Hellblade developer Ninja Theory and four others acquired by Microsoft

Microsoft's Xbox E3 conference live stream set for 1 pm PDT; Gears of War, Halo 6 and maybe some fighting games en route?

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The company's head of gaming, Phil Spencer, confirmed at the Xbox E3 briefing earlier rumors that the company was acquiring Forza Horizon makers Playground Games.

The company also announced it was creating a new studio in Santa Monica, California under the banner of The Initiative, led by former Tomb Raider boss Darrell Gallagher.

Hellblade developer Ninja Theory has been acquired by Microsoft, along with four other game studios. State of Decay and the recently-released State of Decay 2 have been exclusives for Xbox, so it seems a flawless fit for the studio to officially fall under Microsoft's first-party lineup of developers. The studio is now building a team of "world class talent" to develop "groundbreaking new game experiences". Spencer said that not only will the developer continue to work on the Forza Horizon franchise, but it will also "bring its open-world expertise to a brand-new project".

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For Xbox gamers, this is likely going to mean plenty of new titles coming exclusively to Xbox or Microsoft Platforms.

Undead Labs is known for the State of Decay franchise. As for Compulsion, a new trailer was released for We Happy Few at today's conference, and the release date was announced.

Microsoft has been criticized in the past for not having enough exclusives.

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