Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice developer Ninja Theory has explained why it decided to become a part of Microsoft Studios, claiming the move will allow it to "aim higher than we've ever dared, to really fly, without the threat of falling down."
The Cambridge-based studio is one of five new additions to Microsoft's first-party roster, with Undead Labs (State of Decay), Compulsion Games (We Happy Few), Playground Games (Forza Horizon), and new studio The Initiative rounding off the pack.
Microsoft claims its new recruits will allow it to "take bigger risks," and that also seems to have been the key selling point for Ninja Theory, which will retain full creative control over its own projects, while gaining access to Microsoft's considerable resources.
"When Microsoft approached us, it was totally unexpected and not something we were really looking to do," explained creative lead Tameem Antoniades, in a video posted to YouTube.
"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 triple-A 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."
Although it sounds ideal on paper, the Ninja Theory team were aware they risked alienating some fans by linking up exclusively with Microsoft.
"[The decision means] that our experiences will be focused on the Microsoft platform. We recognize that this will disappoint many of you, and that's not something we take lightly," added the studio's commercial director, Dominic Matthews.
"We're now gearing up to bring you many more games, which just like Hellblade, will be ambitious, creatively different and unique in their own way."