30 Studio Challenge

Hello Everyone!

I know a lot of talk around Xbox as of late is about the growth of the Xbox Game Studios family. Whether it be about the studios they currently have, studios they are just about to acquire, or a moment of conspiracy to try connecting the dots from Xbox to any developer/publisher in the industry.

I figured it might be fun to create a challenge based on what you believe would be an awesome roster for Xbox Game Studios, so here we go.

Let’s say that Satya Nadella has decided that for the foreseeable future, Phil can have an unlimited budget for acquisitions, but he’ll be cut off once XGS reaches 30 studios. Since XGS is currently at 23 studios, that gives you the freedom to help Phil figure out which studios they should go after.

The Rules:

You only can pick 7 studios. Also give a reason why you think they should be added to the family.

You can assign these teams to any IP (and acquire said IP if need be) as long as it isn’t owned by a first party (Nintendo, Sony, or Google).

If you pick a publisher, you must include all of their studios, BUT you can acquire a studio from said publisher instead (for example: acquire Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio from SEGA). This will keep us from cheating our 30 studio limit.

You cannot close or merge studios in order to give yourself more options. That means you cannot do this to a current XGS studio, or any studios you’re potentially looking at to join your team.

You can pick ANY studio that isn’t owned by a first party (so no Nintendo, Sony, or Google teams can be acquired).

Have fun!

This challenge is based on the 23 studios listed in the picture below at XGS.

5 Likes

This sounds incredibly fun! I am going to bend the rules a bit, however, and give one pie in the sky one and one realistic one (realistic is relative of course, they bought Bethesda).

Unrealistic “Magnificent” Seven:

  • Rockstar (if you count Rockstar as multiple devs, then I pick Rockstar North)

  • Bioware Edmonton (The most frustrating part about Bioware is that the talent is clearly still there waiting to ooze out, but bad concepts and oversight are holding them back)

  • Respawn Entertainment (Speaks for itself)

  • Crystal Dynamics (They need “Sony type games”)

  • From Software

  • Epic Games

  • Valve

Realistic (But nevertheless Magnificent) Seven:

  • Crystal Dynamics

  • Eidos Montreal

  • Techland

  • JP Games

  • Asobo (buy out the investment share at a premium)

If Restricted to Private:

  • Mediatonic

  • Jackbox Games

If Public Are Allowed:

  • Bloober Team

  • DONTNOD

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Studio 24: Bungie

This would be a major homecoming. Destiny is already now an established part of Game Pass, but I feel like having it permanently part of the program would really bolster Xbox’s presence in both the console and PC space. Keeping Destiny 2 multiplat is a necessity, but whatever Matter may be could become a Microsoft platform exclusive, coming day one to Game Pass. Also, with Microsoft’s hands-off approach with Bungie, I feel they could really do some amazing things. Maybe even have the time and funds to set up multiple teams to work on different projects or at least incubate ideas.

Studio 25: FromSoftware

FromSoftware over the past decade has not released a bad game. Each of their recent games have been a critical success and have done well commercially. These guys are a force to be reckoned with and I would love to see what they could do at Xbox. Not to mention each of these games coming day one to Game Pass would be huge for hardcore gamers and would really put a dent into showing Xbox’s push into Japan.

Studio 26: Asobo Studio

Lets be honest, we all know why they’re here. Amazing work done on Microsoft Flight Simulator (one of Microsoft’s most important gaming IPs) and a home run with their original IP, A Plague Tale: Innocence. This studio has done so much contract work, I honestly think they could really make anything they want, and that could potentially come true with the resources Microsoft could provide to them. I would love to see a sequel to A Plague Tale (maybe that’s the Focus Home game?), ReCore, or maybe they could take that flight expertise to Crimson Skies?:wink:

Studio 27: Moon Studios

Another no-brainer. Moon created the only new IP from Xbox that received a sequel last generation… Ori. This team has proven that a remote studio can work, and now more than ever that is a very useful attitude to have. Both Ori games are some of the greatest games I have ever played and I have no doubts their next project with Private Division will be just as great. I would make sure that Xbox would take Q&A for this teams games seriously so we don’t have another Will of the Wisps level performance issue at launch for their next titles (which I felt hindered its ability to gain traction at the Game Awards).

Studio: 28: Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio

Oh Yakuza, how did I make it till 2019 without playing a single one of you? This a veteran team that knows how to make a solid fighting/beatem-up/RPG/whatever the heck you want to call it game. Even with the newest title, Yakuza: Like a Dragon, they managed to change the combat to turn-based and it worked so well. I cannot imagine what this series could become with extra funds and effort put into it to make it both a more graphical beauty and a technical masterpiece. These games are the closest thing we have to new Sleeping Dogs titles and I can’t think of a higher praise.

Studio 29: Tripwire Interactive

I’m sure every time I mention this studio, fellow forum members are like “Oh god. This guy again.”, but I have to say I see a lot of potential in this team. Killing Floor is a pretty popular IP (especially on PC) that could really expand into something even bigger. Could you imagine a robust Killing Floor 3 with all the previous game maps, new maps, a campaign, and solid QA? This is a liver service game that could really bolster Game Pass the same way Dead By Daylight does. Not to mention, ManEater was a sleeper hit, such an simple concept that deserves more praise than it has gotten. Its literally a Shark RPG… and Microsoft does love having RPG teams in the family, don’t they?:wink:

Studio 30: Bloober Team

If anything is to be sure, its that Xbox has been continuing to grow their reach with horror games. With games like The Medium, Blair Witch, Scorn, etc getting timed exclusivity, I could really see Xbox making a permanent mark here with another team. Bloober has ran into technical issues in their past titles, and yes, Blair Wtich came off kind of “meh” overall, but the team shows promise. Games like Observer and Layers of Fear have been enjoyed by many horror fans and I can’t imagine what this team could do with more resources from Microsoft. They release games on a pretty often cadence too, so that’s a plus! I’d be totally cool with them working on a Silent Hill game after The Medium…

6 Likes

Shouldn’t the challenge be 8 studios since Global Publishing isn’t an actual game development studio and is more for making deals with third party publishers and independent developers?

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I feel they are just as much of a studio as World’s Edge is.

They have put the resources into finding developers to work on games like Ori, Flight Sim, etc. and I would continue to count that as a team. Correct me if I’m wrong, I do believe they have developers in that team too though. Plus they’re included in the picture anyway.

Good comment though, I get where you’re coming from.:slight_smile:

3 Likes

Okay, cool. I’m definitely going to have to make a few tough decisions since putting WB Games on the list goes past the 7 studio limit. lmao.

1 Like

Lol I feel ya. That was sorta intentional to get everybody’s creative juices going, otherwise I assumed we’d see a lot of SEGA and Warner Bros. mentions in here.

Alright, let’s see.

  1. Bloober team. Honestly we don’t know yet how their new game its going to score, that said they have a good relationship already with Microsoft, and they are a studio that, with more investment, can make some great games, also because they are in poland Microsoft can go and open the doors for some developers from cd projekt red and techland, so they can take advantage of the current crisis of both studios. Maybe even have 2 teams in bloober :echidnut:

  2. Asobo. I mean i think its pretty clear why i want them to be part of xbox, a plague tale innocence was great, and Microsoft need more of those kind of third person story driven studios

  3. ryu ga gotoku studio. Microsoft need more studios in japan, and yakuza its a really strong ip that can help a lot in the japanese market, im not in the crowd that want all of sega to be bought. Honestly if Microsoft can take only this studio, then its great.

  4. Remedy. This one its pretty clear too. I know that they have an agreement with epic, but im pretty sure Microsoft can reach some kind of deal with them (probably to not launch the next remedy games on steam, and / or to have those games in gamepass for pc a month or 2 after release)

  5. crystal dynamics. Microsoft need the third person games that some want, Crystal Dynamics made a great job with tomb raider, and maybe they can use that kind of formula for new ips.

  6. cyberconnect 2. Ok, hear me out, xbox needs to be bigger in japan, and you know what its popular there?, yes, anime games. With cyberconnect 2 Microsoft can have a studio to develop some anime games, for example, a kimetsu no yaiba game when the adaptation of the final season starts in anime (and we are far away to that)

  7. game science. I mean, the studio its making a game of sun wukong, Microsoft can make it exclusive to xcloud and have a good shot with xcloud. Also having a AAA studio in China, where not every xbox game its going to launch because gov restrictions can secure Microsoft a studio that every of their games are going to be made based in the chinese laws, and so they can have content that doesn’t need censorship or gov approbal.

2 Likes

Cool to see some crossovers between all of us so far.

Looks like so far the most common ones are:

Asobo Studio

Bloober Team

Crystal Dynamics

FromSoftware

Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio

1 Like

In a perfect world itd be

  1. Asobo
  2. Bloober
  3. Atlus
  4. FromSoft
  5. IO Interactive
  6. Larian
  7. Remedy

A broad specrum of studios from all around the world covering a wide variety of Genres

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24 - Build a rocket boy

Buy a studio to develop open world games and make your own GTA. Many Game Pass subscriptions

25 - FromSoftware

An extremely strong Japanese studio in the west.

26 - NetherRealm Microsoft needs a fight studio, bonus wins the biggest IP of its kind

27 - Playtonic

Family games

28 - Remedy

Microsoft needs more third-person / narrative games

29 - Cyberconnect 2

I don’t like it, but the xbox needs to strengthen its Japanese games

30 - Asobo

Plague Tale left the impression that this studio on a large budget can do wonders with a narrative / action game

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1 The Behemoth

2 Fromsoftware

3 Dontnod

4 TT Games

5 IO Interactive

6 Asobo

7 Giant Sparrow

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I believe, what Xbox now need are IPs rather then studios.

So they should go for

Crystal Dynamics

Asobo

From Software

And recently there was a Ninja named studio. Good for Japanese content.

Apart from 4 of these. Xbox should setup 3 in house small studios which can work on remakes and sequel of there older IPs.

And yes, my list is according to Gamepass content.

Keep the 3 in house studios work a secret and only release them when a major studio miss the deadline (Halo Infinte)

For example, if Halo Infinte missed the dead line - an old IP remake or sequel like Young conker can fill in the gap.

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1- Rebrand 343i to Halo Studios

2- Expand Rare with new branch called (Rare Replay)

3- Merge ( Ladybug + Nigoro )

4- Merge ( Lizardcube + Guard Crash )

5- Rebrand Level-5

6- Bloober Team

Let the rest for Publishing Team.

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I’m going to name studios that are not apart of a publisher because I want to be as realistic as possible, also I’m not going to go into deep detail since I’m typing this comment on a tablet lol.

  1. CD Projekt Red - Yes I know the state cyberpunk is in right now, but you can’t deny that this studio brings in the money when they release a game… Witcher 3 - 50 million copies sold Cyberpunk - 10.2 million copies sold The only studio that rivals this studio when it comes to hype build up upon release is Rockstar Games.

  2. Remedy - I think the one thing Xbox is really lacking in is a cinematic 3rd person action studio, they are the perfect studio to fill that void, they are known for story driven and make visually stunning action games that can win you game awards.

  3. FromSoftware - I know this studio is owned by Kadokawa Corporation but if I had unlimited money from MS, I would spend as much as possible till Kadokawa accepted the offer. This is a legendary studio that would finally give Xbox the Japanese dev support that would instantly change the narrative that Xbox needs japanese games on the platform, also seeing the meltdowns wouldn’t hurt either.

  4. Bungie - This is the studio that made the greatest Xbox franchise of all time and then followed it up with another massive franchise that would be Known as Destiny, This studio has only made big blockbusters and would love to have them back with XGS.

  5. Iron Galaxy - Not the fanciest pick compared to the names I mentioned so far on the list but Xbox can really use a fighting studio, and what would be better than the studio that actually helped make Killer Instinct, also this studio is located right next to Netherrealm where Iron Galaxy can poach talent from, On a side note I’m really surprised that MS hasn’t picked them up yet, they make too much sense as a target.

  6. IOI - depending on how The Initiative handle Perfect Dark, I would add a studio that’s known for making the best stealth games on the market, this studio just fits the Game Pass model and would add another talented group under Xbox.

  7. Asobo - I had a hard time choosing the last studio, it was between Techland, Crytek, and Asobo but I went with Asobo because I think this studio has the talent to make any genre of game, whether it’s a sim(MS Flight), a 3rd person action game(Plague Tale), a motocross game(Fuel), you name it this team can make anything, Hell give them Banjo and it wouldn’t surprise me for a second that they would do a great job with the ip.

So there’s my list I gave Xbox

  • A open world studio
  • A 3rd person cinematic studio
  • A japanese studio
  • A FPS studio
  • A stealth studio
  • A Sim studio
  • A Fighting studio

Talk about diversity!

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  1. Dontnod
  2. Bungie
  3. Crystal Dynamics
  4. Eidos-Montreal
  5. Hello Games
  6. Studio Wildcard
  7. GSC Game World
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IO Interactive

Creative Assembly

Ryu Ga Gotoku

Relic

Remedy

Volition

Rebellion - Though this one might be a little bit cheating as they’re a developer with multiple locations a bit like InXile has their main base and New Orleans. But you also get all the 2000AD IP as Rebellion own them, which means Dredd!

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24th: Dontnod

  • Multiple projects at once, quality stories and a decent release cadence. Given by the amount of their games already on gamepass I assume there’s a sizeable audience for them.

25th: Itagaki’s new Team

  • The guy created the best action game of all time, and it’s willing to work exclusively with Xbox again. So it’s a no brainer. Top tier dev that can make xbox a stand out choice in Action and Fighting games.

26th: Sakaguchi/Mistwalker

  • Kinda the same, but for RPGs. It’s been a while since he hasn’t done anything big, but I’m willing to bet he still got it. Having quality JRPGs on their 1st party portfolio could foster other devs releasing them on Xbox as well.

27th: Futatsugi/White Owls

  • Futatsugi is another very renowed developer Ms has worked with, from Panzer Dragoon to Phantom Dust which shows a good range as well. Currently he is working with Swery, so grab them both and for sure some standout incredibly unique games will appear.

28th: Remedy

  • Imo they are second to none in this industry when it comes to writing and plot. For all cinematic devs they also have by far the best gameplay.

29th: Asobo

  • Also a very interesting range from all the support it has done with other Ms projects, a Plague Tale and Flight Simulator which was handled masterfully.

30th: Bloober Team

  • For me they are the top horror indie developers at the moment, and their games are rapidly evolving. With enough resources it’s hard to imagine they not becoming a reference in the genre, and another big differentiator for gamepass as bigish horror games are somewhat escarse these days
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24- The Behemoth : really good studio who make fun and originals games, could be a great buy for gamepass which need E-rated content. They should work on their own IP and make what they want.

25- Larian Studio : One of the best RPG studio, they are the only studio who is still making CRPG game even with AAA budget. Since they have Baldur’s gate IP, they are becoming very valuable, Baldur’s gate could be use to make movie/serie and it would be great for Microsoft’s dev to be able to join different project. For example, if you are at Obsidian you can go to Inxile or maybe Bethesda if you want to dev TES or the new Steampunk RPG, with Larian, best RPG developper could have even more choice for their place to work.

26- Bloober Team : Their games are not good in term of gameplay/animations but they are master for creating stunning ambiance. They would really beneficiate from an integration among XGS, Ninja Theory could learn them how to make good animation and add AAA standard to their games. It’s a great potential that need help from real game designer to make the new Resident Evil/silent Hill.

27- Image and form : Great fit for E-rated content, they are master at platformer and metroidvania. With MS money they should be able to put more ambitious game like they did with The Gunk, they can create great games and even make a Banjo.

28- Techland : Dying Light IP is strong, if Dying Light 2 release in a good state, it could be interesting to have Dying Light 3 exclusive. With the help of MS RPG studio, Techland could make the game they always wanted to make, a zombie open world RPG with strong narrative, interesting characters/universe and choice. If they make great game, Dying Light could also became a serie/movie or even more. The game would be very different of State of decay which is more like a MMO. They also have Call of Juarez which have a great potential.

29- Itagaki’s studio : If Itagaki is still able to deliver, MS should really acquire his studio and give him money to make great action games. It would be a good way to add more japanese game designer in XGS

30- Bungie : Every game they create is a hit. Destiny already have lot of potential outside video game for a movie like Warcraft, the IP is strong and Bungie isn’t done with Destiny 2. With MS money they could accelerate developpement for extension of the game. Bungie should recruit some Viscarious’s dev also to help them.

BONUS : ID Software should make a Mad Max game, when I see RAGE, I think they are fan of Mad Max.

3 Likes

Here are my picks:

  • Creative Assembly - A very talented studio. I believe they have three teams, two of which work on the very popular RTS series Total War. It would greatly help Xbox in the PC market, and it would be awesome if Xbox helped bring it to Xbox as well. Their third team is their console team, which has worked on the excellent Alien: Isolation and is now working on a next-gen FPS. Of course, Xbox doesn’t really need another FPS, but the team is talented and there is a lot of potential with their FPS. I don’t see this ever happening but they are a very good studio. Oh, and forgot to mention, they made Halo Wars 2. Would be nice to get a 3.

  • Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio - The Yakuza games are seriously great. RGG Studio makes quality games and is very efficient at doing so, being able to release a game pretty much every year. Also, it would help Xbox appeal more to the Japanese market. Again, never going to happen, but this studio is fantastic.

  • Moon Studios - I love the Ori games this studio has put out. They’re some of my favorite platformers now. I believe they’re working on an ARPG now, which sounds real promising. This would be an amazing get for Xbox.

  • Remedy Entertainment - All the games from this studio are great. Alan Wake, Quantum Break, and Control were all very unique experiences and that’s why it would be amazing if this studio was made part of Xbox Game Studios. Looking forward to seeing what they do with the CrossfireX campaign.

  • Rocksteady Studios - The Batman Arkham games from this studio are great. Whether they have the Batman IP or not, I believe they would be a great get for Xbox.

  • Respawn Entertainment - Love the Titanfall games. Both the SP and MP in two were great and it’s one of the best FPS games in recent years. Fallen Order is a solid game as well despite being completely different from the Titanfall games. Shows that Respawn is very versatile.

  • The Behemoth - I think it would be nice if Xbox had a small, arcade studio, and I think the Behemoth fits that pretty well. Alien Hominid, Castle Crashers, and Battleblock Theater were all enjoyable experiences.

3 Likes