The FTC legal battle to stop Xbox’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard continues this week, and while the trial is closed today, a ton of documentary evidence has surfaced online during the intermission, suggesting that Xbox as a whole will buy who. Interesting clues have emerged as to why. . In other words, Sega.
Internal Xbox documents filed as evidence in the ongoing trial show the company’s acquisition strategy as of May 2021. The document begins by recommending multiple acquisitions to fill perceived content gaps in mobile development, recommending “franchises with strong communities and deep engagement” and “. It’s a casual, social, cross-generational franchise. “
The presentation suggests that Xbox first created a list of 100 developers based on multiple criteria, then narrowed it down to eight finalists.
- Supergiant game
Other notable developers nearing the final list include Behavior Interactive, Housemarque (acquired by Sony in 2021), Remedy Entertainment, Larian Studios, Rebellion Developments, and Paradox Interactive.
But Xbox seems to have gotten particularly close to one developer in particular, Sega.
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, and both on- and off-console, he is well positioned to accelerate Xbox Game Pass. I believe it will help.”
Microsoft GM David Hampton simply replied to the email, “Game on.”
The email is dated November 2020, so it’s unclear why, when, or even when Spencer’s plan to take on Sega fell through. A profile that Xbox put together about the studio shows that Xbox saw Nexon’s investment in the company as a complex element in the process, not just complexities from Sega’s other areas of business. But in addition to his PC-focused content (Total War, Football Manager), Relic Entertainment, Yakuza, Endless Dungeon and, of course, Sonic were also big draws.
This presentation includes a complete breakdown of the 17 companies Xbox has been seriously considering (perhaps the 18th fully redacted), discussing upcoming games, associated risks, and other facts. contained. Interesting tidbits in this section include references to Bungie’s mysterious “Matter” IP, as well as what seems to confirm that IO’s new fantasy shooter is indeed what is rumored. “Project Dragon” In development for Xbox and PC.
You can check out our daily roundup here at IGN for a daily update on what’s happening with the FTC vs. Microsoft. You can also check out our in-depth analysis of his first and second days of the trial ahead of tomorrow’s rerun.
Rebekah Valentine is IGN’s Senior Reporter. you can find her on her twitter @duck valentine.