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Microsoft Game Studios is a brand owned by Microsoft and introduced in 2002 to represent the company as a video game publisher, coinciding with the launch of the Xbox. Games published by Microsoft under the MGS label are typically released for the Windows and/or Xbox (360) platforms exclusively, regardless of whether the developer is a first or third party.


Microsoft Game Studios have acquired and lost many game development houses since its inception.

In September 2002, MGS acquired Rare Ltd.marker from Nintendo and the Stamper brothers (Chris and Tim), who owned 49% and 51% of the company respectively in what is believed to be one of the most expensive purchases of a video games development company yet, at a cost of around USD375 million. This also meant Microsoft acquired the rights to Rare’s own original IP such as the Banjo-Kazooie, Conker and Perfect Dark franchises.

In April 2006, MGS announced that they had purchased Lionhead Studios for an undisclosed sum. This has allowed them to further bolster the range of exclusive titles for their Xbox platforms, notably with the Fable video game series. The following month, MGS also acquired Massive Incorporated, an in-game advertising company to provide additional revenues from their gaming platforms such as PCs and the Xbox 360.

In May 2007, Microsoft announced it would be opening a European office of MGS in Reading in the United Kingdom (the present location of Microsoft's General UK offices). This office will be headed by Phil Spencer, who was General Manager for the games division before the announcement.

In September 2007 Microsoft disbanded FASA Studio best known for their MechWarrior series.

In October 2007, Bungie announced that it had split with Microsoft and become a privately held independent company.

In March 2008 Microsoft disbanded their casual games studio - Carbonated Games.

In May 2008, Microsoft announced the formation of a newly created internal games studio to create "high quality digital content" for Xbox Live Arcade.

In January 2009, Microsoft closed both Ensemble Studios and ACES Game Studio due to a process of ongoing job cuts due to financial crisis and restructuring of their game studios.



Third-party partners

Former third-party partners

Former in-house


Owned franchises and properties

Games released by Microsoft

This list of games is sorted by platform and includes games published by Microsoft. For those games not developed under the Microsoft name, the developer is noted after the game's release date.



Xbox 360

Xbox Live Arcade

See also


External links

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