Microsoft has acquired Undead Labs, Playground Games, Ninja Theory, and Compulsion Games, the company announced during its E3 2018 press conference.
Playground Games is bringing their open world expertise to an entirely new project, Microsoft teased.
Find messages from each studio below.
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!”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”