Xbox is “shifting focus” from studio acquisitions to a new phase of “execution and delivery,” its studios boss told media at X019 on Thursday.
In the past 18 months Xbox has aggressively expanded its portfolio of first-party studios via acquisitions and studio launches, ahead of the release of its next-gen console Project Scarlett in 2020.
As well as setting up The Initiative and a new Age of Empires studio, Xbox has recently acquired Ninja Theory (Hellblade), Playground (Forza Horizon), Obsidian (Fallout: New Vegas), InXile (Wasteland 3) and Double Fine (Psychonauts 2).
However, speaking at a media briefing attended by VGC, Xbox Game Studios boss Matt Booty suggested the platform holder’s studio expansion strategy was coming to an end.
Booty claimed Xbox now boasts “more games than we know what to do with” and said X019, which saw new content from eight of Xbox’s 15 studios, was just “the tip of the iceberg” in terms of what it has planned.
“Recently we’ve been shifting our focus inside Xbox Game Studios from acquisition and growth, to a phase of execution and delivery,” Booty said.
“Recently we got all 15 of our studio heads together in New York City. They came together in a meeting and it was a really humbling and inspiring experience for me, to be with these 15 creative leaders that represent over 300 years of experience with game design and production.
“From Brian Fargo at InXile, to Bonnie Ross who runs Halo, to Tim Schafer at Double Fine, to Helen Chang who runs Minecraft… seeing these leaders come together to share ideas and expertise really gives me confidence going forward in what we’re doing.”
Xbox head Phil Spencer said earlier this year that Microsoft’s significant investment in first-party studios has given the company more time to focus on delivering quality products.
Spencer said that not so long ago, Microsoft’s lack of first-party studios “put a lot of pressure on everything that we were doing”.
“And it became more difficult to manage a portfolio when you kind of needed everything at any point to hit the date that it had picked three years ahead of time at the very high level of quality,” he said.
Sony Interactive Entertainment is open to further studio acquisitions as the PlayStation firm seeks to grow its first-party content ahead of PlayStation 5, Sony’s chief financial officer said in October.
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