The list of developers as part of Xbox Game Studios has been growing year-on-year – and with plans to buy Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard, is only set to continue.
Even if you’re not close enough to the games industry to need to know who-owns-who, if you are an Xbox Game Pass subscriber, it can give you an idea of what will be coming in the future – especially with Microsoft’s commitment to put everything it makes from its first-party studios onto the subscription service – as well as what’s playable now through Xbox backwards compatibility.
With the likes of Halo, Forza, Minecraft, Fallout, The Elder Scrolls, Doom – and soon Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and Crash Bandicoot – there’s an awful lot of games now under the Xbox Studios umbrella.
This page offers a complete Xbox Game Studios list, the headline games they have worked on, and upcoming Xbox studios games worth knowing.
Xbox Games Studios list
In alphabetical order, here is a complete list of Microsoft-owned game studios:
343 Industries games and upcoming releases
Founded by Microsoft as “home to the Halo universe” following the departure of Bungie from the company, 343 leads on all things Halo – from games to books and media. Its first projects were Halo: Combat Evolved (a remaster of the Xbox original) and Halo 4, and has produced main Halo entries and collaborated on spin-offs alike.
Best known for: Everything Halo post-Bungie, including Halo Infinite (2021) and Halo: The Master Chief Collection (2014).
Activision Blizzard games and upcoming releases
Note: The acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft is pending, and is expected to be approved in 2023. As with Bethesda, Activision Blizzard is composed of many individual studios, which we’ll break down in full when the deal is through. But for now – here’s an overview of what the Microsoft acquisition will mean on a publisher-wide level.
Best known for: Call of Duty, Spyro, Guitar Hero, Crash Bandicoot and Tony Hawk from Activision, Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, Hearthstone and StarCraft from Blizzard, as well as Candy Crush from mobile arm King.
Activision and Blizzard have many other games in its back catalogue, including but not limited to: Geometry Wars, King’s Quest, Pitfall, Space Quest, Skylanders, True Crime, Bullet Witch Saga, Blur, Singularity, Prototype, Vigilante 8, Interstate ’76, Soldier of Fortune, Zork, and licenced games for the likes of X-Men, Star Trek, James Bond and Shrek.
Upcoming games: Activision is effectively thrown all its weight behind Call of Duty in recent years – so expect another annual installment (2022 is the turn of Modern Warfare 2) and on-going support for Warzone. From the Blizzard side of things, World of Warcraft continues to be popular, and the likes of Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2 to come – though both have been delayed to 2023. As for what all this means under Microsoft’s stewardship, we’ll have to wait and see.
Alpha Dog Games games and upcoming releases
Acquired by Zenimax Media in October 2019, the Nova Scotia developer is best known for developing mobile and tablet games.
Best known for: Since it was founded in 2012, releases include Wraithborne, MonstroCity: Rampage and a free-to-play remake of Atari 7800 game Ninja Golf. Its most recent release was Mighty Doom, a top-down shooter “set in the animated Doom universe”.
Upcoming games: TBC.
Arkane (Bethesda Softworks)
Arkane, who specialises in the ‘immersive sim’ side of adventure games, is responsible for some of Bethedsa’s most acclaimed projects of recent years – including Dishonored and Prey.
Best known for: Arx Fatalis (2002), Dark Messiah of Might and Magic (2006) and more recently, Dishonored and Prey. Deathloop, a PS5 console timed exclusive, was released in 2020. We gave it an Essential in our Deathloop review.
Upcoming games: Redfall, an open-world, co-op vampire shooter announced at E3 2021. It’s set to be released in summer 2022.
Bethesda Game Studios games and upcoming releases
Arguably the Bethesda Softworks’ team behind its best-known work, it’s responsible for two huge properties – The Elder Scrolls (Skyrim, Oblivion, Morrowind) and Fallout.
Best known for: As well as mainline The Elder Scrolls and Fallout entries, Bethesda Game Studios has been busy with various spin-offs in recent years – including Fallout Shelter, The Elder Scrolls: Blades on mobile, and Fallout and The Elder Scrolls in VR.
Upcoming games: Starfield, its first new universe in 25 years, is due November 2022. Elsewhere, it’s currently working on The Elder Scrolls 6 (of which we know very little, aside from Xbox and PC exclusivity and teases of its location) and a “one-pager” for Fallout 5.
Compulsion Games games and upcoming releases
Based in Montreal and founded by ex-Arkane Studios developer Guillaume Provost in 2009, the studio makes “games about real people in sometimes ridiculous worlds”.
Best known for: 2013 puzzle platformer Contrast, and more recently, 2018’s We Happy Few. It since saw several DLC updates, including We All Fall Down in 2019.
Upcoming games: In 2021, we learned Compulsion Games is working on a new “narrative, third person, story game”, which we’ve since learned is codenamed Midnight in a later report. It will be its first release following its Microsoft acquisition.
Double Fine games and upcoming releases
Founded by Tim Schafer following his departure of LucasArts, Double Fine is best known for a creative platform and action-adventure games, remasters of classic LucasArts adventures, and helping popularise crowd-funding in games in 2012 for Broken Age.
Best known for: Psychonauts (including VR entry Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin), Brutal Legend, Costume Quest, Stacking, Iron Brigade, (brilliant) Kinect title Double Fine Happy Action Theater, Hack ‘n’ Slash, Spacebase DF-9, The Cave, Massive Chalice, Headlander, Broken Age and remasters of Grim Fandango, Day of the Tentacle and Full Throttle.
Upcoming games: TBC – its most recent release, Psychonauts 2, launched in 2021.
id Software games and upcoming releases
id Software is responsible for some of the most seminal first-person shooters in games – including Wolfenstein, Quake and Doom, and most recently, successful reboots for the latter, including 2020’s Doom Eternal.
Best known for: Commander Keen, Wolfenstein 3D, the Doom series, the Quake series (including Quake 3 Arena) and Rage. Its most recent releases were Rage 2 (2019), Quake Champions (2018) and Doom Eternal (2020).
Upcoming games: TBC – Doom Eternal saw a PS5 and Xbox Series update in 2021.
Inxile Entertainment games and upcoming releases
Best known its role-playing game expertise, Inxile Entertainment was founded in 2002 by Brian Fargo and purchased by Microsoft in late 2018. You can read our interview with Fargo about how the acquisition came about.
Best known for: The Bard’s Tale series, Line Rider 2, Hunted: The Demon’s Forge, Choplifter HD, Wasteland Remastered, Wasteland 2, Torment: Tides of Numenera.
Upcoming games: TBC. Inxile’s most recent releases was Wasteland 3 – launched in 2020 – and support on The Bard’s Tale: Warlocks of Largefearn, a voice-controlled spin-off for Alexa and Google Assistant devices.
MachineGames games and upcoming releases
Founded by former Starbreeze employees in 2009, this Bethesda sudio is best known for its work on the modern Wolfenstein reboots.
Best known for: Wolfenstein post-2014 (The New Order, The Old Blood, sequel The New Colossus, Youngblood and Cyberpilot). It also worked on a new episode in 2021 remaster of the original Quake, named Dimension of the Machine.
Upcoming games: An “original story” in the Indiana Jones universe is currently in development in collaboration with Lucasfilm Games. It has yet to be given a release date.
Mojang Studios games and upcoming releases
The creator of Minecraft was acquired by Microsoft in 2014 for a (then incredible, now modest) $2.5 billion – arguably a bargain for one of the world’s best known games. It was renamed Mojang Studios in 2020 to reflect its work overseeing and producing various Minecraft projects with other studios.
Best known for: Minecraft, card game Caller’s Bane (originally known as Scrolls), Crown and Council, Minecraft Earth, Minecraft Dungeons.
Upcoming games: Mojang continues to update Minecraft, and in late 2021, announced plans to support Minecraft Dungeons with a seasonal model and battle pass.
Ninja Theory games and upcoming releases
Formally known as Just Add Monsters, the Cambridge-based studio worked on multiple fan-favourite action-adventure games in the PS3 and Xbox 360 era, before developing their first self-published game Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice in 2017 before being acquired by Microsoft.
Best known for: Kung Fu Chaos, Heavenly Sword, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, DmC: Devil May Cry, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, Bleeding Edge.
Upcoming games: In 2021, it was announced updates for its team-based multiplayer game Bleeding Edge would end less than a year after launch. Future projects include Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 and “experimental title” Project: Mara.
Obsidian Entertainment games and upcoming releases
Best known its role-playing game expertise, Obsidian Entertainment was founded by former Black Isle staff in 2013, and has worked on popular sequels to existing games – such as Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2, Neverwinter Nights 2 and Fallout: New Vegas. In recent years, it’s turned to developing its own franchises – including the crowdfunded Pillars of Eternity.
Best known for: Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, Neverwinter Nights 2, Alpha Protocol, Fallout: New Vegas, Dungeon Siege III, South Park: The Stick of Truth, Pillars of Eternity, Tyranny, The Outer Worlds, Grounded.
Upcoming games: Obsidian continues to update Grounded – it saw its “biggest update yet” in late 2021 with the arrival of a sandbox biome and first dungeon – and is working on The Outer Worlds 2 and Avowed, a first-person role-playing game set in the Pillars of Eternity universe.
Playground Games games and upcoming releases
Based in Leamington Spa in 2010, Playground Games works on the Forza Horizon series. It was acquired by Microsoft in 2018.
Best known for: Forza Horizon 1-5.
Upcoming games: As well as (what we assume) will be more Forza Horizon games, Playground Games is working on a new Fable entry.
Rare games and upcoming releases
Founded in 1985, this Twycross-based studio has worked on a huge number of games and genres over the years. Following a close partnership with Nintendo during the SNES and Nintendo 64 era, Microsoft acquired Rare in 2002.
Best known for: Jetpac, Lunar Jetman, R.C. Pro-Am, Sabre Wulf, Snake Rattle N Roll, Banjo Kazooie, Battletoads (including a 2020 reboot), Blast Corps, Conker’s Bad Fur Day, Grabbed by the Ghoulies, Jet Force Gemini, Kameo: Elements of Power, Killer Instinct, Perfect Dark, Perfect Dark Zero, Viva Pinata. Prominent Nintendo exclusives, meanwhile, include Donkey Kong Country, Diddy Kong Racing, Starfox Adventures and GoldenEye 007.
Upcoming games: Rare continues to update open-world pirate game Sea of Thieves, and is working on mysterious adventure Everwild, which is reported to be releasing in 2024.
Roundhouse Studios games and upcoming releases
Founded by Bethesda, Roundhouse Studios is the successor to Humanhead Studios, developer of the original Prey, which closed its doors in 2019. All Human Head employees were offered a job at Roundhouse as part of the transition, Bethesda said at the time.
Best known for: As part of Humanhead Studios, it worked on the Rune series, The Quiet Man, 2006’s Prey and a cancelled sequel.
Upcoming games: TBC. Following the founding of the studio, Bethesda said it was working on “unannounced projects”.
Tango Gameworks games and upcoming releases
Tango Gameworks was founded in 2010 by Shinji Mikami, director and producer of the Resident Evil series – including the 1996 original, GameCube remake and Resident Evil 4 – as well as fan-favourites God Hand and Vanquish at other studios. Tango Gameworks, unsurprisingly, deals in horror adventure games.
Best known for: The Evil Within and The Evil Within 2.
Upcoming games: The studio’s next project, Ghostwire: Tokyo, will launch as a PS5 console timed exclusive in early 2022.
The Coalition games and upcoming releases
Formerly known as Zipline Studios (Relic Rescue) and Microsoft Game Studios Vancouver (Microsoft Flight), it was renamed Black Tusk Studios in 2012 with the original intention to make “Microsoft’s next big entertainment franchise” on the level of Halo. After Microsoft acquired the rights to Gears of War, the team was then rebranded The Coalition, and is the lead studio for the series.
Best known for: Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, Gears of War 4, Gears 5, Gears Tactics.
Upcoming games: According to its website, “The Coalition is currently focused on next-generation development using Unreal Engine 5”. If we had to put money on it, that would be a new Gears of War game.
The Initiative games and upcoming releases
Founded by former Crystal Dynamics developer Darrell Gallagher in 2018, it is working on a reboot in the Perfect Dark series as its first project (in collaboration with Crystal Dynamics, it emerged in 2021).
Upcoming games: A reboot of Perfect Dark.
Turn 10 Studios games and upcoming releases
Founded by Microsoft in 2001 to develop racing games, it is known for creating the Forza Motorsport series.
Best known for: Forza Motorsport 1-7, as well as the soon-to-be-shuttered Forza Street.
Upcoming games: An unnumbered, next-gen entry in the Forza Motorsport series – with 4K support at a full 60fps and ray tracing to look forward to.
Undead Labs games and upcoming releases
Founded by ArenaNet co-founder Jeff Strain in 2019, it is best known for zombies series State of Decay.
Best known for: State of Decay, State of Decay 2.
Upcoming games: State of Decay 3, announced in 2020 as part of a large Series X showcase.
World’s Edge games and upcoming releases
World’s Edge is perhaps the most unusual entry on this list – a Microsoft-owned studio that manages Age of Empires, as opposed to developing it.
Best known for: Overseeing Age of Empires in recent years – including Age of Empires 3: Definitive Edition in 2020, and the Relic-developed Age of Empires 4 in 2021.
Upcoming games: In January 2022, it looked like Microsoft was testing Ages of Empires 4 for Xbox consoles. And beyond that? Probably more Age of Empires games.
Xbox Games Studios Publishing games and upcoming releases
As with World’s Edge, this Microsoft studio helps with publishing games rather than developing them. As Microsoft describes it, the team “[partners] with world-class independent developers to create innovative Xbox franchises”.
Best known for: Microsoft Flight Simulator, Tell Me Why, Ori and the Blind Forest, Ori and the Will of the Wisps.
Upcoming games: More Microsoft Flight Simulator updates – including a Top Gun expansion in May 2022 – and Contraband, a “co-op smuggler’s paradise set in the fictional world of 1970s Bayan” from Avalanche Studios.
Zenimax Online games and upcoming releases
Founded in 2007 by Zenimax, it was to help create a massively-multiplayer online game – which was to become The Elder Scrolls Online. The studio was also working on a mobile Commander Keen game at one point, which has yet to see the light of day.
Best known for: The Elder Scrolls Online, which has seen over 19 million players since launch.
Upcoming games: The Elder Scrolls Online continues to see updates – including a next-gen version for PS5 and Xbox Series, and Deadlands DLC, released November 2021.