In the past few years, Poland has really come into its own as a hub for video game development, with studios like CD Projekt Red, Techland, CI Games, People Can Fly and more calling the Eastern European country home. Well, it seems Microsoft has taken notice and is looking to add a Polish studio or two to its every-expanding Xbox Game Studios lineup.
This rumor comes courtesy of the podcast of Borys Nieśpielak, a filmmaker who covered the Polish gaming industry in his documentary “We Are Alright” (thanks to Twitter user S3V8 for translating the key passage)…
This is a confirmed thing, but the [details] are uncertain. Microsoft was shopping in Poland. It's not known if they bought someone. [...] It's known they were for sure in Poland. I know for sure that they talked to one studio. It's not known with whom else [they spoke]. It's not known if they reached an agreement with anyone. I can't say who they talked to too much. But it's known that this was the case.
So, who might Microsoft have their eye on? Well, before you get too excited, don’t expect CD Projekt Red to join Microsoft’s stable – they have a market value of nearly $7 billion, which is probably too much for even M$ to afford. While not totally out of the question, it’s unlikely we’ll see Microsoft snap up any publicly-traded companies (which include CI Games, 11-Bit Studios, and Bloober Team) as they seem to prefer the simplicity of buying smaller, privately-owned studios.
That still leaves Microsoft with a few options, including People Can Fly (Gears of War: Judgment, Bulletstorm), The Astronauts (The Vanishing of Ethan Carter), The Farm 51 (World War 3, Chernobylite), and, the big one, Techland (Dying Light). The most obvious acquisition would be People Can Fly, given they’ve already worked with Microsoft’s Gears franchise, and I could see them grabbing The Farm 51 as well. Techland would obviously be a huge get, but they’re probably too big at this point.
What do you think? If you were in Phil Spencer’s shoes, which Polish devs would you be looking to acquire?