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Back in October we reported on a rumour that suggested Microsoft was in the process of purchasing Obsidian Entertainment as a new first party developer. Today we now know that rumour to be accurate with Microsoft officially unveiling their acquisition of not only Obsidian Entertainment, but inXile Entertainment as well.
The reveal came at the end of the Xbox X018 event. It’s also not the first set of developers to be acquired by the publishing and manufacturing giant, with 5 studios being purchased by Microsoft earlier this year. This brings the total of Microsoft first party developers to 11, 7 of which purchased this year alone.
— Larry Hryb @ X018 (@majornelson) November 10, 2018
Both Obsidian and inXile are renowned developers in the RPG space. Obsidian put out their isometric RPG Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire earlier this year, although you may know them better for works such as 2014’s South Park: The Stick of Truth or 2010’s Fallout: New Vegas. The team at Obsidian are veterans, and whilst the company was founded in 2003, the founding members had already previously worked at Interplay on games such as Icewind Dale, Planescape: Torment, and Fallout 2. Interplay also collaborated with BioWare on Neverwinter Nights and Baldur’s Gate.
inXile has a similarly star-studded past. Their most recent game was The Bards Tale IV: Barrows Deep, but they are also responsible for Torment: Tides of Numenera and the Wasteland series. And just like Obsiidian, inXile’s founding members started their life at Interplay.
The acquisition of these two studios is certainly promising for Xbox fans. Not only does it help solidify Microsoft as a competitor in the exclusives race against Nintendo and Sony, but it also proves their dedication to single player games. With extra funding and support, it may also mean these two studios have the resources they need to pump out high quality titles. It’s also worth mentioning that whilst members of these two studios have already previously worked together, Microsoft are looking to keep them as separate teams.
Is this a positive sign of Microsoft’s future?