Microsoft Is Shopping Around for Big Companies
We are strolling through the late-game of this console generation, and the verdict from analysts is that Sony has taken the gold. Debate console preference all you want, the fact of the matter is that PS4 sales are estimated at double the sales of Xbox One (Microsoft no longer tracks hardware sales). To boot, Sony has sold over 2-million PSVR units and is selling millions of exclusives. For this reason, the latest Microsoft rumors don’t seem so far-fetched. Sources say that the multi-billion dollar company is shopping for top-tier properties.
The information came first from Polygon, whose sources claim that Microsoft mentioned several big names in the running for acquisition. Top game makers such as PUBG Corp, Valve, and even EA have been named. While Microsoft’s acquisition of such companies seems “unthinkable,” the result, if any deal succeeded, could tip the scales for their gaming division.
“Some of the names being thrown around as possible acquisitions by Microsoft are, frankly, astounding, even unthinkable. But the fact that they are doing the rounds is instructive. The most recent one we heard (from a reliable source close to Microsoft) was, in fact, Electronic Arts. We also heard a whisper about Valve and about Korean outfit PUBG Corp., which Microsoft last year signed to a timed exclusive for its hit survival shooter, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.”
Analysts seem to agree that Microsoft would seek the aforementioned companies in their effort to elevate first-party game development. While chances seem slim, never say never.
“Because of where we are in the lifecycle of all these things, I’m expecting to hear Microsoft announce something very, very shortly,” SuperData Research CEO Joost van Dreunen told Polygon.
Furthermore, Microsoft’s new focus on gaming seems to be reflected in Phil Spencer’s recent promotion. Since he became Executive Vice President of Gaming, we’ve been promised more exclusive software. Additionally, Xbox Game Pass sent ripples across the industry after the announcement that it would expand to include new games at launch. Everything thus far seems like preliminary steps toward what could be a major shift of focus, which is why the potential acquisition of new properties sounds more probable than it did pre-2017. David Cole, owner of DFC Intelligence, stated, “He [Phil Spencer] came on at a time when the Xbox One was in a bad position. I think he’s made the best of a bad situation. The overall strong position of the company is positive because it gives the room to invest in gaming.”
Since nothing is confirmed until it’s confirmed, you should take rumors of acquisition with a grain of salt. Time will tell if Microsoft is really changing focus and how big those changes will be. Stick around for updates as they come.