Two of the industry’s most promising RPG crafters are joining Microsoft Studios.

The first is inXile Entertainment, known recently for Torment: Tides of Numenera and Wasteland 2 on Xbox. The second is Obsidian Entertainment, recently renowned for Fallout New Vegas, South Park: The Stick of Truth, and the Pillars of Eternity series. The announcements were made today at X018, adding to Microsoft’s growing list of first-party studios.

inXile Entertainment is currently working on Wasteland 3, and recently launched The Bard’s Tale IV dungeon crawler on PC. Wasteland is perhaps the big story for Microsoft Studios here, an IP which went on to heavily inspire the Fallout franchise, which InXile founder Brian Fargo helped shape. Obsidian just shipped Pillars of Eternity II on PC, and is currently working on bringing the acclaimed RPG to Xbox One and other platforms.

Wasteland 3 ditches the deserts of the previous games for apocalyptic, wintry climbs.

Microsoft Studios head Matt Booty noted to us in a statement that inXile will retain autonomy to create whatever it chooses, and that the studio will continue to deliver great RPG experiences in the future. The same holds true for Obsidian Entertainment, and despite the common heritage both studios share, they will remain free to choose their own creative destiny.

As part of our commitment to bringing a steady stream of new, exclusive games to our fans, I’m excited to announce Microsoft’s intent to acquire a new game development studio – inXile Entertainment.

inXile Entertainment is a team of industry veterans with decades of PC and RPG expertise. Led by Interplay founder Brian Fargo, inXile’s two development teams in Newport Beach, Calif. and New Orleans excel at creating vast worlds for players to explore with titles such as Wasteland 2, Torment: Tides of Numenera, Bard’s Tale IV and the upcoming Wasteland 3. The team at inXile has earned a distinguished reputation for creating deep, engaging role-playing games. As part of Microsoft Studios, inXile will have the support and freedom to fully realize its creative ambitions on both existing franchises and new projects. The studio will continue to operate autonomously and bring its unique talents, IP and expertise to Microsoft Studios as they build new RPG experiences for our players and fans.

Microsoft also discussed the intent to acquire Obsidian Entertainment, emphasizing the desire to preserve the studio’s culture and to maximize their potential.

Pillars of Eternity is a dark, tactical RPG with classic gameplay.

As part of X018, we will announce Microsoft’s intent to acquire Obsidian Entertainment. The studio was founded in 2003 in Irvine, Calif. by industry veterans from Black Isle Studios and quickly made a name for itself with the Xbox exclusive Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords. Over the last fifteen years, the studio has delivered genre-defining RPGs to players on both console and PC through titles including Fallout: New Vegas, South Park: The Stick of Truth, and Pillars of Eternity.

As one of the industry’s premiere RPG developers, we couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to add their expertise to Microsoft Studios, while enabling the studio to preserve its unique culture and build on its talent and vision to fully realize their creative ambitions.

inXile head Brian Fargo has enjoyed an illustrious career producing quality RPGs that put choice and consequence at the forefront. Torment: Tides of Numenera and Wasteland 2 both feature turn-based, tactical combat, and so too does Wasteland 3, where your dialogue choices can heavily influence the outcome of the story. Obsidian shares a common ancestry with inXile, across studios like Black Isle and Interplay, with heavy RPG leanings. Obsidian’s Fallout New Vegas is arguably the best in the series, delivering a memorable branching narrative that far outstripped Bethesda’s own sequel, Fallout 4.

The acquisitions plug a bit of a gap in Microsoft’s core lineup, which has lacked strong RPG chops for many years. With Microsoft’s tech and financing, inXile and Obsidian should be able to find new heights with their respective games, which have recently been funded primarily via Kickstarter.

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