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Will/should Nintendo join in on the "acquisition spree" of Sony and Microsoft?

Jubenhimer

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Microsoft and Sony Interactive Entertainment have recently been making big spends on acquiring studios all over the place. Microsoft even went as far as to merge with an entire publisher, giving themselves two creative publishing labels in Xbox Game Studios and Bethesda Softworks. So where does that leave Nintendo? Nintendo hasn't made nearly as big of a push in buying up studios. The most recent acquisition, was Next Level Games last March. Before that, was MonolithSoft in 2007.

Nintendo does things a bit differently than its contemporaries. Rather than buy a large collection of disparate studios, they instead have a few dozen small internal groups that work on a wide variety of games both internally and from external and subsidiary studios. Nintendo publishes way more games per year than either SIE or XGS, so they're not exactly starving for content. And Nintendo is a Japanese company. Japanese game companies generally don't go for the "Buy them all" approach of companies like Microsoft or EA. That seems to be more of a western business strategy. If Nintendo does acquire a studio, it's usually because the studio itself wants to sell and Nintendo sees their value in a key area.

That said, buying a lot more studios could give Nintendo more places to make games with. More developers could mean more houses for creative thought, which could mean different takes on Nintendo classics or New IPs that deviate from traditional Nintendo aesthetics. It could also mean that the studio has a safety net in case things go south rather than just struggle and wither away (though that's not always a guarantee).

So should Nintendo get in on the studio shopping spree? IMO, no, there is no real incentive at the moment. There's plenty of games coming to the Switch every month first and third party, so those N64/Wii U-esque software droughts are a thing of the past. However, it would be interesting if Nintendo did join in on the trend and start buying and merging with more developers.
 
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Barakov

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I think it would have to make sense for them in the long run. The switch is doing so well right now that they that don't have to do the kinds of sprees that MS and to a lesser extent Sony does/did. I think there's so few studios that fit in with the way Nintendo does things.
 

jigglet

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No, cause I don't think they're as capable of being hands off and trusting as someone like Microsoft. Yes MS made a lot of mistakes with Rare but I think they've learned a lot.

I think Nintendo would meddle and try to make them more like their internal studios, which is not the point of acquiring. You acquire to bring in completely different talent, culture, ideas. I've always suspected Retro's poor output has been due to too much meddling.

They have some of the best studios in the world internally, they should just focus on growing that instead of acquiring.
 
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Jubenhimer

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No, cause I don't think they're as capable of being hands off and trusting as someone like Microsoft. Yes MS made a lot of mistakes with Rare but I think they've learned a lot.

I think Nintendo would meddle and try to make them more like their internal studios, which is not the point of acquiring. You acquire for completely different talent, culture, ideas. I've always suspected Retro's poor output has been due to too much meddling.
MonolithSoft has more or less stayed the same under Nintendo. And Next Level Games even said they'd rather work with Nintendo than any other publisher multiple times. I would say Nintendo is more supportive than hands-on, focusing on bringing out the best of each team's unique strengths, while making sure the game is as polished as possible.

Whatever is going on at Retro is likely a different set of issues with the studio itself rather than anything Nintendo has done.
 
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Captain Toad

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Nintendo has avoided competing directly with Sony and Microsoft for a long time now and it's working well for them. As crazy as it sounds, I honestly believe they pay very little attention to what they're doing.
 

jigglet

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MonolithSoft has more or less stayed the same under Nintendo. And Next Level Games even said they'd rather work with Nintendo than any other publisher multiple times. I would say Nintendo is more supportive than hands-on, focusing on bringing out the best of each team's unique strengths, while making sure the game is as polished as possible.

Whatever is going on at Retro is likely a different set of issues with the studio itself rather than anything Nintendo has done.

Japanese studio and culture. I assume NLG has also been indoctrinated into the Nintendo way of doing things - the whole point of acquiring is to have content that is nothing like what you're already making. What OP is asking is going on a spending spree, which implies going global. That's taking on a whole variety of very difficult cultures and ideas. "Spending spree" also implies a large volume of acquisitions, and the only way to manage that is to be hands off, otherwise it's not scaleable. You just can't micro-manage 10-20-30 studios. I just don't see it in Nintendo's DNA to be hands off.
 
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Jubenhimer

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Japanese studio and culture. What OP is asking is going on a spending spree, which implies going global. That's taking on a whole variety of very difficult cultures and ideas. "Spending spree" also implies a large volume of acquisitions, and the only way to manage that is to be hands off, otherwise it's not scaleable. I just don't see it in Nintendo's DNA to be hands off.
Then how does that explain Next Level Games or studios like SFB or Paladin Studios who enjoyed working with Nintendo?
 
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jigglet

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Then how does that explain Next Level Games or studios like SFB or Paladin Studios who enjoyed working with Nintendo?

And do you think the 15 or 20 years or whatever they've taken to integrate NLG is scaleable? OP said "spending spree", which implies doing that 10-15-20 times...and not over 15-20 years, but within a few years. I just don't see it, but if you think Nintendo can then sure, let's agree to disagree.

EDIT: lol I didn't realise you were the OP.
 
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lh032

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What's the point when they dominate the industry with their own ip alone?

Imagine that. One publisher taking on the entire industry.
Nintendo was successful because of the system, not the IP .
Tell me what happen to Wii U.

Nintendo cant rely on the same IP forever.
 
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Bryank75

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If they found someone who fitted their culture... sure.

I thought Platinum or someone like that would have been good. Maybe a studio to make 2d or 2.5d JRPG's....
 
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jigglet

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Nintendo was successful because of the system, not the IP .
Tell me what happen to Wii U.

Nintendo cant rely on the same IP forever.

Sorry but that's ridiculous to say Switch is only popular cause of the platform not the IP. Their IP is some of the most compelling in this entire industry.

Both hardware and software need to be firing all cylinders in unison. Wii U was fucking trash hardware, no IP in the world could have helped with that.
 

yurinka

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They don't need it, they already sell a ton of consoles and make record profits.

But I'd welcome more exclusive games from there that aren't from their typical Mario(includes all the sub-IPs with a Mario universe character on it)/Zelda/Pokemon/AC franchises.

I'd like them to resurrect dead IPs like F-Zero, make more new 'traditional' IP like Splatoon and also have more stuff like Bayonetta, Monster Hunter Rise or Metroid. I think Platinum, Mercury Steam or someone like that would be good acquisitions.

Obviously Sega, Konami or Capcom also would be good acquisitions with lots of 8/16 bit and arcade IPs that would be great to bring back (not only emulated, but with new games like Ghost n Goblins Ressurrection, Sonic Mania or Out Run 2006 Coast 2 Coast for PSP).

But even if I'd love these games Nintendo wouldn't do it because they prefer to go low cost, don't make huge investments and to bet on very cheap, profitable, safe stuff and these games I'd love wouldn't be worth some Billions and having them as 3rd party they still get some (often timed) exclusive from them so they won't give a shit.

The thing is, what happens if some other first party acquires some of their biggest 3rd party partners like Capcom, Sega and Square or even smaller one like Platinum and Mercury Steam? They'd need to react buyting to secure stuff.

Nintendo was successful because of the system, not the IP .
Tell me what happen to Wii U.

Nintendo cant rely on the same IP forever.
I think there is a big difference between them that justified why one was a big failure and the other a big success with basically a very similar catalog of their main games:
-WiiU was a low tier console with a powerful competition
-Switch instead is a badass portable with no competition, it has the portable monopoly and both Nintendo's portable and home console games

I think that if Steamdeck manages to get a great compatibility with PC games and they manage to achieve a more mainstream pricing soon they can be a good competition for Switch due to the insane PC catalog with access to tons of games dirt cheap or directly 'free' from places like Amazon Prime, Gamepass, Epic Store, tons of big F2P games and so on.
 
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Eddie-Griffin

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Nintendo can't, people dont know how "loose money" works and why Nintendo wouldn't take the risk of ending up in a Rare situation like with Microsoft until Kinect Sports finally made the studio profitable.

If they do any acquisitions they will be safer bets.
 

Woopah

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There's no need to buy more, but I would like to see new collaborations. In recentish year's we've got great games from them partnering with Grezzo, Platinum, Bandai Namco, Koei Tecomo and MercurySteam, all without any acquisitions required.
 
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Mm nah.

I think that Nintendo is more like a 'watch and learn' company. They're watching what Microsoft and Sony are doing, but they'll wait to see what are the results of these acquisitions for each company.

And then they'll do whatever they want after that.
 
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MagnesG

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No, cause I don't think they're as capable of being hands off and trusting as someone like Microsoft. Yes MS made a lot of mistakes with Rare but I think they've learned a lot.

I think Nintendo would meddle and try to make them more like their internal studios, which is not the point of acquiring. You acquire to bring in completely different talent, culture, ideas. I've always suspected Retro's poor output has been due to too much meddling.

They have some of the best studios in the world internally, they should just focus on growing that instead of acquiring.
Then how do you explain Crackdown 3, and Platinum's Scalebound situation? While Platinum's Astral Chain successfully delivered, with a set trilogy already being considered, why can't Microsoft do the same? Is it because they are set on hands-off strategy or sometimes showing incapability to steer projects the correct way with close monitoring at hand? What the hell is going on with Halo Infinite's campaign situation?

Bayo2 got released with more or less similar quality to the predecessor. Bayo3's current development has not being given permission by Nintendo to be presented, likely is still baked in the oven.

Metroid Prime 4 was scrapped and restarted, but Nintendo is still holding the reins tightly as it should be, while Metroid Dread release is imminent now. The current situation is not that great but it could be worse.

Forget the devs, but who actually took care more of their IPs which in tandem, would pay attention and care about the devs who develop them too?
 

jigglet

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Then how do you explain Crackdown 3, and Platinum's Scalebound situation? While Platinum's Astral Chain successfully delivered, with a set trilogy already being considered, why can't Microsoft do the same? Is it because they are set on hands-off strategy or sometimes showing incapability to steer projects the correct way with close monitoring at hand? What the hell is going on with Halo Infinite's campaign situation?

Bayo2 got released with more or less similar quality to the predecessor. Bayo3's current development has not being given permission by Nintendo to be presented, likely is still baked in the oven.

Metroid Prime 4 was scrapped and restarted, but Nintendo is still holding the reins tightly as it should be, while Metroid Dread release is imminent now. The current situation is not that great but it could be worse.

Forget the devs, but who actually took care more of their IPs which in tandem, would pay attention and care about the devs who develop them too?

Cause it's not black and white. It's not a case of either you're good at it and 100% of all your purchases are perfect, or 0%.

The world isn't like that.

The question is simple: is Nintendo capable of going on a shopping spree? Not to buy 1 or 2 companies. No, the OP said "shopping spree". If you guys really think Nintendo is capable of buying upwards of 10 companies within a few years then I don't know what to tell you.
 
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CamHostage

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Backing up a second... Sony Interactive Entertainment has recently been making big spends on acquiring studios all over the place?

Firesprite, Nixxes, & Housemarque are strategic buys that add a good amount of manpower to Sony's studio family (not really any IPs among them, but they're all fine craftshops in their own way,) but I don't know that they together add up to "big spends"?
 
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jigglet

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Backing up a second... Sony Interactive Entertainment has recently been making big spends on acquiring studios all over the place?

Firesprite, Nixxes, & Housemarque are strategic and probably smart acquisitions, but I don't know that they add up to "big spends"?

I agree, that hardly qualifies as a spending spree.
 

Marty-McFly

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Nintendo was successful because of the system, not the IP .
Tell me what happen to Wii U.

Nintendo cant rely on the same IP forever.
Is that why they've sold more games than any other publisher in history by a landslide?
 

Marty-McFly

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yes. because of the switch.
If nintendo stick with home console, probably not.
And the NES, SNES, GB, GBA, DS, WII, 3DS, N64... even on consoles that underperformed like the GC their first party carried the console.

They have sold the most software in history, generation in and out, whether it be on home consoles or portables.

And for the pathetic amount of Wii U's they sold because nobody knew it existed, they still sold a shit load of first party games.
 
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MagnesG

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Cause it's not black and white. It's not a case of either you're good at it and 100% of all your purchases are perfect, or 0%.

The world isn't like that.

The question is simple: is Nintendo capable of going on a shopping spree? Not to buy 1 or 2 companies. No, the OP said "shopping spree". If you guys really think Nintendo is capable of buying upwards of 10 companies within a few years then I don't know what to tell you.
Oh so now it's not black and white anymore. Did you forget about your past comments already?

"Not capable of being hands off"
"Not trusting"

Fuck off with the backpedaling. Now it's about the OP question yeah? I'm with OP from the start where they don't have the big incentives to spend money when the vision is not aligned. Who's the one who said that they could, and should in this notion?
 

jigglet

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Oh so now it's not black and white anymore. Did you forget about your past comments already?

"Not capable of being hands off"
"Not trusting"

Fuck off with the backpedaling. Now it's about the OP question yeah? I'm with OP from the start where they don't have the big incentives to spend money when the vision is not aligned. Who's the one who said that they could, and should in this notion?

I simply don't think Nintendo can go on a MS or Tencent level spending spree. If you disagree with that, then fine. No need to get upset.
 
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Dream-Knife

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Nah. Acquisitions are bad for the industry. I also don't really see any major third parties that would fit with Nintendo other than NIS and Sega/Atlus.
 

Kokoloko85

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If MS is gonna keep buying franchises that people played on both Playstation and Nintendo consoles then they both need to start buying publishers.
 

Chastten

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I'd prefer more collaborations over acquisitions. Looking at my Switch collection I'd love for Nintendo to do more collabs with a company like KoeiTecmo. I mean, most of their games already come to Switch but there are still a few missing. Throw 'em some money to get the remaining games and undo some of the crazy MTX and call it a day.
 

ZywyPL

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Do they need tho? It's not like they have any competition that they need to widen/diversify their portfolio. They have more than enough studios/IPs to serve their audience.
 

gundalf

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Devs are lining up to release games on the Switch, even competitors like Microsoft. Also on a side note, I recommend looking up the history of Retro and what a horrible experience this was initially for Nintendo, I think still today that leaves a negative attitude for Nintendo on acquiring western Studios.
 

Skelterz

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I think for now personally there doing just fine, I know they put a bid in for Atlus and Sega outbid Nintendo and I can almost guarantee if Nintendo thought Sega acquiring atlus would have a negative effect on the company going forward they would have bolstered there bid.

Also i distinctly remember Nintendo purchasing the Fatal Frame IP during the Wii u Era so I’m assuming there game plan is purchase dormant IP’s to diversify the portfolio as opposed to buying up big studios.

People often forget when Nintendo had 2 different departments during the Wii U era they opted to merge them and create the switch and concentrate all there efforts into one machine that does both because prior to that you had 3DS/Wii U games being developed in tandem across the company creating drought and delays…

Since then Nintendo’s output has been rocky due to certain studios internally not being as experienced with HD development however as time has gone on they have smoothed out somewhat and there’s a lot more games available on switch than ever before when the systems were split.
 
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sublimit

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Do they need tho? It's not like they have any competition that they need to widen/diversify their portfolio. They have more than enough studios/IPs to serve their audience.
Have you people forgotten the WiiU? It was actualy not too long ago.

Switch's success today doesn't make them bulletproof for the future. They do need more studios and IPs because by strengthening and diversify their first party offerings they will also attract gamers who have either stoped gaming on Nintendo's systems or people who have never played on a Nintendo system before. This will make it easier for third party publishers to release their games on their platform(s) and not have another WiiU situation.
 
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Skelterz

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Have you people forgotten the WiiU? It was actualy not too long ago.

Switch's success today doesn't make them bulletproof for the future. They do need more studios and IPs because by strengthening and diversify their first party offerings they will also attract gamers who have either stoped gaming on Nintendo's systems or people who have never played on a Nintendo system before. This will make it easier for third party publishers to release their games on their platform(s) and not have another WiiU situation.

In my above post I did touch on the Wii u period I honestly think having a handheld and home console division along with WIIU being the first HD console Nintendo had to develop for caused more problems on the whole than internal man power developing games.
 
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No, cause I don't think they're as capable of being hands off and trusting as someone like Microsoft. Yes MS made a lot of mistakes with Rare but I think they've learned a lot.

I think Nintendo would meddle and try to make them more like their internal studios, which is not the point of acquiring. You acquire to bring in completely different talent, culture, ideas. I've always suspected Retro's poor output has been due to too much meddling.

They have some of the best studios in the world internally, they should just focus on growing that instead of acquiring.

I don't know the whole story but this recent interview with a former Retro employee paints Nintendo in a pretty good light on their management of Retro.

At the end of that time everyone was ready to quit, we were like "we're done". I had two job offers from two different companies, and to their credit Nintendo realised what was going on and took over the company, bought it out. They put Michael Kelbaugh in charge. He's a sweetheart, real good, he was head of Nintendo's QA department. He said "guys, give me a few weeks to turn it around. And he did"... He restored faith in leadership and in the company. I loved working for Nintendo.
 
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sublimit

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In my above post I did touch on the Wii u period I honestly think having a handheld and home console division along with WIIU being the first HD console Nintendo had to develop for caused more problems on the whole than internal man power developing games.
I don't think that WiiU's problem was the existence of the 3DS but i agree that it helped them with the Switch having all their studios focus on just one system (same goes for Sony post-Vita era). I think the problem is still there but it's just not as visible right now due to Switch's succes.
 

Zannegan

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They could do with grabbing up a few retro libraries and some mid-level IP with potential, and it certainly wouldn't hurt for them to have the development bandwidth to put out another 2-3 big exclusives per year. They could certainly stand to invest in a tech company or two with an eye to improving their online services as well. Pulling a Sony and picking up a solid PC porting studio would be a good move for future proofing as well.

In the end, there are lots of things they could do that would probably pay dividends, but there's nothing urgent. They might do just as well growing these services and studios from within.

Personally, I'd like to see them invest in some really off-the wall technology or start gearing up for a portable VR headset or something. Weird Nintendo is best Nintendo, IMO, or at least the most fun to watch.
 

anothertech

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Based on Nintendo history and doing everything opposite of their competitors, I expect them to start giving studios away to their competitors to further confound and confuse their fanbase.
 
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Skelterz

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They could do with grabbing up a few retro libraries and some mid-level IP with potential, and it certainly wouldn't hurt for them to have the development bandwidth to put out another 2-3 big exclusives per year. They could certainly stand to invest in a tech company or two with an eye to improving their online services as well.

100% Agree with this.
 
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i didn't realise sony was on an "acquisition spree" lmfao. they bought some small studios nobody has ever heard of but wouldn't call it a spree.

anyway, Nintendo don't really need to buy anyone. they got games that sell their console. that's the reason MS/Sony had to buy. MS now has a shit load of titles but sony hasn't really bought anything of note. there are still relying on the usual Gran Turismo, God of War, Naughty Dog, Spiderman games. how exciting.
 
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