Microsoft could be looking to acquire Forza Horizon developer Playground Games in an effort to boost the company’s first-party lineup.
On May 29, Playground Games updated its Companies House page (a UK website that holds details for registered companies in the country) to denote that Keith Dolliver became a director at the studio. It’s easy to view this as just another hiring that’s commonplace in the industry, but Dolliver’s appointing is interested for a very specific reason: he specializes in mergers and acquisitions for Microsoft.
Previously, Dolliver was appointed as a director at a several other companies that Microsoft went on to buy, including Rare, Lionhead Studios (RIP), and Skype. From the looks of it, Microsoft wants to bring Playground Games into the fold as well.
Xbox head Phil Spencer stated back in November that the company planned to increase its investment in first-party games, whether that was by developing more in-house or by purchasing existing studios. An acquisition of Playground seems like a perfect fit for these plans.
Playground already creates Forza Horizon for Microsoft and is working on another mysterious RPG that is rumored to be Fable. With E3 less than a week away, we could be hearing an official announcement—should this speculation pan out—soon.