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Microsoft Buys Mage’s Tale Dev inXile

Zenbane
MVP
MVP

Assuming this won't turn in to a WMR Exclusive, this is great news! It's nice to see another major Player backing VR game dev's like this.
Microsoft just bought another big VR developer. inXile Entertainment, the developer of 2017’s excellent VR role-playing game (RPG), The Mage’s Tale, is joining Microsoft’s growing family of internal studios. The news broke this weekend an Xbox fan event where Microsoft also confirmed it was acquiring Fallout: New Vegas developer Obsidian. In a video announcing the news, inXile noted that the acquisition would allow the studio to continue developing the games it’s known for but at a higher level.

Formed by games industry legend, Brian Fargo, inXile is best known for its deep RPGs, including Wasteland 2 and Torment: Tides of Numenera. It brought its signature style to VR last year with The Mage’s Tale, which let you cast spells and do battle with evil creatures initially on the Oculus Rift and then later on the HTC Vive.

Shortly after the game’s initial release last year, though, we reported that inXile had raised $4.5 million in funding and was working on a new “open world survival RPG” for VR. Not only that, but the studio previously confirmed that it was bringing The Mage’s Tale to PSVR too. However, in tweets following the news, the studio noted that work on projects outside of Wasteland 3 and Bards Tale 4 were now ‘to be determined’.
https://uploadvr.com/microsoft-buys-mages-tale-dev-inxile-new-vr-rpg-status-tbd/


And for anyone concerned that MS will just kill their VR Projects:
Microsoft also acquired UK-based developer Ninja Theory earlier this year, and the studio released the excellent Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice VR after that announcement. There’s still hope for inXile’s continued work in VR, then.

On a personal note, I have a long history with Microsoft. And based on what I've seen, this buyout will lead to a very strong VR release of their projects. I'm especially excited about the VR Open World RPG.
23 REPLIES 23

pyroth309
Visionary
I'll remain optimistic about this until there's reason not to. They also acquired Obisidan. Microsoft has always struck me as a company that has too many cooks in the kitchen so to speak. That said, since Phil Spencer took over the gaming side of it, I've seen improvements. (and some regression too as the Xbox UI is hideous) I have a feeling Phil is trying to make a serious push to compete with Sony next gen and is acquiring these studios for more exclusives to the Xbox/Windows platform. If these companies will still make VR titles remains to be seen but odds are none of the ones they do make will end up on PSVR.

OmegaM4N
Expert Trustee
I am hoping this means VR is back on the card for MS, my XBX is screaming for me to play Forza and Gears in VR. 🙂
CV1/Vive-knuckles)/Dell Vr Visor/Go/Quest II/ PSVR.

bigmike20vt
Visionary
hmmmm hopefully this is a good thing..... but, lets just say looking at RARE i would say Rare were better pre MS than post MS!.
as for hellblade, this is a good point, however was that a case of MS allowing/encouraging the devs to do the VR port or was it simply a case of the work already being too far along to make it worth stopping them releasing it.

IF i owned a WMR device i would be more positive about it than i am as someone NOT owning a WMR device.

AFAIK none of the MS Store exclusive titles work on the rift or vive.  (please correct me if i am wrong)
Fiat Coupe, gone. 350Z gone. Dirty nappies, no sleep & practical transport incoming. Thank goodness for VR 🙂

HiThere_
Superstar
Color me pessimist, but based on their past MS didn't buy inXile to promote VR, maybe not even to make money in the short term, but to promote their own VR hardware and MS Store by putting VR exclusives on it, and I don't mean temporary exclusives.

Lucky enough if MS doesn't remove Mage's Tale from the Oculus Store, and more company purchases don't follow  : Goodbye inXile.

Zenbane
MVP
MVP


based on their past MS didn't buy inXile to promote VR


but to promote their own VR hardware and MS Store by putting VR exclusives on it


These 2 statements contradict each other. MS doesn't want to promote VR, so they are going to avoid promoting VR by promoting VR hardware and making VR software exclusives? I'm pretty sure you just described how MS would be promoting VR lol

I highly doubt that MS would go strict exclusive with just their one dev studio considering how desperately their WMR headsets rely on SteamVR.

pyroth309
Visionary
Yea I don't see a strict WMR exclusive program anytime soon. I think these acquisitions have more to do with the next Xbox more than anything. Phil has also recently stated that they need to improve the windows store and will do so. So they might be making a push to compete with Valve/Steam too. It'll need a lot of work though as it's currently a steaming pile lol. I dont' think SteamVR will be a factor for them yet.

Zenbane
MVP
MVP
Agreed, pyro. This acquisition finally gives Microsoft's VR product line a noteworthy name. Prior to this, their software lineup was quite atrocious.

I have mixed feelings about this. Microsoft have purchased successful companies in the past and it hasn't worked out well. I'm still annoyed about what happened to Nokia, absolutely loved the Windows phone platform, for me it was notably better than ios and Android... and Nokia was probably the only company keeping it alive with some fantastic hardware. And I still have bad memories of Games for Windows Live for PC, which was so badly implemented it felt like Microsoft wanted it to fail.

These were quite different issues though, the first was an external company that was probably better left alone and the second was an internal service that needed much more support. I just hope that there isn't a common theme there indicating a management issue in parts of its business. We'll see though!

13700K, RTX 4070 Ti, Asus ROG Strix Z790-A Gaming, Corsair H150i Capellix, 64GB Corsair Vengence DDR5, Corsair 5000D Airflow, 4TB Samsung 870 , 2TB Samsung 990 Pro x 2, DK2, CV1, Rift-S, Quest, 2, 3, Pro

pyroth309
Visionary


I have mixed feelings about this. Microsoft have purchased successful companies in the past and it hasn't worked out well. I'm still annoyed about what happened to Nokia, absolutely loved the Windows phone platform, for me it was notably better than ios and Android... and Nokia was probably the only company keeping it alive with some fantastic hardware. And I still have bad memories of Games for Windows Live for PC, which was so badly implemented it felt like Microsoft wanted it to fail.

These were quite different issues though, the first was an external company that was probably better left alone and the second was an internal service that needed much more support. I just hope that there isn't a common theme there indicating a management issue in parts of its business. We'll see though!



I completely agree about all of those things, especially the windows phone (Which Satya Nadella has been saying recently that Microsoft is going to get back into the phone game LOL). But that's kind of what I was referring to with my too many cooks in the kitchen comment. So many of Microsoft's products come out and just flounder with no direction or even support in some cases. Even their most successful ones tend to be more of a functional mess than a polished product.

That said, it's hard for me to concern myself with the failures of their past on the gaming side when that leadership in 2018 is drastically different from when the Rare acquisition took place for example. There's a clear boss now with Phil Spencer getting promoted last year and he has assumed a spot at the senior leadership table within Microsoft. Prior to that happening, the gaming and Xbox divisions were always considered second class citizens to the Windows heirarchy. Phil seems engaged in the process and has a drive to succeed. I'm willing to wait and see how it plays out over the next few years before I start doomsaying that it's just the same old Microsoft.

Plus, Sometimes in acquisitions, the parent company is unfairly blamed for a simple lack innovation by the developer they purchased that already peaked so to speak. Very few Devs are able to consistently make great titles and It's even tougher when key personnel choose to leave after an acquisition. I think Ninja Theory was an excellent purchase by Microsoft and I hope infusing them with funds will result in some God of War like epicness. Hellblade Sensua's Sacrifice certainly shows they are talented.