Xbox might be acquiring three major studios in the future, depending on the current partnerships.
Xbox was considered a failure, especially in comparison to Sony’s PlayStation, following the disastrous launch of Xbox One. However, under the leadership of Phil Spencer, Xbox has not only recovered itself but has established itself as one of the game developers.
Within the past few years, Xbox has gone from 5 internal studios to 23 first-party studios, with the most significant being Bethesda. With Sony also doubling down on new acquisition, it won’t be far-fetched to say a new arms race has begun, one where top-notch studios and developers are joining platforms such as Xbox and PlayStation and delivering amazing games.
Perfect Dark, Contraband, and Project Dragon might lead to future Xbox acquisitions
Xbox currently has 23 internal studios, with a vast number of projects lined up. Xbox’s upcoming first-party lineup is filled with strong titles such as Starfield, Avowed, Elder Scrolls VI, Outer Worlds 2, Redfall, and Everwild. However, these aren’t the only games Xbox is invested in.
In addition to developing and acquiring first-party studios, Xbox has also partnered with major notable studios to create amazing titles. Crystal Dynamics has partnered with Xbox to give design The Initiative’s vision in Perfect Dark. Avalanche Studios is developing Contraband for the platform. IO Interactive, the developers behind Hitman, is also rumored to be developing a game codenamed “Project Dragon.”
During his podcast, well-known industry insider Jeff Grubb mentioned that Xbox might be trying the studios out for a potential future acquisition. He clarified that while Xbox is getting a massive budget from Microsoft, Xbox wants to make smart investments and get to know a studio, and build a working relationship before rushing in to purchase.
Regarding Xbox, Jeff Grubb said,
Let’s bring Crystal Dynamics in to work on this game with The Initiative, let’s get to know them, see how it works, see how they play out and if they meet our standard we’ll say, Het Square Enix, are you interested in selling Crystal Dynamics?......that’s what’s happening with Avalanche, the studio that is making Contraband, they’re on a tryout.... They’re working with IO Interactive, they’re on a tryout. I think that’s where they’re at.
If Xbox ends up acquiring the three studios, they’ll also get major franchises such as Tomb Raider, Hitman, and Just Cause. It certainly would be interesting to see how Perfect Dar, Contraband, and Project Dragon turn out and what Xbox does thereafter.