Microsoft Studios logo
|Type||Division of Microsoft|
Computer and video games
|Founded||2002 (as Microsoft Game Studios)
2011 (as Microsoft Studios)
|Headquarters||Redmond, Washington, U.S.|
|Key people||Don Mattrick
(President, Interactive Entertainment Business)
(Corporate Vice President)
(Head of Microsoft Studios Europe)
Games for Windows
Games for Windows Phone
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 purchases Lionhead Studios, known for developing critically acclaimed titles such as Black & White and Fable.
- Microsoft Studios acquires Massive Incorporated, an in-game advertising company to provide additional revenues from their gaming platforms.
- Microsoft Studios announces the opening of a European office in Reading, England, headed by General manager Phil Spencer.
- Microsoft Studios disbands FASA Studio, best known for their work on the MechWarrior series.
- Former Halo developer Bungie announced that they would split from Microsoft Studios in order to become a privately held independent company.
- Microsoft Studios disbands casual games studio Carbonated Games.
- Microsoft Studios announces the formation of Xbox Live Productions to develop "high-quality digital content" for Xbox Live Arcade.
- Microsoft Studios begins recruiting for 343 Industries to take over development of the Halo franchise after the former developer, Bungie, regained independent status. 343 Industries was first officially revealed as steward of the Halo series in mid-2009 with the announcement of the animated project, Halo Legends.
- Microsoft Studios closes both Ensemble Studios and Aces Studio due to the effects of the late-2000s financial crisis and the restructuring of their game development studios.
- In May, Microsoft acquires Canadian developer BigPark Inc. and integrates them into Microsoft Studios.
- Phil Spencer is promoted to Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Studios in order to replace the retiring Shane Kim.
- Microsoft Studios forms Good Science Studio to develop software for Kinect.
- Microsoft Studios forms a Mobile Gaming studio focused on developing gaming and entertainment multimedia for Windows Phone.
- Microsoft Studios expands Rare Ltd. to a second additional 90+ person in Digbeth, Birmingham to produce further titles.
- Microsoft Studios forms new internal studio named Microsoft Game Studios - Vancouver.
- Microsoft Studios forms new internal studio named Microsoft Flight Development Team to bring Microsoft Flight to PC.
- Microsoft Studios opens new development studios in Soho London, Redmond, Washington and Victoria, British Columbia.
- Microsoft Studios acquires indie game developer Twisted Pixel Games, known for developing titles including 'Splosion Man and The Gunstringer.
- Phil Harrison, the former Sony world wide studios head joins Microsoft as head of Microsoft European Studios and IEB.
- Microsoft Studios recruits for new development studios in Redmond — Microsoft Studios - Playful Learning.
- Microsoft Studios recruits for new development studios in Redmond — Microsoft Studios - The Connected Experiences.
- Microsoft Studios acquires developer Press Play, known for developing Tentacles and Max & the Magic Marker.
- Microsoft Studios announces plans to expand Microsoft Studios Victoria to between 80-100 people.
- Microsoft reveals the final name of their sports entertainment development studio - Skybox Sports - in a recruitment release.
- Microsoft reveals plans to open a new games development studio in London, England to develop various free-to-play, online and social games for Xbox platforms.
- Microsoft downsizes Microsoft Studios Vancouver due to the cancellation of the Kinect family title "Project Columbia" and announces ongoing development of the free-to-play PC title Microsoft Flight has ceased due to portfolio evaluation.
- Microsoft Studios Vancouver is officially renamed Black Tusk Studios. They aim to create Microsoft Studios' next big IP to rival their most successful series, Halo.
- Microsoft recruits for a new development studio in Los Angeles, California to develop interactive Televised Entertainment for Microsoft platforms - Microsoft Studios - LA.
- Microsoft renames Microsoft Studios London to "Lift London" studios; a studio that would create games for the cloud and Microsoft claims is staffed by the most incredible talent ever seen in a start-up.
- Microsoft Studios officially reveals the Xbox One on May 21, 2013.
- Microsoft recruits for Microsoft Studios -EMEA Publishing to manage relations with third party developers making Microsoft Published games in EMEA regions.
- Microsoft recruits for new "Deep Tech" team inside its Developer and Platform Evangelism (DPE) unit - The new team is charged with working with top developers outside the company to build next-generation applications on top of Microsoft platforms.
- Microsoft Studios announces that they will publish 15 Xbox One exclusives within 12 months of launch, 8 of which will be new franchises.
Software development studios 
Microsoft Studios contains twenty eight studios worldwide, 22 for games development (343 Industries, Rare, Lionhead, Turn 10, Twisted Pixel, and Black Tusk which comprises multiple teams working on multiple titles concurrently) and 6 for entertainment technology advancement and publishing. In pure studio count, Microsoft is the largest internal development group for a console manufacturer:
Owned franchises and properties 
Also, despite having entered into the console gaming industry with the Xbox, they have nevertheless allowed their own franchises to appear on Nintendo's handhelds, including the Game Boy Advance and the Nintendo DS, since Microsoft has not currently entered the video game handheld industry. So far there are no games announced for the Nintendo 3DS.
Game quality 
For 2012, the games review aggregation site Metacritic gives the average of Microsoft games as 79.2 (out of 100), the third highest score for a first-party publisher. The nearest ranked first-party publisher is Nintendo at 74.4 followed by Sony at 72.8.
See also 
- List of video games published by Microsoft Studios
- List of products published by Nintendo
- List of video games published by Sony Computer Entertainment
- "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.
- "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.
- Jenkins, David. "New Microsoft Game Studios Office For Europe". Gamasutra.
- Keiser, Joe (May 22, 2008). "Exclusive Interview: MS to Delist XBLA Titles". Next-Gen.biz. Retrieved May 22, 2008.
- Thorsen, Tor. "Microsoft's Phil Spencer promoted, Shane Kim retiring". CNET.
- Crossley, Rob. "MGS turns to mobile games". MCV.
- "Microsoft adds second 90 person Rare Ltd. Studio to development roster".
- "Microsoft Studios Vancouver".
- "MGS bring Microsoft Flight to PC".
- "Microsoft Studios Victoria".
- "Microsoft opens new studio for Kinect".
- "Microsoft opening game studio in Victoria".
- "Microsoft Studios Acquires Indie Game Developer Twisted Pixel".
- "Microsoft buys indie developer Twisted Pixel".
- "Phil Harrison takes over Microsoft Europe".
- "MGS recruits for Microsoft Studios - Playful Learning".
- "Microsoft Studios - The Connected Experiences".
- "Microsoft acquires Magic Marker dev Press Play".
- "Microsoft to grow Victoria base".
- "Skybox Sports: Jobs at Microsoft".
- "New Microsoft London studio 'to work on social game projects'".
- "Report: Microsoft reduces staff at Vancouver studio, cans 'Project Columbia' for Kinect".
- "New Microsoft LA studio".
- "Lift London to create Cloud based gaming content'".
- "Microsoft Recruits for EMEA publishing arm'".
- "Microsoft Recruits for Deep Tech team'".
- "Press Play Homepage".
- "Sentient Team Recruitment".
- "Sentient Team Recruitment".
- "Games Testing Organization Recruitment".
- "Technology and Incubation Recruitment".
- "Core pLatform Team Recruitment".
- Tech Team Recruitment http://www.zdnet.com/microsoft-builds-a-deep-tech-team-to-attract-next-gen-developers-7000015270/=Deep Tech Team Recruitment. Missing or empty
- "Metacritic's 2nd Annual Game Publisher Rankings". Metacritic. Retrieved June 21, 2012.