Matt Booty: We’re Interested in Studios Comprised of 50 to 100 people
While Xbox has received criticism over the last couple of years regarding a lack of first-party studios, they’ve taken steps to rectify that situation. In January, Matt Booty was promoted to Head of Microsoft Studios. At E3 2018, Phil Spencer, Executive Vice President of Gaming at Microsoft, announced that Microsoft had acquired four new studios: Undead Labs, Playground Games, Ninja Theory and Compulsion Games. He also revealed that they were building a fifth: The Initiative.
Despite that massive investment, it seems like Microsoft isn’t done building their first-party studios. Xbox Game Pass is a big focus and for it to succeed, more games are needed. For more games, Microsoft Studios has to grow. In an interview with CNET, Phil Spencer mentioned that he didn’t feel they were done growing.
In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Matt Booty provided some more information about the kinds of studios Microsoft was looking to acquire. He also explained that weren’t acquiring studios simply to fill out a list.
“I don’t want to seem like we’re going out to fill a quota,” he says. “It’s not about filling a spreadsheet by any means. We will, however, have an interest in studios right now that fit this criteria of 50 to 100 people, who are making games on a two to three year cadence, and have content that we think will be of interest to our Game Pass subscribers. That means content that is a little different to what our big AAA franchises can deliver.”
He added that “One of the fantastic things about Game Pass is that it can support different kinds of content.”
It’ll be interesting to see what other studios Microsoft brings in. While that number of developers is a ballpark, it provides an idea of what they are looking at. Acquiring smaller developers and bringing them into the Microsoft Studios family could give them a chance to grow and release games with financial security. Simultaneously, it provides lots of games for Xbox Game Pass.