Will this OT see a new official Acquisition news?
Yeah activision blizzard king closing news
Creative juices are limited, hope you lot like the title.
I have thousands of unread posts in the last thread…
Maybe this one will see some action?
You are trying to be annoying?
After ABK closes. I expect xbox to go to asia next.
Hoping for Sega and or some of the western Embracer studios from SE.
Obligatory BUY SEGA post.
I’ll keep the Sega train going, but add a few studios to Sega too.
Sega will need several studios to really get them going. Platinum has worked with Sega and has a popular IP with them.
Level 5 to help with a new single player Phantasy Star game and Nihon Falcom also for JRPGs, plus throw in Mistwalker too.
I’m not sure who the best one would be, but a studio that can remaster old Sega games like a remake of Ecco the Dolphin or Vectorman, WayForward comes to mind, yet they would really need to grow.
Arc System Works for future fighting games and I’d love to see Vanillaware too.
Now I know they haven’t made a new game in years, yet I feel like Treasure could be a great pick up for retro games also.
There is other studios that need to be brought into Sega, yet I’ll start with these.
I don’t know how they are in business. Wiki says they haven’t released a game since 2014 lol
Until gamepass hits 100m, i dont expect any pause.
That was their last original game. They still sell 10,000,000 Ikaruga ports and recently released Radiant Silvergun on Switch.
There is less than 10 people there as well.
SEGA for the nostalgia and also how much sense it makes on basically every level
Square for the legendary reactions and memes, would also make sense too but I want it for the memes
Nearly every company floated commonly can have some justification and the documents tell us that Microsoft took a conceptual look at all of them and more.
However, the questions are:
- Who is likely to sell at a price Microsoft wants to pay?
- Which needs does Microsoft still have, if any?
I think Square is sluggishly performing, Sega is doing decently, and Capcom is doing very well. From this perspective you might imagine Square could be had at a “discount” of sorts. Embracer and Ubisoft are both in the toilet for their stock price, so if there was ever a time they were open to dealmaking, it would be now.
But the other side of the coin - Microsoft’s needs - makes me think that their publisher spree is probably over for now. That doesn’t mean 0 acquisitions, but I’m skeptical of further big plays.
The three main objectives laid out in their internal strategy documents for M&A were all thoroughly satisfied by ABK. While Spencer has publicly said “it would be nice to get more in Japan / Asia”, owning morre studios in Japan was not an internal strategic priority. Growth on PC in those (and other) markets was, but Blizzard is definitely a big opportunity there.
The other thing is that Microsoft is not, imo, in a position where they are keen for further large expansion this year or next. ABK was a huge number of new staff to take on and in the middle of passing that acquisition, MSFT underwent several rounds of layoffs. The hiring freeze that went along with that has now relaxed a little bit, but I do think they’re going to be more disciplined in what they purchase for the forseeable future. Companies that may seem like slam dunks to buy like Certian Affinity or Asobo due to long term partnerships could easily be met with a response of - why are we trying to insource our outsourced labour? We already get value from them, why do we want them on our payroll directly when it’s more flexible as it currently stands? While people may groan at the prospect of Tencent or the Saudi group investing in or buying some of these companies, their business it not lost to Microsoft because they still largely operate autonomously.
Layoffs have zero impact on acquisition strategies. and you “in source out source talent” so you have unlimited access to them when you’re business model demands you have a consistent stream of content.
The overall fiscal situation that led to layoffs does.
Regarding taking outsourcing partners in house - I think it’s illustrative again to look at who they considered in depth in 2021. They did consider a lot of companies, but people like Certain Affinity and Skybox Labs (both independent at the time) didn’t make the list of considerations for companies to buy. And developers that straddle the line between outsourcing and independent developer such as Asobo did not make the short list of 17 companies they considered being the most worthwhile.
Their own criteria for what they were looking for in this shortlisting process was as follows (verbatim):
- “Developers owning and running franchises with strong community and deep player engagement are top candidates (Bungie, IOI)”
- “Developers focussed on casual, social, and cross-generational franchises that pave the way for audience expansion (Scopley, Niantic)”
I think there is a bit of fuzz about just how important of a community IOI is running, exactly, but all I am saying is that I’m not seeing signs that a lot of “slam dunk” acquisitions people talk about (because of the closeness of partnerships) are percieved the same way by Microsoft, and the value of bringing partners in house who don’t otherwise own any IP or franchises doesn’t appear huge now that Microsoft gaming is so large, compared to the early days of 2018.
Again - I think it’s reasonable to argue there’s good value in doing it, but I don’t know if Microsoft thinks there is, based on these docs, which give us the closest insight we’ve had thus far into how they think.
I hope this post doesn’t go against the theme of this thread and i certainly don’t want it to sound like “concern trolling” but with the incredible amount of devs owned by Xbox (both pre and especially post ABK )out of interest do folks ever consider a point where they’ll feel Xbox have “enough” or “too many” studios be it from potential management concerns, financially (in a they could have to close or merge certain studios to balance the books for example) or even for so called anti competitive reasons? Or do most folks feel the more the merrier and Xbox should keep on buying studios and publishers?
The day someone (even Sony) buys Ubisoft and get rid of “Ubisoft Connect”, that day will be a good day.