The head of Microsoft's games arm, Phil Spencer (pictured), has said that they'd be surprised if the company doesn't have a studio presence in India, Africa or South America in the future.
Speaking to The Guardian, the Xbox boss said that if the Big M wants to continue video games' journey into new markets and demographics, it is going to have to set up or buy studios in new parts of the world. Spencer went on to say that that he expects for there to be an increase of developers in non-traditional places.
“It would actually surprise me if that doesn’t happen,” he said.
“Just knowing the talent that’s available, and the tools [such as game engines Unity and Unreal] that are so much more accessible … I would be surprised if in the next three to five years, you don’t see numerous studios in places that aren’t the traditional hubs of video game development.”
Xbox Game Studios boss Matt Booty adds: “There should be a several-hundred-person studio [in one of these territories]. And not for outsourcing or support, but a team building whatever the version of the best blockbuster game may be for that market. That is very much the vision.”
Microsoft has made a considerable investment in games developers in recent years. In the summer of 2018, the firm bought Ninja Theory, Playground, Undead Labs and Compulsion, before snapping up RPG specialists InXile and Obsidian that November. The following year, Xbox acquired adventure game firm Double Fine. The Big M has also established new studios in The Initiative and an Age of Empires-centric developer.
Oh, and then there's the small matter of Microsoft buying Bethesda parent company ZeniMax Media for $7.5 billion.