In a surprising development yesterday, Microsoft announced during its E3 presser that it had acquired Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice developer Ninja Theory. Many understandably questioned the move in light of the studio’s recent stance on AAA development and independence, and it seems that Ninja Theory’s bosses were expecting that. Shortly after the announcement, the company released the video above to explain its decision to join Microsoft.
Creative Lead Tameem Antoniades said:
When Microsoft approached us, it was totally unexpected and not something we were really looking to do. Nevertheless, they asked us what our goals and ambitions were as a studio in an ideal world, and so we said we wanted to free from the AAA machine and make games focused on the experience not around monetization. We want to take bigger creative risks, and creative genre defining games without constant threat of annihilation. We want to make our own games our own way, and not be told what to make and how to make it, and above all we want to protect our team, our culture, and our identity because that in essence is Ninja Theory.
I’m now convinced this is an opportunity for us to jump years ahead, to aim higher than we’ve ever dared to, to really fly, without the threat of falling down that has held us back so much in the past.
Ninja Theory has confirmed that it’ll now focus on making games for Microsoft’s platforms and acknowledges that this will disappoint a lot of its fans. “That’s not something we take lightly,” said the studio without elaborating further.