Microsoft has purchased Double Fine Productions. Revealed during the Xbox E3 2019 (opens in new tab) media conference alongside a new trailer for Psychonauts 2. That's right, the legendary independent outfit behind games like Psychonauts, Brutal Legend, and Massive Chalice will be joining Microsoft under the Xbox Game Studios banner to create all new exclusive Xbox titles. Xbox is going all out at E3 2019 (opens in new tab).
The news comes as somewhat as a shock, given that Double Fine has wielded its indie status as a badge of honour over the last 18 years. Still, it is great to see Double Fine's future secured as it joins the Xbox family. Microsoft has been on a spending spree of late, in an attempt to bolster its first-party game output ahead of the launch of Xbox Project Scarlet in 2020.
Double Fine isn't the first studio to join the Xbox Game Studios ranks recently. Xbox added 7 studios to its roster in 2018, including Obsidian (Fallout New Vegas), Playground Games (Forza Horizon), Ninja Theory (Hellblade), InXile (Wasteland), Undead Labs (State of Decay), Compulsion Games (We Happy Few), and The Initiative – a brand new studio headed up by ex-Crystal Dynamics staff. Of course, many of these games are quite a while away, but it's good to know Xbox is committing to first-party games.
Double Fine is still hard at work on Psychonauts 2 – which is launching for all formats in late 2019 – but it will no doubt turn its attention to creating a weird and wonderful Xbox exclusive after that. Well, they better do, that's why we love Double Fine after all!