Xbox is “not done” buying game studios, says boss Phil Spencer

Bethesda won't be the last studio Microsoft acquires

Xbox Game Studios, the coalition of developers owned by Microsoft, already boasts more than 20 studios under its umbrella – but that number may be set to grow, according to Xbox boss Phil Spencer.

Speaking to Wall Street Journal as part of its Tech Live event (paywalled; as spotted by VGC), Spencer said Xbox is “always out there looking for people who we think would be a good match and teams that would be a good match with our strategy”, and that the company is “definitely not done” acquiring studios.

However, Microsoft isn’t looking to gobble up any team going. Spencer added that “there’s no quota [or] timeline where I have to go acquire studios by a certain time,” and that the criteria is more about finding “a studio where we have a good fit” and where both parties “feel we can both get better together”.

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Spencer also spoke on how developers benefit from being part of the wider Xbox Game Studios grouping, saying “we offer some financial stability for them”, and that rather than measuring return solely by the success of a studio’s next game, he wants to “give them some more creative capability, longer timelines when required to do their best work.”

Arguably Xbox’s biggest acquisition to date was its September 2020 purchase of Zenimax Media, the parent company of Skyrim and Fallout developer Bethesda Softworks. While the studio’s most recent game, Deathloop, has remained a PS5 exclusive based on previously inked deals, upcoming titles such as the eagerly awaited Starfield will be exclusive to Xbox consoles, showing the benefits of Microsoft building its suite of first-party creators.

Elsewhere, Microsoft has announced the latest batch of titles to be joining its Xbox Game Pass subscription services, with Outriders, Dragon Ball FighterZ, and Age of Empires IV among those appearing before the end of October.

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