Microsoft Studios, a subsidiary of Microsoft Corp., develops and publishes games for Microsoft consoles and PC. In September 2009, Phil Spencer took over for the retiring Shane Kim as the Corporate Vice President.
The moniker Microsoft Game Studios was introduced in 2002 and lasted until Microsoft unveiled its re-branding as Microsoft Studios at E3 2011. The subsidiary had also been known as Microsoft Game Division and Microsoft Games before 2002.
In addition to publishing games from internal studios, Microsoft Studios often partners with prominent third-party developers, such as Epic, Bioware and Remedy, to publish their IPs exclusively for Microsoft-supported systems.
Current in-house developers are:
- Lionhead Studios (Fable series, Black & White series; acquired in 2006)
- Rare (Banjo-Kazooie series, Viva Piñata series, Kinect Sports; acquired in 2002)
- Turn 10 (Forza Motorsport series; established in 2001)
- BigPark Inc. (Kinect Joy Ride; acquired in 2009)
- 343 Industries (Halo 4, Halo Waypoint; established in 2007)
- Twisted Pixel Games (Splosion Man series, The Gunstringer; acquired in 2011)
- Good Science (Kinect Adventures, Kinect Fun Labs; established in 2009 as Spawnpoint Studios)
- Kids and Lifestyle Entertainment
- Black Tusk Studios (established 2012)
- Microsoft Studios Victoria (established 2012)
- Soho Productions (Kinect Sesame Street TV; established in 2011)
- Connected Experiences
- Lift London (established in 2013)
- Team Dakota (Project Spark)
Former members include:
- Bungie Studios (Halo series) Acquired in 2001; became independent in 2007.
- Carbonated Games (Hexic series, Aegis Wing, Fable II Pub Games, various MSN games) Established in 2004; closed in 2008.
- Digital Anvil (Freelancer, StarLancer, Brute Force) Acquired in 2000; closed in 2006.
- Indie Built (Amped series; Links series) Acquired in 1999 as Access Software; sold to Take 2 in 2004, who shuttered the studio in 2006.
- FASA Studio (Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge; Shadowrun) Acquired in 1999; closed in 2007.
- Ensemble Studios (Age of Empires series; Halo Wars) Closed in 2009.
- Massive, Inc. An in-game advertising firm; not to be confused with the Ubisoft-owned Massive Entertainment. Closed in 2010.
- Wingnut Interactive Though independent, an exclusive partnership with Microsoft was announced in 2006; it was cancelled alongside Peter Jackson's failed Halo film.
- ACES Game Studio (Microsoft Flight Simulator series) Closed in 2009.