Microsoft tried to by Nintendo (and got totally ridiculed)

Posted on Friday, Jan 08 2021 @ 10:35 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
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Microsoft's Xbox console is now almost 20 years old. The original console was showcased to the world at CES 2001 and now Bloomberg has an in-depth story about how it was developed. The first Xbox console was far from an ideal product, it was over-budget and nearly got cancelled. Where it gets really interesting is that twenty years ago, Microsoft attempted to buy several video game publishers to rally support for its gaming ecosystem.

The first company they approached was Electronic Arts, they basically said "no, thanks." Nintendo was second and was less polite:
The team also looked to tap Microsoft’s deep financial resources to secure exclusive games. It approached various companies to propose an acquisition.

BOB MCBREEN (head of business development): The first company we reached out to buy was EA. They said, “No, thanks,” and then Nintendo.

BACHUS Steve: made us go meet with Nintendo to see if they would consider being acquired. They just laughed their asses off. Like, imagine an hour of somebody just laughing at you. That was kind of how that meeting went.
The article also reveals Microsoft was in advanced talks with Square Enix. That deal didn't come to fruition because Square Enix wanted more money. Another firm that was in Microsoft's crosshairs was Mortal Kombat developer Midway Games.

This developer was very willing to make a deal but Microsoft couldn't figure out how to make it work because after shedding Midway's PlayStation business, the marketing, and the sales group, there was not a lot of value left.

Microsoft did purchase Bungie, which was facing financial struggles at the time, and that turned out to be a brilliant move as Halo became a hit series.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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