It was announced during Microsoft’s E3 press conference that Ninja Theory, the team behind acclaimed titles ranging from Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice to the ambitious Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, will join Microsoft as an internal game studio. Yesterday, the developers from Ninja Theory released a statement regarding the purchase in their own words.
About four years ago, Ninja Theory was beginning to disappear as a company, with hundreds of other developers closing shop around them. They were advised by various other industry strongholds that in the near future, there would be little room for studios like theirs, who were too large to be indie, but too small to truly be AAA.
These realizations resulted in their team of one hundred individuals splitting into several groups who began to work primarily on work-for-hire projects. The success of these smaller roles eventually lead to the funding for Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, which reinstated their creative independence.
Due to the fact that the team wanted to remain free from the AAA machine and focus on creating games that were founded upon experience rather than monetary value, their merge with Microsoft came with the promise that their team, identity, and overall studio culture would remain intact. Full creative independence was their prerequisite, which was promised by Microsoft.
This opportunity initiates the possibility for Ninja Theory to jump years ahead, to aim higher than before, and continue to expand without the threat of falling back down due to their previous financial limitations.
The agreement to work alongside Microsoft comes with the focus on producing future games for Microsoft’s platforms. The developers at Ninja Theory have acknowledged that this may disappoint a lot of fans, which they do not take lightly as a team.
Though, as this stands as a promise of freedom to pursue creative risks and tackle genre-defining games in the future, it appears Ninja Theory has finally stabilized as a studio.