It’s no secret that Microsoft has been struggling in this generation, seemingly backing the wrong innovations for the Xbox One and falling behind to Sony early on and now even the plucky Nintendo Switch is giving the computing powerhouse a run for its money.
Money, however, is something Microsoft has an abundance of and they are sitting on a gigantic pile of cash that’s burning a hole in the pockets of the execs designer suits and they are apparently itching to splurge that cash and give their Xbox brand a much needed shot in the arm.
Microsoft has recently expressed interest in acquiring Triple-A level assets and two of the names, among others being banded around are Valve and everyone’s favourite villains EA. It’s clear from these lofty targets that Microsoft is serious about improving their strength in the market and they have experience in pulling studios in under their wing, however, in the case of studios like Lionhead, this doesn’t always end well. Soon after taking over the studio, their current Fable project was cancelled, the studio folded only for the Fable project to be re-launched later with an entirely new team and studio behind it.
Picking up Valve would obviously give Microsoft the dominance over the PC gaming market that Steam brings and that which they converted for so long. Since the rise of Steam, Microsoft (and EA for that matter) have struggled to gain a significant foothold. Bringing Valve into the family would give Microsoft access to that huge vein of PC gaming revenue.
If they picked up EA it would interesting to see how this would evolve both brands, EA itself operates a number of studios under its own umbrella, including the likes of Dice. Bringing in all these assets could mean those much needed Xbox exclusives would finally appear and would strengthen the Xbox brand against the competition meaning EA or EA operated studio games could come to the console first or entirely exclusively.
The Xbox Game Pass would also benefit if EA were brought in, boosted by EA’s huge library. The only issue would be striking a deal as EA are protective of their EA Access Program since the demise of Origin, a program very similar to the Game Pass.
If either company was brought out it’s likely they would remain under their own brands and operate as their own entities to a degree, EA would still be EA (shudder) but they would ultimately serve their Microsoft overlords and the same would go for Valve. It’s extremely unlikely any rebranding would occur.
There is also the possibility that this is just Microsoft testing the waters to see what the reaction from investors and consumers is like before they actually make a play for either company or any of the others rumoured to be on their radar which includes PUBG corp.
What the future holds for the current gaming landscape, only time can tell. We’ll be keeping an eye on the situation and if anything further breaks we’ll have the rundown.