Microsoft made a couple of announcements at their E3 2018 briefing, most of which were new game announcements coming to Xbox One and Windows 10.
Microsoft Studios Acquisitions
Microsoft acquired not one, not two but four game developers plus started a brand new studio in Santa Monica, California.
“The original games we create at Microsoft Studios are some of our biggest assets,” said Matt Booty, corporate vice president of Microsoft Studios. “Our growth strategy is to continue to expand the worlds that players love while developing all-new exclusive games that deepen their engagement with our platform. We are thrilled to welcome five new studios into the Microsoft family. We believe these teams have the collective creative power and operational excellence to deliver the next industry game changers.”
Here are all the studios, Microsoft acquired to be added to the Microsoft Studios family:
- The Initiative Based in Santa Monica, Calif., The Initiative is a brand-new Microsoft game development studio headed by industry veteran Darrell Gallagher that is working to create groundbreaking new worlds, characters and game experiences.
- Playground Games Microsoft has acquired U.K.-based Playground Games, a development partner since 2010 that has helped grow the Forza franchise to new heights. In addition to its work on this year’s Forza Horizon 4, Playground Games will have a team dedicated to bringing their open-world expertise to an entirely new project.
- Ninja Theory The relationship between Ninja Theory and Microsoft started in 2000 when Kung Fu Chaos was in development for the original Xbox and culminated in the release of Hellblade on Xbox One earlier this year. Microsoft’s intent to acquire Ninja Theory will help ensure the creative team has the resources and freedom to bring more ambitious games like Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice to fans.
- Undead Labs Seattle-based Undead Labs is the creator of the popular State of Decay franchise, enjoyed by millions of fans worldwide. In the first two weeks since State of Decay 2 launched, more than two million fans joined the fight to survive and took down more than two billion zombies. By entering into a letter of intent to acquire Undead Labs, Microsoft is signalling its commitment to growing the franchise and taking the zombie survival-fantasy genre to new
- Compulsion Games As We Happy Few nears its full, multiplatform release on Aug. 10, Microsoft has entered into a letter of intent to acquire Montreal-based Compulsion Games. By joining the team at Microsoft Studios, Compulsion will have the resources, platform and freedom to take even bigger creative risks and create even more ambitious worlds with its future projects.
New games to Xbox Game Pass
Microsoft is also expanding their Xbox Game Pass library by adding Fallout 4, The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited, Tom Clancey’s The Division, starting today.
Later this year, Warhammer: Vermintide 2, Ashen, Afterparty, Halo: The Master Chief Collection and Phoenix Point will be coming to Xbox Game Pass. Microsoft previously announced that all first-party titles would be available for Xbox Game Pass on release, this started with Sea of Thieves and will continue with Forza Horizon 4, Crackdown 3 and Gears 5.
FastStart for Xbox One
FastStart for Xbox One allows you to quickly start a game twice as fast as your console downloads just a fraction of the title.
Microsoft says that FastStart identifies which files are needed to begin playing and prioritizes to download those first. FastStart will be rolling out later this month.
Xbox Adaptive Controller
Microsoft’s Xbox Adaptive Controller for Xbox One and Windows 10 will be available for purchase from the Microsoft Store on June 11th at 12 pm ET (9 am PT) for $99.99 USD.
Forza Horizon 4
Forza Horizon 4 is all about the changing seasons. The game will feature dynamic seasons in a shared open world set in Britain, which you can race and interact with other players.
The game has over 450 cars and is playable in 4K and HDR and will launch worldwide October 2nd, for Xbox One, Windows 10 and Xbox Game Pass. It will also be an Xbox Play Anywhere Title.
Gears 5 is just one of three Gears of War games that Microsoft announced. You’ll play as Kait as she travels across “the biggest, most beautiful Gears world ever created,” all in 4K UHD and 60 fps.
You can play solo or with a friend in local or online co-op. The game will launch in 2019 for Xbox One, Windows 10 and Xbox Game Pass.
Microsoft has partnered with Funko to create a new mobile game that is inspired by the Gears of War vinyl figures. The game launches on iOS and Android in 2019.
Microsoft also announced Gears Tactics, which is a turn-based tactics game that combines fast-paced action with character-driven storytelling.
Gears Tactics will be available on Windows 10.
Halo Infinite sees the return of Master Chief to being a new chapter. The game is powered by the new Slipspace Engine, created by developer 343 industries.
Microsoft also announced that Crackdown 3 will now release in February 2019.
It’ll be coming to Xbox One and Windows 10.
Cuphead will be getting DLC called The Delicious Course in which Cuphead and Mugman are joined by Ms. Chalice for an adventure on a new island.
Microsoft also showed a new trailer for CD Projekt RED’s upcoming game, Cyberpunk 2077. The game is a narrative-driven open-world RPG that is set in the most vibrant and dangerous metropolis called Night City.
“You play as V, a hired gun on the rise, who just got their first serious contract. In a world of cyber-enhanced street warriors, tech-savvy netrunners and corporate lifehackers, today is your first step to becoming an urban legend.”
No release date has been announced for Cyberpunk 2077.
Devil May Cry 5
Microsoft and Capcom announced Devil May Cry 5 which will be coming to Xbox One (and PS4) in spring 2019.
Dying Light 2
Microsoft and Techland announced Dying Light 2, the game takes place in the unique post-apocalyptic vision of the Modern Dark Ages.
Just Cause 4
Microsoft and Square Enix announced Just Cause 4. The game takes place in Solis, a South American city filled with conflict, oppression and extreme weather conditions.
You’ll be able to use Rico Rodriguez’s wing suit, grappling hook and more. Just Cause 4 launches on December 4th, 2018.
Kingdom Hearts 3
Microsoft and Square Enix showed off some more gameplay and story for Kingdom Hearts 3. This new trailer gave us a look at the Frozen world that is going to be featured in the game.
Kingdom Hearts 3 will launch on January 29th, 2019 for Xbox One and PS4.
Sea of Thieves updates
Microsoft announced two new updates coming to Rare’s Sea of Thieves. The first is called Cursed Sails, which will have players go up against a new threat in the form of skeleton ships, that will launch in July.
The second is called Forsaken Shores which brings a new part of the world that is more dangerous and test your crew’s skills to the limit. That will launch in September.
Sea of Thieves is available now for Xbox One, Windows 10 and Xbox Game Pass and is an Xbox Play Anywhere title.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Microsoft also announced that Ori and the Will of the Wisps will be released in 2019.
The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit
The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit is a new game from Dontnot Entertainment, the developers behind Life is Strange.
The new game is set in the Life is Strange universe and has players take control of Chris, a creative and imaginative 10-year-old boy who escapes reality with fantastical adventures as his alter ego, Captain Spirit.
The game will also contain links to the new story to characters in Life is Strange 2. The game releases on June 26th for free.