E3 2018: Microsoft Shores Up Xbox First-Party By Adding Five Studios, Confirms Next Xbox Console In The Works

Scott Grill

Microsoft and the Xbox One have been under fire for a seeming dearth of exclusive games when compared to the PlayStation 4. Phil Spencer came out firing during the company's Xbox E3 Press Briefing on Sunday by announcing five studios were being brought into Microsoft Studios, plus there were other big announcements concerning the future of gaming on Xbox.

Fifty games were shown during the Xbox E3 2018 briefing, but the studio announcements, service announcements, and a new console confirmation were the most important to the long-term health of Microsoft's Xbox console. The addition of five new studios, plus future feature announcements and a console confirmation, should put to rest constant rumors that the company plans to sell or spin-off the Xbox division.

Gallagher was most recently the Head of Development at Activision from the start of January, 2016, to this past April when he joined Microsoft. He was in the same role at Square Enix for the three years prior and Crystal Dynamic even before then, where he oversaw the rebooted Tomb Raider.

Ninja Theory, known for Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, Heavenly Sword, Kung Fu Chaos, and more, also joins the fold. The studio is known for creating impressive games with limited resources and limited budget. The studio explained in a YouTube video that Microsoft offered them complete creative control and access to all of the company's development resources.

Undead Labs has essentially served as a second party developer with State of Decay and its recently released sequel. The zombie survival franchise will continue to grow now with the full weight of Microsoft behind it as a first party developer.

Finally, Compulsion Games impressed everyone with its We Happy Few debut trailer two years ago. The game is close to completion and will be released on the PC, Xbox One, and PS4. However, the Montreal-based studio will develop games exclusive for the Xbox platform afterward.

The FastStart feature will be coming as part of the June update for select titles.

It is easy to see how the next Xbox will be built around services like Xbox Game Pass and cloud streaming. Microsoft has appeared to have learned from its mistakes from the Xbox One launch, which cost it dearly in the console war with the PlayStation 4. Do not be surprised if it is not released until 2020 or later, though.