Microsoft Acquires Obsidian Entertainment and InXile Entertainment

Microsoft announced that it has acquired Obsidian and inXile Entertainment. Obsidian Entertainment was rumored last month, and inXile is a surprise for fans. Both studios are known for their role-playing games.

Microsoft closed out it’s Inside Xbox show at X018 with the acquisition news. Obsidian Entertainment most recently released Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire in May 2018. InXile Entertainment released The Bard’s Tale IV: Barrows Deep in September 2018.

The new studios join recently acquired Undead Labs, Playground Games, Ninja Theory, and Compulsion Games. Microsoft also announced the formation of The Initiative, a new studio based in Santa Monica California, at E3 2018. Microsoft’s string of acquisitions suggest the company is doubling down on its Xbox division.

The Xbox One has trailed behind Sony’s PlayStation 4 in terms of sales, and some have attributed that to its lack of exciting first-party titles. Games like Halo 5: Guardians and Gears of War 4 did not set the world on fire in the way their predecessors had. Along with that, Xbox has failed to keep pace with PlayStation’s onslaught of quality first-party titles. Microsoft exclusive games like State of Decay 2, Sea of Thieves, and Forza Horizon 4 have done well this year. State of Decay 2 developer Undead Labs, and Forza Horizon 4 developer Playground Games were acquired by the platform holder this year.

Obsidian Entertainment was founded in 2003 by ex-Black Isle studios employees. Their first title was Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, a sequel to Bioware’s 2003 RPG. Obsidian developed Fallout: New Vegas, South Park: The Stick of Truth, and more recently its crowd-funded Pillars of Eternity series. The Pillars titles hearken back to the isometric RPG style of Black Isle’s Baldur’s Gate series.

InXile Entertainment was formed by Interplay Productions founder Brian Fargo in 2002. Interplay owned Black Isle studios, and developed the original Fallout titles. Fargo formed inXile to develop and publish RPG games. Wasteland 2, a sequel to Fargo’s 1988 original, was released after a successful crowdfunding in 2014. A third game in the Wasteland series was announced for late 2019, and it is currently scheduled for release on Windows, Linux, macOS, Xbox One, and PS4. It is unclear whether the title will still come to Sony’s console.