The purchase of Bethesda is not the only purchasing move that Microsoft has raised in recent years. Before acquiring one of the largest video game development companies in the sector, the Redmond people explored other fields that were also quite interesting. Almost two decades ago, but something very interesting has come to light: Microsoft tried to buy Nintendo, Square Enix and EA. How did the strategy come out? Maybe not as well as they thought.
Microsoft, on the hunt for Nintendo, Square and EA
A most interesting report published by Bloomberg, with a talk with some of the most important figures in the Xbox division at the beginning of the 21st century. Kevin Bachus, Director of Third-Party Relations, and Steve Ballmer, former Xbox CEO, have spoken about their purchase attempts at the time. His first move was in the direction of Electronic Arts, something to which the firm responded with a simple and emphatic “no.” However, the most curious case is that of Nintendo.
Several meetings were held with those from Kyoto in which they showed them the hardware they had planned for the first Xbox and even hinted that they would take care of the hardware, while the Japanese would have the software on their shoulders. They considered it the best way to beat the competition, Sony and its PlayStation 2 on the way. However, Mario’s house responded by laughing at them. They burst out laughing at such a proposal. Behind the scenes, they had a GameCube that was technically above PS2.
Similarly, they went after Squaresoft when it hadn’t yet merged with Enix. For that, they sent a letter that was rejected because the Japanese considered that the price to pay was far below its real value. They also tested the waters with Midway Games and did not get good results either.
Several open fronts that led those from Redmond to pull the car on their own, although today that has led to the founding of Xbox Game Studios and collaborations such as Nintendo or the integration of EA Play in Game Pass.