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Microsoft has acquired Double Fine and set up a new Age of Empires studio

Double Fine Productions has been floating around the gaming industry for almost two decades now and has delivered a bunch of cult classics. In recent years, the studio has turned to crowd funding platforms to fund new games but those days are now over, as Microsoft has acquired them.

Double Fine is now part of the Xbox Game Studios family, bringing the total number of first-party studios under Microsoft up to 15. Tim Schafer will still lead the studio and right now, it doesn’t look like any major changes are being planned, so it will continue to be business as usual. Although this does likely mean that future Double Fine titles will cater to Xbox and PC only.

Before that happens though, Double Fine needs to finish working on Psychonauts 2, which will still release on all platforms as originally planned. Microsoft has picked up a few crowd-funded studios in the last year and has left each of them to deliver on all prior commitments before focusing on what’s next. Psychonauts 2 will be releasing in 2020, after that, we should start to see the first Xbox/Windows exclusives start to roll in.

While Double Fine was the major studio announcement during E3 this year, Microsoft did also quietly reveal that it has set up a new first-party studio to handle the Age of Empires IP. Right now, Relic still seems to be working on Age of Empires 4 but the Definitive Edition trilogy remasters will be handled by this new in-house studio.

KitGuru Says: While rumours had us anticipating a few other potential studio acquisitions, Double Fine is still a huge pick up for Microsoft and should help diversify the first-party games lineup in the years to come. We’ll be seeing many more first-party games from next year onward as we head towards the launch of the next-gen Xbox. 

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