Microsoft looks set to be acquiring Playground Games, the studio
located in the UK behind the Forza Horizon series.
An update on the studio’s official Companies
House page – a UK Government website that holds details for all registered companies
in the country, reveals that Keith Dolliver was appointed
as a new director of Playground Games on May 29th, 2018, as spotted by WCCFTech.
Keith Dolliver is the Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at
Microsoft Corporation and according to his LinkedIn
profile, specializes in mergers and acquisitions. He has been previously
appointed as director of a number of other companies that Microsoft has
acquired over the years, including other British studios such as Rare and
Lionhead, as well as Skype, Havok and LinkedIn.
In addition, I’ve also heard from some reputable sources that
Microsoft has acquired Playground Games, with an official announcement to be
Considering Microsoft has renewed its focus on investing in more
first-party studios to increase its exclusives portfolio and the number of
titles launching on its Xbox Game
Pass subscription service, not to mention a new
Fable title reportedly in-development at Playground Games’ second studio, an
acquisition of the British developer would make sense for Microsoft. The
Redmond giant also recently promoted Matt
Booty as the Head of Microsoft Studios and hired former Square Enix studios
boss Darrell Gallagher, who is rumoured
to be leading a new team in Santa Monica, California.
All titles by Playground Games so far have been in the critically-acclaimed
Forza Horizon series. The latest entry, Forza
Horizon 3 is ranked as the highest-rated Xbox One exclusive on Metacritic. The
next Forza Horizon title is expected
to make its debut at E3 2018, during the Microsoft
briefing this Sunday, June 10th. Combined with the recent Companies House
update, an official announcement of Playground Games being acquired by Microsoft
could be on the way.
Alan is the co-founder and co-owner of FullThrottle Media. As someone who enjoys spending all his free time playing video games, he delivers the latest in news stories, reviews, and feature articles to the website, as well as videos on his YouTube channel and livestreams over on Mixer.