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Microsoft buy Forza Horizon and Hellblade studios, and more

Microsoft have gone on a spending spree, buying four studios and opening a new one of their own. During their E3 pressblast tonight, Microsoft announced that they’ve picked up Forza Horizon developers Playground Games, Hellblade developers Ninja Theory, State Of Decay developers Undead Labs, and We Happy Few developers Compulsion Games. They’ve also opened The Initiative, a new studio in Santa Monica with a name like a faction of WWE heels.

All of the newly-Microsofted studios have put out statements that say–and I’m paraphrasing here–“We’re excited to join Microsoft, not least of all because they have bountiful resources, and we’re going to make good games and all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.” Basically.

As for how it works out in reality, well, we’ll see over the next few years. With all of Microsoft’s own games also being PC games these days, albeit tending to require Windows 10 and its lousy Store, everything these studios make should still be coming our way.

As for The Initiative, it sounds like Microsoft want more home-grown ‘indie’-style games.

“We’ve been given the freedom to explore, try new things and operate like an independent studio, with the backing from one of the biggest companies in the world to do something bold and different,” studio head Darrell Gallagher said. He was formerly the head of Crystal Dynamics.

Playground Games announced Forza Horizon 4 tonight too, racing around old Blighty, so they’ve certainly had a big day.

Check out our E3 2018 tag for more announcements, trailers, news, and goodness knows what else.

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Alice O'Connor

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When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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