Microsoft has spent a lot of time and money expanding its first-party games stable, which implies purchasing a comparatively big amount of game studios. The company announced last year that it had bought four studios and created a fifth at E3, and subsequently bought Obsidian Entertainment as well as inXile Entertainment. Microsoft is on a roll, and most certainly the wallet is open.
And now Microsoft made an announcement, among many others, that it has bought Double Fine Productions, Psychonauts creators, Grim Fandango, and Brutal Legend. The news was punctuated with a fresh trailer for Psychonauts 2. Tim Schafer then took the stage to joke about being prepared to work on whatever Microsoft wants, including “Excel things.”
Double Fine Productions (Psychonauts, Brutal Legend, Broken Age) Founder and President Tim Schafer launched the newly announced Microsoft Game Studios takeover of the company. At Microsoft’s pre-show meeting, Schafer appeared on stage, ready to joke about the new relationship with Microsoft Studios’ Head, Matt Booty.
This purchase will provide Microsoft with an existing source of adventure games in the future, as well as the ability to add a wealthy collection of catalog titles to the Xbox Game Pass so players can catch up with the history of Double Fine games.
The news comes one year after Undead Labs (State of Decay), Playground Games (Forza Horizon), Ninja Theory (Hellblade) and Compulsion Games (We Happy Few) were bought by Microsoft for their first-party lineup. At this year’s pre-E3 meeting, Microsoft has 14 separate Xbox Game Studios and unveiled 14 different exclusive games from those developers.
Schafer said in a follow-up video that all kidding aside, “it’s really great” and the deal won’t affect the structure of the studio or the projects it takes on.
Since being autonomous for nearly 20 years, Double Fine has provided a separate identity and a distinctive spirit that goes really deep here, and no one can alter that. And no one intends to.
Microsoft needs us for who we are and what kind of games we’re already making.Tim Schafer said
What it’s going to do, he explained, is allow the studio to create the types of games it’s renowned for without having to pitch them under the sun to any publisher. And while the studio will focus on Xbox, Xbox Game Pass and PC, he also revealed that on all promised platforms all current obligations to Psychonauts 2 backers will be met.