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Microsoft is now the proud owner of an undead marionette cowboy.

If you haven’t played the crazy (and oddly fun) Xbox 360 game “The Gunstringer,” here’s the translation: Microsoft Studios has acquired Twisted Pixel Games, an independent studio based in Austin, Texas, known for the Xbox Live Arcade game “Splosion Man” and, more recently, Gunstringer — which lets players use the Xbox Kinect sensor to control a skeletal marionette sheriff seeking revenge after being betrayed by his posse.

Microsoft says in a news release that Twisted Pixel “will now bring its talented team of developers to Microsoft Studios to help incubate and develop the future of game and entertainment offerings on Microsoft’s Xbox 360 platform.”

The purchase price wasn’t disclosed.

These types of arrangements aren’t unusual for Microsoft, which also owns such game studios as Rare Ltd. and Lionhead. Among other things, these acquisitions are a way for the company to ensure that promising studios don’t end up developing titles for competing game platforms.

Here’s the full news release: PDF

Previously on GeekWire: What do M&A execs at Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Salesforce really want?

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