Xbox Game Studios Might Acquire Indian Game Developer, Says Phil Spencer

The history of Xbox in India hasn’t been as impactful as it has been in the US, but that might change in the coming years if Xbox’s plans to expand its game development studios in local territories comes to fruition. In a recent interview with The Guardian, Xbox boss Phil Spencer didn’t shoot down the possibility of acquiring game studios in countries like India, Africa or South America .

“It would actually surprise me if that doesn’t happen,” said Spencer.

“Just knowing the talent that’s available, and the tools [such as game engines Unity and Unreal] that are so much more accessible … I would be surprised if in the next three to five years, you don’t see numerous studios in places that aren’t the traditional hubs of video game development.”

Nodding Heads’ game Raji: An Ancient Epic released on Xbox consoles earlier this year as part of the ID@Xbox program.

Matt Booty, head of Xbox Game Studios also chimed in saying that any potential studio acquisition in countries like India will need to cultivate a large team for building blockbuster games. “There should be a several-hundred-person studio [in one of these territories],” he said.

“And not for outsourcing or support, but a team building whatever the version of the best blockbuster game may be for that market. That is very much the vision.”

Whether or not Xbox acquires any studio in the country remains to be seen. However its presence in India has seen some positive growth, with the launch of Xbox Series X|S consoles being the most successful in the company’s history. The cheaper Xbox Series S has continues top sales charts in the country due to shortages of PS4, which was the dominant console in India for the entirety of last generation.

Xbox Game Pass continues to grow in 2021, with multiple new Xbox first party exclusives due out in 2022

Of course, moving hardware is secondary to Microsoft’s primary goal which is to push Xbox Game Pass onto more gamers in more territories. Xbox first party titles like Gears 5, Minecraft and Forza Horizon 4 are already popular with Indian gamers as per Microsoft. The effects of Game Pass in India has also been acknowledged by the company before.

“Xbox Game Pass makes gaming more accessible across console and PC in India… We’ve seen members discovering and playing in the service–members play 40 percent more games than before and 30 percent more genres. Developers have continued to see success with Xbox Game Pass too, driving higher levels of engagement and new opportunities for our partners,” said Microsoft to IGN India.

Of course, being a price-sensitive market, it’s no surprise that Xbox Game Pass is doing well when you consider the fact that Sony is charging almost 8 times the monthly subscription fee for individual PS5 games. If Xbox Cloud Gaming makes its way to India soon enough, then it’s bound to reflect in sales of the consoles and eventually interest in investing in the game development structure in India.

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