Hellblade developer Ninja Theory and four others acquired by Microsoft

Microsoft gaming chief Phil Spencer speaks at E3 during the company's keynote.

The new studios will all be housed beneath the Microsoft Studios brand alongside a new venture called The Initiative led by former Crystal Dynamics head of studio Darrell Gallagher.

Undead Labs has been taken over by Microsoft as well, following the recent success of State of Decay 2. State of Decay and the recently-released State of Decay 2 have been exclusives for Xbox, so it seems a ideal fit for the studio to officially fall under Microsoft's first-party lineup of developers. Playground Games makes the Forza Horizon series, and Spencer said the studio would be bringing its open-world expertise to an entirely new project. The studio is now building a team of "world class talent" to develop "groundbreaking new game experiences". If rumors are correct, that other game could be a full-fledged Fable game.

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The acquisitions follow Microsoft's new push to develop more of its own games after facing criticism for lack of first-party titles in years past, particularly compared to rival Sony Playstation.

Ninja Theory is best known for producing 2017's breakout indie hit Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice.

Then there's Compulsion Games, the developer behind We Happy Few, which is also involved in this big video game love-in.

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