Xbox to buy Tomb Raider, Hitman and Just Cause developers says insider

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Is no Lara better than new Lara?

Has Microsoft got it’s sights on Tomb Raider’s developer (pic: Square Enix)

Jeff Grubb claims that Microsoft has its eye on three new studios it’s thinking of buying.

In the wake of Sony’s recent acquisition of Bluepoint and other studios, it’s easy to forget that Microsoft has been the one making the biggest purchases this generation. There haven’t been any new acquisitions for a while but according to one reliable insider they may already be running try-outs.

According to GamesBeat’s Jeff Grubb, Microsoft is pleased with its current slate of games over the next few years, including major upcoming releases like Forza Horizon 5, Avowed, and Perfect Dark.

As such, he suggests that Microsoft is looking to potentially acquire those developers that it’s currently working with but which it hasn’t already bought. One example he gives is the collaboration between first party studio The Initiative and Square Enix’s Crystal Dynamics.

Recently, it was announced that Crystal Dynamics will be assisting development on the reboot of Perfect Dark. Grubb believes that, depending on how the relationship goes, Microsoft could ask Square Enix if it would be willing to sell Crystal Dynamics.

He also says the same thing is happening with Avalanche Studios, which is working on Xbox exclusive Contraband, as well as Hitman developer Io Interactive, which has been heavily rumoured to be making some kind of dragon game for Xbox.

You can hear Grubb’s full thoughts from the 1:02:47 mark. And while his claims are certainly believable – and his track record for rumours has been good in the last year or two – it’s still hard to imagine Microsoft actually acquiring any of these three studios.

Square Enix, for instance, would no doubt be very hesitant to sell Crystal Dynamics considering it’s one of its biggest Western studio and almost solely responsible for the Tomb Raider series. Not to mention the developer is currently busy working on the next Tomb Raider game.

As for Avalanche Studios, it is a subsidiary of film studio Nordisk Film, meaning a potential buyout would be complicated and expensive for Microsoft.

Io Interactive is the only one of the three to be wholly independent. However, it was previously owned by Square Enix and only became an independent studio in early 2017. It opened two subsidiaries of its own earlier this year, so it would take a lot to make the studio want to give up its independence already.

Aside from the rumoured dragon game, it’s also making a James Bond game, although very little is still known about the project outside of it being an origin story unrelated to the movies.

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