Microsoft purchases Double Fine Productions, legendary indie studio behind Psychonauts and Brutal Legend

Microsoft has purchased Double Fine Productions. Revealed during the Xbox E3 2019 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.

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! 

Josh West
UK Managing Editor, GamesRadar+

Josh West is the UK Managing Editor of GamesRadar+. He has over 10 years experience in online and print journalism, and holds a BA (Hons) in Journalism and Feature Writing. Prior to starting his current position, Josh has served as GR+'s Features Editor and Deputy Editor of games™ magazine, and has freelanced for numerous publications including 3D Artist, Edge magazine, iCreate, Metal Hammer, Play, Retro Gamer, and SFX. Additionally, he has appeared on the BBC and ITV to provide expert comment, written for Scholastic books, edited a book for Hachette, and worked as the Assistant Producer of the Future Games Show. In his spare time, Josh likes to play bass guitar and video games. Years ago, he was in a few movies and TV shows that you've definitely seen but will never be able to spot him in.