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Microsoft Acquires ‘Hellblade’ Developer Ninja Theory

Ninja Theory is joining Microsoft Studios, Microsoft’s Phil Spencer announced Sunday during the company’s E3 2018 press conference. Based in the UK, it’s known for action titles like “Enslaved: Odyssey to the West,” “DmC: Devil May Cry,” and “Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice.”

“The heritage between Ninja Theory and Xbox is rich, going all the way back to 2000 where our first ever game was ‘Kung Fu Chaos’ for the original Xbox,” said Ninja Theory’s Dom Matthews. “Since then, the Xbox community have shown us incredible support – culminating in the release of ‘Hellblade’ on Xbox One earlier this year. Now our job is to get the gears in motion on new games for Xbox fans. We can’t wait to start sharing with you what we have in mind.”

“The original games we create at Microsoft Studios are some of our biggest assets,” said Matt Booty, corporate vice president of Microsoft Studios. “Our growth strategy is to continue to expand the worlds that players love, while developing all-new exclusive games that deepen their engagement with our platform. We are thrilled to welcome five new studios into the Microsoft family. We believe these teams have the collective creative power and operational excellence to deliver the next industry game changers.”

“Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice” came out in August 2017 was developer Ninja Theory’s attempt at an “indie AAA” game, meaning a project with a modest budget that didn’t skimp on visuals or content. It reportedly sold over 500,000 copies in three months, turning a profit ahead of Ninja Theory’s expectations. It’s won numerous awards, including artistic achievement at the most recent BAFTAs. Critics praised the game for its portrayal of Senua, a young Pict warrior suffering from psychosis.

Make sure to follow all of Variety’s E3 2018 coverage, with breaking news, original interviews and hands-on impressions, right here.

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