Following on from the acquisition of ZeniMax/Bethesda, Microsoft now has a whopping 26 first party studios in its line-up. We may see a few more added to that list soon, as rumours point to three additional studios that Xbox is interested in getting.
Speaking on his latest podcast, Jeff Grubb, a well known games journalist, has said (via GamesRadar) that he has heard of at least three new studios Microsoft is pursuing – IO Interactive, Crytek and Avalanche Studios. This also ties in with recent rumours that the Xbox team has purchased an IP from another publisher.
Microsoft revealed earlier this week that it is not done acquiring studios, even after introducing Bethesda into the fold. Unfortunately, there is no indication that any specific acquisition announcements will be made at E3. It is also worth noting that while Microsoft may have discussions with many different studios, those negotiations aren't always going to end in an acquisition.
In the case of IO Interactive, the studio just recently went independent, released Hitman 3 and a James Bond game. Avalanche Studios most recently shipped Rage 2 in collaboration with Bethesda, as well as Just Cause 4 under Square Enix. Finally, Crytek is currently working on a number of projects, including remasters for the Crysis trilogy.
KitGuru Says: If Microsoft wants to put out a first-party title for Game Pass every quarter, then it is going to need a lot of studios. We'll be getting a good look at everything Xbox Game Studios is up to in just a few days time during the Xbox and Bethesda E3 showcase.