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Creators of the Windows operating system, the Xbox, and maintainers of The MSN Gaming Zone and Xbox Live

Microsoft entered the home console arena in 2001 with the release of the Xbox.

Microsoft Game Studios (MGS), branded with current logo and moniker in 2002 (formerly the Microsoft Game Division or Microsoft Games), is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft Corp. which develops and publishes video games for Windows-based PCs and the Xbox and Xbox 360 video game consoles. It also (through Rare Ltd.) develops games for the Nintendo DS. MGS publishes games for several Microsoft-owned first-party developers, such as Lionhead Studios and Rare Ltd. MGS has also published games created by third-party developers, such as Bioware and Bizarre Creations as of October 2007.

Acquisitions and announcements

Microsoft Game Studios had acquired many game development houses such as Bungie Studios in 2001(1999), giving MGS full control of Bungie and shifting the development of Bungie’s game Halo: Combat Evolved to its Xbox platform.[1]

In September 2002, MGS acquired Rare from Nintendo and the Stamper brothers (Chris and Tim), who owned 49% and 51% of the company respectively in what is believed to be one of the most expensive purchases of a video games development company yet, at a cost of around USD 375 million.[2] This also meant Microsoft acquired the rights to Rare’s own original IPs such as the Perfect Dark, Banjo-Kazooie and the Conker the Squirrel franchises.

An announcement on April 6th 2006 brought news that Microsoft Game studios had purchased Lionhead Studios for an undisclosed sum, to further bolster the range of exclusive titles it could provide for the Xbox 360 platform.[3]

During May 2006 Microsoft also acquired Massive Inc, an in-game advertising company to provide additional revenues from their gaming platforms such as PCs and the Xbox 360.[4]

On May 4th 2007 Microsoft announced it would be opening a European office of Microsoft Game Studios in Reading in the United Kingdom (the present location of Microsoft's General UK offices). This office will be headed by Phil Spencer, who was General Manager for the games division before the announcement.[5]

In May 2008, Microsoft announced the formation of a newly created internal games studio to create "high quality digital content" for Xbox Live Arcade.[6]

It has been reported on 22 January 2009, the ACES development team behind the franchise Microsoft Flight Simulator had been heavily affected by Microsoft's ongoing job cuts, with reports indicating that the entire Microsoft Flight Simulator team has been laid off.[7][8]

In-house studios

Game related studios

  • Massive Inc.: A studio primarily set up for in game advertising

Former studios

Games released under the MGS brand

This list of games is sorted by platform and includes games published by Microsoft. For those games not developed under the Microsoft name, the developer is noted after the game's release date.



Xbox/Xbox 360

Xbox 360

Xbox Live Arcade


External links

Wikipedia-logo This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Microsoft Game Studios. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Encyclopedia Gamia, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 (unported) license. The content might also be available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

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