Home Gaming $10 billion later, Microsoft isn’t done buying game studios yet

$10 billion later, Microsoft isn’t done buying game studios yet

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Money. It’s beautiful to hold in your hand or gaze at on a computer screen, and we can never have enough of the stuff. Microsoft on the other hand doesn’t just have a coffer of cash so massive that it would give Scrooge McDuck a fatal rush of blood to the crotch if the tight-fisted bastard ever gazed upon it, it has the drive to actually spend its resources.

A chunky cheque was written this week when Microsoft purchased ZeniMax lock, stock, and barrel for $7.5 billion, netting several game studios and franchises in the process. That brings the number of studios under the Xbox umbrella up to a whopping 23, and positions the Xbox brand as the powerhouse home of western RPGs thanks to the particular flavour of studios that it has gone after. That’s a lot of talent, all working together to craft first-party games for Xbox, but Microsoft isn’t done yet with its latest buying spree.

Speaking to CNET, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that the company will always have its eyes open for any other game studios that could complement it’s near-mint collection:

We’ll always look for places where there is that commonality of purpose, mission, and culture. We will always look to grow inorganically where it makes sense.

“Content is just the incredible ingredient to our platform that we continue to invest in,” Xboss Phil Spencer added. “This doubles the size of our creative organization.” Microsoft has spent over $10 billion on acquiring game studios over the last couple of years, which in addition to the Bethesda goodie bag, also includes a $2.5 billion purchase of Mojang, Double Fine, Ninja Theory, Compulsion, inXile, and Obsidian.

The only thing missing from the collection right now is a Japanese studio, which Spencer commented on in 2019. “I think it would be nice if we found an Asian studio, in particular a Japanese studio, to add to our studios,” Spencer said back then. I’d suggest looking at Konami for a future addition. The famed maker of pachinko machines has a number of intellectual properties which would be a great fit for video games, if Microsoft could see the value in them.

Last Updated: September 23, 2020

55 Comments

  1. MS should buy Mistwalker so we can get another Lost Odyssey and Blue Dragon.

    Reply

    • Son of Banana Jim

      September 23, 2020 at 11:54

      Blue Dragon deserved a lot more love than it deserved. It was flawed, yes… but man it had so much feels.

      Reply

  2. PoisonedBelial

    September 23, 2020 at 07:43

    Winner, winner, PC Master Race dinner xD

    Reply

  3. For the Emperor!

    September 23, 2020 at 08:32

    Strong week for MS indeed…stupid Sony…

    Reply

  4. Original Heretic

    September 23, 2020 at 08:44

    Plot twist: MS is currently in secret negotiations to buy Sony.

    Reply

  5. Krabby Paddy

    September 23, 2020 at 08:49

    As a PC gamer I should probably be happy but feel a monopoly is never good for consumers in the long run … But oh well, it is the way of the world.

    Reply

    • Son of Banana Jim

      September 23, 2020 at 10:37

      Since, Microsoft games are on Steam now, I don’t really think it’ll affect PC gamers as much (and there is GamePass for PC).

      Reply

      • Krabby Paddy

        September 23, 2020 at 11:19

        So yes, I should probably still be happy, but I’m wary of what the gaming industry will look like in 5-10 years if say Microsoft begin to buy out more and more studios. Also the same can be said with Amazon and the retail sector. One can hope that things will be good for us consumers but the problem with a monopoly is that we as consumers lose the ability to talk with our wallets if we aren’t happy with a certain company, because there are simply no other options available (besides not buying at all).

        Reply

        • Son of Banana Jim

          September 23, 2020 at 12:02

          There’s definitely a danger in that, but on the other side, it might open up new niches for new developers and publishers (who aren’t tied to the big dogs). Bethesda is a great buy for Microsoft, but their star has been waning for years. They faltered in recent years, and while they had a couple decent releases (Doom etc.), they also failed heavily with Fallout 76 and Wolfenstein. I kind of wish that Microsoft or Sony would buy Bioware from EA… because Bioware desperately needs to get its act together as well.

          Reply

          • Krabby Paddy

            September 23, 2020 at 12:21

            True, one can hope the pros outweigh the cons.

          • Krabby Paddy

            September 23, 2020 at 12:21

            True, one can hope the pros outweigh the cons.

          • Pieter Kruger

            September 23, 2020 at 19:14

            You have Game Pass on PC or Xbox? Be happy, Doom Eternal is coming….

  6. Pieter Kruger

    September 23, 2020 at 09:41

  7. MechMachine

    September 23, 2020 at 10:03

    I wonder what Japanese studio ? I am not that happy about their massive purchase. Not because they bought Zenimax, but because it forces me to have to choose their platform to play games that were never exclusive to any one side. To give you an Idea, I played Doom 2016 on my Xbox and I played the latest Doom on my PS4 pro. And to drive home the point, I played the last Doom before these last two on PC. So, now I am being forced to make financial decisions based on what Microsoft decides to buy next.

    I suppose you could argue the point that it doesn’t matter if the game is good. But I feel at home on my PlayStation. it’s just my thing. There is a history of Sony doing great things while Microsoft keep doing average things. And I’ve owned both since the 360.

    Reply

    • Scott Lee Clayton

      September 23, 2020 at 10:30

      Yeah, I mean its not like Sony bought, Naught Dog, or Sucker Punch or Insomniac to make games exclusively for their consoles is it!?….. Ohh hang on?

      Reply

      • Pieter Kruger

        September 23, 2020 at 10:38

        Also, from the top of my head, Ratchet & Clank, Spiderman, MLB all used to be multiplat, there’s many many more that used to be multiplat but Sony paid for to become exclusive. Difference is you can still play MS Exclusives on Xbox/all PC/all Android & soon all IOS devices, so that alone is better for gamers.

        Reply

        • Son of Banana Jim

          September 23, 2020 at 10:38

          I don’t know how I know this but I think Pieter is just a tad… euphoric. https://media4.giphy.com/media/L3WtWXBO4uXR5tOGN2/giphy.gif

          Reply

          • Pieter Kruger

            September 23, 2020 at 10:48

            Soooo……you in the market for a Xbox One X maybe….???

          • Son of Banana Jim

            September 23, 2020 at 11:54

            I already have an Xbox One, but I don’t think I’ll own a Series X any time soon. Definitely not in 2021, because my focus will be on PS5 and PC.

          • MechMachine

            September 23, 2020 at 11:48

            LOL. Yeah, It’s gonna be like this for a long time.

          • Son of Banana Jim

            September 23, 2020 at 12:02

            Shame, let him have his fun. This last gen almost broke him.

      • MechMachine

        September 23, 2020 at 11:48

        Well, You have A point I guess. But it’s a menial one. I’ve been playing Doom for longer then both Xbox or PlayStation were a thing. And it still doesn’t change the fact that Microsoft had a average line up so now they have bought great studios and essentially cut off half the market from access to them. It’s up to the consumer isn’t it ?

        Naughty dog has been part of the Sony brand since the early days. Sucker Punch is known for their PlayStation games. Again, Insomniac is another Sony studio. Sony has owned the rights to Spiderman for a long time, I didn’t even play that game. Not my thing.

        Let me turn that on you, what about Gears of War or Forza ? The fact of the matter is what has always separated the two brands is Sony has always managed to create games that uplift the brand. Last if Us, Uncharted, God Of War etc etc. MS have failed abysmally in doing this. However, the third party games are important, I go back to Doom. It’s part of the legacy of gaming. I’ve been playing it my whole life and now I am in a position where I have to make hard financial choices in order to keep playing it.

        And that’s where I leave it. I don’t like decisions being made for me.

        Reply

        • Scott Lee Clayton

          September 23, 2020 at 11:54

          Sony didn’t create those “Brand uplifting” games, THE DEVELOPERS THEY BOUGHT DID. MS are just doing what Sony have done before & will continue to do. I dont think the Doom’s and Elder Scrolls games will be exclusive to Xbox those brands are already established across platforms. But all those games that are coming from these developers, they will be created solely for Xbox and Game Pass owners. And even if you dont like the Spiderman game and never played it, you’ll know how it felt for all those who didn’t own a PS4 and never even got the chance.

          Reply

          • MechMachine

            September 23, 2020 at 12:21

            Ok. I`m done. You clearly aren’t interested in nuance. I leave this discussion with you with this point, If you think Sony has nothing to do with the excellence that it has accumulated in it’s first party studio with the likes of God of War, Ghost of Tsushima and the rest, then you know nothing about how the world works.

          • MechMachine

            September 23, 2020 at 12:21

            Ok. I`m done. You clearly aren’t interested in nuance. I leave this discussion with you with this point, If you think Sony has nothing to do with the excellence that it has accumulated in it’s first party studio with the likes of God of War, Ghost of Tsushima and the rest, then you know nothing about how the world works.

          • Scott Lee Clayton

            September 23, 2020 at 12:23

            What did Sony, the company that make the console have to do with Sucker Punch making Ghost of Tsushima? or Santa Monica making GOW or the rest? I give to Sony they owned the rights to Spiderman to allow insomniac to make the Spiderman game but besides that?…. You please enlighten me, (beyond buying their studios and giving them more financial backing?) What did they do?

          • MechMachine

            September 23, 2020 at 12:23

            Let me break down your logic, Sony: Let’s make a console. Sony: Cool, It’s done. Now we can throw money at some studios and hope we get a hit. Studio : Let’s make a game. We hope Sony likes this game and we hope the public likes the game. Sony : Wow, Let’s put this game on our console. Studio : They Like it. Cool.

            Magic happens….

            Success. On to the Next one.

          • Scott Lee Clayton

            September 23, 2020 at 12:36

            No. Sony makes a console, and on that console there are games that are made by “developers” some games are good (good developer) some are bad (bad developer) Sony who owns said console looks at the developers. Sony:- “OK who is making the best games (the good ones) OK lets offer to buy them because they make good games. Now our console has talented developers who make good games, Yay!, OK guys please continue to make good games please.

          • MechMachine

            September 23, 2020 at 12:39

            If it were that easy, Microsoft would have had more success in this last gen, surely ?

          • Scott Lee Clayton

            September 23, 2020 at 12:42

            Never said it was easy?, and yes Sony have had great success with their studios but they’ve also been at the top of their game (excuse the pun) a lot longer and they have a lot more gravitas in this industry that MS. To be fair MS have only this gen started actually buying developers they are pretty late to the party which will cost them and has made them have to dig very deep in those very deep pockets. Look I’m not trying to burn you here, I love Sony I love what all those studios produce, I’m not here condemning anyone I just dislike all this hypocrisy at MS buying game studios when its been going on for years!…

          • MechMachine

            September 23, 2020 at 13:01

            Well, whatever happens, I personally don’t think this is a good thing. But Bethesda was on a downwards spiral and maybe this will do them some good. I was looking forward to Starfield, I am salty about Doom and Id’s library of games. It is a deeply personal connection I have to that studio. So, I will have to eventually buy a second console in order to play those games. I always have owned both. I just don’t trust Microsoft to be the leader in the market, their track record speaks for itself. But, it’s early days. Let’s wait and see. Things aren’t rosy at the moment. There may be a silver lining to come. Not all bad.

          • Scott Lee Clayton

            September 23, 2020 at 13:09

            What’s not Rosy?, they have a great subscription service & their services are second to none, they have the most powerful console coming out & they have just bought one of the most talent array of developers we currently have? Apart from the fact you might have to buy a console to play its exclusives (a bit like your PlayStation now, cough) Why all the DOOM (sorry) and gloom? P.S. Ms have already stated that current games will be honoured to all existing consoles & PC, so lets not tar them with that brush just yet aye?

          • MechMachine

            September 23, 2020 at 13:09

            Let’s wait and see.

          • Scott Lee Clayton

            September 23, 2020 at 13:09

            OK but lets also give them the benefit of doubt, and not think of them as the devil for just doing what all console/publishers and business do all the time. Cheers.

    • Pieter Kruger

      September 23, 2020 at 10:14

  8. Son of Banana Jim

    September 23, 2020 at 10:37

    Sometimes to be the big monster you have to open up your Hello Kitty wallet and flex some dollars, yo!

    https://media1.giphy.com/media/98eo6NTitmvGU/giphy.gif

    Reply

  9. Iskape

    September 23, 2020 at 12:02

    We can see where Microsoft believes they should be investing for the future of the company. Hopefully it will benefit us as the gamers!

    Reply

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