Microsoft was taking a look at buying each Bungie and Sega, in line with inside paperwork from the FTC v. Microsoft listening to. In an e mail seen by The Verge, Xbox chief Phil Spencer wrote to each Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Microsoft CFO Amy Hood, requesting a technique approval to strategy Sega Sammy over a possible acquisition of its Sega gaming studios.
“We consider that Sega has constructed a well-balanced portfolio of video games throughout segments with world geographic enchantment, and can assist us speed up Xbox Sport Cross each on and off-console,” mentioned Spencer within the November 2020 e mail.
Phil Spencer’s e mail to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and CFO Amy Hood. Picture: Microsoft
Microsoft believed a Sega acquisition would drive Xbox Sport Cross subscriptions throughout PC, console, and cloud. “The worldwide enchantment of Sega’s beloved IP will assist develop Xbox Sport Cross’s attain to new audiences world wide, most notably in Asia, the place localized content material is essential to success,” mentioned Spencer in his pitch to Nadella and Hood on the time. Sega would additionally supply sport transactions worth for monetization alternatives sooner or later.
It’s not clear what occurred with the Sega acquisition and whether or not Nadella in the end authorized talks. However in a Microsoft inside April 2021 merger evaluation doc, Sega was nonetheless listed as a key goal. Microsoft had recognized key areas for acquisitions in PC, cellular, and console throughout completely different markets, and Sega, Bungie, Zynga, and IO Interactive have been a part of plenty of firms Microsoft was severely taking a look at buying.
Microsoft had a lists of key firms to amass. Picture: Microsoft
Bungie, a now Sony-owned studio, was on the checklist, with Microsoft’s inside doc stating that the “acquisition of Bungie will embrace securing priceless IP, Future (and its group) and integration of its dev & reside ops infrastructure into Xbox Sport Studios.” Microsoft had recognized a “excessive burn-rate” threat for Bungie, alongside NetEase’s $100 million minority stake funding in 2018. It additionally famous that Future was one of many “highest hours producing titles on console Sport Cross.”
Hitman developer IO Interactive was additionally on the “last watchlist” in 2021, alongside cellular firms like Thunderful, Supergiant Video games, Niantic, Playrix, and Zynga. Microsoft was in talks to amass Zynga earlier than it in the end turned its consideration towards Activision Blizzard for its cellular ambitions (Zynga was ultimately acquired by Take-Two). It’s not clear if Microsoft held any talks with the opposite mobile-focused firms.