Microsoft just bought another big VR developer.
inXile Entertainment, the developer of 2017’s excellent VR role-playing game (RPG), The Mage’s Tale, is joining Microsoft’s growing family of internal studios. The news broke this weekend an Xbox fan event where Microsoft also confirmed it was acquiring Fallout: New Vegas developer Obsidian. In a video announcing the news, inXile noted that the acquisition would allow the studio to continue developing the games it’s known for but at a higher level.
Formed by games industry legend, Brian Fargo, inXile is best known for its deep RPGs, including Wasteland 2 and Torment: Tides of Numenera. It brought its signature style to VR last year with The Mage’s Tale, which let you cast spells and do battle with evil creatures initially on the Oculus Rift and then later on the HTC Vive.
Shortly after the game’s initial release last year, though, we reported that inXile had raised $4.5 million in funding and was working on a new “open world survival RPG” for VR. Not only that, but the studio previously confirmed that it was bringing The Mage’s Tale to PSVR too. However, in tweets following the news, the studio noted that work on projects outside of Wasteland 3 and Bards Tale 4 were now ‘to be determined’.
— InXile Entertainment (@Inxile_Ent) November 11, 2018
We’ve reached out to inXile to find out if the PSVR port of Mage’s Tale and this open-world survival game, which a recent report suggests would be a Wasteland spin-off, are still on the way. It’s worth noting that Microsoft itself has had a somewhat shaky history with VR, apparently pulling out of plans to release a headset for its Xbox One X console in recent years, though it could be that the next console supports such a device.
That said, Microsoft also acquired UK-based developer Ninja Theory earlier this year, and the studio released the excellent Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice VR after that announcement. There’s still hope for inXile’s continued work in VR, then.