Microsoft Has A Lot Of Franchises, But Can They Utilize All Of Them?

It’s worth summarizing what Redmond has acquired (and created) over the last two decades.


Their own IPs include (admittedly, some of them were made subsequently after the Xbox acquisition, but let’s not go into details) Halo, Blue Dragon, Gears of War, Crackdown, Age of Empires, Flight Simulator, Zoo Tycoon. In 2002, Microsoft made its first major move when it took over Rare, which had until then been mainly close to Nintendo (Donkey Kong Country, Conker’s Bad Fur Day, GoldenEye 007…) for $375 million. Banjo-Kazooie, Battletoads, Conker, Kameo, Killer Instinct, Kinect Sports, Perfect Dark, Sea of Thieves, Viva Pinata – the IPs that joined Xbox Game Studos.

In 2006, Microsoft acquired Lionhead Studios (where the often overpromising Peter Molyneux worked…), and Fable became theirs. In 2011, Twisted Pixel Games, of The Maw and ‘Splosion Man fame, joined the ‘greens’. A year later, Mojang was added to the Xbox brigade for $2.5 billion, so Minecraft (only beaten by Tetris in terms of total sales) was also in the hands of the Redmond-based tech giant. The major expansion began in 2018, with Phil Spencer now the Xbox boss.

Ninja Theory, Undead Labs, Compulsion Games, Playground Games, inXile Entertainment, Obsidian Entertainment. These studios were acquired by Microsoft five years ago and became the owners of these IPs (although some of them were created after the acquisition was completed): Hellblade, State of Decay, We Happy Few, Forza Horizon, Wasteland, The Bard’s Tale, Pillars of Eternity, Pentiment, The Outer Worlds, Grounded, Avowed. In 2019 came Double Fine, which brought Psychonauts into the fold, but the $8.1 billion acquisition of ZeniMax Media in 2020 pushed the wagon hard again. Bethesda, Bethesda Game Studios, Arkane Studios, id Software, MachineGames, and Tango Gameworks, to name a few studios, but the IPs are more notable: Fallout, The Elder Scrolls, Starfield, Doom, Quake, Rage, Wolfenstein, Dishonored, Prey, Redfall, The Evil Within, Ghostwire: Tokyo, Hi-Fi Rush.

The day before yesterday, Activision completed the acquisition of Blizzard King, so you can add these IPs to the list: Call of Duty, Overwatch, Diablo, Warcraft, Starcraft, Guitar Hero, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, Skylanders, Tony Hawk, Hearthstone, Candy Crush. It’s a long list, but we have to ask: does Microsoft have enough capacity and creativity to do anything with all of it? We doubt it…

Source: GameRant

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Anikó, our news editor and communication manager, is more interested in the business side of the gaming industry. She worked at banks, and she has a vast knowledge of business life. Still, she likes puzzle and story-oriented games, like Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments, which is her favourite title. She also played The Sims 3, but after accidentally killing a whole sim family, swore not to play it again. (For our office address, email and phone number check out our IMPRESSUM)

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