Microsoft is throwing a big fan bash in Mexico City, and it made a lot of news announcements about new games, services, and acquisitions at its XO18 fan event. We’ve summarized what happened at the event here:
Microsoft buys Brian Fargo’s InXile Entertainment
Above: Brian Fargo announces that Microsoft is buying InXile and he is not retiring anymore.
At the recent Electronic Entertainment Expo event, Microsoft acquired four development studios and opened a new one. And today, it announced it had brought in InXile Entertainment, the maker of the Wasteland and The Bard’s Tale series. InXile’s head is game pioneer Brian Fargo.
The deal is part of Microsoft’s strategy, headed by executive Matt Booty, to bring more exclusives to the Xbox platform. 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, Microsoft said.
The studio will continue to operate autonomously, with a focus on role-playing games.
“We’re excited to have the team, the people, the craft,” Booty said on stage. In a video, Fargo said, “I am not retiring anymore soon,” even though he previously announced he would.
Above: Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire hits the Fig crowdfunding platform today.
Microsoft also said it is acquiring Obsidian Entertainment.
The Irvine, California-based Obsidian Entertainment was founded in 2003 by industry veterans from Black Isle Studios (similar to InXile). It 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.
Microsoft said it will let studio to preserve its unique culture and build on its talent and vision to fully realize their creative ambitions. Both Obsidian and InXile will continue to operate independently.
Together, the two new studios bolster Microsoft Studios to now include 13 distinct development teams.
Above: Crackdown 3 Chemical Plant
Crackdown 3 will finally ship on February 15, 2019. Microsoft also showed off Crackdown 3’s Wrecking Zone multiplayer mode.
In Wrecking Zone, environmental destruction is a weapon you can use to take down your enemies. Developed by Microsoft Studios in collaboration with Sumo Digital and Elbow Rocket, Crackdown 3 will bring super-powered agents to New Providence, an action-packed open-world.
Your job is to take down a criminal corporation using an explosive set of weapons and abilities. You can play the campaign in single-player mode or in co-op with a friend.
Crackdown 3 is available at launch with Xbox Game Pass and globally on Xbox One and Windows 10.
Microsoft will give the original Crackdown, enhanced for Xbox One, to all fans free of charge from now until November 30. Microsoft also showed new content from Just Cause 4, Sea of Thieves, State of Decay 2, and many more. Microsoft now has a total of 327 titles enhanced for Xbox One X console.
Above: PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
Microsoft said that PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) will be coming to its Xbox Game Pass, a monthly subscription service that costs $10 a month.
Microsoft is adding 16 new games at varying dates to Xbox Game Pass, bringing the total to more than 100 titles. If you sign up today through January 3, you can get the first month for just $1.
Thief of Thieves, is available starting today. Other titles on the list starting in December include Ori and the Blind the Blind Forest, Kingdom Two Crowns and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. On November 22, Microsoft is adding Agents of Mayhem, MXGP3, and Thomas Was Alone. And new indie games coming for the holidays include Aftercharge, Supermarket Shriek, Mutant Year Zero, Pathologic 2, The Good Life, Void Bastards, and Secret Neighbor. Next year, Ori and the Will of the Wisps will be added.
Black Friday deals
Microsoft said it is offering discounts of up to $100 off select Xbox One console deals. The lowest price Xbox One X will be available for $400. You can save $10 on Xbox Wireless controllers, and there are a bunch of game discounts, like 35 percent off PUBG.
Forza Horizon 4 Fortune Island expansion
Above: Fortune Island
Ben Thaker-Fell, chief designer of the Forza Horizon series, announced the first expansion for Forza
Horizon 4, Fortune Island, which will release on December 13 on Xbox and Windows 10 PCs.
It takes players on to the remote northern reaches of the British Isles, where they will encounter extreme conditions including fierce lightning storms, perilous cliff side dirt roads, and sweeping paved mountain switchbacks under the glow of the aurora borealis (Northern Lights).
Forza Horizon 4 players will also be able to drive all five of Ken Block’s high-powered, custom-built Ford
vehicles from the upcoming GymkhanaTEN, the 10th installment of the Gymkhana viral video franchise.
These rides began rolling out in Forza Horizon 4 earlier this month for Car Pass members with the release of the 1977 Ford GymkhanaTEN, F-150 Hoonitruck and the 1993 Ford Escort Cosworth Group A. Coming in November for all players are the 1965 Ford Hoonicorn Mustang V2 and the 2017 Ford Fiesta RS and arriving in December is the 2016 Ford GymkhanaTEN Focus RS RX.
Forza Horizon 4 Fortune Island will be available as part of the Forza Horizon 4 Expansions Bundle which provides players with two game expansions at a reduced cost of $35. Owners of Forza Horizon 4 Ultimate Edition and Forza Horizon 4 Ultimate Add-Ons Bundle will receive Fortune Island at no