What Part of Microsoft Will Fight With The PlayStation. Full List of Xbox Game Studios

With the completion of its acquisition of Activision Blizzard in July 2023, Microsoft will become one of the largest game publishers in the ...

With the completion of its acquisition of Activision Blizzard in July 2023, Microsoft will become one of the largest game publishers in the world with over thirty development studios. By comparison, Sony now has 18 in-house studios. If you want to know in more detail in what direction the development of the gaming industry can go after this purchase, then we have a separate thread on our website dedicated to one of the largest deals in the history of modern business.

Xbox Game Studios (XGS) currently has 22 development studios. We decided to collect them all in one place and tell you what they are doing now and what games to expect from them in the near future. If all goes well, Activision Blizzard Studios will join this list next July.

Microsoft's own studios 

Turn 10 Studios

Foundation: 2001

Location: Redmond (USA)

Portfolio: Forza Motorsport Series

In Development: New Forza Motorsport

One of the oldest modern Microsoft studios. Created specifically for the development of racing games Forza Motorsport. Some of the staff used to work on publishing (not developing) games in the Project Gotham Racing and Golf 4.0 series.

343 Industries

Foundation: 2007

Location: Redmond (USA)

Portfolio: Halo 4, Halo 5, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Halo Infinite

In Development: support for Halo Infinite

The studio was specifically created in 2007 to continue the development of the Halo series after Bungie left for free swimming. 343I first worked on content for Halo: Reach, Bungie's latest Halo game. In 2011, together with Saber Interactive, they made Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, and in 2012 the first full-fledged game of the studio, Halo 4, was released. The studio was named after the character of the Halo series, 343 Guilty Spark.

The Coalition

Foundation: 2010

Location: Vancouver (Canada)

Portfolio: Gears 4 and 5, Gears Tactics

In Development: unknown; helps other Microsoft studios

During its existence, the studio managed to change its name several times: Zipline Studios, Microsoft Game Studios Vancouver, Black Tusk Studios, and finally The Coalition. After the end of the contract with Epic Games, Microsoft bought the rights to the Gears of War series, the continuation of which The Coalition is engaged in. Along with the rights to Gears of War, the producer of the series, Rod Ferguson, also moved to The Coalition. Similar to 343I, the studio borrowed the name from a game they were working on. The Coalition of Ordered Governments was the military organization that Marcus Fenix ​​served in, the protagonist of the Gears of War trilogy.

By the way, at the beginning of 2020, Rod Ferguson went to Blizzard to save the Diablo series.

The Initiative

Foundation: 2018

Location: Santa Monica (USA)

Portfolio: no

In Development: Perfect Dark relaunch

Specially created in 2018 to develop AAAA games (yes, there really are four A's). The studio has brought under its roof not the latest people from BioWare, Naughty Dog, Respawn Entertainment, Santa Monica Studio, Blizzard, Insomniac Games, and Rockstar Games. The founder of the company was Darrell Gallagher, the former head of Crystal Dynamics. During The Game Awards 2020, a reboot of the Perfect Dark series was announced.

World's Edge

Foundation: 2019

Location: Redmond (USA)

Portfolio: Age of Empires IV with Relic Entertainment

In Development: unknown

The studio was specially created for the development of real-time strategies under the Age of Empires brand.

Studios Acquired by Microsoft

Playground Games

Foundation: 2010

Became part of XGS: 2018

Location: Leamington Spa (UK)

Portfolio: Forza Horizon series

In Development: Fable restart

The studio was founded by former Codemasters employees. It has three divisions that focus on the Forza Horizon series, mobile games, and the reboot of the Fable series announced in 2020.

Compulsion Games

Foundation: 2009

Became part of XGS: 2018

Portfolio: Contrast, We Happy Few

In Development: unknown

Founded by a native of Arkane Studios. To earn money for their own game, the studio helped develop third-party projects, including the Darksiders, Dungeon & Dragons: Daggerdale, Bagelburg: The Bagelening series. Now Compulsion Games has about 80 employees and is working on an unannounced project with roguelike elements and a third-person view.

Double Fine

Foundation: 2000

Became part of XGS: 2019

Location: San Francisco (USA)

Portfolio: Psychonauts, Brutal Legend, Broken Age, Psychonauts 2

In Development: unknown

Founded by Tim Schafer, former game designer for classic LucasArts quests: The Secret of Monkey Island, Monkey Island 2, Full Throttle, Grim Fandango, and more. Double Fine popularized the Kickstarter crowdfunding platform and raised money for most of their future games with the help of fans.

After THQ went bankrupt, Double Fine took back the rights to the games it developed under a contract with a publisher., as well as the rights to distribute Psychonauts.

Studio games are distinguished by a special visual style, humor, and voice actors. Among others, Jack Black and Elijah Wood voiced the main characters in the Double Fine games, while rock legends Lemmy Kilmister, Ozzy Osbourne, Lita Ford, and Rob Helford appeared in Brütal Legend.

inXile Entertainment

Foundation: 2002

Became part of XGS: 2018

Location: Newport Beach (USA)

Portfolio: Wasteland 2 and 3, Torment: Tides of Numenera

In Development: unknown

inXile was created by the former founder of Interplay Entertainment, Brian Fargo. The studio continues the work of Interplay and is developing classic isometric CRPGs.

Obsidian Entertainment

Foundation: 2003

Became part of XGS: 2018

Location: Irvine (USA)

Portfolio: Pillars of Eternity, Fallout: New Vegas, The Outer Worlds, Grounded (Early Access)

In Development: Avowed, The Outer Worlds 2, unannounced project

One of the founders of the studio was Chris Avellone, designer and screenwriter of Planescape: Torment, Fallout, Pillars of Eternity, and dozens of other games. In its early years, the studio made sequels to BioWare: Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords and Neverwinter Nights 2. 

Together with inXile and Double Fine, they organized a crowdfunding platform Fig. Its main difference from Kickstarter is that patrons become game investors.


Foundation: 1985

Became part of XGS: 2002 

Location: Leicestershire (UK)

Portfolio: Battletoads, Killer Instinct, Sea of ​​Thieves

In Development: Support for Sea of ​​Thieves, Everwild

The oldest studio in Microsoft assets. They are the authors of such games as GoldenEye 007, Perfect Dark, Donkey Kong, Battletoads. After a series of unsuccessful financial decisions, Microsoft was bought in the late 1990s. During the Xbox 360 era, Kinect games were made.


Foundation: 2009

Became part of XGS: 2014

Location: Stockholm (Sweden)

Portfolio: Minecraft, Minecraft Dungeons

In Development: Minecraft support

It was bought by Microsoft in 2014 for $2.5 billion, at that time the audience of Minecraft was more than 50 million users. In 2020, Microsoft reported that the game sold over 200 million copies. If you count in copies, this is the best-selling game in the world. The second is Tetris. 

After selling the studio and Minecraft rights, Markus 'Notch' Persson Continues to develop small indie games.

Ninja Theory

Foundation: 2000

Became part of XGS: 2018

Location: Cambridge (UK)

Portfolio: Heavenly Sword, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, DmC: Devil May Cry, Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, Bleeding Edge

In Development: Senua's Saga: Hellblade II, Project: MARA

The British studio is famous for its collaboration with Hollywood figures. With screenwriter, writer, and director Alex Garland, they worked together on Enslaved and the relaunch of DmC. Andy Serkis appeared in Heavenly Sword as a villain, and in Enslaved he voiced and played the main character (spoiler: and a villain).

At one time, the studio was on the verge of bankruptcy, but Sony saved it by funding the development of Heavenly Sword. But the game did not sell well, and under the contract, all the studio's technologies were transferred to the Japanese giant. After the modest financial performance of DmC: Devil May Cry, the studio retrained to develop "Independent AAA", small games, but with production like full-fledged AAA titles. That game was Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice.

Undead Labs

Foundation: 2009

Became part of XGS: 2018

Location: Seattle (USA)

Portfolio: State of Decay series

In Development: State of Decay 3

Jeff Strain, the founder of Undead Labs, once worked for Blizzard Entertainment on all three of the company's major titles, including as lead programmer on World of Warcraft. In 2000 he became one of the founders of ArenaNet, the creators of Guild Wars. In 2009, he founded Undead Labs and began developing the State of Decay. In October 2021, Jeff founded a new studio to "make the games he's dreamed of all his life."

Last year, 2021, the studio opened a new division that will deal with animation on Unreal Engine 5 for the needs of Undead Labs itself and other teams at Xbox Game Studios.

ZeniMax Media / Bethesda Softworks Studios

Arkane Studios

Foundation: 1999

Location: Lyon (France), Austin (USA)

Portfolio: Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, Dishonored series, Prey, Deathloop

In Development: Redfall

One of the few studios that make games in the "immersive sim" subgenre. Arkane has worked with JoWooD Productions, Ubisoft, Valve, Activision, 2K Marin, and even on a joint project between EA and Steven Spielberg. In 2010, while working on the first part of Dishonored, ZeniMax Media bought the studio.

Bethesda Game Studios

Foundation: 2001

Location: Rockville, Austin, Dallas (USA), Montreal (Canada)

Portfolio: The Elder Scrolls series, Fallout 3, 4 and 76

In Development: Starfield, The Elder Scrolls VI

The main asset of ZeniMax Media and meme generator about porting Skyrim to every iron. In addition to the Elder Scrolls series, she is also responsible for the revival and popularization of Fallout. Interestingly, TES IV: Oblivion for PC and Xbox 360 was published by 2K Games, and for PlayStation 3 by Ubisoft.

Starfield will be the first new IP studio in 25 years.

ID Software

Founded: 1991

Location: Richardson (USA), Frankfurt (Germany)

Portfolio: Doom, Quake, Rage, original Wolfenstein

In Development: Quake restart (rumor)

id Software once created the first-person shooter genre as we know it today. Currently, according to rumors, the studio is working on a restart of Quake, and the continuation of Doomslayer's adventures through the fabulous world of Hell has been sent on vacation.

After 30 years, id Software remains one of the main developers in the FPS genre, and id Tech is one of the most optimized game engines of our time.

Machine Games

Foundation: 2009

Location: Uppsala (Sweden)

Portfolio: relaunching Wolfenstein

In Development: Indiana Jones

It was created by natives and the founder of Starbreeze Studios. After several unsuccessful negotiations with various publishers, including Bethesda Softworks, the founders were already ready to mortgage their own houses or completely close the studio. However, in 2009, ZeniMax buys id Software and receives the rights to all the developer's games, including Wolfenstein. In 2010, MachineGames again approached ZeniMax Media with an offer to develop a Wolfenstein reboot. At the end of the same 2010, ZeniMax completely bought out the studio.

Roundhouse Studios

Foundation: 2019

Location: Madison (USA)

Portfolio: original Prey, Brink, Rune series

In Development: unknown, assisting other studios

Another studio was founded by people from another legendary studio, this time the donor was Raven Software. Human Head Studios' latest game at the moment is Rune 2 for publisher Ragnarok Game. The game was released on November 12, 2019, and on November 13, the studio closes and reopens under the new name Roundhouse Studios as part of Bethesda Softworks. Ragnarok Games sued the former Human Head Studios, and later ZeniMax and Bethesda Softworks were added as defendants. Litigation is still ongoing.

Tango Gameworks

Foundation: 2010

Location: Tokyo (Japan)

Portfolio: The Evil Within dilogy

In Development: Ghostwire: Tokyo

The legendary Shinji Mikami, the creator of the equally legendary Resident Evil and Devil May Cry, after leaving Capcom, worked for some time as a freelancer and created his own studio Tango Gameworks, which was bought out by ZeniMax Media almost immediately.

Alpha Dog Games

Foundation: 2012

Location: Halifax (Canada)

Portfolio: mobile Wraithborne, MonstroCity: Rampage, and Mighty DOOM

In Development: unknown

The studio was bought by ZeniMax Media in 2019. Engaged in mobile development.

ZeniMax Online Studios

Foundation: 2007

Location: Maryland (USA)

Portfolio: The Elder Scrolls Online

In Development: Support for The Elder Scrolls Online

Created specifically for the development of MMORPG. The studio was led by Met Firor, former director of development for the online game Dark Age of Camelot. By the way, EA still supports the game, although it was released more than 20 years ago - back in 2001.

The first announcement of The Elder Scrolls Online happened only in 2012, and the release only in 2014 - seven years after the creation of the studio. In addition to supporting TES Online, ZeniMax Online Studios helped develop Doom (2016) and Fallout 76. Thus, the most diverse developers have already gathered within the walls of Xbox Game Studios, from which you can expect both a small but interesting creative project and a full-scale AAA blockbuster. We hope Phil Spencer will properly manage the talents of individual developers, and will not force them to make as many gag games for Game Pass as possible. And we will find out what will happen to Activision Blizzard in a year. And don't forget to check out our section on the takeover of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft.



iTechScroll: What Part of Microsoft Will Fight With The PlayStation. Full List of Xbox Game Studios
What Part of Microsoft Will Fight With The PlayStation. Full List of Xbox Game Studios
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