Last week, we discussed a surprise Microsoft was touting for its in-house XO18 Xbox event. At the Mexico City conference this weekend, the company announced it is acquiring Obsidian Entertainment. That deal has been rumored for some time, but also Microsoft dropped a surprise by revealing it is also buying inXile Entertainment.
By snapping up the two game-developers, Microsoft is furthering its push to bolster its own gaming studios. The company has repeatedly said the Xbox brand will rely on exclusive titles to differentiate in the future.
As for Obsidian Entertainment and inXile Entertainment, Microsoft's involvement is a well-timed intervention.
Obsidian is a noted role-playing game (RPG) developer that has created games such as Fallout: New Vegas and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2. The company has been struggling to keep its head above water in recent time. Interestingly, Microsoft played a part in Obsidian's bad fortune as it cancelled the Xbox One launch title Stormlands.
Similarly, inXile has also been struggling to stay afloat, relying on crowdfunding to get titles like Wasteland 2 over the line. That was six years ago and since then the company's titles like The Bard's Tale 4 have come and gone with barely a whisper.
So, at the core of this deal, Microsoft is basically ensuring Obsidian and inXile continue to exist. Well, at least the development teams as it is unclear if the companies will be folded into other Microsoft Studios brands.
Speaking to Eurogamer, Microsoft said of Obsidian: “As one of the industry's premiere RPG developers, we couldn't be more excited about the opportunity to add their expertise to Microsoft Studios, while enabling the studio to preserve its unique culture and build on its talent and vision to fully realize their creative ambitions.”
Microsoft said of inXile: “As part of Microsoft Studios, inXile will have the support and freedom to fully realize its creative ambitions on both existing franchises and new projects. The studio will continue to operate autonomously and bring its unique talents, IP and expertise to Microsoft Studios as they build new RPG experiences for our players and fans.”