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Micro$oft acquires another Xbox games developer

Buys Digital Anvil

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Microsoft has opened its cheque-book to secure the rights to what it reckons will be showcase games for its upcoming Xbox console.

Yesterday, the software giant said its had bought Digital Anvil, though it wouldn't reveal how much it had spent on the deal.

DA will join Bungie, FASA Interactive and Access Software, all now part of Microsoft's games division and all feverishly working on titles that will play to Xbox's strengths.

DA's contribution will be its current work-in-progress, Freelancer, a space combat game and the successor to the company's previous release, Starlancer. It's also working on a second Xbox title, but that has yet to be announced in detail.

The company's founder and CEO, Chris Roberts, will leave the company when Freelancer is done and dusted. What's not yet clear is whether the Austin, Texas-based team will head up North to Redmond, as was the case with Bungie. Like Access Software, Digital Anvil has a history of developing games that Microsoft then distributes under its own name, such as Starlancer. ®

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