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Creator / Xbox Game Studios
aka: Microsoft Studios

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Xbox Game Studiosnote  is the wing of Microsoft that handles the development and publishing of games for the Xbox brand of consoles (Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S), as well as Microsoft Windows and (previously) Windows Phone platforms.

Xbox Game Studios is arguably the fourth Video Game company to be on the level of Nintendo, Sega, and Sony Interactive Entertainment. While Microsoft's clout of popular exclusive video game franchises isn't as extensive as those three, they do have a few notable ones, with their current big four being first-person sci-fi shooter franchise Halo,note  third-person shooter franchise Gears of War,note  famed sandbox game Minecraft,note  and semi-sim racing franchise Forza.note 

A critical moment in the studio's history came in 2014. Facing questions about Microsoft's future in gaming after the failures of the Xbox One's launch, and recognizing that a lack of heavy-hitting first-party games was one of their biggest issues, the company made the decision to purchase Mojang for a then-record setting $2.5 billion. Microsoft remained relatively hands-off after the acquisition, and even allowed Minecraft to be released and continuously updated on rival platforms. This began a shift away from Xbox as a console brand, and more towards that of a traditional publisher that happens to offer a console.

Beginning in 2018, Xbox Game Studios expanded rapidly as Microsoft went on a spending spree in order to bolster its portfolio of gaming studios and properties. These acquisitions started off relatively modest, comprising several small to mid-size studios, such as Obsidian Entertainment, inXile Entertainment, Ninja Theory, and Double Fine Productions. However, Microsoft turned heads in 2020 when they unveiled plans to acquire ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda, a deal that was approved and finalized in early 2021. In 2022, they topped that by starting the process of acquiring no less than Activision Blizzard. After a lengthy 20 months of getting legal approvals throughout the world, the deal was closed on October 13th, 2023 a few hours after Britain's Competition Markets Authority approved the deal, with Activision Blizzard becoming a sister company to Xbox Game Studios and ZeniMax under the collective umbrella of Microsoft Gaming. Because of this, Microsoft became the third-largest gaming company in the world, behind Tencent and Sony.

Microsoft hopes that these acquisitions will facilitate not only the creation of newer and more exciting games on their platforms but also turn Xbox Game Pass into a Netflix-style subscription service for gaming. Continuing to push the Xbox platform while also developing numerous games across both their consoles and PC (and sometimes other platforms) has placed Xbox Game Studios in a unique position within the gaming market.

Microsoft game consoles:


Former subsidiaries:

Video games developed and/or published by Xbox Game Studios:

Alternative Title(s): Microsoft Studios