At E3 2019 in L.A., Xbox's Matt Booty announced that Microsoft has acquired Double Fine Productions, the San Francisco-based studio known for games including Psychonauts, Brutal Legend, and Broken Age, among others.
It's a significant deal for both parties. Double Fine has been famously independent, setting the trend of multi-million dollar, crowdsourced video game Kickstarters. Meanwhile, Microsoft has been rebuilding its Xbox Game Studios as a way to own its own game properties as it extends its platform ambitions.
At last year’s E3 press conference, Microsoft announced that it would both be forming a new internal studio, The Initiative, and that it had acquired Undead Labs, Compulsion Games, Playground Games, and Ninja Theory. Both Obsidian and inXile joined Xbox Game Studios shortly after, and the 2019 event shows that Microsoft isn’t done bolstering its forces quite yet.
Update: Double Fine isn’t the only new addition to Xbox Game Studios. In a blog post the company also mentioned that it recently set up an Age of Empires studio led by Microsoft’s global games publishing GM Shannon Loftis, making for 15 standalone studios under its Xbox Game Studios brand.