Microsoft has announced that it has acquired two of the UK’s leading video games developers, the award winning Ninja Theory and Playground Games.
Playground Games, based in Leamington Spa, is known as the creator and developer of the award-winning Forza Horizon series. Forza 3 was named the best racing game at both the 20th annual D.I.C.E. Awards and The Game Awards 2016. It also received a BAFTA nomination for Best British Game at the 13th British Academy Games Awards and several TIGA Games Industry Awards.
Microsoft also acquired Ninja Theory, the Cambridge developer best known for Hellblade. The game has won multiple BAFTAs, sold over half a million copies and received a TIGA Games Industry Award.
The UK developers join Compulsion Games and Undead Labs in the growing roster of Microsoft studios, which also includes a new Santa Monica Studio called The Initiative.
Dr Richard Wilson OBE, Chief Executive Officer of TIGA, said:
“Microsoft’s acquisition of Ninja Theory and Playground Games is a testament to the talent, achievements and creativity of the two studios and their teams. Both studios have developed great games and won numerous awards, including TIGA Games Industry Awards. We look forward to seeing what they will achieve, create and develop next.
“TIGA will continue to work to represent the best interests of the video games industry. TIGA is currently campaigning to retain and enhance our Video Games Tax Relief – which effectively reduces the cost of games development and encourages the production of British games. We are also campaigning to introduce a Games Investment Fund, which will improve access to finance and help to produce more success stories like Playground Games and Ninja Theory.”