Here's what you need to know about the 4 gaming studios Microsoft bought to boost Xbox exclusives

Christian Petersen/Getty ImagesMicrosoft’s Phil Spencer at E3.
  • Microsoft announced the acquisition of four gaming studios at E3 on Sunday.
  • It bought Undead Labs, Playground Games, Ninja Theory, and Compulsion Games, while setting its own studio named The Initiative.
  • The Initiative will be led by Darrell Gallagher, former senior vice president at “Call of Duty” maker Activision.

Microsoft has acquired four gaming studios as it looks to ramp up the number of exclusive titles on Xbox.

Executive President of Gaming Phil Spencer announced the deals at gaming conference E3 on Sunday.

It brings Undead Labs, Playground Games, Ninja Theory, and Compulsion Games into Microsoft Studios. The value of the deals was not disclosed.

Additionally, Spencer announced the creation of Microsoft’s own new studio, The Initiative, which will be led by Darrell Gallagher, who joined Microsoft in April. He was formerly senior vice president at “Call of Duty” maker Activision and rebooted “Tomb Raider” at Crystal Dynamics.

“We know that exclusive games from Microsoft Studios is what originally turned so many of us into Xbox fans,” Spencer said at E3. “We are amplifying our investment in new worlds.”

Here’s what you need to know about the four studios Microsoft has acquired:

Undead Labs

Founded in 2009, Undead Labs is the studio behind the “State of Decay” franchise. The recently released “State of Decay 2” is an open-world zombie survival game, and has accrued two million players in under two weeks.

Playground Games

Founded in 2010, British studio Playground Games is the creator and developer of the “Forza Horizon” racing franchise. Spencer announced that as well as continuing its work on “Forza,” the studio will be bringing its “open-world expertise” to an “entirely new project.”

Ninja Theory

Another British studio, Ninja Theory recently caught the gaming world’s attention with the highly-acclaimed dark fantasy game “Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice,” which won a total of five Baftas.

Compulsion Games

Based in Montreal, Compulsion Games is the developer behind the puzzle-game “Contrast” and the upcoming dystopian survival game “We Happy Few,” which takes place in “a drug-fuelled, retrofuturistic city in an alternative 1960s England.”

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