MS announces The Initiative. New 1st Party Studio & Buys PG, NG, UL & Compulsion Games. Obsidian next?

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Monkey Man
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PostMS announces The Initiative. New 1st Party Studio & Buys PG, NG, UL & Compulsion Games. Obsidian next?
by Monkey Man » Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:46 pm

Just announced on the stream. Good to see more 1st party investment.

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E3 2018: Microsoft Opens Brand New Game Studio The Initiative in Santa Monica

This morning during the Xbox E3 2018 Briefing we announced the formation of The Initiative, a new first-party game studio based in Santa Monica, California. I’m thrilled to join the Microsoft Studios family as it is clear to me that the gaming team at Microsoft shares my passion for storytelling, world-building and creative exploration. There are big plans in store for fans and we are already hard at work.

The foundation we have in place for The Initiative is unique in many ways. 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. The industry is headed in an exciting direction, and we see an opportunity to create amazing new game experiences of the future.

Our immediate focus is expanding our team to bring that vision to life, and we are incredibly excited for what the future holds for The Initiative.

https://news.xbox.com/en-us/2018/06/10/ ... nitiative/



E3 2018: Ninja Theory Joins Microsoft Studios

We are super excited to announce that we at Ninja Theory have agreed to become a part of Microsoft Studios! What does this mean for you, the Xbox fans? It means that we’ll be super-charged to bring you more games that, like Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, will each be unique experiences that are rich in creativity, quality and ambition. In the video above, we’ve shared, in our own words, why we’ve chosen to open this new chapter in the Ninja Theory story

The heritage between Ninja Theory and Xbox is rich, going all the way back to 2000 where our first ever game was Kung Fu Chaos for the original Xbox. Since then, the Xbox community have shown us incredible support – culminating in the release of Hellblade on Xbox One earlier this year. Now our job is to get the gears in motion on new games for Xbox fans. We can’t wait to start sharing with you what we have in mind.

https://news.xbox.com/en-us/2018/06/10/ ... t-studios/

E3 2018: Playground Games Joins Microsoft Studios

At E3 today, Head of Gaming Phil Spencer announced several new investments Microsoft is making to vastly increase our resources for developing original content. It was a direct message to our incredibly dedicated fans who inspire what we do and why we do it. We know you want high quality, innovative content, and we’re committed to bringing you more and more gaming experiences in the years ahead.

As part of this commitment to our fans, and the opportunity to leverage the amazing creative talents of the U.K. development community, I’m delighted to welcome our long-term partner Playground Games and their extraordinarily talented team into the Microsoft Studios family.

Ever since Playground Games was established as a studio, they have partnered exclusively with Turn 10 Studios and, together, both teams’ shared vision, strong partnership, and successful collaboration have advanced the Forza franchise to new heights. The Forza racing franchise saw its biggest year yet in 2017, with over 22 million unique fans driving throughout Forza games. We could not have reached this success without Playground Games’ incredible talent, which resulted in 2016’s award-winning, breakout hit, Forza Horizon 3.

Playground Games’ unique, creative vision and passion, together with the power and resources of Microsoft, will see this innovative team take their talents to an all-new level. Playground Games will continue to work on Forza Horizon and they are bringing their open world expertise to an entirely new project we’ll have more to share about later.

With the close bond already established between Playground Games and Turn 10, it made sense for us to keep that connection intact. I will serve as the Studio Head for the Forza franchise, with both Playground Games and Turn 10 Studios reporting to me.

Announced today, Playground Games is currently working on Forza Horizon 4. Forza Horizon 4 features dynamic seasons in the open world, shared across the entire global community. Including new gameplay, weekly challenges, and stunning visuals, seasons change everything. Experience beautiful, historic Britain in spectacular native 4K and HDR, collect over 450 cars and live the Horizon life together. Playground Games’ development on Forza Horizon 4 will not be interrupted and we are committed to the worldwide launch on Xbox One, Windows 10, and Xbox Game Pass on October 2, 2018 as an Xbox Play Anywhere title.

We hope you are as excited about this as we are. We’re inspired by your passion and can’t wait for you to see what is coming next.

https://news.xbox.com/en-us/2018/06/10/ ... t-studios/

E3 2018: Undead Labs Joining Microsoft Studios

Fellow survivors,

Today at the Xbox E3 2018 Briefing, Head of Gaming Phil Spencer announced that Undead Labs, the studio behind the State of Decay franchise, is joining the Microsoft Studios family. The team at Undead Labs has worked in close partnership with Microsoft Studios since 2010, and we are now joining forces to take State of Decay even further.

Five years ago we released the original State of Decay for Xbox 360, a unique survival-fantasy game that broke many established rules of game design, including permanent character death. We hoped that players would enjoy feeling like they were playing a true survival experience, with real consequences, and we were humbled and excited when the game attracted a passionate and dedicated fanbase numbering in the millions.

On May 22, we launched the ambitious sequel State of Decay 2, deepening the survival-fantasy experience with a larger world, a more sophisticated simulation, a broader selection of base building and customization options, and the number-one fan-requested feature: co-op multiplayer. As with the original State of Decay, the game has developed a strong fanbase, with over two million players building communities, creating personal stories, and taking down more than two billion zeds within the first two weeks since release. We have been elated by the fan reception and look forward to continuing to support and enhance State of Decay 2.

This acquisition signals Microsoft’s and Undead Labs’ commitment to growing the State of Decay franchise and continuing to deliver the ultimate zombie survival experiences for fans, both those new to the franchise and those already dedicated to the community. On behalf of Undead Labs and Microsoft, I’d like to thank the fans of the game for giving us the opportunity to continue building the world of State of Decay.

Stay safe out there!

Jeff

https://news.xbox.com/en-us/2018/06/10/ ... t-studios/

Compulsion Games Brings its Off-Kilter Worlds to Microsoft Studios

When you make games that are out of the ordinary, you sign up for a future that’s hard to predict and maybe a little bit weird. To think that we, the 40-person team of Compulsion Games, the people who currently make unusual games from inside an old gramophone factory in Montreal, could become a part of Microsoft Studios is not something I would have predicted a few years ago.

We launched Compulsion Games in 2009 in an leaky office in Montreal, and assembled a team of creators who cared about doing something different.

Back at E3 2016, when we first revealed the introduction to We Happy Few, I was ecstatic to see reactions and predictions from fans and the press. We were excited to take the journey with Xbox Game Preview and craft our game with the input from players. We’re continuing to work on the game for its multi-platform release on Aug. 10.

Microsoft Studios wants to bring new experiences to players and we’re thrilled to join the team and gain more resources and freedom to fuel bigger creative ideas and more ambitious worlds. More importantly, we’re eager to prove that there truly is a place for a small studio and a different flavor of creativity in the big world of Xbox. It’s our dream to make an Xbox game that’s just as formative for players as the classics we’ve played and loved in the past.

We think this turn in our path is exciting, interesting, different, and just a tad scary (in a good way!). Good thing, then, that those are the qualities we look for in our games.

https://news.xbox.com/en-us/2018/06/10/ ... t-studios/

Last edited by Monkey Man on Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:32 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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PostRe: MS announces The Initiative. New 1st Party Studio & Buys Playground Games, Ninja Theory , Undead Labs & Compulsion G
by Saint of Killers » Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:48 pm

They didn't buy anyone whose games I'm a fan of and so I'm okay with this :lol:

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S: Neither was the last one. It was a robbery. M: Really? S: Yeah. She stole my heart. And my crown. (❍ᴥ❍ʋ)
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PostRe: MS announces The Initiative. New 1st Party Studio & Buys Playground Games, Ninja Theory , Undead Labs & Compulsion G
by NickSCFC » Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:49 pm

The Initiative could have some serious potential.

Last of Us' Naughty Dog and God of War's SSM are based their and it's fast becoming the home of game development.

Really hope MS invest in them and let them create new IP.

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PostRe: MS announces The Initiative. New 1st Party Studio & Buys Playground Games, Ninja Theory , Undead Labs & Compulsion G
by ITSMILNER » Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:54 pm

Ninja Theory are a talented studio, I hope they flourish under Microsoft now

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PostRe: MS announces The Initiative. New 1st Party Studio & Buys Playground Games, Ninja Theory , Undead Labs & Compulsion G
by Garth » Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:05 pm

Makes sense to snap up Playground Games, they're doing fantastic work for MS.

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PostRe: MS announces The Initiative. New 1st Party Studio & Buys Playground Games, Ninja Theory , Undead Labs & Compulsion G
by Mafro » Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:09 pm

I honestly thought Playground Games were their studio anyway.

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PostRe: MS announces The Initiative. New 1st Party Studio & Buys Playground Games, Ninja Theory , Undead Labs & Compulsion G
by Zellery » Mon Jun 11, 2018 5:26 pm

Mafro wrote:I honestly thought Playground Games were their studio anyway.

Same.

And I assumed Undead Labs were probably part of them already, also.

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PostRe: MS announces The Initiative. New 1st Party Studio & Buys Playground Games, Ninja Theory , Undead Labs & Compulsion G
by Photek » Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:11 pm

Undead signed up for 3 games with MS Studios and Playground only made Forza Horizon games made out of ex bizarre employees.

I’m confident one of these studios will deliver something brilliant. Probably Ninja Theory but I have high hopes for Halo Infinite, as short as trailer was, the engine is stunning and everything pointed to older Halo Titles.

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PostRe: MS announces The Initiative. New 1st Party Studio & Buys Playground Games, Ninja Theory , Undead Labs & Compulsion G
by NickSCFC » Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:34 pm

Photek wrote:I’m confident one of these studios will deliver something brilliant. Probably Ninja Theory but I have high hopes for Halo Infinite, as short as trailer was, the engine is stunning and everything pointed to older Halo Titles.


Aaron Greenberg confirmed The Initiative (Santa Monica) are working on a new IP. If MS back them with serious money and bring in talent from that area then they could produce something amazing.

Naughty Dog, SSM and Insomniac are all based in Santa Monica, it's becoming the world capital of game development, great move by MS.

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PostRe: MS announces The Initiative. New 1st Party Studio & Buys Playground Games, Ninja Theory , Undead Labs & Compulsion G
by Monkey Man » Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:42 pm

Rumour from a pretty reliable source -

Obsidian Entertainment letter-of-intent for an acquisition by MS. Dated before E3. No written sign of a MS employee (only Obsidian). I'm not as sure on this one as I was with the Playground Games LOI I got access to earlier this year. That's all I have right now. Hope that's transparent enough for you guys. I can't validate it any further, I'm sorry.

https://www.resetera.com/threads/micros ... t-11214857

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PostRe: MS announces The Initiative. New 1st Party Studio & Buys Playground Games, Ninja Theory , Undead Labs & Compulsion G
by Tafdolphin » Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:54 pm

That would be massive if true. A bit of a game changer.

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PostRe: MS announces The Initiative. New 1st Party Studio & Buys Playground Games, Ninja Theory , Undead Labs & Compulsion G
by Photek » Tue Aug 07, 2018 10:22 pm

Phil hinted at E3 that the studios brought in may not be the only acquisitions they’ll have.

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PostRe: MS announces The Initiative. New 1st Party Studio & Buys Playground Games, Ninja Theory , Undead Labs & Compulsion G
by Mafro » Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:13 pm

Tafdolphin wrote:That would be massive if true. A bit of a game changer.

In what way?

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PostRe: MS announces The Initiative. New 1st Party Studio & Buys Playground Games, Ninja Theory , Undead Labs & Compulsion G
by Floex » Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:38 pm

Tafdolphin wrote:That would be massive if true. A bit of a game changer.


I doNt agree with the game changer remark but a strong SP focused studio could wonders for MS.

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PostRe: MS announces The Initiative. New 1st Party Studio & Buys Playground Games, Ninja Theory , Undead Labs & Compulsion G
by Hime » Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:53 am

Mafro wrote:
Tafdolphin wrote:That would be massive if true. A bit of a game changer.

In what way?

MS will be able to put out another bang average first party game but people will bang on about how amazing it is.

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PostRe: MS announces The Initiative. New 1st Party Studio & Buys Playground Games, Ninja Theory , Undead Labs & Compulsion G
by Tafdolphin » Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:00 am

Mafro wrote:
Tafdolphin wrote:That would be massive if true. A bit of a game changer.

In what way?


Obsidian are one of the most talented studios out there, although one whose games have constantly struggled from rushed finishes and bug issues. Look at games like Alpha Protocol (a game so ahead of its time no-one really understood what the studio had gone and created until several years later) New Vegas and Pillars of Eternity. If MS actually bought them their funding could leave us with another company on the level of Arkane or old school BioWare, exclusive to MS.

In terms of first party exclusives, I'd say that's a game changer.

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PostRe: MS announces The Initiative. New 1st Party Studio & Buys Playground Games, Ninja Theory , Undead Labs & Compulsion G
by BID0 » Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:09 am

Developer known for rushed finishes and bug issues going to a publisher/hardware manufacturer notorious for rushed finishes and bug issues. I can see this working out well :datass:

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PostRe: MS announces The Initiative. New 1st Party Studio & Buys Playground Games, Ninja Theory , Undead Labs & Compulsion G
by Tafdolphin » Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:30 am

BID0 wrote:Developer known for rushed finishes and bug issues going to a publisher/hardware manufacturer notorious for rushed finishes and bug issues. I can see this working out well :datass:


Or, you know, that. :slol:

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PostRe: MS announces The Initiative. New 1st Party Studio & Buys Playground Games, Ninja Theory , Undead Labs & Compulsion G
by Monkey Man » Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:10 pm

Photek wrote:Phil hinted at E3 that the studios brought in may not be the only acquisitions they’ll have.

Jez from Windows Central also said a Senior Xbox Exec DM'd him on twitter right after the 5 studios announcement to say "This is just the start". Waypoint heard a load of things are still in the works as well.

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PostRe: MS announces The Initiative. New 1st Party Studio & Buys Playground Games, Ninja Theory , Undead Labs & Compulsion G
by Tafdolphin » Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:46 pm

Looks like those rumours were on the ball:

https://kotaku.com/sources-microsoft-is ... 1829614135

Personally, I dislike this. Obsidian were a company that were the apotheosis to Big Corporate Games, making off kilter, niche titles that appealed to a specific audience while selling well but not extraordinarily. Now that it's owned by Big Corporate Games itself, I expect this to change.

But I am a pessimist.

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