Forums

Topic: Which Studios Should Microsoft Acquire Next?

Posts 1 to 20 of 50

LtSarge

I thought it'd be fun to have a discussion regarding which studios we would like to see Microsoft acquire next. Disregarding the recent SEGA speculation, I would first and foremost like to see Microsoft acquire Dontnod and Bloober Team. The reason is straightforward, they've made (or are making) games exclusively for Xbox and these types of games feel very complementary to the rest of the Xbox Game Studios. Dontnod makes excellent story-driven games that are choice-based and Bloober is a master of horror games. Their first horror game, Layers of Fear, blew my mind and I recently played Blair Witch and that one was really good as well. Imagine then having both of these studios onboard with Xbox, that'd be amazing!

Microsoft doesn't need to acquire entire companies though. For example, which company right now has dormant but well-established IPs that haven't seen a new entry in a fairly long time? Konami. However, Konami doesn't really care much about developing games anymore so buying them would be wasteful for Microsoft. They should instead buy out their IPs, such as Metal Gear, Silent Hill, Castlevania etc. and put them under the umbrella of a company who's actually willing to pay these franchises the attention they deserve. Microsoft does need a series in the stealth genre like Metal Gear, and Silent Hill could easily be revived if the series were given to Bloober Team (under the presumption that Microsoft has acquired them already). A lot of people are comparing The Medium to Silent Hill in fact, and I believe that the composer for The Medium is the same person as the one who did the music for Silent Hill. So it just feels fitting for Microsoft to acquire Konami's IPs (but not the company itself).

Finally, and this may lead to a lot of people disagreeing with me, but I would love for Microsoft to acquire Kojima Productions. First of all, Kojima is a brilliant and very creative person who doesn't like to follow the norm of how video games should be developed (which we've seen now from Death Stranding). However, he still has a company to run and while it's commendable that he wants to do his own thing, he still needs to pay his workers and other work related costs. So I think the best idea would be to let him be creative by making games to put on Game Pass, which guarantees that he will earn enough revenue to support his company and maintain the same level of creative freedom. Also he's very keen on PC development which Microsoft supports way more than Sony does. So while this seems like a stretch, it could happen given the state of PlayStation right now. And if Kojima Productions does get acquired by Microsoft and the Metal Gear IP gets purchased as well, that would give Kojima the opportunity to continue making more Metal Gear, exclusively on Xbox on top of that.

So I've given some of my thoughts, both realistic ones and wishful thinking. Which studios do you want Microsoft acquiring next?

LtSarge

Ryall

@LtSarge I would go for Nippon Ichi Software. I wouldn’t stop them producing games for other platforms since they often act as a publisher rather than owning the best developers they work with. But if everyone a there game’s came to the west and came to game pass I think that would be a massive deal.

This opinion probably just come from my desire to play the games they haven’t brought to the west.

Ryall

BrilliantBill

@LtSarge I personally disagree with the idea of acquiring Kojima Productions, I think Hideo Kojima is gaming equivalent of Ridley Scott at this point, he was a masterpiece-maker but his best years are now well behind him IMO. On top of that I think that Kojima has a close personal friendship with likes of Mark Cerny and other powerful people at Sony that gives him a lot of influence and negotiating power. Something that he probably won't immediately have at Microsoft.

If there was one developer I was wishing Microsoft could acquire it would be Remedy. They have had a very consistent flow of unique and great games for years and there is a lot of "good" Microsoft gains from this. They also pump out games with amazing stories and graphics which directly targets the type of output for Naughty Dog and others from Sony.

I also think that buying Crytek would benefit them a lot. Crytek today is a shadow of its 2007-era glory and through a long series of issues (poor management and terrible decisions) they are really not in that great place but with proper management and guidance they can produce some very good looking games that maxes out the SX hardware and works as a SX showcase.

BrilliantBill

LtSarge

@Ryall That's a good one since Microsoft needs more Japanese games and that company is responsible for publishing a lot of titles, which would be amazing to have on Game Pass indeed!

@BrilliantBill Yeah I guess the main disadvantage with my suggestion of Kojima Productions is the many contacts Kojima already has at Sony. However, a lot of those bigwigs are gone now, like Shawn Layden and Andrew House (if I recall correctly, House was the one who made the deal with Kojima regarding Death Stranding) and so I don't know if Kojima wants to maintain a relationship with a person like Jim Ryan who's running PlayStation now. But yeah, Kojima does have strong ties with Guerrilla Games and he even used their Decima engine to make Death Stranding. So I don't know, maybe, maybe not.

I can definitely see Remedy being a great studio for Microsoft to acquire. Lots of Xbox exclusives there such as Alan Wake and Quantum Break, so it makes sense. They just need a breakthrough franchise like Naughty Dog's Uncharted and they'll be on the map as a high quality developer. The potential is definitely there, maybe Microsoft can help them realise that potential.

LtSarge

Senua

@LtSarge Did you watch the excellent in-depth Digitalfoundry analysis of Ori port running on Switch? Moon Studios have got some really talented engineering teams, they even made their own custom version of Unity just for the port. Microsoft should definitely not miss out on them.

Edited on by Senua

Senua

LtSarge

@Senua I'm gonna be honest with you, I genuinely thought Moon Studios was already owned by Microsoft, lol. For some reason I thought I'd seen a picture where they were listed along with other Xbox Game Studios, but apparently they are independent. Regardless, I'd love to see them join the Xbox family of studios since like you said, they have very talented people and the Ori games are pretty much tied to the Xbox brand now.

LtSarge

Sylcolene

Techland and Fromsoftware / japanese indie developer.
Because gamepass needs japanese games 😁

Sylcolene

Xbox Gamertag: Sylcolene

JGRockford

Yup, very much agree on From Software.
If MS wants to spend big again, Ubisoft Publishing would be step in the right direction.

The Kojima / Scott comparison is very accurate.
Brilliant in their time, but can be a risky investment.

JGRockford

Senua

Microsoft will only acquire a studio which makes sense and has been in a close relationship sharing like-mindedness.

Edited on by Senua

Senua

XBOT

I think SEGA would give them the most variety.

Plus they already have a relationship with them for years.

Persona on Xbox would be a dream.

XBOT

Revengercm

Techland or Remedy.
Remedy makes the most sense.
I think they are done with buying publishers. They have the most studios than any console maker and third party publisher. Almost every game will now cost 100m or more. Multiplied by 23.

Highly doubt they will convince any Japanese studio with Nintendo and Sony potential sales. They should make studios branched from Tango or make that one bigger.

I even think sony has Housemarque, Kojima, and BluePoint locked unless sony stops supporting them.

Everyone else is owned by a bigger company or have received investment from Tencent.

Revengercm

BlueOcean

Koei Tecmo.

Moon Studios.

Remedy.

Please, no Kojima Productions.

BlueOcean

BlueOcean

@graysoncharles Yep, something friendly and cartoonish would be a better choice 👍🏻.

Ori IP is owned by Microsoft, FYI.

BlueOcean

BAMozzy

Look at the team that has been built for the Initiative....

Lot of staff from Naughty Dog, Sony Santa Monica, Crystal Dynamics, Insomniac and many others from other big studios...

A pessimist is just an optimist with experience!

Why can't life be like gaming? Why can't I restart from an earlier checkpoint??

Feel free to add me but please send a message so I know where you know me from...

Xbox Gamertag: bamozzy

Senua

They even got one HR from Crystal Dynamics. 😂

Senua

BAMozzy

@Senua It all counts...

Its still quite a list from well known and impressive studio's. Of course I don't know the people, what they actually worked on and examples of their work but its still an impressive list of 'former' studios. Its not like they have recruited from small, independent studio's or straight out of college with no AAA experience.

HR is an important role - especially in a large team - so why not recruit someone who also has experience of HR in a large team who also has experience of that role in context of a developer studio? Someone who may have an understanding of the types of pressures, conflicts etc and of course handle the recruitment too.

Darrell Gallagher, the Initiative Studio Head, started his career in the games industry as head of creative at Sony in 1997. Moving on to Rockstar as lead artist in 2002 and THQ as studio art director in 2004, he then spent over 10 years at Crystal Dynamics. First as director of art and then as head of studio, he was instrumental in the making of the Tomb Raider reboot.

Leaving Crystal Dynamics in 2015, he moved to the studio’s parent company, Square Enix, where he spent three years as head of product development and studios. Since January 2016, he’s been SVP, head of development at Activision.

That's quite a lot of experience and may have helped with some of the recruitment too...

The point I was trying to make though was that the initiative, whilst a new and unknown quantity, appears to have a LOT of staff from big AAA studio's. I think that because they are an unknown quantity, they tend to get overlooked in the list of Studio's now under the 'Xbox' umbrella.

If you look at MS's studio line-up, the main area you could say they lack in is Eastern/Japanese games - although they do now own Tango Gameworks based in Tokyo - devs of the Evil Within. It would seem logical to look to that area of the world for potential additions to the Xbox Studio Portfolio so maybe Game Science - the indie Chinese Studio making Black Myth: Wukong that took the internet by storm would be worth snapping up. Of course the likes of Sega, Capcom or Konami would be a massive acquisition with their long history and numerous IP's. Alternatively, they could go the route of setting up their own Japanese based studio and/or expanding Tango Gameworks into a much larger studio capable of working on multiple games at once.

Another area is the 'young' market, games for the family with a fair few Rare IP's that another studio could bring back. Moon obviously seems a good investment too with Ori being a big hit for MS and with investment/growth, could take on a 3D platformer - maybe even Ori 3D with the same aesthetic beauty. Playtonic too seems obvious - but maybe unrealistic having formed from ex Rare after leaving - although it would be great to have them back making Banjo games.

I must admit that the 3D family friendly platformers don't appeal anymore. I like the games they evolved into more - the likes of Assassins Creed, Uncharted etc where the collecting and platforming became less of the focus and the main focus became Story, Character development and 'action'. AC is even further away now but the first few were a lot more platforming and a lot more collecting too (if you wanted - I never did collect all the feathers LOL) but these came out of Mario 64 with a more adult focus. Not to say I don't want MS to add more family friendly games to their portfolio as I think they are important for a lot of people and they were important to me when my son was growing up. I would like to think that they would be important for any parent with young kids - something to play together that's appropriate...

You would think that most areas are covered - RPG's (Obsidian, Bethesda, inXile...), First/third person shooters (343, the Coalition, Id, Machine Games...) Racing (Playground, Turn 10...), Action/Adventure (Ninja Theory, Undead Labs, Arkane, Tango, Initiative...) as well as Rare, Double Fine, Compulsion, Mojang and the new studio Roundhouse set up by Zenimax in 2019. Not really any 'sports' games (other than motor sports) and I know some studios have or are making games in 'other' categories - like Playground making Fable, both 343 and the Coalition taking Halo and Gears into other genres with Halo Wars and Gears Tactics, Ninja Theory's MP focused Bleeding Edge and Obsidian making Grounded so to me, the Japanese/Eastern type games and potentially adding some more family friendly titles (Sega could do both of course...) would be perhaps the best option for MS to look to next...

A pessimist is just an optimist with experience!

Why can't life be like gaming? Why can't I restart from an earlier checkpoint??

Feel free to add me but please send a message so I know where you know me from...

Xbox Gamertag: bamozzy

TheFrenchiestFry

The only studios I think make sense for a buyout now at this point are Studio MDHR and Moon Studios.

All these other rumors about stuff like them acquiring SEGA/Atlus and stuff like that actually has started to worry the hell out of me because I don't want this gen to turn into a "who can buy out the most companies and lock games to their platform" competition. Microsoft just scored a wealth of new studios with the additions like all of Bethesda's studios, Double Fine and Ninja Theory, and they should focus on those before anything else. I don't want to have to wake up one day to find out that series like Shin Megami Tensei and Persona are now Microsoft property. They already have a partnership with SEGA going so they can score some good games from that, but there are other ways to benefit from a positive relationship with a publisher than just pulling out the cheque book and spending away. Bethesda at least made sense due to the fact they've practically supported Microsoft ever since they first started publishing for consoles, but I hope they just take what they've gotten and use their studios' talents to the fullest extent from now on.

TheFrenchiestFry

TheFrenchiestFry

@Kefka2589 Getting Konami out of Konami's hands would be amazing but they're pretty much a megaconglomerate considering their other businesses outside gaming. Gaming is just a part of their human services so I don't know whether MS or Sony would just buy them out or enter an agreement to have their IPs licensed out to them.

I'd personally love to see Konami IPs in Sony's hands moreso than Microsoft given their already prosperous relationship with Kojima Productions as well as their long histories with franchises like Metal Gear, Silent Hill and Castlevania. Getting SIE Japan Studio to work on a new 3D Castlevania game or Kojima to revive Silent Hills or make a new Metal Gear game would be incredible

TheFrenchiestFry

Top

Please login or sign up to reply to this topic