Here is a list of possible studio/publisher acquisitions for xbox that make sense.
Avalanche studios group Subsidiary under a Privately held Swedish entertainment conglomerate (The Egmont Group). Probably wouldn’t be to high of a purchase. Looking around $100-200 million. However this is one of the biggest unknowns in terms of what the studio is capable of until the release of Contraband.
Sega Public Company with a market cap of around $4.1 Billion. Obviously they would not accept a buyout at market value. So a purchase would most likely be around $5.5 billion. The ideal scenario would be to just acquire Sega, however I don’t see a situation where the holding company Sega Sammy would sell off part of the business that holds the most value. So unfortunately Microsoft is going to have to buy the whole entity and sell off the assets they don’t want. This is the most likely purchase with the “Strategic Alliance” announced a few weeks ago. If the partnership works out for both parties. I could see a buyout within the next 3 years.
Remedy Public company with a market cap of $526 million. This one is a long shot with remedy signing a two game deal with Epic publishing. Plus Tencent acquired a minority stake in the company, but hey you never know.
IO Interactive Private Company that has three studio locations in Denmark, Sweden, and Spain. IO now has a employee count of around 300 with multiple teams working on different project. If project Dragon goes through a smooth development with real assistance from Microsoft, and 007 is amazing. Then its a safe bet that IO would be a clear buyout candidate.
Level-5/ Good Feel Two privately owned studios located in Japan. These two company’s are the ideal studio Phil would want. “Family Friendly” games, that is the biggest gap in the xbox portfolio at the moment. Both of these Japanese studios provide that. Good Feel has worked with Nintendo to release two excellent 2d platformers, Kirbys epic Yarn, and Yoshi’s Wolly world. Meanwhile Level-5 has released the hottest kids IP’s in Japan over the last 10 years with Professor Layton, Yokia Watch (basically Pokemon), Inazuma eleven (imagine an soccer game with rpg mechanics and Dragon Ball Z level powers). Besides Sega, this is by far the most important acquisition for xbox. Less than $50 million for Good Feel, around $150 million for Level-5.
Iron Galaxy Privately held studio located in Chicago. This is probably the one studio with the most untapped potential. They specialize in a skill set that most xbox studios do not possess, third person melee combat. You could compare them skillset wise, obviously not pedigree wise to Sony’s Sucker Punch. Now the last game they put out was a huge stinker in Extinction. Everything about the game sucked except the combat. Now you have to look at the context for why it was so bad. Small Indie publisher with limited resources and money called Maximum games contracts iron galaxy to put out an ambitious third person action game killing giant ogres with Attack on Titan, and Shadow of the Colossus mechanics in less than three years? Yeah that was a doomed project from the start. Lets see what they can really do with a proper AAA publisher behind them. Probably less than $100 million to acquire.
Crytek Privately owned company in Germany. This studio is one of those jack of all trades developer who seems like they can do it all. Developing their own powerful in house engine CryEngine, making the first iteration of Far Cry, making the melt your computer graphical juggernaut Crysis, and of course making the Xbox one launch title Ryse. Crytek has already said publicly they are not done with the Ryse IP. Which means they would have had to work out a deal with Xbox if they are making it. Plus, there is a very scary situation happening at the company right now. Apparently Crytek has contracts with different western military groups developing simulations for weapon testing. And of course Tencent, who we all know is apart of Communist Regime in China, is looking to acquire them for around $300 million. But not for game development, rather the military simulations that they give to their partners and use them as an Alias to spy on western governments. Even though its a private company i doubt that the Yerli brothers (Crytek founders) still have a majority percentage of the company, they must have had angel investors take a good chunk of the company when they had major expansions back in the early 2000’s. I Could see a scenario where Crytek approaches Microsoft for a buyout so their is not a hostile takeover. Tencent Reportedly Looking to Acquire Hunt: Showdown Dev Crytek
These are just studios who i think would make the best fits for Microsoft. Any studios that you think would be ideal?