Xbox Game Studios, originally known as Microsoft Games (then Microsoft Game Studios, then Microsoft Studios) is a subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation created in March 2000 that focuses on the development and publishing of games from several studios owned by the company. It later became part of the broader "Microsoft Gaming" division, alongside ZeniMax Media, Activision Blizzard, and other Xbox-related divisions.
Prior to Microsoft Games's formation, Microsoft handled game publishing themselves, later through an internal "Games Group" team. They also developed some smaller games in-house, usually those included in either the Microsoft Entertainment Pack collections or the Microsoft Windows operating system themselves.
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.
- 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.
- Microsoft Studios Victoria Established in 2012; closed in 2013
- ACES Game Studio (Microsoft Flight Simulator series) Closed in 2009.
- Twisted Pixel Games (Splosion Man series, The Gunstringer) Acquired in 2011; became independent in 2015.
- Soho Productions (Kinect Sesame Street TV) Established in 2008; merged into Lift London in 2015)
- Lionhead Studios (Fable series, Black & White series) Acquired in 2006; closed in 2016.
- Good Science (Kinect Adventures, Kinect Fun Labs) Established in 2009 as Spawnpoint Studios; dissolved and consolidated into other internal teams in 2016)
- Leap Experience Pioneers Established in 2014; dissolved and consolidate into other internal teams in 2016.
- BigPark Inc. (Kinect Joy Ride) Acquired in 2009; dissolved and consolidated into other internal teams in 2016.
- Team Dakota (Project Spark) Dissolved and consolidated into other internal teams in 2016.
- Lift London Established in 2013; no longer a game studio