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MS Acquisition Rumor Targets include EA, Valve, & PUBG

Polygon analyzes what they call a "serious exclusive games problem" suffered by Microsoft's Xbox One. They discussed the platform's dearth of compelling exclusive content with four industry analysts, and say they all agree that Microsoft needs to act soon to address this. Noting the company has a war chest of at least $130 billion dollars, they draw attention to various big-name acquisition targets that have been named in recent rumor mongering. Bring your own grain of salt:

Some of the names being thrown around as possible acquisitions by Microsoft are, frankly, astounding, even unthinkable. But the fact that they are doing the rounds is instructive. The most recent one we heard (from a reliable source close to Microsoft) was, in fact, Electronic Arts. We also heard a whisper about Valve and about Korean outfit PUBG Corp., which Microsoft last year signed to a timed exclusive for its hit survival shooter, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.

“Because of where we are in the lifecycle of all these things, I’m expecting to hear Microsoft announce something very, very shortly,” said van Dreunen.

Another reason for optimism about an acquisition comes from internal shifts within Microsoft. Spencer was promoted in the fall to executive vice president, gaming, where he has a much bigger say over how video games fit into the company’s overall strategy.

“He came on at a time when the Xbox One was in a bad position,” said Cole. “I think he’s made the best of a bad situation. The overall strong position of the company is positive because it gives the room to invest in gaming.”

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is more enthusiastic about games and Xbox than his predecessor, Steve Ballmer, greenlighting the $2.5 billion purchase of Minecraft developer Mojang as one of his first major acquisitions in 2014.

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48. Re: MS Acquisition Rumor Targets include EA, Valve, & PUBG Jan 31, 2018, 23:20 Mr. Tact
 
While I agree Microsoft buying Valve seems highly unlikely, you can never be sure when someone is flashing billions of dollars around... things happen.  
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47. Re: MS Acquisition Rumor Targets include EA, Valve, & PUBG Jan 30, 2018, 17:16 Slick
 
MeanJim wrote on Jan 29, 2018, 22:08:
This is proof that MS doesn't give a shit about gaming. They just want XBONE exclusive titles to sell more XBONES. If they gave a shit about gaming, they would make games for all gamers on all platforms.

By this logic Sony should be the ultimate evil in gaming, as they have 10x the exclusives than MS does for their respective consoles.

Also, MS has the whole crossplay with Win 10. I play Gwent, Forza 7, and Shadow of War on my xbox and PC, with my save games automatically migrating between them. Only one of those titles is a first-party exclusive too...

MS just needs to invest in some studios, and not worry about buying out major publishers. If something like EA fell to MS, that would be pretty bad for gaming IMO. EA, Ubi are good equalizers by making a lot of games for all platforms. You take they equality away and the industry as a whole becomes more fragmented.
 
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46. Re: MS Acquisition Rumor Targets include EA, Valve, & PUBG Jan 30, 2018, 11:41 Creston
 
ItBurn wrote on Jan 29, 2018, 20:37:
Microsoft buying Valve is a terrifying nightmare.

Why? Do you like the hats that much?

I think MS buying Valve as a developer would be a non-development as far as games are concerned. Valve makes like 1 game every 15 years.

MS buying Steam would of course be a whole different animal, but I seriously doubt Gabe is going to sell it.
 
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45. Re: MS Acquisition Rumor Targets include EA, Valve, & PUBG Jan 30, 2018, 10:57 Beamer
 
Creston wrote on Jan 30, 2018, 10:41:
Noting the company has a war chest of at least $130 billion dollars

Yeah, this is not how companies work, Polygon. Departments can't just go "Well, shit, look at all this cash! We can spend freely!" The Xbox department has a budget assigned to it, it can't just freely grab money from wherever it wants to.

The problem is that the Xbox department, relative to many other MS departments, just doesn't make enough money. That MS has persisted in it for so long has been quite surprising.

Being an M&A project, this is run by the corporate strategy and m&a. The Xbox team of course has a say, and may be bubbling targets up, but it's equally likely that the corporate strategy team identifies an m&a opportunity and moves ahead with it and tells Xbox they just need to deal with it.

It's very, very rare for the department currently overseeing an area being a decision maker (as opposed to influencer) in an m&a project. That comes even higher up. Whether Xbox wants something or not, people above them are looking at how it would influence growth and revenue.
 
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44. Re: MS Acquisition Rumor Targets include EA, Valve, & PUBG Jan 30, 2018, 10:41 Creston
 
Noting the company has a war chest of at least $130 billion dollars

Yeah, this is not how companies work, Polygon. Departments can't just go "Well, shit, look at all this cash! We can spend freely!" The Xbox department has a budget assigned to it, it can't just freely grab money from wherever it wants to.

The problem is that the Xbox department, relative to many other MS departments, just doesn't make enough money. That MS has persisted in it for so long has been quite surprising.
 
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43. Re: Skyrim Creation Club Launches with Survival Mode Jan 30, 2018, 10:16 Kajetan
 
Prez wrote on Jan 30, 2018, 09:31:
EDIT: After writing the above I started thinking about a time when Microsoft was actually committed to PC gamimg. Mechwarrior, Close Combat, Age of Empires, Combat Flight Simulator, Midtown Madbess, Mechcommander, Crimson Skies, Rise of Nations, Starlancer, Freelancer... holy SHIT I spent a lot of hours playing Microsoft first party games.
This was the time, when MS didnt say a single word about "committed to PC gaming". They just did stuff, BECAUSE they were committed.
 
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42. Re: MS Acquisition Rumor Targets include EA, Valve, & PUBG Jan 30, 2018, 09:31 Prez
 
Isn't about time for Microsoft to announce that it is re-committing tp PC gamimg again? For like the 50th time?

EDIT: After writing the above I started thinking about a time when Microsoft was actually committed to PC gamimg. Mechwarrior, Close Combat, Age of Empires, Combat Flight Simulator, Midtown Madbess, Mechcommander, Crimson Skies, Rise of Nations, Starlancer, Freelancer... holy SHIT I spent a lot of hours playing Microsoft first party games.

This comment was edited on Jan 30, 2018, 09:43.
 
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41. Re: MS Acquisition Rumor Targets include EA, Valve, & PUBG Jan 30, 2018, 09:06 Verno
 
Microsoft Xbox FIFA Horizon 4, with all new Ultimate Team mode where players are gained by lootbox.

Microsoft and EA, a match made in hell.
 
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40. Re: MS Acquisition Rumor Targets include EA, Valve, & PUBG Jan 30, 2018, 07:24 Redmask
 
HorrorScope wrote on Jan 29, 2018, 21:57:
This. That guys face has to disappear. What has he done? He destroyed the Xbox with the Bone announcement debacle.

That was Don Mattrick, Phil Spencer is a whole different person.
 
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39. Re: MS Acquisition Rumor Targets include EA, Valve, & PUBG Jan 30, 2018, 06:48 KilrathiAce
 
lol xbox trash, if someone brings that crap near me, better keep hammers away from me.  
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38. Re: MS Acquisition Rumor Targets include EA, Valve, & PUBG Jan 30, 2018, 04:52 Rilcon
 
micsun wrote on Jan 30, 2018, 03:29:
Do XBox games also give you the same title on Windows? I could see that as being a selling point.

MS published / first party games do. From 3rd parties, no, not afaik (though I guess there may be some exceptions).


I can't imagine MS buying Valve; HL3 is dead, TF2 has been surpassed, Portal is fun but in same boat as HL. There's DOTA, I guess. Steam will just split into its own thing, no way would the people running that sell their control over the golden goose.

PUBG, honestly who cares. I like and play the game, but it's a mess, can't imagine MS owning it could make it any worse.

EA would be amusing just for the industry shakeup factor, but I don't see it happening.
 
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37. Re: Skyrim Creation Club Launches with Survival Mode Jan 30, 2018, 03:52 Kajetan
 
Nucas wrote on Jan 30, 2018, 02:45:
well, until the ownership wants to retire. that's the usual cycle, right?
Yep. As long as Gabe has anything to say at Valve, a deal with MS is very unlikely.

But i dont think MS wants to buy Valve or EA. EA is way too expensive for the intended purpose of bolstering the One. Steam makes the W10 store obsolete. Or the other way around. Makes no business sense.

MS buying BlueHole? More likely. If you do not have exclusives, buy indie developers with strong, popular brands and games. Cheaper, way more effective.
 
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36. Re: MS Acquisition Rumor Targets include EA, Valve, & PUBG Jan 30, 2018, 03:29 micsun
 
Pretty much the only reason I have a PS4 is because of Street Fighter. Microsoft lost the battle on that front for me.

Do XBox games also give you the same title on Windows? I could see that as being a selling point.
 
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35. Re: MS Acquisition Rumor Targets include EA, Valve, & PUBG Jan 30, 2018, 03:00 El Pit
 
EA? A marriage made in hell - MS and EA deserve each other.

Valve? As long as it is just the mostly dead Valve AND NOT STEAM (!!!), I am fine with it.

PUBG? Never played it, never will (I burned out of multiplayer shooters in the mid to late 90s), so I don't care.

Hell, MS could buy them all and nothing would actually change. Sure, they would run them into the ground but then again when did those companies last release something really great?
 
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34. Re: MS Acquisition Rumor Targets include EA, Valve, & PUBG Jan 30, 2018, 02:58 Prez
 
If it's exclusive games Microsoft wants, the idea that Valve is on the list is laughable. Is there a company in the industry that has less interest in making games than Valve? Personally I doubt it.  
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33. Re: Skyrim Creation Club Launches with Survival Mode Jan 30, 2018, 02:45 Nucas
 
Kajetan wrote on Jan 30, 2018, 01:53:
Jerykk wrote on Jan 29, 2018, 23:06:
I don't see any of these being plausible except for BlueHole. Valve is huge and they make a ton of money from Steam. They basically own PC as a gaming platform and have no reason to sell. EA is also huge and makes a lot of money from supporting multiple platforms, the biggest of which is likely PS4. Selling to MS doesn't really make sense for them either.
Valve is a privately held company where the owner has a "history" with MS. Not impossible, only very unlikely.

well, until the ownership wants to retire. that's the usual cycle, right?
 
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32. Re: MS Acquisition Rumor Targets include EA, Valve, & PUBG Jan 30, 2018, 02:13 theglaze
 
M$ is like a sports team that can never make the playoffs, but buy players from other teams at maximum market value to try and win the championship next year, only to flop again.

I know this idea is not Microsoft's style... but M$ could put its money behind indie development instead of trying to buy whatever is trending, and cultivate its own 1st party content.

ID@Xbox is the current program but applicants, if picked, just get some free tools and a couple XB1 kits... hardly enticing and sorely ignoring the problems indies face with limited programing time, debugging ability, and project management experience.

With all that money and human power M$ has, they can find a space between between Kickstarter (which is notorious for gaming failures) and Steam (which is notorious for too many early access titles that go no where).

Hell they could run a competition in which developers pitch ideas and early gameplay/story concepts, engage players through the Xbox platform and social media to vote on what they like, and then every quarter award the top five indies with $10 million in backing to see their game developed.

Again, I know that's not M$'s style but...
 
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31. Re: Skyrim Creation Club Launches with Survival Mode Jan 30, 2018, 01:53 Kajetan
 
Jerykk wrote on Jan 29, 2018, 23:06:
I don't see any of these being plausible except for BlueHole. Valve is huge and they make a ton of money from Steam. They basically own PC as a gaming platform and have no reason to sell. EA is also huge and makes a lot of money from supporting multiple platforms, the biggest of which is likely PS4. Selling to MS doesn't really make sense for them either.
Valve is a privately held company where the owner has a "history" with MS. Not impossible, only very unlikely.

EA, on the other hand, is a publicly traded company where investors might get TEH HARD-ON of the century over the thought that MS might make them a lot of money
 
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30. Re: MS Acquisition Rumor Targets include EA, Valve, & PUBG Jan 30, 2018, 01:21 kibbled
 
What about Microsoft buying the Valve IP's like Half-Life, Portal and Team Fortress and Steam will be it's own company? Maybe we can finally get an proper conclusion to the Half Life series.  
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29. Re: MS Acquisition Rumor Targets include EA, Valve, & PUBG Jan 30, 2018, 01:01 [VG]Reagle
 
Maybe MicrosSUX can get Gabe on a DIET and off the commode for 5 minutes. WTF?????? Then maybe Half life 3?????? Serious??  
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