Darrell Gallagher, who was the former head of Crystal Dynamics ( Tomb Raider and Rise of the Tomb Raider.) and former senior vice president at Activision, is joining Microsoft Studios in a new executive position. Mr. Gallagher worked at Crystal Dynamics and was responsible for the two Tomb Raider games, he was there for a decade and his position at Activision only lasted a couple of years. This news was announced by Matt Booty on Twitter, if you remember was recently promoted to the head of Microsoft Studios which was once filled by Phil Spencer. What interesting news.
Mr. Gallagher is a veteran of our industry and has worked at numerous positions within game development. It’s unclear what his position at this time but both Mr. Gallagher and Mr. Booty teased some very exciting news that will be revealed at E3 2018 in two months, this could be the beginning for something that Microsoft and Xbox desperately needs right now and that is brand new First Party studios.
I'm thrilled to welcome Darrell Gallagher @DGallagher_LA to the Microsoft Studios executive leadership team. Excited to share more at E3.
— Matt Booty (@mattbooty) April 16, 2018
This is quite interesting news and also quite exciting, I’m going to hop into the speculation circle and try to speculate what this all means. Since the generation began, Microsoft has been struggling with putting out first-party games alongside their legacy franchises like Halo and Gears ( not counting Forza.) not having the same relevance as they once did in the ‘2000s and the beginning of the 2010’s decade and on top of that, they’re becoming quite stale, when opposed to Sony or Nintendo whom have published critical-acclaimed games like The Last of Us or Super Mario Odyssey. Microsoft has a steep hill ahead of them if they want to go head to head with Sony and Nintendo in that arena. This is the first step towards that steep hill.
Time for speculation: Darrell Gallagher has had alot of experience within game development, he was the one who was responsible for the two rebooted Tomb Raider games and numerous other projects so I believe he will be the head of a brand new Microsoft studio, a studio built from the ground up and obviously focused on exclusives meant for Xbox and for Xbox: Play Anywhere. And if you’re going to announce a brand new studio built from the ground up, what better way to announce that studio at E3 2018 and show that Microsoft is indeed recommitted to First Party Exclusives that offer Single-Player experiences and also Multiplayer-only experiences like Sea of Thieves, I hope this is the first step for Microsoft to be recommitted to amazing single-player offerings that rival Sony’s exclusives like God of War and the Uncharted franchise, this is going to be big news if he is poised to create a brand new studio built from the ground up.
This is a great first step if my prediction comes true and I think it is true, this offers big things. Exciting times are ahead for not only Xbox fans but also for gaming fans all around. Hopefully, we find out at Microsoft’s E3 press conference in 2 months.