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Phil Spencer: "Definitely not done" buying game studios

Lognor

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Sep 22, 2021
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This year they put stakes in Epic and Kadokawa (From’s parent) and purchased 4 studios. 5 if we count Fabrik.

What do you mean by respond to the Zenimax acquisition? And why would they need too?
I guess Sony won't respond then. That's fine. Sony acquisitions don't help me personally and I get how ppl are upset with ms acquiring me devs but it's great for me
 

RoadHazard

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I guess Sony won't respond then. That's fine. Sony acquisitions don't help me personally and I get how ppl are upset with ms acquiring me devs but it's great for me

Why is MS buying up studios great for you? Bethesda would still have made Starfield and TES6 if they had remained 3rd party, the only thing this changes is that people who choose to game on Playstation (not everyone can afford to buy all consoles) will be denied those games. That sure is great!
 

JackMcGunns

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They should make the studios create new IPs instead of buying well stablished ones and locking them out everyone else.


"They should make...."

That's a terrible way to start a sentence. Nobody should be forcing creativity.

Sony had its day back in its infancy and it wasn't a big deal because Sega went out of business leaving all the studios to pretty much work exclusively for Sony on their own. The PS2 was a dominant force where most studios grew up on, then later got acquired, but things are different today. The common theme among gamers was that MS needed exclusives, that was the number one complaint, gamers literally said, get exclusives and then maybe I'll consider an Xbox, otherwise there's no point. Now MS is locking in exclusives after acquiring studios and now everyone is panicking. Well, gamers will now have a reason to buy an Xbox just as they wished 🤷‍♂️
 

Kerotan

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It sucks we won't ever see Bluepoint port / remake a Gears game.

It sucks we won't see the next Elder Scrolls on PlayStation.

Aside from fanboy list wars, I don't really see how this benefits the larger gaming community outside of platform specific eco system features (like xcloud, gamepass and cross buy with PC).
They had no choice but to start a buy out war. Sony, Nintendo and steam are way too far ahead.
 
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Torrent of Pork

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I buy into the theory that 'The Initiative' is a small studio designed to prototype ideas, take external partners for a spin, and see first-hand if they would be a good fit for MS. I would not be surprised if MS picked up Crystal Dynamics before Perfect Dark's launch.
 
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If Microsoft were to make any large acquisitions, Sega is really the one to go after. Their back catalog and IP's are massive. There are so many dormant IP's Sega has that they don't touch, and let's not forget about their arcade catalog that has never seen the light of day on any home console.
Sega would be an awesome grab.

What Sega has: big library of games

What Sega doesn't have: big budgets

Open the wallet MS.
 

lh032

I cry about Xbox and hate PlayStation.
Mar 8, 2021
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No shit.

What kind of answer you expect from these corporations?

"yea we are done with acquisitions"

even Sony acquires left and right aggressively lol
 
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lh032

I cry about Xbox and hate PlayStation.
Mar 8, 2021
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If Microsoft were to make any large acquisitions, Sega is really the one to go after. Their back catalog and IP's are massive. There are so many dormant IP's Sega has that they don't touch, and let's not forget about their arcade catalog that has never seen the light of day on any home console.
I mean, you need someone good enough to work on the games, you cant just pass these "IP" around to any developers, not as simple as you think.
Sony has alot of old IP, and what they do with it? not alot.
 

Kacho

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Sega would be an awesome grab.

What Sega has: big library of games

What Sega doesn't have: big budgets

Open the wallet MS.
Sega proper has very strong IP but no noteworthy talent other than the Daytona guy. Creative Assembly would be the biggest get out of that deal. And Atlus to a much lesser extent for the niche appeal they bring.
 

DrAspirino

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Why is MS buying up studios great for you? Bethesda would still have made Starfield and TES6 if they had remained 3rd party, the only thing this changes is that people who choose to game on Playstation (not everyone can afford to buy all consoles) will be denied those games. That sure is great!
Which is exactly why MS acquiring them and putting their games on GamePass is good for us as consumers:
  • No money to buy games day-one? No problem, just download them and play them with Gamepass.
  • No console? no problem, just play them on PC.
  • Have a potato PC? No problem, stream them there.
  • No PC? No problem, stream them on your smartphone/tablet.
So... even if you choose to game on Playstation, you still have plenty of options to play Bethesda games (and any game) that Microsoft adds to Gamepass. In that regard, we lose nothing and we get a ton of freedom from those acquisitions. Why would anyone be against playing wherever you like, however you like, on whatever platform you like, and even purchasing full price if you like? (not even mandatory).

Games should be free (as a bird, not as "free beer") and we should be able to play them however we want and can. Just like music, books, and movies.
 
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twilo99

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Mar 9, 2021
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Wanting =/= able to. They can try, doesn't mean they'll succeed. Not everyone wants to lose independence to MS. That's not how this works. Were it true, they would've bought either google or apple years ago to have a grasp at the smartphone market, but they didn't do either of those things and windows phone flopped hard, so did Zune. So, no, it's not like you think it is.

Of course, if its available, they can buy.. purchasing power is not an issue for them
 

bitbydeath

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Of course, if its available, they can buy.. purchasing power is not an issue for them
If it weren’t then they would have made more recent purchases. Zenimax was a year ago.
MS, just like any other company has to adhere to its shareholders.
 
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twilo99

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If it weren’t then they would have made more recent purchases. Zenimax was a year ago.
MS, just like any other company has to adhere to its shareholders.

It has to make sense I guess, but some of their purchases have been pretty bad.. how do you think they convinced their shareholders to buy Skype for some ridiculous amount? Github and Mojang were probably two of their best.

Check out this list.. they buy stuff all the time and I am certain they aren't all great purchases that their shareholders applaud.

List of mergers and acquisitions by Microsoft - Wikipedia
 

Swift_Star

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Sep 5, 2021
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"They should make...."

That's a terrible way to start a sentence. Nobody should be forcing creativity.

Sony had its day back in its infancy and it wasn't a big deal because Sega went out of business leaving all the studios to pretty much work exclusively for Sony on their own. The PS2 was a dominant force where most studios grew up on, then later got acquired, but things are different today. The common theme among gamers was that MS needed exclusives, that was the number one complaint, gamers literally said, get exclusives and then maybe I'll consider an Xbox, otherwise there's no point. Now MS is locking in exclusives after acquiring studios and now everyone is panicking. Well, gamers will now have a reason to buy an Xbox just as they wished 🤷‍♂️
Nah, they should make new IPs, not steal known ones from everyone else.
 

Swift_Star

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Sep 5, 2021
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Hitman was huge commercial fail, so they let studio and IP go.
They always complained that Tomb Raider games did not meet sales expectations.
Deus Ex MD sold so poorly, that they canceled a sequel.
Avengers bombed so hard they did not recoup the cost of development.
Outriders devs did not recieved any bonus money.

In what world is western side of Square successful? Jesus, they are lending their own developers to Microsoft for a quick buck. That should tell you all.
Who care about Hitman?
They complain about tomb raider but they sell like hotcakes, they're not selling it.
Who cares about Deus ex?
They can get rid of the crap, but they're not selling tomb raider and they're investing on GotG. Sorry to burst your bubble.
 

Lognor

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Sep 22, 2021
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Why is MS buying up studios great for you? Bethesda would still have made Starfield and TES6 if they had remained 3rd party, the only thing this changes is that people who choose to game on Playstation (not everyone can afford to buy all consoles) will be denied those games. That sure is great!
Great for me because I own an xsx and I have game pass. If Bethesda stayed third party I'd have to pay $70 for those games. Now they're free!
 

Phase

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Sep 25, 2019
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To Phil:

Stop It Michael Jordan GIF
 

bitbydeath

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It has to make sense I guess, but some of their purchases have been pretty bad.. how do you think they convinced their shareholders to buy Skype for some ridiculous amount? Github and Mojang were probably two of their best.

Check out this list.. they buy stuff all the time and I am certain they aren't all great purchases that their shareholders applaud.

List of mergers and acquisitions by Microsoft - Wikipedia
Skype gave them the technology to make Teams which is now a core part of 365. I don’t think it was a bad investment.
 

MonarchJT

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Sep 25, 2020
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Its long and they would probably sell to another Japanese company before they let MS buy it
Unless Ms overpay them (very likely if a trillion dollar company is very interested in buying). Japanese companies are not hating Ms just because and surely they wouldn't be so stupid as to take less money just to sell to another Japanese company. This is pure fantasyland territory
 

Bitmap Frogs

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It sucks we won't ever see Bluepoint port / remake a Gears game.

It sucks we won't see the next Elder Scrolls on PlayStation.

Aside from fanboy list wars, I don't really see how this benefits the larger gaming community outside of platform specific eco system features (like xcloud, gamepass and cross buy with PC).

Absolutely this.

Consolidation hurts us all.
 
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MrFunSocks

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Jul 9, 2020
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Shocking revelation. Absolutely mind bending.

Absolutely this.

Consolidation hurts us all.
Yes and no. When MS buy a company you know that their game is going to be on at least 2 platforms, console and PC. That's a win for customers that only play on PC because lots of games didn't come to PC before. It only hurts those that don't own one of the platforms that the games release on. When MS buy a company it hurts Playstation-only owners. When Sony or Nintendo buy a company it hurts PC and/or Xbox only owners. Consolidation as you call it also can help in terms of getting more games and better games. Many devs are literally 1 poorly selling game away from bankruptcy. Not even bomba level - just not selling to where they need it to. Sony/MS/Nintendo/etc buying them and funding them saves that developer and brings us more games.

Let's just remember that there is no reason why you can't also buy a PS5 or Xbox Series S/X or PC or Switch if there is an exclusive game on it that you want. Many on this forum choose to lock themselves out of playing a lot of games for immature reasons. Sony buying Insomniac doesn't mean that Insomniac don't make games anymore.
 
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Kagey K

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I fear when Amazon, Google and apple start to do it too.
That’s the thing, when they start Sony won’t be able to compete and MS will be outbid.

If they aren’t locking stuff up now, they will be locked out soon. At least we know what MS and Sony will do with them.
if Google or Apple try and fail, they might just take them out back and shoot them.
 

Tommi84

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Nov 15, 2013
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It’s one of the privileges we have of being at Microsoft and having the capability to take a long-term approach
Yeah, it's a real opportunity to be in a company with almost unlimited cash flow (hello MS Azure and Windows licenses! :D). I generally like Sony's approach more - where you buy a studio with whom you already had some relation, because you then take established franchise and limit's people's ability to play it (without additional investment in a new console or gaming pc), but that's just me.

Let's see how it goes.
 
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Mr.ODST

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Games are extremely expensive to make now so it makes sense why you’d want to be apart of either Sony or MS and get their money to help you try and achieve better things.

The way I see it, id rather PS and MS buy a studio than see them goto Apple, Google or Amazon because those 3 have zero experience and just destroy the studios it touches.
 

Godot25

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Apr 7, 2021
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Who care about Hitman?
They complain about tomb raider but they sell like hotcakes, they're not selling it.
Who cares about Deus ex?
They can get rid of the crap, but they're not selling tomb raider and they're investing on GotG. Sorry to burst your bubble.
Are you high or what?
Square Enix cared about Hitman and Deus Ex because they put money on that projects. And were dissapointed by results so much that they let IO go with IP and they cancelled development of Mankind Divided sequel.
And who cares how many copies Tomb Raider sold when Square is dissapointed with results? That's most important part. Because yeah, you can see that "game sold 5 million copies" but when development and marketing costs 150 million dollars that's probably not a good result.

And fyi, after GotG their contract with Marvel is over and if this game will bomb (which is likely based on how little buzz is around this game) they will probably not negotiate renewal, because that license must cost a fortune.

Literally I can't think of any successful game from western side of Square. Especially when you compare it to Japanese side of Square where FF XIV is popular as ever, FF VIII remake sold greatly, same for FF XV. So why on earth would Square bleed money in their western side when they can focus on their eastern part of business that is printing money?

And the main thing is...I said that it would not surprised me if Square would sell their western business (Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal and all IPs with it). That does not mean it needs to be sold to Microsoft. It could be sold to other publisher. But I'm sure that interest from Microsoft would be there.
 
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Swoopsail

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When will consolidation be too much consolidation? I wonder just how far this path can go in all businesses. I certainly don't think monocorp dominance (ie - Disney) is good for art or creativity on any level.
 

Mr.ODST

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Maybe Phil manage what you have and show how internally that your OG devs are doing well?

Stop buying IP's because you can't manage teams like 343, rare.
Rare literally have one of the biggest co-op games on the market and its doing really well, so that already invalidated your statement
 
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Kokoloko85

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Unless Ms overpay them (very likely if a trillion dollar company is very interested in buying). Japanese companies are not hating Ms just because and surely they wouldn't be so stupid as to take less money just to sell to another Japanese company. This is pure fantasyland territory
Its not just MS.
Go read into it, Japanese government would rather keep it in the “family”. Like I said its not impossible but difficult
 
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Kokoloko85

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Rare literally have one of the biggest co-op games on the market and its doing really well, so that already invalidated your statement
Lol 1 game from a studio like rare with all those ip’s in 2 decades is not success.
They haven't handled rare very well
 
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Godot25

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Maybe Phil manage what you have and show how internally that your OG devs are doing well?

Stop buying IP's because you can't manage teams like 343, rare.
What?
Everyone bitched that Microsoft forced Rare to work on Kinect and now that they have "hands off" approach it is bad too?

343 didn't even released Halo Infinite (and feedback from beta was great) and you want make changes in that studio?
Rare released Sea of Thieves that has 25 mil. players. And while Everwild was internally rebooted is it really bad to stop working on something that does not work to start from scratch?

Other teams does not seem to have huge issues. Obsidian is firing on all cylinders, Playground Games and Ninja Theory too, Compulsion, inXile seem to be growing etc.
 

DrAspirino

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So they WILL make all their games available on PS5 and Switch? Otherwise I don't understand the "whatever platform you like" part.
I don't know. Microsoft has already said that it is up to Nintendo and Sony to decide whether they want to have a gamepass app on their devices or not.