Microsoft is gearing up to tackle the next console generation with a bang, picking up studios left, right, and center in attempts to offset some of its biggest criticisms. Say hi to inXile Entertainment.
Microsoft is setting its bets for the next console generation, as Redmond not only attempts to make up for lost ground against PlayStation, but sets up defences against potential moves from Google, Amazon, and other tech giants.
Microsoft is well placed on a technical level for the next console generation. The combined forces of the Xbox and Surface industrial engineering teams is a winning combo, and Microsoft’s massive investment in regional data centers grants them a sizable advantage in live services, and their planned game streaming service, set to debut in 2019. One area Microsoft has arguably neglected in recent years is in its internal game stable. Both critics and customers have been fairly adamant that Microsoft can improve in this area, and Microsoft has responded in a big way.
Microsoft picked up several new studios this year, including Forza Horizon-aficionado Playground Games, RPG heavyweight Obsidian Entertainment, and State of Decay developer Undead Labs. When Microsoft announced the acquisition of inXile Entertainment, however, it came as a bit of a surprise.
inXile Entertainment, founded by the legendary Brian Fargo of Interplay fame, is known in recent times for classic-style crowd-funded RPGs Wasteland 2 and The Bard’s Tale IV. Both games were well-received overall, but they launched missing some of the polish that you might have expected from a larger studio. I think it’s fair to say the games also flew under the radar a bit, lacking the marketing reach Microsoft Studios games typically enjoy. As part of Microsoft, inXile should be able to push their ambitions to the next level, handing off business administration and marketing efforts to Microsoft corporate, and focusing entirely on their art.
Here’s a brief history of inXile, and what to expect from this hugely promising studio.