The documents (spotted by IGN), which assess IO as a potential acquisition target, list it as working on “Project Dragon,” an RPG shooter for PC and Xbox Series X|S. Xbox Game Studios is listed as publisher for the title.
In April 2021, Windows Central first claimed that IO had teamed up with Microsoft to work on a new “dragon-themed IP” which the platform holder was expected to publish as a first-party Xbox exclusive.
Then this February, IO itself confirmed that it’s working on an online fantasy RPG. While unconfirmed, this is likely to be the same project mentioned in the Microsoft documents.
“We are building a new world, a new IP – an online fantasy RPG,” the company said. “A world and a game built from the core to entertain players and expand for many years to come.”
It added: “For many, this journey is also a deeply personal one that began long before we started making games for a living – and it started with the fantasy genre. From the ‘Fighting Fantasy’ books compelling you to choose your path, alone, against wizards, lizards, and thief kings. To the togetherness, camaraderie, agony, and delight found around the tabletop.
“For some it meant taking the role of a game master: Part storyteller, part AI opponent, part guide, part villain. For everyone around that table it meant creativity, imagination, building a world together, and a shared goal in creating a great game experience.
“This idea – that a diverse group of individuals with different skills and strengths can work together and become more than the sum of their parts – is what inspires us. It inspires the fantasy world we are building – and it inspires how we build it.”
IO is also currently working on an officially licensed James Bond game, with the working title Project 007.