“We’re always out there talking to people. But it has to be the right opportunity.”
Despite having purchased seven new studios from across the globe since 2018 to add to Microsoft’s Xbox Game Studios publishing label, Phil Spencer, the Head of Xbox, still seems to have an interest in bringing aboard even more developers.
In a new report by way of GamesIndustry.biz, Spencer expressed that Microsoft’s checkbook might not be closed just yet when it comes to the acquisition of more studios. “We’re always out there talking to people. But it has to be the right opportunity,” Spencer expressed. He also went on to say that the team at Xbox has great support from Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, along with CFO Amy Hood when it comes to these moves. “And there’s been no signal at all that we should be slowing down, but just to go at a pace that is maintainable for us as a leadership team.”
While Spencer has made this clear that Microsoft’s shopping spree might not be over just yet, he stressed that Xbox has also focused greatly over the past few years to integrate the studios such as Double Fine, Obsidian, and Ninja Theory as best as possible. “We acquired quite a few new studios in a short amount of time, and we want to make sure that those studios are on-boarded in the right way,” Spencer continued. “As Matt and I were talking about it, we just wanted to make sure that we treated the incoming studios as full parts of the organization. That they felt supported.”
The timing of these statements from Spencer (while surely coincidental) are incredibly intriguing given that earlier this week, reports started appearing indicating that Microsoft may have an interest in purchasing Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. The publisher behind franchises like Batman: Arkham and Mortal Kombat is said to be in the process of being shopped around by parent company AT&T at the moment. Other publishers such as Activision, EA, and Take-Two Interactive are said to potentially be interested in buying WB Games, too.
While it has been over a year since Microsoft announced its last developer acquisition, the fact that Spencer and the team at Xbox are still very open to the idea of bringing aboard more studios shows how committed they seem to be moving into the future. With the Xbox Series X slated to finally arrive later this holiday season, many prospective buyers of the console likely want to be assured that the platform will have plenty of great games well down the road. If Microsoft continues to snag up more studios, the advent of more first-party games is guaranteed.