Microsoft Could Be About To Acquire Playground Games

Alessio Palumbo

This is not investment advice. The author has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. has a disclosure and ethics policy.

UK developer Playground Games could be about to be acquired by Microsoft(NASDAQ:MSFT). A PDF document posted on the UK Government's Companies House website reveals that on May 29th, Keith Ranger Dolliger was appointed as a new director within Playground Games.

Even the service address listed points to Microsoft, and that's no coincidence. A quick Google search shows that Mr. Dollinger has been a Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Business and Corporate Development at Microsoft Corporation for quite a long time. Furthermore, and here's the bulk of the rumor, he has been appointed as Director on a long list of companies such as LinkedIn, Rare, Skype, Lionhead, Groove Networks, Havok, Xamarin and more. What do all these companies have in common? That's easy - at some point, they were acquired by Microsoft.

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This move would make perfect sense, given the close relationship Playground Games has had with the software giant ever since the studio was founded. In fact, all of the games released so far have been Xbox and Windows 10 PC exclusives.

The announcement could be coming during the Xbox E3 2018 Briefing, where Playground Games is expected to officially unveil Forza Horizon 4, the fourth entry in their highly successful open world racing game. Early rumors suggested a Japanese setting, though the latest one actually points to the United Kingdom as a possible setting for the game.

That's not the only game Playground Games is working on, anyway. A second studio was opened to work on an open world action RPG, with developers who've worked on titles like GTAV, Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain hired for the occasion.

More recently, a strong rumor suggested that it could be a new entry in the Microsoft-owned Fable IP. Again, this makes a lot of sense given that Lionhead has now disbanded and a UK studio like Playground Games could be the perfect choice to carry the torch and develop new games in this highly British-styled fantasy universe.

We'll know soon if this rumor indeed developers into an official confirmation, but chances seem solid at this point.

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