OCT. 12, 2011 • Microsoft Studios acquired Twisted Pixel Games LLC based in Austin, Texas. The studio is best known for its Xbox Live Arcade titles such as Splosion Man and The Gunstringer. No financial terms were released. The acquisition was touted as a way to bolster Microsoft’s fortunes on emerging platforms such as mobile phones. Twisted Pixel chief executive Michael Wilford said the developer intended to continue operations at its current location.
Impact: Microsoft Studios’ recent deals are a clear sign of Microsoft’s desire to break away from the core gamer audience it has successfully built over the past decade. Microsoft Studios has significantly decreased its development of big budget products and instead has focused on developing casual games and also games for emerging mobile platforms. The Twisted Pixel acquisition fits right into that formula. The success of the Kinect has only further Microsoft’s ambition of making the Xbox 360 a key platform for an entire range of new content far beyond traditional games.