Microsoft plans to open, acquire more studios to up its in-house game development

Dave W. Shanahan

Xbox's Phil Spencer at E3

In an effort to offer more games to Xbox and Windows 10, Microsoft plans to open and acquire more game development companies. In the future, Microsoft wants to be able to offer more exclusive games at launch over anything that is released by its main competitor, Sony. With the release of the Xbox One X coming tomorrow, it’s blatantly obvious that Microsoft doesn’t have blockbuster game exclusives to back up its newest console release.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Xbox head Phil Spencer sees the benefit of developing in-house video games. Spencer has spent 30 years at Microsoft, the company that owns two of the biggest video game series ever, Halo, Gears of War, and more recently, Minecraft.

“We need to grow, and I look forward to doing that. Our ability to go create content has to be one of our strengths. We haven’t always invested at the same level. We’ve gone through ups and downs in the investment.”

Previously, Xbox was not seen as a major investment by Microsoft, but with Satya Nadella at the helm, things changed. In September 2017, Spencer was promoted to Executive VP as Xbox gained a seat on Microsoft’s Senior Leadership Team.

Here is an great interview with Xbox’s Major Nelson (aka Larry Hryb) when Phil Spencer was promoted to head of Xbox. Spencer talks about Xbox, Xbox Live, a short history of Spencer working at Microsoft, and what he saw for the future at Xbox (in 2014).

In my extremely biased opinion, Xbox Live is the best video game online subscription program on the planet. Xbox’s only weakness lies in the number of exclusive games available at launch for whatever console or PC product that Microsoft produces. By Microsoft buying more video game developers, they could strengthen Xbox’s gaming and their software and services (or SaaS?, Xbox, et la) business model, like they have with Azure.