice. Whether the developer will again focus on some punchy, smaller games or go back to larger scale projects remains to be seen, but no doubt some initial financial clout could be of major benefit.
Also acquired is Undead Labs, the developer behind the State of Decay games. The recent release of State of Decay 2 showcased a title that was a lot of fun, but struggled a little with a repetitive nature, and as such moving forward with Microsoft behind them could see the studio potentially reach new heights. Meanwhile, Playground Games is another on the list, whose Forza Horizon games have proved hugely successful, and the studio has been reported as working on the new Fable game.
There were also two further moves announced by Microsoft. One was for We Happy Few developer Compulsion Games, while the other was for a brand new studio called The Initiative, although no details were given about potential projects. All in all, Microsoft has been extremely busy behind the scenes.
This is a major statement from the company going forward. It means that, even though it might not make a big shift immediately, there is a wealth of talent at Microsoft's disposal to try and bring Xbox users even better experiences so far. However, such developers will need to be carefully managed to make sure that their creativity is not stifled.