During the Microsoft Xbox X018 event last weekend in Mexico City, Microsoft announced the acquisition of two big-name RPG studios: Obsidian Entertainment and InXile Entertainment. Matt Booty, VP at Microsoft Studios, took the stage at X018 to announce the acquisition.
“It was important for us to find studio partners who have strong creative visions, a mastery of their medium and are expert world-builders,” said Booty on the official press release. “Obsidian and inXile embody all of these qualities while also bringing expertise on the PC platform and a unique RPG focus to the table. As part of Microsoft Studios, Obsidian and inXile will have the support and freedom to fully realize their creative ambitions on both existing franchises and new RPG projects.”
The announcement is careful to note that both teams will “continue to operate autonomously.”
Obsidian Entertainment was founded in 2003 from the ashes of beloved RPG developer Black Isle Studios. They’ve since produced many fan-favorite RPGs of the modern era, including Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II, Fallout: New Vegas and South Park: The Stick of Truth. Most recently they’ve created several classically-inspired tactical RPGs in Pillars of Eternity 1 and 2, and Tyranny.
InXile Entertainment was founded by veteran Interplay producer and developer Brian Fargo around the same time. It only recently came into prominence in the last few years thanks to several high profile Kickstarter campaigns involving RPGs such as Wasteland 2, Torment: Tides of Numenera, and The Bard’s Tale IV. Wasteland 3 is currently in production.
Both studios are known for making big RPGs and for being independently successful thanks to large, multi-million dollar Kickstarter projects.
The two studios join the previous five new studio acquisitions that were announced during Microsoft’s press conference at E3 2018: Undead Labs, Playground Games, Ninja Theory, Compulsion Games, and new studio The Initiative.
Microsoft is well aware that it lacks quality first-party, exclusive titles for the Xbox One. The numerous new acquisitions this year should provide a much larger library of Xbox (and Windows 10 PC) exclusive games going forward.