As we move toward Xbox’s next conference, be it at Gamescom or sometime in September, there is talk of acquisitions heating up. In Unknown World’s Part 3, I broke down the case for acquisitions of three studios, Asobo Studios, IO Interactive and WB Games, so be sure to check it out here. Since then the rumors that Microsoft either has already or will soon be heating up because of a Microsoft SEC filing that detailed their continued investment in acquiring studios to grow their first party and IP.
Today we’ll take another three possibilities. This time, we’ll take a look solely at developers in a place that Phil Spencer himself expressed interest in acquiring a studio in, Poland.
This developers name started to pop up a lot more around the time that The Medium was announced as a timed exclusive for the Xbox Series X. This shows a definite relationship with Microsoft and the fact they reside in Poland likely started to spur a number of these rumors.
The other fascination with this developer is that they would bring a new element to the first party, horror. Being that Microsoft is wanting to add a variety of different genres to keep Gamepass stocked with games for everyone, adding new genres to their first party and injecting some additional cash to improve the games makes a ton of sense.
The popular developer of the zombie action adventure game Dying Light brought a smile to many gamers faces with that title, but the development of Dying Light 2 has seen a number of issues. Among those issues have been rumored cash flow issues. It’s no doubt that the developer is ambitious, creative and innovative. Dying Light 2 is looking to introduce a reactive city based on decisions that you make and add a number of RPG elements, however we have not heard about the game in two years so its fair to question what other issues they may be running into.
Taking just a quick look at Techlands tagline, it is about creating unforgettable experiences. If thats true and thats where their passion lies, they should be absolutely thrilled to talk about a potential Microsoft acquisition that could keep their projects funded and their access to all the latest tech opened up. From Microsofts perspective, this is an established team of around 300 employees, so it would be a heavy hitter studio that could work on a huge project or maintain two large projects, they have a great IP to add with Dying Light, an upcoming major hit in Dying Light 2 and could help reel in some more of the talent in Poland.
The rumor that Microsoft was seeking a developer in Poland would align well with a number of developers, but this one would be more clearly available for acquisition. They are a smaller studio (70 employees) with clear room to add. Any studio Acquisition in Poland would come with a goal of acquiring talent from some of the many talented studios there including CD Projekt Red.
Their last game, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, was a hit and they are currently working on a new IP called Witchfire, though it hasn’t had much news out about it. This could be a buy low situation and give Microsoft their team in Poland to build up and make some new IP’s. It’s also worth noting that this is a developer that could use a steady assured cashflow as they do not have any partnerships locked in.