If Microsoft had bought the company, it would have kept Sega’s multi-platform business, court documents show.
As part of a strategy document released during the ongoing Federal Trade Commission (FTC) v. Microsoft trial to determine the fate of Xbox’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, Microsoft has outlined Sega’s operating plans. explained, revealing that there were plans to acquire the company behind Sonic. be able to
The document, reviewed by IGN, reveals Microsoft’s plans for Sega to report to Xbox Game Studios boss Matt Booty according to the following operating principles:
- We will continue to develop and distribute all acquired games and franchises on all relevant platforms (Android, iOS, PlayStation, Steam, Switch, Windows, Xbox, etc.).
- We’re bringing titles that were previously exclusive to PlayStation and Nintendo to Xbox, and future titles will also launch on Xbox in addition to other relevant platforms, as rights permit.
- Launch all acquired games and franchises as subscription exclusives on consoles, PC and Xbox Game Pass in the cloud. Future releases will be delivered to Xbox Game Pass on a daily basis.
The point here is that Microsoft had no plans to monopolize Sega games such as the Sonic Xbox when this strategy was outlined in November 2020. Rather, it planned to continue to multi-platform Sega’s games and bring exclusive games to Xbox.
One of the key questions the FTC posed to Microsoft as part of blocking its deal with Activision Blizzard was whether Call of Duty would be exclusive to Xbox. The paper cited Bethesda’s new space role-playing game, Starfield, which will not be released on the PlayStation, as an example of Microsoft’s actions after Bethesda acquired parent company ZeniMax. Microsoft has promised to keep Call of Duty multi-platform for at least 10 years if it acquires Activision Blizzard. The memo about its plans for Sega, if a deal had been struck, supports Microsoft’s claims.
Emails, also typed as evidence, show that Xbox head Phil Spencer went to see Microsoft CFO Amy Hood and CEO Satya Nadella, among others, to approach Sega and ask them to approach game studios (especially (not including the remaining business units). “We believe Sega is building a balanced portfolio of games across segments with global geographic appeal that will help accelerate Xbox Game Pass both on and off console. I believe.” David Hampton, GM of Microsoft, responded to the email simply by saying, “The game is on.”
Here at IGN, you can check out our daily roundup of what’s happening at the FTC vs. Microsoft. You can also check out our in-depth analysis of his first and second days of the trial before it resumes today.
Wesley is IGN’s UK news editor. Find @wyp100 on Twitter. You can reach Wesley at: firstname.lastname@example.org or confidentially email@example.com.