Microsoft Building New First-Party Studios


In the ongoing war of the consoles, the key to winning over the consumers not only lies in the hardware, but the exclusive first-party titles tied to the console.  With the next generation console war on the rise, Microsoft prepares to face the competition using this age-old strategy. According to a conversation on Twitter between video game blogger Steve Burnley and Phil Spencer, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Studios, Microsoft is investing in its first-party studios.  When asked if Microsoft would be opening up any new studios, Spencer said they had many new studios starting  their first games.

Microsoft’s strategy is not only about securing new studios and talent, but also maintaining a comfortable work environment to both keep and attract developers.  Spencer said buying a studio does not guarantee that talented creatives will stay, but hopes to keep talented people by creating a place they would enjoy working at.

Based on the Twitter feed, Microsoft is using a long-term approach in which the company is looking to hire talented developers and allow their studio employees to grow over time.  “We are focused on building teams,” Spencer said, “It’s slower but people join by choice.”

“Microsoft’s approach on this differs game by game, they don’t own Alan wake, Geometry Wars, Sunset Overdrive, Jade Empire Mass Effect, Trials, Below/Super TIME force (slightly different for the Capy games as they’re considered “indie”) and Ryse. In contrast Microsoft do own PGR, Quantum Break, D4, Rallisport Challenge, Crackdown, Crimson Dragon, (killer instinct was a Rare IP they owned before) and only recently acquired Gears of War from Epic Games so obviously different deals for different titles.” – Steve Burnley

To finish the interview, Burnley asked about the status of the copyright of Geometry Wars in which Spencer replied saying Activision, the current owners of the series, likes Geometry Wars.  This is unfortunate news for fans of downloadable series. For the full Twitter feed, click here and to read Steve Burnley’s thoughts on Microsoft’s first-party development, go to