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Facebook acquires game developer in light of Xbox partnering

In light of Microsoft’s decision to join forces with Facebook Gaming, Facebook acquired multiple game developers, including Ready at Dawn’s acquisition on Monday and Sanzaru Games in February, which could signal an exclusivity deal.

Microsoft shut down streaming platform Mixer on Monday in favor of a partnership with Facebook. The move sends some significant signals regarding how the two will operate together in years to come.

Any potential developments in Facebook and Microsoft’s partnership heading into the next generation of consoles might suggest a tighter bond between social media and interactive media. There aren’t many details regarding the Xbox Series X‘s library of apps, though it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see a more sophisticated Facebook app. Even now, Facebook’s Microsoft apps may get major facelifts on Xbox One and other Microsoft devices.

Facebook acquired Ready at Dawn on Monday, according to the Oculus Blog, as mentioned previously. The developer worked on Oculus Platform games Lone Echo, Echo Combat, and Echo Arena on PC. The company is now working on Lone Echo II.

Ready at Dawn developed numerous PlayStation platform exclusives in the past. These include PlayStation Portable titles Daxter, God of War: Chains of Olympus, and God of War: Ghost Sparta. Further, Ready at Dawn designed The Order: 1886 on PlayStation 4.

It’s unknown how long the deal between Microsoft and Facebook has been in the works, but the timing of Ready at Dawn’s acquisition is curious. It may be a mere coincidence and Facebook and Ready at Dawn were ready to seal the deal for a while. However, it is interesting that this acquisition occurs on the day of Microsoft and Facebook’s official partnership announcement.

A spokesperson told Digital Trends the “timing of these announcements is not indicative of future partnerships,” though Ready at Dawn will “continue to build amazing game experiences” with Facebook and Oculus’ support.

Moreover, Facebook acquired Sanzaru Games in early 2020. Sanzaru Games is the developer behind the Sly Cooper franchise on PlayStation platforms, as well as the Spyro Reignited Trilogy. The developer’s most recent title was Asgard’s Wrath for Oculus Rift.

Sanzaru Games’ acquisition was slightly less recently, so it was likely unrelated. However, now that the tech and social media giants have joined forces, game development could be influenced by the partnership.

Nothing beyond Microsoft and Facebook’s partnership has been announced yet, including tentative game development. However, their cooperative approach will be something worth watching.

Updated on June 24, 2020: Added statement from a Facebook spokesperson. 

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Brandon McIntyre
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