As we close in on August and have not yet heard of any big game conference for Xbox this month other than their Gamescom presence, it is becoming less likely we’ll hear something this month on Studio Acquisitions. However, it does seem like there is going to be a bigger showing in September from some community leaks and more time between now and then just makes a studio acquisition announcement at that showing more likely. This is my third post detailing some studios that make sense for acquisition, so be sure to check those out here: Part 1 and Part 2
Today I’m going to cover the 3 studios that would help diversify their first party studios.
Killer Instinct was an absolute hit for Xbox this past generation and Mortal Kombat is doing amazingly well for WB. Unless Microsoft plans to acquire WB (which I cover in part 1), they’ll want to keep Killer Instinct coming out on the new generation. The problem? The developer for Killer Instinct this past generation was acquired and they don’t have anyone in their first party that’s done fighting games. If they plan to keep a fighting game in Gamepass, it would make sense in the long run to have a studio dedicated to that. Iron Galaxy has proven that they can make quality fighting games and have partnered with Microsoft in the past. They aren’t a huge studio and don’t have a ton of IP so they would be a relatively affordable acquisition in all likelihood.
Everyone knows Remedy Games since they put out the hut title Control this past year. Xbox fans know Remedy from the hut 360 series Alan Wake and a personal favorite of mine this past generation, Quantum Break. All of these were masterpieces of storytelling and mixing in Sci-fi action adventure. The stories appear they may actually be taking part in a bugger evolving Remedy Games world, which that alone is intriguing enough for a potential acquisition since we all know what these well made worlds are worth. The purchase would come with those IPs.
The studio would bring that major 3rd party action adventure to Xbox and really give them something to compete with Sony in that realm. The studio has struggled with funding in the past and occasionally tech with some of their games being janky, this is something Microsoft would help them clean up. This would likely be an expensive acquisition as they bring so much to the table and have so much recent success, but would also be a blockbusterove for Microsoft and add majorly to their first party quality.
Fans of the Xbox 360 days will look at Mistwalker fondly remembering the excellent JRPG games The Lost Odyssey and Blue Dragon. Both of the games bring exciting RPG elements and a similar style game could complete the general RPG foundation Microsoft has started with Obsidian, Playground Games and inXile.
Aside from building on the RPG foundation, Phil Spencer has expressed major interest in acquiring a studio that would appeal in Japan, as that is a huge market opportunity for consoles and mobile gaming. This would certainly step them in that direction and that style of game has some appeal in the west as well after the success of Persona and some of the Nintendo series. The fact that they already have an established relationship with Microsoft and aren’t largely associated with Sony makes them a prime target for acquisition. Their owner loves creating completely new experiences too so Microsoft funding could help any visions he may have.