Xbox will add RPG experts Obsidian Entertainment and InXile to its roster of studios.
The announcement was made during Microsoft's X018 event in Mexico. Obsidian is best know for creating Pillars of Eternity, Fallout: New Vegas, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II and South Park: The Strick of Truth. Rumours that Xbox were interested in acquiring the studio surfaced in early October.
Meanwhile, InXile is the team responsible for the Wasteland franchise and Torment: Tides of Numenera.
It's all part of Microsoft's efforts to expand its internal development resource to boost the number of titles it offers via Xbox platforms and specifically its Game Pass subscription offer.
Both studios are known for creating games in similar genres (indeed, members of both teams have worked on the Fallout series, for instance), but Microsoft insists that despite their common heritage, the two teams are different and "will continue to operate autonomously and bring their unique talents, IP, and expertise to Microsoft Studios as they build new RPG experiences for our players and fans." Microsoft says that both studios will preserve their individual cultures 'to realise their creative ambitions'.
Corporate vice president of Microsoft Studios Matt Booty said in a statement: "The 13 distinct and diverse game development teams that form Microsoft Studios are focused on implementing new Microsoft technologies, delivering content for new platforms and services like Xbox Game Pass, and creating exclusive games that turn players into loyal Xbox fans. We are committed to expanding the Microsoft Studios franchises players already love, and investing in new, exclusive content for every type of gamer."
In an interview with Gamesindustry.biz in August, Booty said: ""I don't want to seem like we're going out to fill a quota. It's not about filling a spreadsheet by any means. We will, however, have an interest in studios right now that fit this criteria of 50 to 100 people, who are making games on a two to three year cadence, and have content that we think will be of interest to our Game Pass subscribers. That means content that is a little different to what our big AAA franchises can deliver.
"One of the fantastic things about Game Pass is that it can support different kinds of content."
Obsidian and InXile join Playground Games, Ninja Theory, Undead Labs and Compulsion Games, which were acquired by Microsoft Games Studios and revealed at E3 2018.
Microsoft is also developing another studio, The Initiative. All seven studios will join Microsoft's existing roster of internal developers, which include Rare, 343, The Coalition, Mojang, and Lift.