Microsoft Studios (game studio)

Microsoft Studios (game studio)
Microsoft Studios
Type Division of Microsoft
Industry Interactive entertainment
Computer and video games
Founded 2002
Headquarters Redmond, Washington, U.S.
Key people Phil Spencer
(Corporate Vice President)
Products Xbox
Xbox 360
Games for Windows
Windows Phone
Xbox Live
Kinect for Xbox 360
Parent Microsoft
Website Official website

Microsoft Studios is the video game production wing for Microsoft, responsible for the development and publishing of games for the Xbox, Xbox 360, Games for Windows and Windows Phone platforms. They were established in 2002 as Microsoft Game Studios to coincide with the release of the Xbox, before being re-branded in 2011. Microsoft Studios develops and publishes games in conjunction with first and third party development studios under their publishing label.




  • Microsoft Studios acquire Rare Ltd. from Nintendo and the Stamper brothers (Chris and Tim), who owned 49% and 51% of the company respectively. The buyout is believed to be one of the most expensive purchases of a video game development studio ever, at a cost of around US$375 million.[1] As a result of the buyout, Microsoft Studios also acquire the rights to Rare's original IPs, including the Banjo-Kazooie, Conker and Perfect Dark franchises.



  • Microsoft Studios announce the opening of a European office in Reading, England, headed by General manager Phil Spencer.[4]
  • Microsoft Studios disbands FASA Studio, best known for their work on the MechWarrior series.
  • Halo developers Bungie announce that they would split from Microsoft Studios in order become a privately held independent company.



  • Microsoft Studios announce the closure of both Ensemble Studios and Aces Studio, due to the effects of the late-2000s financial crisis and the restructuring of their game development studios.
  • Phil Spencer is promoted to Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Studios in order to replace the retiring Shane Kim.[6]
  • Microsoft Studios form Good Science Studio to develop software for Kinect.


  • Microsoft Studios form a Mobile Gaming studio focused on developing gaming and entertainment multimedia for Windows Phone.[7]


  • Microsoft Studios open new development studios in London, Redmond and Vancouver.[8][9][10]
  • Microsoft Studios acquire indie game developer Twisted Pixel Games, known for developing titles including 'Splosion Man and The Gunstringer.[11][12]

Software Development Studios

First Party Third Party Former/Defunct

Owned franchises and properties

See also


  1. ^ "Microsoft Acquires Video Game Powerhouse Rare Ltd.: Developers of Such Worldwide Hits as "Donkey Kong 64," "Banjo-Kazooie," "GoldenEye 007" And "Perfect Dark" Bring Their Tale...". Microsoft News Centre. 
  2. ^ "Microsoft Game Studios Acquires Video Game Luminary Peter Molyneux’s Lionhead Studios: Lionhead’s hit franchise “Fable” surpasses 2 million unit sales milestone". Microsoft News Center. 
  3. ^ "Microsoft to Acquire In-Game Advertising Pioneer Massive Inc.: Massive’s technology for weaving dynamic, relevant ads into video games will extend next-generation advertising ...". Microsoft News Center. 
  4. ^ David Jenkins. "New Microsoft Game Studios Office For Europe". Gamasutra. 
  5. ^ Joe Keiser (2008-05-22). "Exclusive Interview: MS to Delist XBLA Titles". Retrieved 2008-05-22. 
  6. ^ Tor Thorsen. "Microsoft's Phil Spencer promoted, Shane Kim retiring". cnet. 
  7. ^ Rob Crossley. "MGS turns to mobile games". MCV. 
  8. ^ Clemens Timmermans. "First party Kinect core games by MGS Vancouver". 123KINECT. 
  9. ^ "Job positions for Soho Studio". 
  10. ^ "Microsoft opens new studio for Kinect". 
  11. ^
  12. ^

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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