how many studios does Microsoft have? (Spoiler: a lot)

Following the takeover of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft, we take stock of all the Xbox Game Studios owned by the firm.

Just a few days ago, Microsoft announced by surprise that it had acquired the big renowned studio Activision Blizzard, despite the sexual harassment cases. A news that does not necessarily leave the video game industry indifferent. A takeover like this can indeed have consequences so enormous that they could call into question the functioning of certain ecosystems.

Activision Blizzard in hand, Microsoft also signs the arrival of yet another collaborator within its Xbox Game Studios, an empire that nothing stops. We therefore give you the complete summary of the Microsoft collection. On Twitter, Klobrille shared a rather well-organized explanatory image with us, which we put right here.

Bethesda, a special status

Microsoft has always been able to sniff out good deals, sometimes even too much, even if it means getting caught up in the winds – from Nintendo for example. Among the most famous Xbox Game Studios, we can notably mention 343 Industries (Halo Infinite), Mojang Studios (Minecraft), Ninja Theory (HELLBLADE: Senua’s Saga) or Playground Games (Forza). With the arrival of Bethesda last year and its own side studios, that brought the number of Xbox Game Studios to 23.

However, Bethesda has always had a very particular aspect. Indeed, until now, the studio operates independently of Xbox Game Studios and therefore retains all of its creative freedom. Among the studios that Bethesda has brought back with it is Arkane (Dishonored, Deathloop), Software ID (Doom, Quake) or even Tango Gameworks (Ghostwire Tokyo).

Who says first-party studio necessarily says exclusivity?

Activision-Blizzard should not enjoy the same status as Bethesda if we trust the first words of Microsoft on this subject. Once the agreement is finalized, the studio will pass entirely under the thumb of Phil Spencer, so we should also expect the departure of Bobby Kotick, the current leader of Activision.

It brings with it 9 different studios, bringing the number of Xbox Game Studios to 32. An impressive number, especially when you see names like Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer Games, Raven Software or even Treyarch, all at work on the franchise call of duty. We also note the arrival of Toys for Bob (Spyro, Crash Bandicoot, Skylanders) and Blizzard (Overwatch, World of Warcraft, Diablo).

At this time, not all of these franchises are subject to the Xbox exclusivity regime, although that remains a long-term possibility. Microsoft should tell us more about this in the coming months, just as the firm did when it bought out Bethesda.

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