Microsoft is set to buy independent RPG developers Obsidian Entertainment and inXile Entertainment, it announced today.
The acquisition of Obsidian, which is best known for developing Fallout: New Vegas, the Pillars of Eternity games and Knights of the Old Republic 2, was rumoured last month.
The deal to buy Wasteland 2 and Torment: Tides of Numenera developer inXile comes as more of a surprise. In September, inXile boss Brian Fargo said he was considering buying back Interplay, the studio he co-founded in the early '80s—and he was serious about it.
The news marks the latest in a series of developer acquisitions for Microsoft. In the summer it bought Hellblade studio Ninja Theory, which joined Compulsion Games, Playground Games and Undead Labs as part of Microsoft Studios, the company's game development arm.
At its X018 event today, Microsoft said that the studios would "continue to operate autonomously and bring their unique talents, IP, and expertise to Microsoft Studios as they build new RPG experiences for our players and fans" (h/t GamesIndustry.biz).
Corporate vice president of Microsoft Studios Matt Booty mentioned that the deals are part of the company's goal of "delivering content for new platforms and services like Xbox Game Pass, and creating exclusive games that turn players into loyal Xbox fans"—what the implications are for PC, particularly in terms of the stores PC players will be able to buy future Obsidian and InXile games from, remains to be seen.
Both Obsidian and inXile released videos explaining the opportunities the deals provide them, which you can watch below. Fargo mentioned he "won't be retiring any time soon" (he previously said he would retire after the upcoming Wasteland 3).