Xbox Game Studios Acquisitions Are Slowing, But Phil's Still Keen to Expand into Asia

By Heidi Nicholas,
There's been some notable additions to Microsoft's Xbox Game Studios; most recently, Psychonauts studio Double Fine. What's more, some of Microsoft's recent job openings hint at their plans for Xbox Game Studios. They're hiring both for individual studios, and for Xbox Game Studios as a whole — for Directors to handle the PR of Xbox Game Studios, a Brand Manager for services like Xbox Game Pass, and for a Marketing Manager to help with marketing strategies. All of this suggested a big focus on Xbox Game Studios and Microsoft-exclusive services like Xbox Game Pass, ahead of the release of their next-gen console, Xbox Series X, later this year. The total of Xbox Game Studios now stands at 15, but whilst Phil Spencer has said they've "moved from acquisition mode to execution mode", it seems they're still open to acquisition opportunities.

Spencer made these comments to Stevivor. He noted that he was pleased with "the geographic diversity that we've been growing with our studios", before going on to add, "If you look at Asia, we don't have any first party studios in Asia. I think that's an opportunity for us". He adds that Microsoft's fast-paced acquisitions aren't simply an effort to snap up names and brands: "it's not about a a logo parade", he says, "or 'look at who we acquired this week', but really about what games [the studios] are going to go build". It's clear Spencer's excited about the games which Xbox Game Studios could produce, as he says that he thinks "a strong, growing first-party is definitely part of our strategy...I'd love to see us continue to get new storytellers with new points of view into our first-party portfolio".

He adds that Matt Booty, head of Xbox Game Studios, and his team help to "give financial stability" to the studios so that they can try new things, and that as a result of "enough studios and enough rolling business, it's not make or break for every experiment that a studio takes. We should be able to take some risks". This suggests that Xbox are gearing up to take new directions with their future Xbox Game Studios titles — and when they do, they'll also be able to make use of the advanced capabilities of the Xbox Series X.
Heidi Nicholas
Written by Heidi Nicholas
Hey, I'm Heidi! I've just finished studying a Masters in English Literature, but I've been obsessed with gaming since long before then. I began on the PS2 with Spyro, before graduating to the Xbox 360 and disappearing into Skyrim. I'm now a loyal RPG fan, but I still like to explore other genres — when I'm not playing Assassin's Creed Odyssey, or being lured back into Red Dead Redemption 2 or The Witcher 3!