Build Xbox Games Studios In Your Vision

Been having a blast talking about everything Microsofts doing to build up Xbox Games Studios. The Bethesda news was a great eye opener and was really cool to see them added to Xbox Games Studios.

With that being said, it doesn’t look like they are done with Phil and Sataya both talking about acquiring more in the future.

So I wanted to see what happens if we were to tell people on the Xbox Era that they had 10 billion to build out Xbox Games Studios and see how different people approach it. It’s not going to be an exact science, so try to be reasonable with values for deals.

Looking forward to the creativity and thoughts!


$10 Billion. I will limit this to private companies only given MS’s resistance to buying public firms. Here is what I would get.

Jackbox Inc. for $300 million. Fun, streamer beloved games. Don’t have to be exclusive, just a good investment.

Level 5 for $1.5 billion. A good investment in Japanese content.

Embracer Group for $5 billion. A great, diverse team of studios across all genres.

Bungie for $1.5 billion. Bring them home. Destiny remains multiplat, future games exclusive.

WayForward for $300 million. A good developer with a great track record of speed.

Asobo $400 million. Bring them into the family.

Spend the final $1 billion on expanding existing studios like BGS (for a new Fallout game), Ninja Theory, PlayGround and Double Fine.

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That would be a phenomenal haul. Can I get a Dark Cloud game with Level 5 on board :heart_eyes:

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I mean aside the obvious ei Asobo/Dontnod/Techland etc

MS really should invest in a lot of quality AA releases, they’re just as important if not more so than the big boys and honestly? AA games are going to be the backbone of Game Pass

11 Bit Games, Playtonic, Gears for Breakfast, Playful, Wayforward, Mobius Digital (Outer Wilds) Unreal Worlds (Subnautica) Giant Sparrow, Super Giant (Hades)

Hell…look at The Molasses Flood that just released Drake Hollow which is a pretty good game.

Lets look at Nintendo in 2019. The Switch absolutely FLOORED the competition with so many high quality releases but guess what? They were all AA level games, Astral Chain, Fire Emblem 3H, Luigi’ Mansion 3, Link’s Awakening, Pokemon Sword/Shield, Mario Maker.

Even if MS had a year where they didn’t have any or maybe only 1 AAA game (which I don’t see happening now but that’s aside the point) if they released 5-6 high quality AA games like Nintendo did in 2019 they could still have a spectacular year.

Imagine having a game like Yooka Laylee Impossible Lair, Frostpunk, Hades etc every month on Game Pass where there isn’t a big AAA release? That would be BONKERS and would easily drive Game Pass subs because people would know they’re getting high quality games even if they’re not big AAA games.


Thing with that is they don’t need to acquire small studios for that. These studios shall be small enough where MS can just pay them money to put their games day 1 on game pass instead of straight up acquiring them.

Also the entire Nintendo list you mentioned is AAA lol, even though the games look AA, they all cost 40-60 dollars or above.

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Are we going with cost of the actual game or budget? Because budget wise none of those games are AAA level. Crackdown 3 was also a 60 dollar game and you’d be hard pressed to find someone who considers that an AAA game

I would not categorize most of these as AA at all.

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What metric are we using? Budget or retail price? Because in terms of budget they certainly aren’t AAA.

I would go for catalog completeness. My goal is that Ms would have top tier talent with the industry best on every single region so they could produce games among the best of the industry in every single genre.


Japan Games: Mistwalker Grounding Inc (Futatsugi, Panzer Dragon Creator) Itagaki White Owls Yuji Naka

Perhaps one bigger studio in Capcom/From/Level 5/Platinum.

That team would give them the ability to create JRPGs, fighting games, action adventure games, character adventure games, and they have produced some of the best games in those genres.

And for Yuji Naka: BALLAND Wonderworld! I mean who wouldn’t want to have this under their umbrella?

Narrative Driven Games: Dontnod Asobo Bloober Team

Dontnod and Bloober team are my favorite developers for history games this generation in their respective takes (bloober being obviously more terror focused). Plague Tale while the least favorite of the games I’ve played from this trio already oozes potential for a first attempt as well, not to mention how incredibly talented and diversified the team proved to be in all the genres they tackled.

Isolated mentions with commentary:

Techland. They are able to make dense open world games with a nice gameplay and with up. To 4 people coop. Imo that suits really well into Ms offerings and they could be a great asset to help more games achieve those goals. Imagine for example they mixing with platinum to make the 4 player coop large open world with flying islands dream a reality? Not to mention that they make good games too. Dying Light was very good and kept me and my brother playing together until we finished it completely.

IO interactive:

Imo,right now these guys own the stealth genre. And they are very efficient too. Even if Ms doesn’t get Hitman when purchasing them Ms has Perfect Dark that I feel would be perfectly suited for them, not to mention it would be nice to see what they can come up with new.

Bungie: Well, can’t leave that one out, can we? Bungie craft for shooters is almost unmatched. The one thing that you can absolutely be sure for any game they make is that you know it’s going to play like a dream.

Having them back creating new stuff like Destiny was, as well fully supported so we can keep getting all destiny content on gamepass would already be worth it. There’s also the argument that once XGS reaches a certain size we’ll definitely see multiple teams tackling a single game. And who wouldn’t want to have Bungie in that pool?


I’ll never stop rooting for it. Sega just makes too much sense for Ms.

Sega of Europe has some of the most famous pc only games at the moment, with Total War, Company of Heroes, Football Manager… And there’s a possibility to bring those to console as well having them supported and with Gamepass to find that audience. With Age and those developers, Ms can have the rts fans locked into gamepass, and build an audience on console to increase that even.

Then there’s their lineage in Japan. A way for retail to accept Xbox consoles, long term relationships with hundreds of legendary developers and those relationships could be taken advantage into growing Ms efforts in the region. (notice how many of the Japanese developers that worked with Ms already came from Sega)

There’s also Atlus that it’s one of the best jrpg developers at the moment that could at least start developing for Xbox and releasing them on gamepass.

Edit: THQ Nordic would make a damn nice purchase too. They are swimming in IPs and nice to have all the talent secured, but their approach of only making smaller games is hurting their potential.

With the increased investments enabled by gamepass that could become huge. And adds even more unique portfolio. Darksiders (which has been branched into DMC, Zelda and Dark Souls like) euro Rpgs would also would drive gamepass and Xbox adoption through Europe. And many more.


Let’s see -

  1. Techland

An excellent development studio that would solve the open world survival horror genre in first person. Dying Light 2 looks amazing and they’re simply a very high quality studio.

  1. The Astronauts

Currently developing Witchfire which looks very good and promising. Would probably be a low cost low risk acquisition.

  1. Asobo Studio

Flight Simulator 2020 and A Plague Tale: Innocence. Already confirmed Plague Tale 2. I would buyout that deal they have with Focus Home Interactive and on we go.

  1. Splash Damage

I know this is highly unlikely but I really try to acquire them because I know that Gears Tactics is great and if they’re open to developing these types of games, that’s what they would do. Next up would be Halo Tactics.

  1. Iron Galaxy

I’m not into fighting games anyone but Microsoft owns the Killer Instinct IP and Iron Galaxy did a great job with seasons two and three for the 2013 reboot.

Publisher wise, my top 5 would be Ubisoft, WB interactive, Embracer Group, Electronic Arts and Activision/Blizzard. Never say never but as of now, all are highly unlikely.

Instead, I would pay EA more money to put EA Play in the $10/month version of Game Pass while adding EA Play Pro to Game Pass Ultimate. I would definitely try to get Ubisoft to allow UPlay+ in Game Pass Ultimate.

Aside from that, I would increase Game Pass Ultimate from $15 to $20 but it stays that way for the entire upcoming generation so 6-8 years with no price increase.

While it would devalue Game Pass Ultimate slightly (EA Play Pro and UPlay+ easily make up for it though), I would eliminate Xbox Live Gold before next generation starts.

In fact, I would try to have some stuff finalized especially the elimination of Gold and have it announced in late October as I would do a second round of pre-orders for late November. Basically, a Black Weekend guarantee.

That’s where the $10B would go if it was up to me but could always get shifted/changed if one or two of those top 5 publishers I posted became available to acquire.

Considering how I’d prefer they go back to acquiring smaller or struggling studios, $10 billion seems like overkill for what I’d suggest lol.

Valhalla Studios - Itagaki already had a great relationship with Xbox prior to leaving tecmo. Somehow they are still around, so they clearly want to thrive. I’d get them and give them the budget to grow and make a proper action game.

YS Net - Sure Shenmue 3 didn’t set the world on fire but I’d argue resources were their biggest issue. With much of the team sleeping in the office during development, they clearly have passion and determination, so I’d again give them the resources they clearly need and see what greatness they can make.

Asobo Studio - another studio that Microsoft have a relationship with, one that will clearly continue as Flight Simulator is further built upon. A Plague Tale and Flight Sim demonstrates that this team punches above their weight, much like Ninja Theory. Let them expand so one team can work on Flight Sim while the other team makes a separate game.

Remedy Entertainment - Microsoft previously had a good relationship with Remedy before screwing it up with Quantum Break. I think they should do all they can to fix that and prove to the studio that they aren’t the same mismanaged company they were before. Remedy makes some of the best narrative driven games outside of Sony, so they would be a great addition alongside Ninja Theory. They also have a lot of technical chops and also punch above their weight. Now they are a public company, meaning a bid would be known by competing publishers but MS obviously doesn’t mind flexing their financial strength.

Mistwalker Studios - In some ways Mistwalker actually doesn’t make sense. They aren’t a traditional studio in the sense they usually focus on design, music, and story while relying on other studios to handle the heavy lifting. So if Mistwalker would be acquired, I’d build them up to be a fully fledged studio capable of handling everything in house. Not sure if Sakaguchi would be interested in making Lost Odyssey 2 but if he was, it would certainly be a huge announcement.

This group of studios would add Suzuki, Itagaki, and Sakaguchi to the family, all legends in the industry. Every studio is also hungry for success and passionate about the craft, which would make them a good fit for the resources and funding in Xbox Studios.

Yuji Naka is now part of Square Enix, so to get him, you’d have to buy Square. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


That works for me :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

PS. Can’t believe I forgot Remedy. This x1000. they would be a terrific addition to rooster.

And we would get the full remedy verse (AW, QB, Control) that we deserve

its funny because Alan wake was supposed to be designed around episodes and Quantum break literally had episodes in it to. I mean gamepass seems designed for the games remedy really want to make

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Didn’t someone else just buy them?

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Leyou owns them and are in the process of being acquired by Tencent. It’s more of a wish/hope than being realistic.

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Yeah, I think it was a shame of timing. Ms is now in a perfectly place to support Remedy games, while before there were some factors that prevented them from reaching success.

I do hope they work something out. Imo they are second to none when it comes to world building and plot.


Besides the obvious Asobo and Dontnod suggestions, I would say they should focus on either more Japanese partnerships or build new teams in Asia.

JRPGs and other genres are the only blank left to fill. Otherwise it’s hard for me to say, they have a phenomenal line up of studios. Its bonkers when I think about it now haha!

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I think your list is perfect and a damn near mirror of what I’ve been echoing for months in my thread (Microsoft back in “Buying Mode” from August). Agree with absolutely every justification too, including for THQ (as it would fulfill my 4A Games wish as well).

I would add Frontier and Crytek though just for absolute completeness of variety. Frontier has a fantastic, and long, relationship with Xbox and that Sim gap would be filled ten-fold with these lovely folks. Crytek, aside from bad management, still has one of the most impressive engines and some of the best engineers out there; add CryEngine as a second option for engines to GameStack and it’s gangbusters!


Thanks. I think that an strategy like gamepass is super viable if you are able to produce high quality content in almost all possible games, and bringing that internally means lower operational costs versus paying external developers to fill the gaps.

So long term I firmly believe that Ms will try to tackle everything internally, so having quality teams able to produce them will be more valuable than just the ips (of course if they are able to bring both like zenimax all the better)


Lots of awesome strategies here. I definitely agree with those that worked to diversify the portfolio. I’d take a similar approach.

My focus would be on gaining studios that offer experiences that are popular and currently lacking or non-existent in the first party.

First move would be to acquire Sega for 4 Billion to add a huge amount of diversity including JRPGs, Open World Sandbox, Party and Platformers. It would also cement Xbox as the ecosystem for Strategy games by adding Valkyria Chronicles, Warhammer and Total War.

Then I’d work at acquiring and locking down a couple studios Xbox has a history with and I think have potential to make games that rivals the great third party action adventure games that Sony makes. I’d acquire Asobo (400 million) and Remedy (800 million). Then add a ton of additional cash to these studios to double the sizes of their current teams and make them Xbox’s premiere AAA action adventure studios (assume somewhere around 500 million expansions to their teams and tech).

Then the attention would turn towards expanding on the party game offerings. I mentioned that some of the Sega offerings contained party games, but they would need to add more imo. Would acquire Jackbox games (400 million) and Ghost Town Games (200 million). Would then add a second team to Jackbox (have the second team take on some Xbox iconic characters for party games like Banjo, Sonic etc) party games and expand Ghost Town so they could make unique new party games (say 200 million to expand both).

Then add Iron Galaxy (300 Million) to keep fighting games coming and acquire Playtonix to focus on the traditional Xbox IP platformers (Banjo/Conker/Ori). Acquire Bloober to give a 2nd studio focused on horror titles.

Then use the remaining to expand specifically Sonic team, Bethesda, idTech, The Coalition and Atlus.