Looks like the mill is working overtime at rumor city. Polygon recently was told by a reliable source that Microsoft may be looking to make some “big strategic moves” very soon. Sony’s lineup and its performance with the PS4 have been looking much better than Microsoft recently, at least for console exclusives. DFC Intelligence owner David Cole has noted that these decisions the Xbox team needs to make will explain their strategy on how they will stay relevant in the game industry going forward.
This reliable source mentioned some of the names that have been thrown around for potential purchases by Microsoft are Electronic Arts, Valve, and PUBG Corp.
Now to me, PUBG Corp makes sense and is the most likely. They signed a timed exclusive deal to release the battle royale hit, and Microsoft loves buying viral hits. In 2014, they spent a whopping $2.5 billion for purchasing Minecraft developer Mojang. They also are aware that PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has a great foundation for future success as an online multiplayer shooter. Bugs, cheaters, faster iteration, and development? Microsoft has all the tools to make this happen better and faster.
Unfortunately, not all Microsoft’s purchases have panned out. When they bought the darling developer Rare back in 2002, they tanked the developer and put them on Kinect releases only. It’s only recently that they seem to be able to make another game with charm in the form of Sea Of Thieves.
One of their biggest triumphs was when they bought Bungie back in 2000 for the Halo series. However, even now Bungie’s sci-fi shooter series Destiny somewhat overshadows the recent Halo releases.
As for Valve, I don’t see Gabe Newell going through with this kind of sale. I mean, it probably would mean we all may see a Half-Life 3 in our lifetime, but would it be worth it? Valve has other problems in the interim that need to be fixed. The support structure, it’s early access programs, etc. Perhaps a purchase would expedite solutions to these issues.
Now, if they were to actually purchase Electronic Arts, it would be one of the biggest business moves in this industry since Activision merged with Vivendi for close to $20 billion, or even when Activision-Blizzard bought the titular Candy Crush developer, King for a little over $5 billion. The combination of portfolios between Microsoft and Electronic Arts would be massive. So massive, that I’m sure the thought of publishing indie titles may just go by the wayside. Unfortunately, this is where Microsoft is lacking on the console side.
At the end of the day, E3 is just a few months away. It is then that we will most likely hear some sort of announcement if Microsoft makes a move.
What do you think? Which, out of the three, would be the most interesting for Microsoft to purchase? Let us know in the comments.