Let’s try to imagine the possible directions of Xbox Game Studios for the coming months.
We are now on the eve of Gamescom 2019, which will officially take place next week from 20 to 24 August but which will see a key day even on Monday 19 August, and it is time for predictions and rumors. Rumors, however, do not seem to be particularly lively in this round, indicating a fair perhaps a bit subdued, considering the lack of movement in terms of theories and leaks for this year. However, there is at least one very interesting new feature: the Opening Night Live on Monday evening at 20:00, conducted by Geoff Keighley, as well as the Inside Xbox, broadcastscheduled for the same day around 17:00. We don’t know very well what to expect from both events but Keighley’s might hide many surprises, considering the journalist’s ability to put together a lot of food for his initiatives, as the rich list of names gathered for the occasion also shows.
Interesting however also the Inside Xbox, which could contain important information for the near future of Microsoft, considering that it is a transmission often rather moderate in terms of novelty but that every time it is able to give remarkable surprises. We can apparently expect at least 12 new trailers for the occasion and maybe some surprises, even if the simultaneous presence at the Opening Night Live makes the destination of the most important announcements uncertain, which could be moved to the Keighley transmission. In any case, today the prospect that Microsoft could unveil some new team acquisitions has rather held the bench of development, within the expansion trend that has been characterizing the work of the Xbox division and Xbox Game Studios for several months now. It all started with a message published by Klobrille, an insider with a slightly fluctuating reliability, but always rather familiar with the issues of the Redmond house.
Here, however, the first enigma emerges: Klobrille’s message (provided he is trustworthy regardless, of course) speaks of “at least one more study added to Xbox Game Studios in 2019”, but without direct references to Gamescom 2019, apparently. Considering Microsoft’s standard modus operandi with regards to special events and announcements of this type, it comes to think that the best opportunity to announce new acquisitions, which are obviously very important news for the future of Xbox, is probably X0. With the X019already set for November in London, it is perhaps more likely that the announcement of new first-party teams will be made on that occasion, on the other hand reflecting what was done last year at the X018, when the acquisition of two teams was announced extremely interesting as Obsidian and InXile within the Xbox Game Studios.
Having said that, the total-team is now officially open: which studio could be the object of the next acquisition by Microsoft (probably already happened but still secret, in case the entry was true)? IO Interactive and Relic Entertainment have long been among the main suspects, on which the rumors were concentrated already at the time of E3 2019. The former remains a likely candidate, while for the latter it seems difficult to think of a handover from Sega to Microsoft, even if the proximity to the house of Redmond is undoubted, given the development of Age of Empires 4. Also, the idea of Ready at Dawn is fascinating, above all because it would be curious to see a team historically more tied to Sony pass on the other side of the barricades, beyond the results little ups and downs obtained so far. Beyond the most imaginative and frankly unlikely assumptions, such as Insomniac or even Platinum Games, the most sensible ideas concern indie teams that have already worked closely with Microsoft, such as Moon Studio, authors of the Ori series currently working on Ori and the Will of the Wisps , and Studio MDHR, the creators of Cuphead . If we consider instead the famous question of the Japanese study, which was also mentioned several times by Phil Spencer himself but always very vaguely, the most concrete hypothesis could be White Owls, considering the collaboration of the SWERY team with ID @Xbox for The Good Life, but the most tempting prospect would probably be Mistwalker.